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The future of Saab could be electric! If it has a future, that is. The Swedish firm famously filed for bankruptcy last December and since then, the saga to save the company has turned into a struggle to revive it. One of the biggest obstacles, it seems, is General Motor's unwillingness to allow the technology it licensed to Trollhatten to be transferred to new owners. At least, new owners from China. Yes, it's a real sob (sorry about that) story.

Anywho... one of the current batch of bidders, an unnamed Chinese/Japanese consortium with "serious" money, is reported to have a made an aggressive offer that would see the company primarily producing electric vehicles. It's bid also includes plans for a new battery plant.

The concept of electric Saabs isn't entirely new. The company had been building a 70-strong test fleet of 9-3s – using UQM motors and Boston Power batteries – as recently as 10 months ago. Whether this bid will shock Saab back to life will remain unclear for the time being. All offers will be undergoing evaluation until at least the end of April.


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  • 82 Comments
      SAAB4LIFE
      • 2 Years Ago
      S V X - we weren't talking about longevity, I was talking about better car. In that context Buick should be killed. Yes they might be older but that doesn't make them better. In GMs case it doesn't even make them wiser.
      Sasparilla Fizz
      • 2 Years Ago
      Guessing GM won't allow the sale - for the same reason they didn't agree to produce the Volt in China (which China and Chinese industry in particular wanted) - GM sees plug-in technology as a critical leg up they have on most other auto manufacturers and don't want Chinese industry gaining access on how to make it at this stage. The brand would be good for the job - but it seems an unlikely road for them at this point. And of course they didn't talk with Dan.
        marcopolo
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Sasparilla Fizz
        @Sasparilla Fizz "And of course they didn't talk with Dan". How silly of me, of course, that's it! But now it's too late........
      SAAB4LIFE
      • 2 Years Ago
      No I am not Sweedish nor from Sweedish decent. I was born in the USA. I will agree that unions servED a purpose back when the originated. At the time they began, there was a need; there were no protections for the employees, no fair labor laws, etc. The unions played an instrumental role in the establishment of Rae protections that now exist and therefore all of the people that are employees to any company should be thankful to them for doing so. At the same time though we could have an entirely different conversation on the methods, tactics and relationships/people they got "in bed with" to accomplish their goals but I won't get in that on a car website/blog. Over time the unions have become out of control, have way to much power and demand to receive both more than what is reasonable and more in return than what they put in. In all actuality, the best use for unions would be to try and influence change in other nations that have employers acting as the employers acted here in the USA all those decades ago. But again that's a different topic as well. I know I threw the "union" topic out there first but I didn't want to change this into a sociology blog. I would say however that despite my disdain for the unions and the ideology of unions in today's business world (at least the one in this country) I respect their past while I'm fearful of their future or existence in the future. That my 2 cents as a manager and business owner.
      SAAB4LIFE
      • 2 Years Ago
      S V X - GM bought SAAB because they lost out on jaguar and in a symbol of GMs ineptitude they though SAAB was a competitor to jaguar and therefore the appropriate consolation prize. GM never knew what to do with SAAB. By the last half of the last decade they were only concerned with cooking the books and dumping their debts onto SAAB to make the parents books appear better because they were falling apart - again due to their ineptitude. GM didn't like how every time the came out with an engine - like the b284 - and GM announced it as "wow look what a great job we did on this product", SAAB made it better. So much so did this happen that GM had to tell SAAB that thu were not allowed I produce anything that had better numbers than an Opel product. So to show how little GM does right, they buy SAAB because they want to compete with jaguar; this showing they considered SAAB a premium Marque (even though that is not what SAAB is) but then told their supposed "premium marque" not to "beat" Opel in any way. Ya they really are a contradiction unto themselves
      marcopolo
      • 2 Years Ago
      @ DarylMc Daryl, me old mate, don't you believe it ! GM tried really hard with Saab. In fact GM probably runs it's overseas divisions, better than it runs GM America! Saab had access to some very good GM technology, and ignored it or decided to engineer their own. Sometimes the result was better engineering , but at a hugely expensive cost for only relatively marginal increases in quality. The capital development costs of each Saab model were unrecoverable from Saab's relatively small number of sales. The Swedish situation was a bit different than most countries. Most governments from time to time have propped up the local auto industry, but not to the extent that Saab was subsidised. It's very doubtful if Saab has ever made a profit ! The difficultly was not just the highly paid workforce, but the unrealistic management who behaved like they worked for a government department with an open budget! The Swedish government was eventually forced to privatise Saab and other Government owned business as the excessive welfare state and lack of profitability in every sector eventually bankrupted the economy. If GM, (or anyone) hadn't bought Saab, it would have ceased to exist! But the cars were very unique, and in many ways of very good quality. Australia's car Industry has always been owned by US or Japanese manufacturers. (except for a short UK failure). In the past, Australia lacked sufficient capital to build a car industry with such a small population. Australia is lucky that both GM and Ford began manufacture and not the UK auto-industry! Both GM and Ford have allowed a significant measure of independent design and innovation. Both companies have produced world beating Australian models for export and local consumption. GM is is looking to expand Australian manufacturing to provide low volume, specialist versions of popular 'world' models. The larger engined, modified suspension, hatchback Cruse is an example. Ross Blade (Blade Electron EV) is an independent Australian EV Auto-manufacturer, but receives no government assistance or recognition from either State or Federal governments ! But there is hope! The opposition shadow treasurer, the Hon. Joe Hockey MHR, is beginning to reconsider his opposition to EV subsidies, and may be persuaded to formulate a policy promoting local EV (and hybrid) manufacture. Joe Hockey, will restore the Green Car Innovation Fund. Australian governments have always preferred promoting LPG, due to the existing massive infrastructure and Australia's abundance of natural gas. But in general the Australian electorate has lost interest in environmental issues, and will punish those governments which pursue failed ideological policies. The State elections in NSW and QLD, saw the Labour (centre left)/Green Party alliance almost completely wiped out in historic landslides! Opinion Polls reflect the same fate for the Federal minority Labour/Green Australian Government.
      Russ Wollman
      • 2 Years Ago
      It's silly—and impossible, really, to argue about cars to the point where you start making jabs at one another. My Saab conv is an absolutely wonderful car, as Is my Subaru Forester, as was the Outback I had for twelve years, as was the Mercury Colony Park I equipped with Bilsteins, and the big Mazda 929 I bought to replace the VW GTI which replace the brilliant Fiat X1/9 which I owned at the same time as a positively wonderful 1973 124 Spider. And we had an Opel Ascona wagon and a Manta and a homesick BMW Bavaria and Volvos and the very first Mazda 626 coupe (it was a beaut and my dad cherished it) and Cadillacs and did I mention the '65 Continental convertible I had for 10 glorious years? I loved them all, but my Scandinavian beauty is really the nicest car I've ever had. I will shed tears if Saab is really gone. Cars are so much fun. Please keep it light. We all have our preferences and vanilla is never going to be chocolate no matter how insistent we become about the matter.
        SAAB4LIFE
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Russ Wollman
        I agree with you. Personally, I am loyal to SAAB. Am I guilty of getting ticked off? Yes. It seems that some people go out of their way to bash SAAB more than they would to build up whatever they personally are a fan of. Ultimately it comes down to choice. If I feel a better driving experience behind the wheel of a SAAB more so than anything else, well that's how I feel and nothing will change that until I physically experience a better drive. To date I have not and I have tried most cars out there. At the end of the day, if people like S V X don't like SAAB than so be it. Just like I hate driving Subarus, to each their own. That is really all that matters. But to open wish for the demise of a brand, to be happy over it, that is ignorant. These employees had to go through Christmas without income. An entire city and region is falling apart right now. Trollhaten is devastated. Like SAAB or not, the human element here is saddening.
          SVX pearlie
          • 2 Years Ago
          @SAAB4LIFE
          I'm OK with SAAB, but I'm not OK with retards like *you*. You're delusional and irrational in your fanboyism and have no business posting what you're posting. SAAB would have been bankrupted long ago, had GM not stepped in. That SAAB got quite a few extra years on life support is entirely due to GM's largess. It was finanicially stupid of GM to flush their money down that rabbit hole, just as it was stupid to start GEO and Saturn. Or to acquire HUMMER. SAAB was never a profit-making entity, and that is why they are gone. When a company ignores basic financial reality, I have no pity for them.
      SAAB4LIFE
      • 2 Years Ago
      Anne for some reason clicking reply isn't working. Thus the fresh post. Actually, I think the politicians are bigger crooks than any. I'm not even registered to vote because there is not a damn thing the right, the left, the center or the so called intellectuals (scientists) will ever accomplish that will fix anything.
      SAAB4LIFE
      • 2 Years Ago
      http://economics.about.com/cs/macroeconomics/a/run_out_of_oil.htm Just one common sense article. There are plenty.
        Anne
        • 2 Years Ago
        @SAAB4LIFE
        Reading your article above, which does not refute the notion of 'peak oil' btw, you actually meant, 'for as long as we can afford it'. I hope you know the difference. Did the oil fields in Texas keep giving 'as long as needed'?
      SAAB4LIFE
      • 2 Years Ago
      S V X I would put my 9-3 against any Audi or Subaru. And, the 9-7x was an abomination that is a blemish on the history of SAAB that I wish could be undone. (same for the 9-2x) Anne - as long as needed. Daryl - if it comes to that it will be very sad. But for anyone to wish & hope for it as you do is ridiculous. That hurts the industry as a whole and jobs all over the world.
        Anne
        • 2 Years Ago
        @SAAB4LIFE
        Didn't this whole mess start because the US thought their oil would never run out? Sigh, some people never learn. So the correct answer is: for as long as the ANWR keeps giving.
          Anne
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Anne
          Peak oil and climate change are two completely separate issues. Because they happen to have sort-of the same solution, you confound them. I can forgive that. However, you should inform yourself better about peak oil. Hint: it is not about the amount of oil left in the earth's crust. Evidence of climate change comes from nature itself. Global warming is happening and CO2 emissions from fossil fuel burning are the main cause. There are mountains of evidence to back that up, I don't have to believe one single politician to know that. And how about your position? The 'it is all a hoax' meme is coming from politicians and you are faithfully swallowing these conspiracy theories of your ideological leaders. They reason why they are in that position is that they have shown to best protect the interests of their sponsors. Follow the money. A few thousand scientists on a shoestring budget against hundreds of billions of profits. Who do you think has the biggest megaphone?
          SAAB4LIFE
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Anne
          There is enough oil on this earth to cover current and future needs with exspansion for hundreds of years if not thousands. Don't buy into all this global warming hype that politicians are trying to push on us. Saving a Tri-spotted Bolivian Jungle Moth is not on my priority list. Screw the moth and just drill. We have plenty.
        DarylMc
        • 2 Years Ago
        @SAAB4LIFE
        I'm not wishing for the demise of Saab. It's already happened. I'm just wishing they don't have to do it again.
        SVX pearlie
        • 2 Years Ago
        @SAAB4LIFE
        First off, my 1991 Subaru SVX crushed any Saab of similar vintage and price. The best Saab offered at that time was a 220 hp 9000 turbo (my dad had one). It was gutless at low rpm and torque-steered like crazy. My SVX was 230 hp and AWD. Lower to the ground with world-class 0.29 Cd / CdA numbers. Your 9-3? Presume that you're a SAAB purist, using only "SAAB" stuff. You can't have a V6 underhood, because that's a GM engine. Nor the diesel, because that's a Fiat motor. Nor a modern I4, because that's GM EcoTec. So it's an older Turbo 4 in a 1st gen "9-3". If you have a Viggen, you have the same 220-ish hp as the 9000 Turbo, with the same handing characteristics - massive torque steer. My SVX was a LS2, so full leather / sueded interior, and extremely comfortable for long highway drives. Great all-weather handling, and fun to drive. Oh, yeah, it actually looked like a 1990s, car, rather than a warmed over 1970s Saab 99/900.
          SVX pearlie
          • 2 Years Ago
          @SVX pearlie
          Sorry, but if you're using the GM V6, you completely failed. That V6 is fundamentally pure GM tech.
          SAAB4LIFE
          • 2 Years Ago
          @SVX pearlie
          The v6 was initially designed by GM. Yes. Then rebuilt by Saab. I have both a viggen and 09 9-3. I also have 2011 9-5 aero and 2011 9-3 XWD. The 09 is a v6 w/ 280 hp and it halls. I'll take my chances against your Subaru. The Viggen has been tuned and outclasses its competition. The bottom line is you are a Subaru die hard and just want to put down SAAB just cuz you like a different brand.
        Spec
        • 2 Years Ago
        @SAAB4LIFE
        Oh cry some more. Stop spamming.
          SVX pearlie
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Spec
          Then learn to reply directly to the other posts.
          SAAB4LIFE
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Spec
          It's not spamming if I'm replying to other posts as part of a conversation I'm already in.
      DarylMc
      • 2 Years Ago
      Probably wrong of me to suggest you said recalcitrent and certainly not my opinion of autoworkers:)
      Dan Frederiksen
      • 2 Years Ago
      Saab could be a good brand for a pure EV maker. but what are the odds of them doing is just the right way that is needed to be successful? I'd say around 1:10000. maybe 1:1000. just doing something incompetent like a nissan leaf at 35000$ has to be a loss and thus not viable since it would sell too few to cover dev cost. if they consulted me they might have a 50 50 chance. without me... none
        marcopolo
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Dan Frederiksen
        @DF C'mon the only thing that excited you about Saab, is Saab was located at Troll (hatten).
          DarylMc
          • 2 Years Ago
          @marcopolo
          :)
          Dan Frederiksen
          • 2 Years Ago
          @marcopolo
          that's funny but what you see under me isn't dirt under a bridge, it's sky
          DarylMc
          • 2 Years Ago
          @marcopolo
          Hi Dan You have to admit that was funny. How many languages do you have? Cause it's really difficult for me to figure out your reply. I don't think the sky is underneath you and once you realise that, then some other things may snap into place.
      SAAB4LIFE
      • 2 Years Ago
      The. Pro-GM messages on this site makes me think that either this page is run by GM or it's GM employees posting. I don't know how anyone can think that GM and their core brands are anything other than sub-par at best. The build quality, technology, engines and transmissions, et al are all less than stellar, mediocre at best.
        SVX pearlie
        • 2 Years Ago
        @SAAB4LIFE
        "I don't know how anyone can think that GM and their core brands are anything other than sub-par at best. The build quality, technology, engines and transmissions, et al are all less than stellar, mediocre at best." And yet, the GM Volt / Ampera was just named European Car of the Year. If SAAB is so good, surely they must won a few ECOTY awards. Especially back from before the GM days. And yet, SAAB has *NEVER* won an ECOTY award. How is that possible?
          SAAB4LIFE
          • 2 Years Ago
          @SVX pearlie
          Never been mainstream enough and have bucked the trend enough to piss off the the "establishment"
          SVX pearlie
          • 2 Years Ago
          @SVX pearlie
          If you had fessed up to not expected to sell 5000+ cars annually, I'd have upvoted you.
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