Koenigsegg and Saab Tie the Knot

John Horner
by John Horner
This morning the AP has the news you already knew about, but a few more details have emerged. First up, the now obligatory government backing, this time in the form of a $600 million loan from the European Investment Bank, guaranteed of course by the Swedish government. That explains why minuscule Koenigsegg picked up Saab for free. It’s all about being Swedish. “With a full-time staff of 45, Koenigsegg makes around a dozen cars a year, customized for every buyer.” Wow, talk about a micro-niche. But fear not, Saab has an innovative strategy for competing going forward. More about that in a moment.“Matts Carlsson, an analyst of Goteborg Management Institute, called the deal ‘exciting, interesting and challenging,’ adding that although no price sum has been made official, the Trollhättan, Sweden-based unit is likely to have been more or less a giveaway. ‘[Money] is not really what it’s about right now, it’s about the possibility to back up this deal,’ he said.” Check, it isn’t about the investor’s willingness to make the required investment, it is about the investor’s ability to get government funding. “‘Saab needs to be left alone to proceed with its strategy,’ he said, noting that any tampering with its five-year plan to produce premium cars that are not aimed at competing with luxury brands such as BMW or Lexus ‘could destroy it.'” Now can someone explain to me how you make a premium car without competing with BMW or Lexus?
John Horner
John Horner

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  • Tauronmaikar Tauronmaikar on Jun 16, 2009

    I, for one, am excited and will be looking more closely at Saab in the future. Gone is the corporate stagnation and mindfuuck that accompanied GM. K-eggs are passionate and know their stuff. I think it will go well and we will be seeing some interesting and wild designs in the future.

  • Andy D Andy D on Jun 16, 2009

    Saab needs to return to what it did best: Quirky innovations

  • Djn Djn on Jun 16, 2009

    I'm not concerned that SAAB doesn't have an engine plant. After all, when have they built/designed engines? 92/93/95 3 cyl 2 stroke, ex DKW(?), V4 ex Ford, I4 ex triumph. SAAB buyers never bought on the basis of the engine. 96, Sonnet, 900 even 9000 all weird. Weird is good. Uff da!

  • Paul W Paul W on Jun 17, 2009

    Morea: You're right about the number of cars. K-egg however, believe that by making Saab a "true" luxury brand, they'll reach profitability at 70,000 cars. One has to remember that this deal is actually not done yet. There are still a lot of people left who have to go ahead and give it a green light in order for it to happen. Even if the deal gets locked in, Saab will run out of money any day now, and no loans will be available until September (at the earliest).