Remember the 4 “dead brands” walking? Pontiac, Saturn, Hummer and Saab? Seems like a long time ago. Who’d have thought Saab would be the last brand standing? Arguably, the one of the weakest brands of them all. At least Hummer and Saturn had genuine interest. But Saab found a Dutch white knight (a white knight with a 3 legged horse and a rusty sword), in Spyker and survived. It really started heads scratching as to how a damaged brand and a never profitable car maker could survive in an industry where size is king. But it seems the Dutch-Swedish venture may be getting some help from an unlikely source.
Moneycontrol.com reports (via Reuters) that Dutch broadcaster NOS has learned via sources within both companies, that Saab will gain access to BMW’s technology and parts. NOS asserts that Saab wants to focus on building a smaller car (the 9-2?) and wants to use BMW’s technology to achieve that goal. Saab and BMW working together will be a win-win situation. BMW need to form alliances and joint ventures with other makers to get their quantities up. Quantities from Saab? Also, the matter is not quite new, but it always makes for good headlines.
[Update: Automotive news (sub) confirms that Saab has agreed on a deal to buy engines from BMW, for the 9-3 model due in 2012. Talks on other engines (diesel) and the use of the Mini Countryman platform are still on-going.]