By on March 19, 2009

Looks like fifty cars per day is all that is needed from the Trollhätten plant to satisfy world demand. Yes, you heard that right: fifty cars per day, two days per week. With Saab apparently refocusing their production target to 12,000-13,000 cars for 2009, they’re cutting back their already slow schedule of three production days per week to two in some sort of effort to say “hey, we’re not dead yet.” Meanwhile the separate (desperate) search for a buyer for the company continues with Deutsche Bank handling the deal. They’d better act fast: Teknikens Värld says Saab’s piggy bank will be totally empty this summer. So if you’re one of those fifty people that want this Swedish meatball, act fast before they are all försvunnen.

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17 Comments on “Saab Cuts Production to Two Days Per Week...”

  • avatar
    Geo. Levecque

    Its beyond reason why all these Car companies keep the Line running, even if they have to “store” the vehicles, I know in the Brampton, Ontario case where Chrysler has there newest plant, they keep producing Cars and then store them on a disused Canadian Forces station at Downsview, part of Toronto. The Runways are full of Chrysler products and it just keeps growing!

  • avatar

    This is a dismal end to a once-interesting carmaker and it saddens me. It is reminiscent of the last days of Studebaker up in Canada.

  • avatar

    What, even trendy intellectuals dont want saabs anymore? They’re toast.

  • avatar
    Paul W

    Swedish taxpayers cough up the salaries for the workers who suddenly got a 5-day weekend. Maybe it’s not that bad to work at Saab after all…

  • avatar

    It’s too bad Saab won’t be around in 5 to 6 years. A lightly used 9-3 SportCombi Aero would have been the perfect step up for a family car to replace my current GTI, as by then I’d have at least one kid, maybe two. Say what you will about Saab’s redundancy but the 9-3 SC is GM’s best-looking, best-performing wagon (Are there any other GM wagons?).

    The Jetta and Passat wagons are ho-hum and I can’t afford any other European “estates.” The Japanese left the wagon game except Subaru, but I don’t want/need the Outback’s ground clearance. I won’t be fording streams or anything.

  • avatar

    So much for the argument than bankruptcy doesn’t scare off car buyers….

  • avatar
    Rod Panhard

    It’s not Bankruptcy that’s scared off the buyers. It’s the lack of Saabness, the poor reliability, and the current fashion of “not looking like you just got a bonus from AIG.”

  • avatar

    It’s not the bankruptcy per se that is the problem. It is the fact that GM openly has stated that they will abandon Saab if they don’t get a no strings attached loan to continue their business. Which it is very unlikely that they will get. All the government is asking for is a viable business plan. Which is very unlikely that they will get. Stalemate and liquidation prognosis = poor sales.

  • avatar

    That’s 2 more days than they should be producing.

  • avatar

    SAAB was the first of the gang to die. Well, actually not, rather just the next one.

    It’s the bankruptcy AND the threat of liquidation AND an owner who stated that they will abandon the company AND a line-up consisting of a 12 year old model and one that is 7 years old that is the problem. With the risk of a residual value close to zero no company is leasing a SAAB, and private buyers have closed their eyes, curled up and play dead. SAAB is toast, may it rest in peace.

  • avatar

    It will be a very sad day for me and my brother when SAAB is finally gone. He did 2 cross country trips of the US in an ’85 900 turbo with over 200k miles. We are going to have to have a few drinks in tribute.

    Say what you will about Saab at least they had their hearts poured into the resources they had. They really pulled out some pretty interesting stuff and inventive engineering for having no money, small sales and a very niche product for ages. It should be criminal what GM has done to the company over the last 20 years. At least if they had died years ago without them investing(or divesting as the case may be) in the company they could have died with dignity in never producing a 9-7 which has nothing to do with their DNA.

  • avatar

    GM could screw up a free lunch. Saabs used to be the essence of cool, and now they’re just crap.

    Hey GM, screw you.

  • avatar
    Ken Elias

    Who’s buying the current production? US Dealers aren’t ordering any new Saabs…they figure it’s toast here. Bummer too…Saab’s were the best lease deal in town (when GMAC was doing leases).

  • avatar

    Shame that Saab and Opel never really sold in the US cuz you can have your crap VW/Audis and take BMW and Mercedes while your at it. Why this site loves the Germans SO much, Ill never know. The only thing that comes outta Germany worth a damn says Bosch on it…with the exception of their lame spark plugs and batteries.

  • avatar

    fred diesel!

    You are so right! What are the choices if you do not want a BMW, MERC or VW? I will never forget being picked up in a MERCEDES TAXI when arriving in Europe a few years ago. I then realized how “played” we are here.

  • avatar

    SAAB was dead to me in 1992, when I and my Cleveland SAAB Club brothers reeled at the spy shots of the bland new 900. I insisted it was just an ugly test mule, hiding something sweet underneath, but it turned out to be real. Wasn’t the 1991 9000 Turbo 5spd the fastest sedan in the world? (I remember C&D getting 0-60 in 6.1 seconds?) And remember the rumors about the Opel Calibra coming over as a SAAB? Exciting times!

    GM keeping SAAB going was a probably a good thing only for the employees. SAAB kind of died of natural causes (natural for GM) while sitting on death row (which has now happened). I don’t know which is sadder: withering away locked in a cell or dying young with your boots on.

    There’s a nice Eucalyptus green “museum quality” 92 900T convertible for $15k on right now. I’d have that! But I’m really holding out for a yellow 92 900 SPG. Or a Talladega red (unfortunate name) 92 9000T 5spd. That’s how I’ll remember SAAB. Although if I had to drive in the rain and snow all the time, I’d get the Saabaru, just for old times’ sake….

  • avatar

    I’m going to be a touch contrarian here. Saab has some characteristics at the moment that gives it some appeal to third party buyers. The car market is not going to stay like this forever. It may take a few years to get back to “normal,” but the market will get better. You would not be buying Saab on its current condition, but what it would be like in a normal market.

    Second, Saab has two-and-a-half new models all developed and ready to produce once a new buyer steps in: the next gen 9-5, the 9-4x, and the 9-3x wagon. A new buyer will not have to simultaneously dump a lot of money into new product development while carrying the brand in a terrible market. There’s a window of time to develop the follow-on models, with the prospect of relatively decent sales in the interim (the dealers who have seen the new 9-5 in the flesh really like it).

    Three, the cost of buying Saab is lower than any other brand out there right now, and it comes with a US and European distribution network in place. Buying Saab is the cheapest option out there, if you want to position yourself in the biggest car markets when the market recovers. (And one reason Saab is so cheap is that GM really screwed itself over by pre-announcing a “sale or liquidation” date. GM wants to avoid the costs of actually liquidating Saab — for that reason, all of Saab can probably be bought for the cost of just buying the tooling to produce the new models in the pipeline.)

    And lastly, one virtue of the starvation diet that GM put Saab on is that it is already pretty lean. At the moment Saab is pretty efficient. Supposedly Saab was profitable in Europe before the economic crisis hit.

    If you’re a Chinese car company, or a private equity company, Saab could well be the cheapest, safest way to get your foot into a (semi-)luxury brand with existing distribution in the US and Europe. Plus the cars are safe, so you can take the safety technology back to China and use that to fix the biggest current problem with Chinese cars.

    The fact that Saab is going through this process first is also a benefit. Ford is committing to fund Volvo while it is for sale, but that’s only because it has not yet taken any U.S. bailout money. GM can’t fund Saab because it can’t justify using U.S. taxpayer money to help some other country’s economy. When Ford is finally forced to take some bailout money, they’ll be in the same boat.

    A year from now, Saab’s situation will be sorted out, while Ford will still be struggling to sell Volvo at a substantially higher price

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