• Dec 31, 2009

2006 Saab Aero-X Concept – click above for high-res gallery

In a far-reaching interview with AOL Autos this morning, Spyker Cars CEO Victor Muller revealed some interesting tidbits about his company's plan for Saab if they can successfully negotiate for its purchase from parent company General Motors.

In a product plan that sounds distinctly like those previously floated by Saab executives in Sweden, the Dutch supercar builder would have Saab rebuild its brand around the 9-3, new-for-2010 9-5, and the 9-4X crossover. An entry-level 9-1 model would not be a consideration, although Muller admits he'd still love to build a production version of 2006's celebrated Aero X concept (shown above). If Saab were to go that route, Spyker's experience in building low-volume supercars would clearly be an asset in bringing it to market.

In news that will surely be welcomed by Saab dealers and customers, Muller says Spyker has decided it would not pursue plans to winnow Saab's U.S. dealer network from 218 showrooms to 137. In fact, the Dutch businessman suggests that it would be reasonable to expect Spyker to sell its own cars within Saab showrooms in the future (they are presently distributed through Bentley and Lamborghini outlets). Down the road, Spyker's supercars could benefit from Saab's all-wheel drive expertise, among other things.

Naturally, all of this future product discussion will be moot if Spyker and its investors can't get GM to hand over the keys to the perennially embattled brand. A newly extended deadline for sales negotiations to be completed was set by GM on Wednesday, and we should know not long after January 7 what fate awaits the brand.



[Source: AOL Autos]



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 21 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      No 9-1 seems like a major mistake to me. Small luxury is where all of the Luxury brands are headed, even Lexus. Unless the plan is to shrink the 9-3.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Delta II is about as big as Epsilon I (non long wheelbase).

        Gamma II, likewise is about as big as Delta.

        Besides, a mini fighter from Saab would be freaking awesome with the new design cues.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The next 9-3 was supposed to migrate from the Epsilon platform to the smaller Delta platform (Cruze, Astra). I'm not sure it would make sense for Saab to go smaller than that.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Just letting my mind run wild here... It would be cool to see Saab live on as a niche-market upscale brand that took their fairly weak tie to aviation and really exploited it in their design language and user interfaces. I think there are enough people in that segment to support a brand that maybe didn't build the flat-out fastest car in the world, but that had things like the jet-fighter style canopy of the Aero X and used very elaborate HUD displays. Maybe the "Sport" mode button or soemthing would be under a flip-up switch guard on the gear shift, or its infotainment interface used a multi-directional hat-switch like on a fighter's joystick. They could play up the mechanical sounds by having loud waste-gates for their turbo engines and stuff like that, which, although it may not make a car that's objectively superior, would give the driver an experience that transcends mere speed and agility. Besides, even Zonda owners don't drive like they own a Zonda so if your car FEELS special when you drive it, who cares about a few tenths of a second to 60 or a couple MPH in trap speed.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Maybe GM should retain a minority stake in Saab and keep a tight watch on the IP it will license to Saab.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Quite honestly I don't understand where are the synergies in this acquisition. What does Spyker have that will help to save Saab? Does it have the money or own economist of scale necessary to turn around saab? No! Does it have the technologies that Saab needs? No! Aero X does not count. Even if it ever sees the light of a showroom, it will always be a niche product. Spyker is a tiny supercar maker that sells less than 100 cars per year for Zeus's sake! I think it would have been better if some Chinese or Indian or RUssian company bought Saab instead of this.


      Does Saab have something that Spyker need? Yes, the sales channel and ability to buy cheaper parts. But I just don't see the benefits running the other direction as well.
        • 5 Years Ago
        What Saab gets is a chance to survive.
        • 5 Years Ago
        +2 Neither the possible Spyker or Koenigsegg deals make any sense. Manufacturing and marketing a car in the volume Saab requires to be profitable is significantly different from selling a low volume exotic.

        Currently Saab sells around 100,000-125,000 cars a year at price points ranging from $30K-$50K. You can't be profitable at that volume at those prices. Doubling sales will require additional models and making the 9-3 & 9-5 more desirable and that will require a huge financial investment in a crummy credit market. As far as the thought of taking Saab up market, good luck, Jaguar which has long had luxury cache barely moves metal. The luxury market is awfully crowded and there is every indication that consumers in North America and Europe are scaling back in how much they expect to spend on their next car.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I am a Saab fan and would love to see them soldier on, but I also do not see the synergies. Every upmarket barnd that has tried to manage a mainstream brand has failed. Unless the plan is to move Saab way upmarket, it seems to me that Spyker will just follow the GM game plan. Use existing platforms and "Saaby" designs. It sounds like parts bin sharing with a different manager with less money.
      • 5 Years Ago
      First off, what is causing GM to be so hard-headed in NOT selling Saab?

      It seems with each negotiation, they are making it difficult to let go of the company. It's either GM purposely wants to Saab to die or they're asking for more money and requirements than it's possible to do so.

      Secondly, I really hope this sale goes through. Saab makes really nice cars. And, the AeroX Concept would be great to see in production. I'm sure every poster and car enthusiast on AutoBlog would LOVE to see this car on the road in the future.

      To GM: Sell the damn company and stop being so damn difficult.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This article underscores why GM is so reluctant to sell SAAB.
      More specifically, if they sell SAAB, the new owners are going to be selling the 9-3, 9-4x and 9-5 in direct competition with GM cars such as Buicks and GM doesn't want that.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Let Spyker at least try. GM has no use or need for SAAB and is going to kill it off anyway, so sell it Spyker and see what he can do.
      • 5 Years Ago
      is Saab news really leaking out so slowly that there is a new, teeney piece to the puzzle every 12th post?
      I guess it is "a far-reaching interview with AOL Autos this morning"...........
      Thanks for staying on top of the blow-by-blow, minute-by-minute happenings with this story.
      God help us all that Saab is saved and we get to see their new products as planned.
      Especially the 9-X Air.
      • 5 Years Ago
      If you cant beat them, buy them and shut them down...GM style....
      • 5 Years Ago
      Sorry, Autoblog, but Saab doesn't have very much all-wheel drive expertise. For one, they've only been offering all-wheel drive for less than a decade, and you can't count the 9-7x or the Saabaru. Moreover, "their" all-wheel drive is produced by Haldex. I'd say Audi and Subaru have expertise with all-wheel drive cars, not Saab though. Saab is best known for front-wheel drive cars, such as my first Saab, a 99, or my 9000S, or my '99 9-3.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Huh? The Saab 9-2 had an *awesome* AWD system, best-in-class, really.

        Not sure GW would sell it to Spyker tho...

        ;)
        • 5 Years Ago
        Haldex produces Audi's AWD system. Saab helped them design it.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I was thinking that since Spyker gets their powerplants from Audi, why not go to Audi for their AWD expertise as well?
      • 5 Years Ago
      GM : PLEASE sell Saab!!!

      I'd love to see the aero X go into production
        • 5 Years Ago
        Seconded.

        Opel made sense to retain; Saturn made sense to lose; arguments were easily available to justify Pontiac. Killing Saab just looks greedy.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The suspense is killing me.
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