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Saab: A history in pictures – Click above for high-res gallery

After canceling a earlier deadline of December 31, General Motors has given potential suitors until January 7 to come up with a bid for Saab or the storied Swedish brand will go the way of the dodo. On a business level, the move to rid itself of Saab makes sense. Saab is a perennial money loser and it has never quite figured out how to handle the brand. At this point, about the only possibility for Saab to escape the guillotine is for Spyker Cars or another bidder to somehow come up with a satisfactory last minute bid– or is it?

The brand enthusiasts at Saab History are trying to stage a last minute rally of their own – only instead of a bid for the company, these fans are looking to rally at GM's Renaissance Center headquarters in Detroit, hoping that a show of force will help keep the doors open in Trollhättan. The goal is to assemble an impressive show of force just hours prior to the General's January 7 board meeting that will determine the fate of the brand. The directions are simple. Get to GM headquarters, park your Saab, get some group photos and talk to the press.

The hope of the rally is that GM's board members will see the outpouring of support for Saab and somehow push harder to make a deal a reality. While that sounds nice – and probably fun – like the hoped-for agreement with Spyker itself, it remains to be seen whether the plan can be seen through. After all, the rally suggestion was floated just yesterday, and thus far plans are in their infancy. That said, we've seen car enthusiasts scrap together more with less, so this is something worth keeping an eye on. Interested in learning more? Click on the link below.



[Source: Saab History]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 36 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      this is pathetic. SAAB never made money. majority of the people especially those who blame GM for its downfall would never even set foot in or buy one of their cars. now they are going to protest to keep it alive when GM is trying to become strong and profitable again? pathetic. i love SAAB too but if they have to go, they have to go. if spyker comes through, then i will buy one used. @ inteller: SAAB survived after GM bought them. their SAAB stories are what died when the reliability and quality soared. and just because GM bought them means that things became generic when GM never messed with the engineering and design of the 9-3 and 9-5. the only thing they did in a temporary fix was the impreza and trailblazer derivatives. i am not surprised that nobody sees this though.
      • 5 Years Ago
      What would happen if all Chevrolet drivers tried to rally at GM HQ?
        • 5 Years Ago
        My point exactly. The fact that its possible for them to rally there means there is clearly a lack of buyers for the brand. In GMs point of view, its easier to ditch it than to fix it.
        • 5 Years Ago
        There isn't enough room at the RenCen for the millions and millions of Chevrolet drivers.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Will undead Kurt Vonnegut show up? I knew it nearly destroyed him financially, but I'm sure he had something good to say.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Hopefully the deal with Spyker works out.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Same problem, different companies - Saab & Volvo. They build their cars to last a million miles, so you only buy one every 6 to 8 years, unlike the typical GM model that makes it 3 to 4 years. And now with a slow economy, those numbers go out to 10 to 12 years.
        • 5 Years Ago
        So, people are driving their Saabs well over 100k miles per year? To get to that 1mil mile mark in 6-8yrs, you'd have to.

        I understand you're trolling, but I felt the need to comment on such a ridiculous observation.

        Every GM vehicle my family has owned, and there have been many, has lasted well into the 6-digit mileage range and they've often been kept around 15yrs or so after their production year (some were bought new, some used). I have no idea where you'd get the thought of a 3-4yr lifetime for ANY vehicle, but again, I have to remember to take anyhting you've said here with a huge grain of salt since trolling is incredibly difficult when you stick to facts. I honestly can't think of anyone I know whose had any new vehicle they've owned ever last as little as 6-8yrs so long as they didn't wreck it and they kept up on the maintenance. Man, your perception is really screwed up.

        Secondly, every current Saab model is built on a GM platform. So, if these modern Saabs (any model built after 1998, save the 9-2x) are built to go a million miles as well and last 6-8yrs as you say (good lord, I hope so), then you can thank the GM engineers for their platforms.

        Volvo is similar, all of their models are built on Ford platforms as well, but you were primarily going after GM, so I stuck with that.
      • 5 Years Ago
      So all six of them are going to show up?
      O:)
        • 5 Years Ago
        And how many of those Saabs will be ones actually made under a GM owned Saab? I'm guessing very few.

        Fact is Saab is better off dead than continued GM ownership. I'd argue that Saab died when GM bought them.
        • 5 Years Ago
        RowFive: Problem with Volvo (and SAAB) is they have to pull cash. It should be the other way around. (And no, I don't have an MBA).
        • 5 Years Ago
        I agree with inteller. Saab's of old had character, and despite being handicapped with FWD, some are pretty cool in my eyes. GM let Saab wither on the vine, rather than letting it evolve into a classy-yet-interesting alternative in the intro-lux market. Ford's handling of Volvo was much smarter, though I'm disappointed they're selling to Geely. Hopefully Volvo will continue it's relative independence, simply pulling cash from different coffers.
        • 5 Years Ago
        inteller - Saab was dead when GM bought it. It should have just died then.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Oh wait, it'll be a tweed-jacket fest. Harvard will be missing some professors. I suppose it is winter vacation so it makes sense.

      (man, there are just so many of them!)
        • 5 Years Ago
        These stereotypes are so silly, but sometimes they are true.

        The other day i walk into a Chevy dealership to check out Camaro, dealer tells me no mullet, no car.
        • 5 Years Ago
        That is so wrong except it is true. lol
        The first Saab I every knew about and drove in was when I lived in Ohio and my best friend's dad owned a 9000CS and he was a professor at the University of Cincinnati.
      • 5 Years Ago
      A little late now, isn't it?

      They are planning a rally at GM headquarters now, when what they really should have been doing was rallying at Saab dealers over the last 10 years actually BUYING CARS.

      "Saab enthusiasts" who bought a 1988 900 and still drive it today mean nothing to GM and will not bring back the brand.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I feel SAAB:)
      • 5 Years Ago
      So why can't GM just keep SAAB? With the new 9-5 looking as nice as it is, and the 9-1 coming up SAAB looks to have a god lineup. So what they dont achieve Toyota sales numbers, you're telling me they can't make ANY money at all?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Saab is being killed for the same reason as Saturn - even with a good line-up (or good potential line-up) they have too many brands.

        Why buy a 9-5 when you can get a new Regal, or up-coming XTS? Same can be said about the 9-1 and the Astra or up-coming Cruze. The only discernable differences are a Turbo, at least to 99.999999% of Americans.

        Look at Saturn, their entire line-up was pretty frickin impressive at the end: the Sky was a beautiful car, the Outlook part of a stable of competant and attractive mid-size crossovers, the Astra was unique in it's class with sporty European design and great features for the price, the Aura is pretty much the same thing as the Malibu which in itself is a pretty good card, and the Vue was excellent until GM released the updated powertrain in the new Equinox/Terrain and posted an 8 MPG improvement in highway mileage.

        But the only car that really stood out and was unique in Saturn's line-up was the Astra, which had horrible sales numbers. And the Sky could be argued as well, given Pontiac's demise, but it didn't sell that well either.

        Sales, sales and sales, folks.
        • 5 Years Ago
        They haven't so far. It's a pretty big gamble to assume that they will suddenly start.

        I agree though, they did put a lot of money into the new 9-5 and it looks quite nice, but the 9-5 isn't their big seller anyhow. The 9-3 is a more mainstream model and that's still the same. The current 9-5 starts at $40k compared to the $30k of the 9-3. Makes sense that the cheaper model would sell more copies. Yes, I understand that sales volume does not equate with profit, but it's still an important part of the equation.

        The sales figures bear this out as well. I am just looking at US sales figures, but even the ones I've seen for other countries (including Sweden) aren't any better.

        Oct. '09 US sales figures

        9-3 - 248
        9-5 - 51
        9-7x - 214

        The 9-7x, which is based on the Trailblazer platform easily outsells the 9-5, nearly outselling the 9-3 and it's not even in production any longer.

        The YTD totals aren't any better (using Oct '09 data).

        9-3 - 4,480
        9-5 - 903
        9-7x - 2,058

        Granted, a new model would likely spark some additional sales for the 9-5, but to think that it's suddenly going to sell 400% more than it does now (which would still only be a little over 200/mo) is wishful thinking at best.



      • 5 Years Ago
      I think GM would be more impressed if everyone showed up in their new Saab...just becuase you like a car doesnt mean the brand is worth pissing away millions of dollars they dont have
        • 5 Years Ago
        I'm a saab lover too, but sadly I agree with you
      • 5 Years Ago
      They give me a brand new 9-3 for $15,000 I will go down there to the rally.
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