Spyker Saab: Saab Spyker: Spyker Saab Spyker: Nope, I'll never get used to it.

The Stillborn Saab Aero Concept... Will this be the new Spyker?

Well it looks like GM held a surprise Press Conference this morning at 11:30 Eastern Standard Time. The internet was buzzing with anticipation that there will be an announcement that a savior has rescued Saab, in the form of a quirky Dutch Supercar Builder named Spyker. Is this really in the best interest of Saab?


2009 has been a spectacularly bad year for most automotive companies. In this environment there is really no place for quirky brands, especially if they are owned by big companies. Ford jettisoned most of their Premiere Group, consisting of Aston Martin, Jaguar, Land Rover, as well as Volvo. Volvo is the only brand still clinging to Ford, but not for much longer. Saab on the other hand was never properly managed under GM since they took over the brand in the early 90’s virtually withering on the vine.

Saab declared Bankruptcy last February, and has been a walking corpse ever since. It did manage to cover most of its debt, and exited from bankruptcy in August, with a white knight waiting to take it away, the Swedish super car maker Koenigsegg. With the hope of a large infusion of cash from both GM and the Swedish Government, everything looked set for the marriage of the two Swedish beauties. Unfortunately, the marriage was called off at the very last minute late in the year, and details as to why remain sketchy.

GM Chairman Ed Whitacre

Then, at the beginning of December, GM decided to sell some Saab technology, as well as the tooling for the 9-3 and 9-5 models to the Chinese firm BIAC. Press reports state that no one was concerned, including the then courting Koenigsegg, because BAIC had an agreement with Koenigsegg to become a minority partner in the firm. Selling off the production lines and technology of soon to be obsolete models is really nothing new, but with no future models in the immediate future for Saab, you have to wonder why GM found in necessary to sell it.

Now here comes Spyker. This struggling Dutch Company, responsible for some rather striking sports cars, borrowing Audi power, and incorporating retro details. The firm hasn’t made a dime since its founding in 1999. The only possible reason for the Spyker deal is the $566 million dollar loan guarantee from the Swedish Government, since this will give them access to some much needed capital.

So what is your reaction to this deal of deals. Will it save Saab, or will it still be in the intensive cars facility slowly waiting to eventually die? I look forward to hearing from each of you.

0 Comments

  1. So Sweden won't just loan the money to SAAB, let them buy themselves out and become a Swedish car made by Swedes and owned by Swedes?
    Isn't that more or less GM now?

  2. On the one hand, it makes sense that with that loan Spyker could keep themselves (being a small portion of the overall business) going as well as SAAB.
    On the other, it makes one wonder what Koenigsegg knew that Spyker doesn't.

  3. Sweden said their government was a government and not a car company owner. They are willing to front a loan to whoever does buy Saab, but they don't want to take over Saab.

  4. Every deal GM has tried to enter into has fallen apart or been delayed. They decided to keep Opel/Vauxhall. Hummer is being delayed by the Chinese government. Koenigsegg backed out at the last minute in it's bid to buy Saab. Penske changed his mind about taking on Saturn.
    The General is cursed.

  5. I don't think it's enough to keep Saab running as an independent company long term. They really need someone to come in and right the ship that GM capsized. Unlike our government, the Swedes seem to not be interested in throwing good money after bad.

  6. I think it's karma. They ran Saab into the ground. They mismanaged their own company then asked the taxpayers for a bailout. They took too long to unload brands and still haven't made any significant changes to the way they are running their company. Sure, they're dumping some dead weight, but there really hasn't been any tranformative change in the management. They're all lifers with the exception of Whitacre, who doesn't seem too interested in rocking the boat.
    Contrast it to Ford who dumped the PAG brands as soon as possible, with the exception of Volvo — although, Volvo has been breaking even — and got criticized a few years ago for mortgaging the company. Mulally is forcing Ford North America and Ford of Europe to play nice together so they don't have desperate product offerings on two continents whose consumers are getting to be closer together in terms of desires.
    Obviously, I am biased, but I have been watching GM and I keep waiting for something significant to change.

  7. I love Spykers for their quirkiness and impeccable interiors. Saab hasn't been relevant as long as I've been alive.
    I still don't understand what someone's actually buying if they buy Saab. It's not like they have much engineering/production that's separate from The General. It's not like the brand name or dealer network are worth anything.
    But hey, it's no skin off my back. On the off chance that someone can make something out of Saab, or proliferate the level of craftsmanship that Spyker produces, I guess I gotta say go for it. Nothing to lose.

  8. To me that is a pretty fair read of the situation, one I have also believed for a while now. If we look back two to three years ago, as tastes began to change and fuel was beginning to creep up, Ford began to move and get leaner while GM was happily in the midst of their "we have three SUV's that are basically the same, cost basically the same, and drive basically the same… buy them all!" period.
    The failed to react, or give a shit enough to react, and have relied on all of us to bail them out.

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