By on December 2, 2009

Someone's gotta...

GM decided to grant Saab 30 days worth of life support to await new potential buyers. If no buyer is found within 30 days, then Saab is a goner. That’s the message all Saab workers and enthusiasts were given yesterday, to a certain relief.  GM and Saab have confirmed there are potential buyers out there, but who are they? Who’s in, who’s out?
There are supposed to be at least 4 interested buyers; BAIC has confirmed they are interested in Saab – but what exactly they are interested in at Saab are unclear. Is it 100% ownership? A partnership with other buyers? Bits and pieces of Saab’s technology? TTAC’s Bertel Schmitt figures they’d take the new 9-5, but not old tooling or production assets.
Merbanco has confirmed interest too. In a dialogue with Saabsunited.com, their CEO Christoffer Johnston expressed interest, given the right conditions. But in a statement to Reuters, Mr. Johnston says Merbanco are ruled out as a bidder for Saab. “We were disappointed to learn we were not invited to move forward in our efforts for Saab,” Johnston writes in an email to Reuters.
Renco is also reportedly one of the interested parties, but the mysterious new bidder on the block is…Spyker! The Dutch supercar manufacturer, owned mainly by Lithuanian bank Snoras, and Russian Conversbank, has roots going back to 1898, when the two brothers Jacobus and Hendrik-Jan Spijker made their first car using a Benz engine. Production ceased in 1925, only to resurrect in 2000. Focusing on the super exclusive, super fast, supercar segment, they kind of remind you of Koenigsegg, right? Their spokesman, Mike Stainton told Swedish businesspaper e24 “We’re interested in Saab, and are just now talking to General Motors”.  And even though they’ve lost money for the last 5 years (more Koenigsegg parallels?), with a registered motto from 1914 saying: “Nulla tenaci invia est via” (for the endurant, no way is impossible), who knows what they might try.
On the other hand, given GM’s sad history of not pulling off even the simplest sale (ho-Hummer…) 30 days or nothing sounds like … nothing.
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13 Comments on “Last-Gasp Saab Bids: Along Came A Spyker?...”


  • avatar
    Ingvar

    Nothing surprises me anymore.

    Only a year ago, people were dead serious that a merger between GM and Chrysler would be the be all and end all of final solutions. Oh, how long ago that feels today…

  • avatar
    FishTank

    PLEASE GM – just let the brand go so someone that actually wants to help the brand. No strings, no loopholes allowing access to technology… just sell it ALL and move on.
     

  • avatar
    th009

    Just to clarify, Spyker Cars NV is completely unrelated to the original Spyker company, and only has the rights to use the Spyker name.

  • avatar
    Rod Panhard

    The sad part of the Saab saga is knowing that if someone “buys” Saab, they’ll still be wed to GM until, or if, they ever come up with enough money to develop their own platforms. They can always buy engines from other people, which is what they did back in the Good Old Days.

  • avatar
    John Horner

    “It’s sad, so sad
    It’s a sad, sad situation
    And it’s getting more and more absurd
    It’s sad, so sad
    Why can’t we talk it over
    Oh it seems to me
    That sorry seems to be the hardest word“
    ~ Bernie Taupin

     

  • avatar
    Adub

    Saab just proves that GM doesn’t have a clue.

    They didn’t know what they were doing when they bought the brand, didn’t know what they were doing when they had the brand, and still don’t know what they are doing while trying to sell the brand.

    I was told a long time ago in college by one of my professors that when a company goes on a buying spree, bail out because it means they’ve runs out of ideas.

  • avatar
    Stingray

    Now it depends on what REALLY GM wants to do with them… ala Opel.
    If they want Saab dead, they may have 100 offers in a table and not a single one will be adequate, or 30 days is not enough to check them… etc.

    • 0 avatar
      bill h.

      I’ve seen some speculation (perhaps paranoid, perhaps not) that this is the GM M.O.  However, the mechanism may be slightly different.
      Merbanco was seen as the potential buyer most enthusiastic and brand sympathetic by many Saabers, and the fact that they’re shut out from further discussion is raising suspicion that GM will chose a deal that gives them quick cash and ensures the brand dies off, just not in their hands. 

    • 0 avatar
      Ingvar

      There’s a 400 million euro loan at stake as well. To whomever ends up owning Saab. Should we guess that the new LLC owner will go bankrupt within the year, and someone will take the money and run? Adios muchachos to Saab?`

  • avatar
    Porsche986

    This story just gets more and more sad for Saab enthusiasts / owners… GM really took a storied brand and destroyed what was left.

  • avatar
    26theone

    So Pontiac, Saturn, and Hummer cant be sold (still arent) but somehow they think Saab will sell within 30 days?

  • avatar
    porschespeed

    Please.

    Saab is the poor SOB stuck between the train and the platform. You wish there was some way to save it, but there simply isn’t.  It is gonna die.

    Everyone say goodbye and pull the damn train out already.   

  • avatar
    Ooshley

    ‘roots going back to 1898’ – bollocks!
    ‘Spyker Cars’ has nothing to do with the original Spyker other than now owning the brand name of a company that went bankrupt 80 years ago!


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