• Jan 7, 2010
Saab: A history in pictures – Click above for high-res gallery

Just when we thought the financial soap opera surrounding Saab couldn't get any more convoluted or tortured, it has. Bloomberg is reporting that General Motors has once again delayed a meeting planned for today to determine the Swedish automaker's fate. The gathering will now take place tomorrow, in part because a new bidder has entered the fray, Genii Capital, the private-equity group that purchased Renault's Formula One team just last month. According to the report, Genii intends to make a cash offer for the brand, and it plans to use the business plan of an earlier bidder, Koenigsegg, as a roadmap to getting Saab into the black by 2012 with just 105,000 units per year.

For his part, interim GM chief executive officer Ed Whitacre told reporters yesterday that he isn't optimistic about consummating a sale, remarking that nobody has yet stepped up to offer the necessary funds for Saab: "It's real easy – show up with the money and you can have it." Naturally, such statements might also be designed to increase the size of the bids, and that statement may have come before Whitacre was made aware of Genii entering the fray, but we digress...

Of course, Spyker Cars, the bidder for whom the deadline was originally extended until today, is still very much in the mix, but there are also new rumors of yet another Swedish group making a last-last-minute play for the brand. More as it happens...



[Sources: Bloomberg, Reuters via The New York Times, SaabsUnited]


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  • 31 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      "It's real easy – show up with the money and you can have it."

      I detest pompous comments like that especially coming from someone who just took a huge bail-out from the very people who buy their products.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I hope something goes through for SAAB's sake. Imagine the dark cloud that will hang over GM as they deal with the fact that they bought a company, ruined it, and were forced to shut it down.

      At least cut your losses like Ford did with Jaguar, Land Rover, and Aston Martin and give the brand a chance to succeed without you. Just like the new 9-5, Ford-owned Jag had just developed the S-Type replacement (a highly-praised, award winning car), which launched after the brand was sold. It sorta sucks for Ford that somebody else gets to enjoy the fruit of their hard work, lol, and GM would be in the same boat if the 9-5 is as good as it seems on paper/pictures. Better that than throwing it all away because you're too greedy.

      I would like to see one of these well-meaning companies like this new one and another one like Spiker go in 50/50. Both adding ideas and taking different products in different directions. SAAB could be a low-volume, high-profit niche car sorta like Porsche.
        • 5 Years Ago
        i wish tata would just buy up saab and make it their entry level lux car brand, they've turned stuff around with land rover and jaguar, i'm sure they can do it here
      • 5 Years Ago
      Breaking news!!!

      Genii team up with Bernie Ecclestone to bid for Saab Automobile

      You can check the news in saabsunited.com
      • 5 Years Ago
      If SAAB pulls out of this, it should change its emblem from a Griffin to a PHOENIX!

      I'm rooting for you, SAAB!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Can someone explain to me the sense in taking nothing instead of something? I get it that the GM board is disappointed that SAAB does not appear to be any longer worth what they hoped it was - but how is SPENDING money to wind it down better than GETTING money for selling it? I don't understand the math here.... it seems more consistent with GM's self-righteous (and ultimately woefully unsuccessful) past than with their avowed future.
        • 5 Years Ago
        My understanding is that GM is primarily concerned with retaining its intellectual property rights. There is a lot of technology that GM has invested in Saab. They don't want this tech to go into a fleet of new cars without being properly compensated for their efforts. This is the primary reason why any deals with Chinese or Russian financiers backing the deal have gone south. In the end the company that gets Saab (if anyone) will be required to pay GM for the continued use of GM technology until such time as they no longer use the tech. They know the Saab brand itself is essentially worthless however the technology that has been invested in it is very valuable.

        i could be wrong though...
        • 5 Years Ago
        It isn't that simple.

        GM has to supply product for Saab for at least the next 5 years (new 9-5, upcoming 9-4X, and the new 9-3 that's in development). While GM gets paid for all this work, they still have to balance the needs of Opel (which they still own).

        Add to that, no company is going to buy Saab without some sort of guarantee that it won't be DOA, so GM probably is on the hook for a lot of things even after the sale if Saab goes down in say 1-2 years from now.
      • 5 Years Ago
      OH MY GOD I CAN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE
        • 5 Years Ago
        Seriously, this is torture. C'mon Saab! Keep breathing!
        • 5 Years Ago
        GM -- make me a 9-5, then do what you must. All of its written off anyway, whats the harm in making one little car for me? :D
        • 5 Years Ago
        sorry guys, the new bidder was me and i was only kiddin
      • 5 Years Ago
      die or don't die, pick one
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm convinced that cars like the X6, Crosstour and ZDX should have been born Saabs. But nooooo, GM was to full of them selves to realize cars like the 900 and 9000 would lead to those.

      I hope Saab survives.
        • 5 Years Ago
        You think Saab should have made a car as useless, and as poor-selling as the BMW X6?
      • 5 Years Ago
      It's like GM doesn't want to sell Saab at all to end up having another establish automotive company to compete against..

      If they kill Saab it will cost them lot's of money as appose to whatever amount they could get from a sale....
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'd like to "make a cash automaker" too...whatever that is! (grin)
        • 5 Years Ago
        I noticed that, too. I think the writer intended to type, 'cash offer'. New batteries for the voice recorder needed?
      • 5 Years Ago
      What irritates me is that I (and all american taxpayers) own GM. For years, I refused to buy anything that GM produced because I didn't wish to support their schlock nor the unions involved in production. Then my pocket was picked to keep the company from achieving a well deserved bancruptcy and ultimate demise. Meanwhile GM bought and loused up Saab. Everything GM touches turns magically to dung. Ford bought and screwed up my other Swede car, Volvo. Ford als bought and screwed up Jaguar. Fortunately, Germany makes a wonderful selection of automobiles and I continue to make my selections from that list. We really don't need american automakers anymore...simple Adam Smith economics instructs us to allow those who do something best should do it. That would mean Asia or Germany. Ford, Chrysler and GM can go away.
      • 5 Years Ago
      If it results in the Aero X being built, even though I wouldn't be able to afford it, the soap opera is worth it.
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