Saab and Volvo have been down this road before, back in the 1970s. In fact, the two Swedish automakers were a hair away from merging 240s and 900s back in the day, but instead followed separate paths. Now, with both brands facing difficult sales numbers and uncertain futures, Bob Lutz thinks a merger sounds good once again. Lutz thinks it'd be a way for Ford and General Motors to both rid themselves of problematic business units. The soon-to-be former Car Czar for GM offers no insight about how the merged companies might actually make money – both automakers have lots of red on the balance sheets – and while Volvo has secured a promise of $546 million from the European Investment Bank, Saab's been having a tougher go of it. In the end, a merger between Saab and Volvo would be great for their parent companies, but we're not yet clear on how exactly it would benefit the Swedish brands as they hold on for dear life.
, Photo by read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty]