Not to state the obvious, but if you're going to buy an automaker, it's probably advisable to secure rights to use the name.
The door has not yet closed on Saab. Hoping for yet another 11th hour stay of execution, the defunct carmaker's chief union, IF Metall, has written directly to President Obama, asking him to intervene, according to Just-Auto. While on the surface, this may seem silly, it's actually rather clever, even if it has little likelihood of working.
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.
Volvo is reportedly interesting in getting out its checkbook in search of a production parts bargain over at Saab. No, the 9-5 likely won't be wearing a Volvo badge any time soon, but the tooling that helped build parts for the big sedan could one day be in a Volvo factory.
The future hopes of Saab seem to have been crushed under the weight of insolvency, and that's going to translate into reality as about 100 Saab cars lingering on the production lines are cubed up into scrap metal croutons. Unconfirmed rumors suggest that the vehicular carnage will ensue over the next 48 hours as the death rattle from Trollhättan gets ever louder.
Part of the Saab gambit for survival has been approved by the European Investment Bank. Saab's parent company, Swedish Automobile, has been requesting approval for a plan to sell part of the property that its factory sits on in Trollhättan to a group of real estate investors led by Hemfosa Fastigheter and then lease the land back. The transaction has been given final approval by not only the EIB, but also the Swedish government and the country's National Debt Office.
It looks like Saab has managed to reach a deal with Hemfosa Fastigheter AB to secure short-term funding. The automaker has sold 50.1 percent of its Trollhättan properties to the Swedish real estate consortium for $39.98 million. Saab will then enter into a 15-year lease agreement in order to continue to use the properties. Right now, the deal encompasses around 5.2 million square feet of building space, though the consortium has the option to purchase more shares of the property until 30 da
It sounds like Saab can't win for losing. Reuters is reporting that the Swedish automaker had to stop production again on Tuesday, June 6, due to possible parts shortages. Saab just recently started its lines back up after a nearly two-month stoppage brought about by cash shortages.
Six weeks have passed since Saab was forced to halt production of its 9-3 and 9-5 models in Sweden due to a lack of funds needed to pay suppliers. The automaker had hoped to get production back up and running after it agreed to a deal with Chinese automaker Hawtai Motors, but that plan was scrapped after the agreement failed to materialize.
Momma always told us not to bite off more than we could chew, but that may be exactly what Spyker has done with Saab. The small Dutch outfit – which had trouble supporting its own Formula One team a few years back – bought the Swedish automaker from General Motors, but has been running into some problems.
Yesterday, Saab was met with a slight production hiccup. The Swedish automaker's parent company Spyker Cars confirmed that production briefly ground to a halt at its Trolhättan assembly plant when a number of suppliers stopped the flow of parts due to non-payment of bills.
2010 Saab 9-5 – Click above for high-res image gallery
2011 Saab 9-5 – Click above for high-res image gallery
Saab decided to leave well enough alone with the 9-3's exterior for the 2007 model year adding only a few new colors to the car's palette, but the interior received a lot of attention that focuses on the driver's experience inside the cockpit. The center console's button count has been dramatically reduced thanks to the addition of rotary controls for such systems as the HVAC. Take a peek at last year's center console and you'll see how far the 9-3's interior has come in terms of simplicity. The