• Jan 17, 2010
To paraphrase the once great weekend update anchor Chevy Chase, "Generalissimo Saab is still dead" and appears likely to stay that way. Bloomberg reports that Spyker is the last bidder standing to pick up the Swedish brand from General Motors, although Genii Capital and partner Bernie Eccelstone apparently haven't given up yet. At this point, according to the news service, Spyker is the only party in active talks with The General as the process of shutting down Saab has already begun. Genii hopes to reopen talks with GM this week.

The Spyker bid reportedly includes having GM continue to hold a stake in Saab – a stipulation that the U.S. company will probably be averse to. Another problem could still revolve around handing over intellectual property to Russia, just as it did with the aborted attempt to sell Opel to Magna (the largest shareholder in Spyker is Russian chairman Vladimir Antonov). Given Saab's continued lack of financial success over the years, it's hard to see how Spyker (which has had its own problems to sort through) could make a go of it. With any luck, we'll know the outcome of this sad saga this week, although we'd be less-than-surprised to see things drag on for a while yet.

[Source: Bloomberg | Image: Joe Raedle/Getty]


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 21 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago

      Piss or get off the pot! This is ridiculous. GM is such a clusterf#%$.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Do you understand that the best deal on the table involves GM not only keeping a stake in Saab, but receiving a stake in Spyker?

        Don't you see why GM might be reticent to take it? Especially since Spyker has NEVER made money?

        Don't you see that Spyker can only come up with $75 million and has to offer the rest in stock?

        And that that might not bode well for their ownership of Saab, since it costs about $500M + to design, engineer, tool for, and launch a new product at Saab's sales volumes?
        • 5 Years Ago
        @inline6 Do you realize you keep repeating yourself? Like 5 times now? I stopped reading after the fifth time you mentioned 75 million.

        If GM never gained anything from SAAB, they wouldn't have kept them so long. If Spyker never made any money, they'd be out of business and their CEO wouldn't be invited to give talks at Autoshows. Every company writes stuff off and shuffles profit around so they pay fewer taxes. Don't be so gullible. The people at the top of GM are rich, regardless of how many times they say that SAAB didn't make money.

        What you fail to mention is that regardless of the buyer, GM stands to make a lot of money, long-term, by selling parts that it shares across it's brands, to the new SAAB.

        Also the Spyker offer lets GM keep $100 million of SAAB's existing liquidity AND get $75 million cash from Spyker and the $325 million in preferred shares. That adds up to more than the $450 million GM wanted and they get a long-term customer. SAAB has three vehicles ready to go into production, so they won't have any 500 million+ development costs for a while.

        SAAB wasn't doing well because of GM's poor management, so with people who know what they're doing in charge and having devoted buyers of the brand all over the world (guess you never saw the convoy pics of the events yesterday?), there's no reason that the new company can't make it. And when they're freed from GM, who's to say they won't have more investors? Maybe Magna will invest out of spite.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I said it before , I will say it again.
      Put SAAB in charge of GM, sell GM off. All the good stuff can be rebadged as SAAB, like SAAB G8, SAAB SS,SAAB Z/28, etc, etc
      • 5 Years Ago
      The Swedish government needs to end this and nationalise SAAB and let the Swedes design and build these cars again without interference from the Imperialist hordes.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Sure, Tony.

        But this will be one hell of an expensive welfare project, even for Sweden.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Intellectual property my @ss didn't they just sold previous Saab tech to China for a few million dollars????Whats all the intellectual property that Saab has left??? Only freaking new 95...On top of that isnt there already agreements put in place to "protect" such rights????? If GM can go into partnerships in Communist China with Chinese companies building GM cars over there at a 49/51 partnership WTF is the big deal now with always putting BS excuses about intellectual property??
        • 5 Years Ago
        GM sold previous-generation technology, encapsulated into the tooling, not their latest, current technology. A good sale by GM and a good buy for a company that can probably milk the old 9000-based chassis for the next decade. Indeed, selling the old tooling is probably the best, and most profitable, Saab-related decision GM could have made.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I'm pretty sure the tooling GM sold were for the old models. At best BAC (I believe the firm that bought it) has access to 2000ish manufacturing technology. They weren't even the specs for the vehicles.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Will they just kill Saab already!! Its not like they have been hitting homeruns on the sales charts in these past last few decades!!
      • 5 Years Ago
      It never ends. UNREAL.
      • 5 Years Ago
      it seems to me that gm would rather see saab close than to let someone step up and try to save it. gm needs to quit playing b.s hey ford wanna buy saab????
        • 5 Years Ago
        Well what ever happens im pulling for saab. whats your input on saturn?
        • 5 Years Ago
        U maybe right, but why not do the same for pontiac instead of closing it. i mean i know that gm wants to down size it company but its a legend of a brand.
        • 5 Years Ago
        What would they sell of Pontiac? The logo?

        Pontiac didn't have ONE plant. They didn't have a separate engineering division. They didn't have their own dedicated platforms or engines. NONE of the technology in ANY Pontiac was unique to the brand.

        Saab has a plant, its own separate workforce, engineering, and technology.
        • 5 Years Ago
        GM wants $400M for the brand. Spyker can only come up with $75M, and is offering $325M in SHARES of Spyker for the Saab brand.

        That means that GM will not only still own Saab, they'll own Spyker, too.

        And this is the MOST attractive offer GM has seen so far.

        Do you understand now why GM is dithering? They're trying to sell one brand, and the most attractive deal on the table involves keeping ownership of it!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Love how they keep on dragging this out. People are interested in buying the brand GM! Sell it and give said money back to the damn government to pay off your loans so our government can pay back China.

      I work at a Saab dealership and I get asked by pretty much every other costomer "What is the current news" and all I can tell them is "we have no clue we know as much as you do at this point.". Its really frustrating due to the fact they have several buyers interested but dont seem to really wish to sell the brand. GM thinks we are in a world economy that was 4 years ago when you could easily get top dollar but alas its not and right now the way they are winding things down they should be happy anyone is even interested.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yeah, but Spyker can only come up with $75 million, plus $325 million in shares of the company. Which would mean that GM would still own the company! And it's a company that's NEVER made money!

        GM's Epsilon II and Theta-Epsilon platforms, which the new 9-5 and 9-4x are on, are worth more than that to protect, since the platforms themselves probably cost a couple billion together to develop.

        Especially since a huge chunk of GM's volume is vehicles on those two platforms: LaCrosse, Regal/Insignia, Equinox, Terrain, SRX, Captiva, Antara, upcoming Malibu, Impala, and XTS.

        Hell, GM sold the OLD Saab platforms to BAIC for $200 million because they're dated.

        Also, if Spyker can't come up with more than $75 million cash, how well does that bode for Saab's future under Spyker?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Ugh. It's pretty plain that GM incorrectly expected that nobody was going to be interested in Saab, and when they found out that multiple parties WERE indeed interested, they began coming up with all sorts of ploys to play keep-away. Koenigsegg were literally less than 24 hours away from signing the ownership papers when (to parse the carefully worded comments from the dejected Koenigsegg group), GM changed the terms and asked for more money. Same thing's going on here. GM is doing whatever they can to devalue the company (i.e. making a lot of noise about shutting it down, rather publicly electing liquidators) while cranking up the price-- first it was reported to be $400M, now it's $450M... and they keep drawing out the sale, seemingly hoping folks are going to get cold feet and walk away. As a taxpayer, this is nauseating. One of the figures being tossed around for closure of the brand was 1 Billion dollars (and you may as well use worst-case scenario numbers in these sorts of things) after you factor in everything from the cost of maintaining a shuttered plant in Sweden, loss of manufacturing revenue (Euro Cadillacs were made in the Saab plant), management contract buyouts, and the inevitable lawsuits from Saab's 1000+ dealers worldwide. Let's see... make $450M, and start paying off those government loans that saved your lousy dinosaur of a company, or go even deeper in the hole to the tune of $1Billion. GM: Sell Saab.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Not true.

        GM is only asking about $400 million. That's less than it costs to design, engineer, tool for, and launch a new model at Saab-type volume.

        Spyker can only come up with about $75 million and has to offer the rest of the asking price in company shares. So if GM were to take the deal, they'd end up owning part of ANOTHER money-losing company.

        It's especially disconcerting because if Spyker can only come up with $75 million, how are they going to finance future product development for Saab? A new platform at Saab's small volumes costs hundreds of millions of dollars. And if Spyker can't do it, guess who'd be on the hook with all that Spyker stock?

        GM.

        GM has stopped the presses and kept the negotiations going because this is the MOST attractive offer they've had. In light of these facts, do you understand why they'd be reticent to do a deal?
      • 5 Years Ago
      If GM accepts this deal and later Spyker closes down for any reason, I guess GM could end up being blamed for Spyker's demise even if it was not GM's fault.
    • Load More Comments