Saab is inching ever closer to liquidation. Reuters reports General Motors will not support a proposed deal that would see the Swedish brand rescued with cash from a Chinese bank. GM has repeatedly cited concerns that any deal with a Chinese partner could conceivably hurt the American automaker's competitiveness in one of the world's quickest growing markets. The fear is that Saab would share technology pioneered by GM with its competitors. Saab could conceivably still move ahead with the deal, but losing GM's technology licenses and production contract would likely kill the brand just as swiftly as liquidation. It isn't immediately clear if Saab's parent company, Swedish Automobile, will try to revise the latest Chinese ownership proposal to GM's liking or attempt to go another way altogether.

Why is GM's approval a necessity? Despite having sold Saab, The General still holds preferential shares in the company. So, with the plan off of the table, what will Saab do to continue operations? The company isn't saying, but Reuters reports that Chief Executive Victor Muller said, "There's always Plan B." It seems like there's always a Plan B when it comes to Saab (and a Plan C, Plan D, Plan E, ad nauseam), but the company's factory has been idle since April, its employees have not been paid yet for November, and the brand's dealers are withering away.


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  • 38 Comments
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        TriShield
        • 3 Years Ago
        All the new Saab vehicles use GM's newest parts throughout from interior pieces to powertrains to the structure of the vehicles. None of it is old engineering or not worth protecting. Much of it is already sold worldwide in numerous GM vehicles. Letting the designs go to a bit Chinese company would allow them to make knockoffs of the product and undermine GM and their Chinese partner in their largest market. You're damn right they are going to protect their substantial investment in new vehicle engineering and resources to get where they are.
        • 3 Years Ago
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        aatbloke1967
        • 3 Years Ago
        You seem to forget that GM owes its very existence to a socialist move of such epic proportions in a country where, by and large, the term "socialism" is some sort of evil word.
          aatbloke1967
          • 3 Years Ago
          @aatbloke1967
          "When did socialism enter this discussion?" What political leaning do you think Governmental intervention to save a private corporation is? Or can you not think that far ahead?
          Frank
          • 3 Years Ago
          @aatbloke1967
          When did socialism enter this discussion?
          aatbloke1967
          • 3 Years Ago
          @aatbloke1967
          I'm not surprised don't see the irony on Spadaros opinion.
          Frank
          • 3 Years Ago
          @aatbloke1967
          Gee, I'm sorry aatbloke, I thought we were talking about SAAB (rolls eyes).
        TriShield
        • 3 Years Ago
        GM would have not have disappeared in normal bankruptcy. They would restructure like any other massive corporation and still be here today with or without TARP funds. Chrysler would have been a different story and likely gone Chapter 7. Saab on the other hand would have disappeared years if not a decade ago without their very wealthy corporate parent which was GM, one that allowed them to lose billions of dollars over the course of their ownership.
      ryan
      • 3 Years Ago
      slowest death of a car company ever. This has been going on for like a year.
      Richard
      • 3 Years Ago
      General Motors is afraid of the competion which is why they won't sell. They can't come up with anything good to sell so they are trying to prevent a better car from coming on the market.
      me
      • 3 Years Ago
      Saab has not been relevant for 15+ years. Let it die already.
      Steve
      • 3 Years Ago
      GM. Just buy Saab back and sell more Saabs in China. Why isn't the Swedish government stepping in to assist. Saab will sell many cars if given the backing and the chances!!!!!
      aatbloke1967
      • 3 Years Ago
      "Why is GM's approval a necessity? Despite having sold Saab, The General still holds preferential shares in the company." - AB GM's preferential shares are in Swedish Automobile, not Saab. And preferential shares do not carry voting rights. The term "preferential" means that they get preferential treatment in the case of a dividend payout. It's GM's technology supply agreement with Swedish Automobile which GM is using as a linch pin in this whole affair. They'll only be able to go so far with it, because if there's a backer for Saab with enough money, they could opt for the more expensive route and find a different technological partner. I'm erring with caution on the side of those who say Saab will survive. I truly hope so, and it would make more sense for the new buyer to go for the conceivably more expensive route and find a different technology partner. In order to be successful, Saab needs to be the quirky matriarch that it used to be, heading in that unique direction which found its devotees in the first place. It also needs to get back into motorsport - rallying particularly - to nurture that success. If new owners simply slam Saab with old underpinnings to develop models and badge engineer others, as GM have done over the past twenty years, it'll exist as it has done before falling again from grace. Like GM, it needs to be afforded a complete re-birth, even though it won't be from taxpayer financing.
        TriShield
        • 3 Years Ago
        @aatbloke1967
        Well, I am an adult and an enthusiast and I said the same about Oldsmobile, Plymouth, Saturn and Pontiac. I will also say the same about Saab. The market has been showing Saab has been a week brand since before GM took full control. That's not going to change under any type of new ownership, even if billions is shoveled into it at this point. And who has that kind of money to gamble away any more? Building vehicles is a business and the unprofitable, unpopular brands and companies disappear. That's reality. It is a shame. I come from a GM family and have always had a soft spot for Saab. They were the last GM brand to get a huge injection of resources resulting in the new 9-5, 9-4X and the beginning of the next 9-3. I just purchased a new 2010 9-5 Aero that was sitting on the local dealer's lot for the last year and half at almost 20k off MSRP. The styling inside and out is beautiful and handsome. The seats are perfection. The way it performs and feels defies it's size. It is was also unfazed by our blizzard here last weekend. Nobody is buying these cars, nobody with any real automotive business experience or capital is stepping up to absorb Saab, the writing is on the wall for this company. It sucks, but you can't blame GM for protecting their products which is entirely what the 9-5 and 9-4X are. Even if GM were willing to grant the vehicles to a Chinese owner the Chinese government has not approved any deal and is unlikely to do so when their focus is parring down the amount of foreign brands in their market. Saab has left some great vehicles for enthusiast's to enjoy. It's also a buyer's market for new ones right now. Even the 9-3 as old as it is still is a nice vehicle to drive and immensely charming. I disagree with the thought that GM removed the quirkiness, my 9-5 is very different in style and character than any other car I've ever owned and nearly everything else new on the market. Every Saab has a strange X factor still that only Saabs have. Enjoy the ones that were made and don't shed too many tears about Saab continuing to limp along as a Chinese company.
          aatbloke1967
          • 3 Years Ago
          @TriShield
          N"obody is buying these cars, nobody with any real automotive business experience or capital is stepping up to absorb Saab, the writing is on the wall for this company. It sucks, but you can't blame GM for protecting their products which is entirely what the 9-5 and 9-4X are. Even if GM were willing to grant the vehicles to a Chinese owner the Chinese government has not approved any deal and is unlikely to do so when their focus is parring down the amount of foreign brands in their market. " I don't blame GM at all, and the best future for Saab would be an investor with enough money to ditch GM altogether and start producing several new models from scratch which are actually reflective of Saab's heritage using tech sourced from someone else. A subsequent return to rallying, with a promotional tie in with the likes of Stig Blomqvist, would be step in the right direction to rekindle the true spirit of this company.
          aatbloke1967
          • 3 Years Ago
          @TriShield
          "Enjoy the ones that were made and don't shed too many tears about Saab continuing to limp along as a Chinese company." Saab won't ever be a Chinese company - unless a new buyer dissolves the current Swedish company, buys the rights to the marque and sets up a new, Chinese-domiciled corporation.
        jonwil2002
        • 3 Years Ago
        @aatbloke1967
        The answer is simple, GM should allow the bailout of SAAB by the Chinese but on condition everyone involved signs an ironclad contract strictly limiting what can be done with the GM technology in the SAAB cars to stop it being used in ways GM doesn't like.
      whofan
      • 3 Years Ago
      If SAAB whant`s something to build a car with, I guess GM`s approval is necessary. SAAB is basically a GM car! I hope the merger fever is finally over in the autoworld. I do hope the Fiat Chrysler merger works out for Chrysler`s sake. The merger track record has little to be desired. Ford has it right. One Ford focused on the core product. You buy a Ford and a Ford is what your getting. Finally some sanity!
        DrEvil
        • 3 Years Ago
        @whofan
        What did Ford get right? Lincoln? Ford is basically a truck company that sells cars. Almost 60% of their October sales are F-series & CUVs. While they did get a couple of cars right, there's a lot that wrong with FORD. This is why once GM got that beast turned around, they simply sailed right by FORD, and the gap is getting wider every day. When the XTS and ATS go on sale, Ford will drift further astern of GM. I Can't believe they could not parlay all they goodwill coming off the bail-outs into good product. Ford, STOP. Do not build another single Lincoln, that is just a dressed up Ford. Sharing platforms is not a bad thing, re-wrapping the same car is. In some cases, the original Ford is actually more desirable than the Lincoln spin off. You still don't have a single car that I would replace my LS with.
          whofan
          • 3 Years Ago
          @DrEvil
          When was the last time you looked at Ford? 1980 something?
      • 3 Years Ago
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