By on January 7, 2010

Unborn car meets nearly-dead brand. What's not to love? (courtesy: Autobloggreen)

We’ve got a two-for-one deal on today’s wild-ass rumors, as neither seems likely to amount to much. First off, GM’s Jon Lauckner caught a headline at the WSJ by conjecturing that the Volt’s price “could be notably lower” than the anticipated $40,000. “We have until this summer to figure that out,” Lauckner said. Meanwhile, The Atlantic‘s Daniel Inviglio ran a few numbers, and came up with some rough estimates about possible amortization compared to a Toyota Prius at different price points ($40k, $30k, $25k). Even at $30k, according to Inviglio’s analysis, you’d have to drive 3,350 miles per month to see an economic benefit over the Prius. Yikes!

In other wild-ass news, GM’s board meeting today was delayed as a rumored four different bids for what’s left of the Swedish brand came in. One, from Genii Capital of Luxembourg, is supposedly backed by the Formula 1 millions of one Bernie Ecclestone. Saabsunited thinks Genii is working with a Swedish consortium “Sason” which was originally going to bid with Merbanco. That firm is also reportedly still in the running for Saab’s remnants, as is Spyker. Given that Ed Whitacre said just yesterday that “It’s real easy. Just show up with the money and you can have it, and nobody’s showing up with the money,” none of this sounds promising. Especially since the only hint of a dollar amount this week was a last-minute bid from a firm called AWMS, which reportedly offered $400m cash. Since then, SaabsUnited (which ran the original AWMS bid story) reported that “sources in various places indicate… that this bid is not one that will be looked at favourably.” Not. Good. But at least all the bids are now in and we will finally have some closure on this Saab mess shortly.

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21 Comments on “Wild-Ass Rumors Of The Day: Ecclestone Bidding For Saab, Volt Pricing Under $40k?...”


  • avatar
    Dragophire

    Honestly 400m is all its worth…:Your are only getting three vehicles, and one (CUV) is only for a limited time.   Like I have said everyday on these Saab posts GM is not interested in selling Saab.  Someone high  up is making this happen.

  • avatar
    mpresley

    The Volt is an answer to a question no one in their right mind is asking; only liberal politicians and greens could possibly be interested, and then only theoretically.  The former would never buy one, and the latter will always choose a Prius, if they have to spend their own money.  Someone, somewhere, should have put an end to this electric car nonsense a long time ago.  Finally, at this late stage of the game, does anyone really care about SAAB?  The entire affair moved past bizarre months ago, and is now just making people nauseous.

    • 0 avatar
      WildBill

      mpresley, one thing you are forgetting, true liberals and greens hate cars, especially SUVs (and they can suck it, I have two!) and wouldn’t buy a Prius OR a Volt. It’s pedal power, or at worst, a scooter! Kix, I question your lib/green credentials. For conservative me, I wouldn’t have either one of these.

  • avatar
    KixStart

    You could just skip the knee-jerk blanket “liberal” and “green” condemnation.  I’m liberal and I’m green and I think the Volt is about as dumb as it gets.

  • avatar
    Anchorman33

    Only tangentially related, but that SAAB rendering is the most attractive interpretation of the Voltec design language I’ve seen to date, and I’m not generally a SAAB fan.  Oh well.

  • avatar

    That looks pretty sharp, a $40K model more likely to be sold in a Saab showroom than a Chevy…Oh! NOW I get it…………………….FUGM! Good luck wit dat ED.

  • avatar
    celebrity208

    … however, as we’ve all read multiple times, Prius owners didn’t buy them to save a buck.  So, why should we listen to the economic arguments against the Volt when we were shouted down when mentioning the economic argument of a Prius?
    http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/the-toyota-prius-pays-off-what-happens-next/ (semi-pertinent article)

    • 0 avatar
      KixStart

      If you go back and read the article you link, and I direct you specifically to the comments of Bill Wade, you’ll find that many people believe there is an economic case for the Prius and then their personal experiences bear it out.

      Further, let’s say the Prius doesn’t have an economic case.  It’s a different thing to develop a car with some intangible or non-economic benefit or differentiation and sell it for $23K, about the price of a midsize sedan with V6 and not too much else, and quite another thing to develop a car with some intangible or non-economic benefit and try to sell it for easily double the going rate of a car of similar size.

      At $40K, the Volt would have a helluva time if offered in any quantity.  Fortunately, GM plans to build them only very grudgingly, which will save them the embarassment of holding a Red Tag Sale with Bonus Cash and Zero for Seventy-Two while it’s still new to the market.

  • avatar
    Steve Biro

    Bernie Ecclestone confirmed to Bloomberg News that he’s a part of the Genii Capital bid for Saab.  Meanwhile, I was looking at the Volt today.  Am I the only one who now thinks it looks like a Saab?

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      It should have been a Saab: at least, then, GM wouldn’t have a) had to justify the price or b) had to trot out the Chrysler 300C-ish concept that was about as aerodynamic as a brick, only to about-face and make a neo-Prius instead.
       
      Plus, Saab’s traditional buyers (or, you know, what was left after GM decimated it) were pretty open to left-field choices.

  • avatar
    Disaster

    “Even at $30k, according to Inviglio’s analysis, you’d have to drive 3,350 miles per month to see an economic benefit over the Prius. Yikes!”

    …and just how many miles would you have to drive a Prius to see an economic benefit over a Camry????

    People aren’t buying Prius’s for the economic benefit. They do it to “save the world” and feel good about themselves.

  • avatar
    James2

    I wish wee Bernie would die along with Saab.  He’s doing his damnedest to ruin F1.

  • avatar
    psmisc

    Meanwhile GM secretly stocks up garlic and silver bullets.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    Ok, so it “might” cost less than $40K?  I swear, do GM’s executives just make this stuff up on the back of a paper napkin, or do they come up with this stuff just to keep cars in the news.
     
    What’s next, a $25K, rear-drive, 400hp diesel Cadillac wagon to fight the 1-Series is “being considered”?  Is this fanboy pandering what constitutes “marketing” under Bob Lutz?

    • 0 avatar
      SkiD666

      Since it looks like the battery cost has dropped from 15K to 10K over the last 2 years and bankruptcy cleared some legacy costs away from production expenses, a cost of less than $4oK might be believeable.

      But even if the car sold for $30K MSRP, you won’t be able to buy one from the dealer for that for the first 2 – 3 years because of demand and low supply (I would expect some high dollar ‘addons’ from the dealers).

    • 0 avatar
      KixStart

      psarhjinian muses, “I swear, do GM’s executives just make this stuff up on the back of a paper napkin, or do they come up with this stuff just to keep cars in the news.”

      Actually… they do!  If the Volt works out (and I include “profitable” as part of “works out,” so chances are microscopic), the way they came up with the idea would be the stuff of future legend.  There are various reports that Lutz described his idea to Lauckner and then Lauckner literally did the fundamental car design on a paper napkin.

  • avatar
    Steven02

    The Prius doesn’t make economic sense when you compare it to other cars like the Corolla, Focus, or Civic.  While its shape does give it a midsize car segment rating, it isn’t the size of a traditional midsize car.  When you compare the 7k premium of a Corolla to a Prius, you will quickly see that it doesn’t make economic sense.
     
    People who say it does make economic sense can’t do math.  If you compare it to some nice luxury SUV when gas was $4 dollars, sure, it costs less than the gas would for that SUV.  But, so would a Corolla, Civic, Cobalt, Focus, Sentra, Yaris, Fit etc etc etc.

    • 0 avatar
      KixStart

      Steven02: “While its shape does give it a midsize car segment rating, it isn’t the size of a traditional midsize car. ”

      Since I ride inside the car, not strapped to the hood or trunk, measuring the inside of the car to determine its category works pretty well for me.  I mean, a “large” car that doesn’t have enough headroom to be comfortable… what good is that?  A “large” car without any legroom… what good is that?  Any “extra” car that you add on to what I need in a car… that just makes it harder to park.

  • avatar
    charly

    A Prius is cheaper than a BMW and that is the car people are cross shopping with,  not a Corolla


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