• Jan 27, 2010

Click above to watch the videos after the jump

The latest chapter of the Saab saga appears to be a happy one, with Spyker coming up with a winning bid during the 11th hour and saving the proud Swedish automaker from closure at the hands of General Motors. After the jump are a few videos related to the deal, including a 10 minute video of the Spyker/Saab press conference, with Saab CEO Jan Åke Jonsson and Spyker CEO Victor Muller talking about how the deal was done, and where the two companies go from here. If you click through, you'll also find jubilant footage of the celebration in Trollhättan, where workers were given the day off as the liquidators were told to go home.

All is not wine and roses, however, as Spyker will doubtlessly have its hands full trying to fill up Saab's product pipeline after the current crop of GM-derived new models (9-5 sedan and Sportcombi, 9-4X, 9-3X) wear thin, so it will be interesting to see how they go about developing their next generation of products.

In the meantime, Spyker could benefit from Saab a lot faster than the other way-around, though, as it should be able to leverage a portion of the Swedish automaker's 1,400 dealerships worldwide to expand its global reach. Muller says that even leveraging 10 percent of the Saab dealers will be significant. Hit the jump to watch the fascinating videos for yourself.



[Source: YouTube]







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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 20 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      In before TriShield starts trolling...
      • 4 Years Ago
      As much as I'd like to see Saab stick around -- I've always been a fan -- this deal has almost no chance of succeeding long term.

      If Saab were like Lotus -- a niche manufacturer making secondary vehicles for enthusiasts -- fewer buyers would care who owned the company, financial status, number of dealers, etc. For example, there are only 5 Lotus dealers in all of Southern California (including 1 each in San Diego), the largest single car market in the U.S. but that doesn't matter when you put a few thousand miles a year on your Lotus (tops).

      Unfortunately, Saab, while a bit of a niche player, is really competing against BMW, Audi, Mercedes, Acura and Infiniti for buyers who will use their Saab as a daily driver. These people care about financial solidity, number of dealers, long-term support, etc.

      As someone who is clearly in Saab's target market, I can say that we intentionally overlooked the brand when selecting a new car recently, even though the 9-3 Sport Combi was competitive and attractive. Why? Because we had no confidence that Saab would be around for long and we didn't want to get stuck with a car and no local dealer. GM's flip-flopping on Saab's future has done deep, likely irreversible damage to the Saab brand, regardless of who the new owner is.

      The problem will only get worse as Spyker struggles to develop competitive mass market cars with severely limited resources while the mainstream players continue to evolve. This deal will keep Saab on life support for a while, but for anyone to expect a real comeback (absent another much larger partner) is irrationally optimistic.
      • 4 Years Ago
      It's nice to see that SAAB at least has a CHANCE, but honestly I do not think that this will end well for the carmaker.

      Possibly scenarios:
      A) Nothing. Spyker bit off more than it could chew and will end up burning through money and eventually collapse.

      B) Spyker sells SAAB (or their technology) off to the Chinese.

      C) Spyker partners with a car maker that actually has a clue about mass producing cars and finds some way of staying alive.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Maybe they could partner with Subaru or Mitsubishi. I think that is the only way they survive. We've already had a "Saabaru."
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Sean: and the Saaburu was a smashing success!
      • 4 Years Ago
      11th hour? Isn't this more like the 13th hour?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Another round of Kopparbergs for everyone, and hey throw in a platter of herring for good will. Cheers!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Can't wait till the Aero-X is produced. It could even be called the Saab Sonnett IV
        • 4 Years Ago
        The only way Spyker can make the Aero-X is to slap a 6 digit price tag on it and pray the wealthy will leave their high end vehicles for a SAAB. The concept is cool but developing, building, and maintaining that thing would be WAY to expensive for a mainstream vehicle. Spyker needs to bring SAAB into the shopping market of BMW, Mercedes, and Audi buyers. This will require vehicles in the mainstream (yes, to survive SAAB has to be mainstream) an THEN if (a big if) SAAB get's their name back they can start working on the Aero-X and sell it as a niche line. I personally think Spyker will fail. Spyker only knows how to hand-build around 100 vehicles a year for a buyer that could care about the price. True, Spykers are sweet vehicles but they can afford to put that $10,000 stereo or that $20000 chrome in the car just to make it look good for the wealthy buyer. Another problem is that Spyker has a total of 133 employees. Saab has THOUSANDS of employees and many of them work in a giant factory (which Spyker would have no idea how to run). This whole deal is equivalent to a local cafe owner buying out the TGI Fridays corporation just because he knows how to cook a delicious burger. If I were employed by SAAB I would be looking for a new job right this second.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Part of me wonders if Spyker may adopt the Aero-X design for their
        super cars, thus bringing the two brands more in sync. Personally I
        think Spykers are good looking with a few oddball pieces but from a
        marketing standpoint I think it makes sense to have the two companies more related, especially if they begin to share dealers. And personally from a design standpoint
        I would much rather have an Aero-x than a Spyker C8 even if its called a Spyker because who is really going to pay what the car will need to cost if its called a Saab.
      • 4 Years Ago
      If this has any chance of success they need to streamline immediately. Shut down Spyker as a separate company and just use the name and models as a line of high end Saabs especially if you're only building a few hundred a year. Trying to run two different companies out of the box is a disaster. Focus, focus, focus.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Good luck saab & spyker!!!
      jfj0710
      • 4 Years Ago
      The Saab dealer in South OC has already converted to selling Mitsubishis, which the old fat sales people know nothing about. I wonder how much of the dealer network has already gone under or switched allegiances. Its almost like they have to revive the brand, not just buy it.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @jfj0710
        I wonder just how many healthy Saab dealerships are actually left? The 1,400 number is laughable. I know in a lot of areas they were partnered with Saturn in the same store. It is doubtful that Saab has or will have any time soon enough volume to support stand alone shops in anything but the largest markets. The few that survive likely sell a multitude of brands and will give Spyker the same indifference they have been giving Saab.

        The future of Saab (an automaker that hasn't turned a profit in forever) under the stewardship of Spyker (one of the few automakers out there that has even less volume and a longer history of losing money) is not rosy. I feel bad for the Swedish workers and the fanbois. I am afraid they are being given false hope. The biggest winner in all of this is GM. They get some cash and don't have to pay to kill off Saab and when Spyker/Saab goes down they will steal back anything of value.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @jfj0710
        The same fat old people were adapt at selling SAAB?
      • 4 Years Ago
      All the best,Spyker.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I'm getting the impression that GM wanted to get rid of Saab without actually getting rid of Saab.
      • 4 Years Ago
      If I had said was Hazdaz and simianspeedster said then some members might complain, lol.

      Also,

      Spyker hasn't turned a profit in 11 years.

      Saab hasn't turned a profit since 2001.

      Saab dealers continue to drop like flies.

      GM will end up owning a good chunk of both Spyker and Saab.

      Saab is among the very bottom of volume selling brands in the US and globally.

      Saab lost over 380 million dollars last year and will lose a similar amount this year.

      Saab will continue selling the same GM-sourced vehicles everyone who claims to be a real fan claims to hate for the forseable future.

      OH NOES TROLLING BAN HIM ARGH ROOFLES
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