By on August 1, 2007

saab.jpgWhile GM is showing an overall profit on its worldwide operations, Saab continues to be a huge money pit. The Local reports that last year Saab Automobile lost 2.9b kronor ($428m) while GM poured 3.8b kronor ($560m) into the company. "We didn't make a profit in 2006 and won't make one in 2007 either," said Saab CEO Jan-Åke Jonsson, adding he believed the company would turn a profit by 2010. While that kind of honesty is unheard of refreshing coming from someone within GM, you have to wonder how much longer GM will pour money into the operation before they finally admit they have a Swedish Jaguar on their hands and hold a Ford-style fire sale, or merge it with Opel.  

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9 Comments on “GM’s Saab Story Heading for the Final Chapter?...”


  • avatar
    bfg9k

    Saab is releasing a new 9-3 this fall, a 9-6x CUV is in the works, a 9-1 compact car is in the works, the 9-5 is (finally) gonna get a re-do for 2010 (I think), and the 9-3 gets completely redone for 2010 or 2011. It seems like GM has finally stopped starving Saab of product.

    Considering the success of their Biopower engines in Europe along with the recent investments, I have my doubts that GM is about to cut their only European luxury brand loose.

  • avatar

    My wife and I bought a certified preowned 2002 Saab 9-5 in December 2005. The car ran fine until the 60,000 mile service in June 2006. For the next four months we drove a variety of new Saab loaner cars while the local Saab dealer tried to keep our 9-5 running. After numerous attempts to fix a recurring loss of power and other electrical gremlins, Saab’s customer service department informed us the lemon law only applies to the first registered owner, and they would off us a $1,000 customer loyalty rebate on the purchase of a new Saab. We traded the 9-5 on a 2007 Volvo V50.

    Every manufacturer builds a lemon now and then, but Saab’s customer service is unconscionable. The rebate they offered us for our troubles was a standard rebate they offered any Saab customer in the Fall of 2006. We’ll never own another Saab, and will not regret the brand passing out of GM’s hands, even if it passes into oblivion.

    My 1994 Volvo 850 Turbo drives better than the 2006 9-5 loaners we had. There is no excuse, in the 21st century, for the 9-5’s turbo-lag, and the 9-5 is probably the slowest 260 hp auto on the market. Ultimately, however, it is the abysmal customer service that drove us from the Saab brand.

  • avatar
    Detroit-X

    GM and Saab. What a pairing. I’d love to read the GM report on why buying Saab is a good idea. I bet some GM kiss-ass got a promotion on that one.

    GM, the cartoonish, arrogant, corporate monster. Saab the anti-big-company, car-company. Huh? It’s like the “O.J. Simpson Marriage Counseling Center.” Free set of steak knives with a new membership.

    A new 9-3 this fall? I can barely wait!
    Another CUV? Saved! Finally saved; thank you Jesus!
    The 9-5? Oh, the more expensive 9-3 that requires 20′ to differentiate?
    Hey? What about the 9-7 for Saab enthusiasts, who love something that is anti-Saab, that is a Saab!
    Let’s don’t forget the 9-9, the Saab-Suburban; that had to be in a Powerpoint spreadsheet somewhere, in the GM folder labelled “Future-Fresh Brilliant Ideas.”

    I owned a Saab for a short time. It sucked. Sucked at most everything except being different. I’ll never forget watching it sit in the middle of the road, front suspension collapsed due to a broken ball joint (thanks Svenn), and the traffic from behinc nearly smashing into it as I waited for a tow-truck. Born From Jets!!

  • avatar
    thebigmass

    I too have a Saab horror story, only I'm still in the middle of it. I bought a 2005 9-2x Aero (I know building it was a stupid idea, but I got it far cheaper than a WRX, and hey, it still drives like a WRX) in December 2005 with 7,000 miles on it. It was a fine car until last month, when I heard a ticking in the engine. I parked it, and only drove it to get to the dealership, where I was told they'd start a claim. They told me I would be fine to drive it until they could get it in a week from then. On the way home, less than 15 miles after I heard the tick, the engine quit. I coasted into a gas station parking lot, and waited for a tow. It gets better though. Apparently, the dealership from which I purchased the car did not change the oil when they sold it. Therefore, the car went some ways over its oil change interval. I gave Saab my receipts showing my oil changes with Mobil 1 (I take care of the car), but they refused warranty coverage. Apparently, the section of the warranty that states "failures or damage caused by the lack of, or improper, maintenance as specified in this manual" under the exclusions sections means "if we can find a way, we won't cover your repair." The customer service has been terrible. I have pointed out that the warranty clearly states "caused by" and that they have not diagnosed the problem, let alone demonstrated that it was caused by a longer than advised gap between oil changes. The NYS Attorney General's Consumer Fraud office thought enough of my claim to forward it to Saab and offer mediation. Saab refused. They have offered nothing beyond the current deals for any customer. I will soon be trading the vehicle in for anything other than a Saab/GM. From my experience, Saab (and parent GM) deserve the bankruptcy they are headed towards. In sum, I would advise anyone considering a Saab to look elsewhere.

  • avatar
    Hippo

    The old 900’s (non-turbo) were good cars like the Audi 5000’s were good cars, if you buy them for 500/1000 bucks and drive them until they blow.

    Other then that? I don’t think so.

    And then they came out with the Fiat/Yugo like 9000’s. The end.

  • avatar
    guyincognito

    I just saw a SAAB 9-3 Aero of the current iteration in the middle of the road, smoke pouring out of the engine, and the puzzled owner staring at a pool of coolant on the ground.

  • avatar
    Luther

    Saab is already merged with Opel…Basically.

  • avatar
    jthorner

    I’ve been saying for a long time that a Swedish investor group should buy both Saab and Volvo and turn them into national champions building interesting cars with a uniquely Scandinavian viewpoint. Ikea sells like crazy worldwide and so does Nokia. Why not the Swedish Motor Company building and selling a compelling line of Volvos and Saabs?

    GM has made a hatched job of Saab. Granted Saab already had it’s troubles, but the years with GM have only made matters worse. Ford’s stewardship of Volvo has been outstanding by comparison. Even so, both companies would be better off if free of their current masters.

  • avatar
    Johnster

    I like the idea of a Swedish investor group buying both Saab and Volvo. It would be sort of like the Citroen-Peugeot merger. Saab and Volvo could share platforms and parts but develop different personalities with Saab being more aerodynamic and futuristic, sort of like Citroen, and Volvo being more traditional like Peugeot.

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