The Detroit News reports the sum total of the remaining Saab assets is worth less than a third of the defunct automaker's debts. All told, the company owes a hefty $1.9 billion at current conversion rates, though its total property value rings in at a comparatively paltry $532 million. The debt includes $89 million owed to former employees, $107 million to General Motors and $388 million to Sweden itself. With so many hands to feed and so few dollars to go around, Saab says only those who hold securities are likely to have their debts paid.

That means those who were employed by Saab Automobile likely won't see a dime. The horizon looks a bit more rosy for Saab Automobile Powertrain workers, however.

Saab had said the company has six or seven investors interested in saving the manufacturer's name from falling into obscurity, though it's unclear how many of those remain dedicated to the prospect currently.


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  • 16 Comments
      Gregg
      • 2 Years Ago
      Ugh, the old "GM saved Saab" chestnut. Can we please put this to rest GM apologists? GM saved Saab alright-- from being purchased by Fiat. Feeling left out of the Euro car ownership sweepstakes after Ford purchased Jaguar, GM did indeed scoop up a weakened Saab, outbidding others (most notably Fiat, who had a partnership with Saab via the Type Four platform program). I will give credit where it's due-- GM did lavish Saab with attention, a good supply chain, and for the first part of the ownership Saab did well, and earned profits for GM. Unfortunately as with all things GM, they eventually found a shinier, newer toy, and left Saab directionless and chronically underfunded and even worse-- plundered its resources and played shell games with its accounting. The 9-5 was a modern competitive car when it came out in 1997. Pity it remained essentially unchanged until 2010 where it was seen as an anachronism. Band-Aid fixes like using a barely-reskinned Subaru Imprezza wagon to make the Saab 9-2 and a Trailblazer with an ignition switch next to the seats (as the Saab 9-7) fooled nobody and frittered away any credibility the brand had. Kicking Saab production entirely out of Sweden to make the ill-fated-- 6,000 made total-- Cadillac BLS fiasco, and saddling Saab with its $140M development costs was pretty typical towards the end-- Saab became a great place to wash the profits. In the meantime, Saab's best ideas-- small engine and diesel technology, turbocharging, flex fuel, crash safety and suspension tuning-- were all taken and applied to GM products. To expand on somebody else's analogy, I agree GM kept the patient on life support-- just long enough to harvest the organs. It can be argued that it was GM's right to do any and all of this as Saab's owner-- and I'd agree with that too. The question of course would then be "But why?" Not unlike its intentions with Saturn (which started out as an import fighter who were going to beat the Japanese at their own game), GM did have some good ideas initially as to the stewardship of Saab, but company politics, regime changes, other priorities, mismanagement, boredom and lack of long range planning all eventually took their toll. In the end, Saab was treated like the rented mule of a red-headed stepchild.
      jake
      • 2 Years Ago
      GM strangled Saab to death.sucks, Saab was a decent marque at one point.
        simianspeedster
        • 2 Years Ago
        @jake
        Why does anyone continue to believe this? Yes, GM failed to rebuild Saab into a sustainable brand, but Saab was already struggling before GM got involved. There's almost no question that Saab would have died sooner had GM not stepped in when they did. Life support can sustain the body, but it can't undo the effects of aging.
        Danaon
        • 2 Years Ago
        @jake
        Saab was basically bankrupt when GM bought a large part of the company in the 80s, and again when they bought the rest of the company in the 90s. Contrary to what you're making up, Saab would have been gone 20-30 years ago had GM not bailed the company out... twice. It probably would have been faster for GM just to wind Saab down, though. There was never any real chance of Saab prospering on its own feet, though, the company was way too small for a mass market automaker. Making cars is a low margin business even for the largest automakers, there is literally no room in the market for small car companies unless they are boutique automakers like Pagani, etc. Even Lamborghini and Ferrari are owned by larger automakers (Audi and Fiat, respectively). Without a larger parent company Saab just couldn't make a competitive product without it being much more expensive than their competition. They just didn't have the economies of scale necessary, nor did they make enough vehicles to amortize development costs. They've had these same problems basically since the company started making cars, and they got around it by licensing a lot of platforms and tech from other companies. But this is the same reason they were in trouble in the 80s, 90s, and now 2011.
        Jody
        • 2 Years Ago
        @jake
        You have that right, Jake. Love my Saab... last one. :(
        • 2 Years Ago
        @jake
        [blocked]
      AMG THIS
      • 2 Years Ago
      Coming soon, SAAB cell phones.
      Differentberries
      • 2 Years Ago
      **** General Motors.
      Masschine
      • 2 Years Ago
      @SVX pearlie SAAB waited so long because they kept getting offers that GM yawned at or refused because they felt they might loose some secret to the something mediocre they had in development.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Masschine
        [blocked]
      Sukairain
      • 2 Years Ago
      *yawn* Postmortem news on Saab.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      Lab Rat
      • 2 Years Ago
      Its time to pull an Iceland.
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