By on June 11, 2009

Swedish supercar firm Koenigsegg has signed a letter of intent to purchase Saab, reports Reuters. “Final negotiations about details on the deal will go on in the next months.” Meanwhile, imagine the synergies. On the one hand, 1,000 hp+ supercars, on the other the 9-5. High tech plutocrats and befuddled history professors shopping under one roof. How do you say schizophrenia in Swedish? Speaking of crazy, who else is dying to know how much Saab is being purchased for? Or is this one of those Marchionne-style, no-money-down deals?

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49 Comments on “Koenigsegg Buys Saab...”


  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    On the one hand, 1,000 hp+ supercars, on the other the 9-5.

    To be fair, the current 9-5 is not a bad car. For 1997. Which was when it was released.

    What’s even more depressing is that Koenigsegg might actually get a new 9-5 out the door before GM would have.

  • avatar
    MBella

    Wow, I didn’t see this coming.

  • avatar
    trlstanc

    I’m actually a little excited about this, I’m looking forward to seeing what kind of Saabs come out of this.

    Also, it’s kind of like Porsche buying VW, except smaller, and Swedish.

  • avatar
    TonUpBoi

    Better them than the Chinese. Much better.

  • avatar
    frizzlefry

    I’m actually pretty excited about this. I always loved Saab and hated what GM did to them. On the other hand, I saw the Gumball video where this guy’s Koenigsegg broke down 5 times in the first 4 days of the race…guess we’ll see how well they build Saabs. At least its pretty much guaranteed that Saab will be more interesting now.

  • avatar
    menno

    My one and only Saab owned, let me down really badly while I was on vacation and was the first car I’d ever owned that had a head gasket go (out of – well let’s just say it’s a number over 2 dozen).

    Despite that, I sort of understand the fascination with the Saab – and was actually sorry to see GM nearly destroy it out of ineptitude.

    Perhaps Saab will return.

    C’mon; birkenstock wearing leftist Profs have to have SOMETHING to drive around in, after all…
    (joke – it was humor, okay?)

  • avatar
    Juniper

    But, But, The Chinese were going to buy them.
    I read it right here.
    This will be great to watch.

  • avatar
    Schm

    Sweedspeed+1

    Chinese- nil

  • avatar
    keepaustinweird

    Me and my ’00 Lightning Blue Viggen (last of the “real” SAABs) are very excited to see what kind of Swedish meatballs this new union will produce. There’s basically nowhere to go but up.

  • avatar

    Cool, it will be fun watching SAAB now!

  • avatar
    superbadd75

    This is good news. Maybe Saab can actually build some cool cars now. One thing for sure, they’ll be much more interesting now that Swedes will presumably do all of the design work. I just hope it doesn’t price Saab out of their current range. If they turn out to be well built and truly competitive (versus the likes of BMW, Audi, etc.), they might actually stand a chance.

  • avatar
    dcdriver

    I’ve always been an admirer of Saab vehicles and I’m currently looking into buying a 2005 9-5 sedan. On my initial inspection and test drive, it was great. The interior isn’t the greatest, but the seats were very comfortable, great driving postion and much better front, side and rear visibility than most cars I’ve driven. Pretty good MPG for such a roomy car and the relatively low curb weight (for its class) made it feel very nimble.

  • avatar
    Stingray

    MBella :
    Wow, I didn’t see this coming.

    +1

    Neither did I.

    Nice outcome anyway. If it was a Marchionne style business, all the better.

    In any way, I hope they get the new lineup.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    I’ve always been an admirer of Saab vehicles and I’m currently looking into buying a 2005 9-5 sedan.

    That’s actually a good year for that car. You’re out of danger with regards to the B235 sludging problem and before GM whacked it with the ugly stick. As much as I bitch about the 9-5, it’s probably going to cost you less to keep up than any other European car, and less to buy than a Lexus GS.

    Still, make sure the previous owner has been fastidious about oil changes, check the transmission fluid (if it’s an auto) and get a good Saab mechanic to go over the problem spots.

  • avatar
    bill h.

    Interesting video on Top Gear with Clarkson driving one of the Koenigsegg cars. I’m not sure if there’s enough real estate in the UK to allow it to run up to full speed (350+ kph?).

    Also, it is my understanding that some ties to GM will remain, mainly because of the new product (next gen 9-5, and the 9-4X) which are in final stages before launch next year. Lots of photos of the (disguised) 9-5 test mules out there on the web.

  • avatar
    Seth L

    No, no, all wrong. Makes to much sense. Can’t possibly happen.

    I mean, who will produce the Cadillac BLS now?

  • avatar
    IGB

    Ah, the the KoenigggggSSSSSaaaaaaaaabbbbbbb. Think of how fast we’ll be able to drive away when the Chinese come and take over the world in their Hummers.

  • avatar

    I hope it turns out well.
    Overpricing them would be a big mistake.

  • avatar
    PartsUnknown

    I like this. A lot. I’ll drive the 9000 with a little more vigor on the way home tonight.

  • avatar
    dcdriver

    psarhjinian : exactly – I did my homework (you really have to with Saabs, unfortunately) and targeted the 2005 model year for the reasons you cited. Used Saabs are a steal, gotta love that depreciation.

    Oh and as for the 9-5 being long in the tooth, well I actually like the fact that Saab doesn’t issue a completely new redeisign every 5 years for their models like some companies (mostly Japanese) do. Now I admit, in the case of the 9-5, yes 11 years without a major redesign is too long.

  • avatar
    Sabastian

    I just traded my 1994 Saab 900S on Monday for a new Mini Cooper. I considered my car one of the last true Saabs, and maybe with Koenigsegg in charge, we’ll see a return of cars like the old 900.

  • avatar
    PartsUnknown

    dcdriver – go for it broham. Never mind the haters, the 9-5 is a fundamentally good car. It is dated in many respects, but it has many positive traits. Great seats, sound ergonomics, solid build, and the turbo fours are a hoot. Agree that ’04 and ’05 are the best years, though later years are decent if you can tolerate even cheaper interior materials and the hideous dame edna headlights. Good luck with the search. Find a good indy and carry a spare ignition cassette.

  • avatar
    Stein X Leikanger

    Of the prospective buyers and candidates, this is the most promising choice. There’s money underpinning the deal, and there’s a new mindset and new technology placed on the table, with a desire to use Trollhättan to ramp up manufacturing of Koenigsegg designs.

    Should be fun to follow developments here!

  • avatar
    John Horner

    Swedish car fanatics with experience running a niche car company are taking over management of Saab! Great news!

    The Reuters article says the bulk of the financing is likely to come from loans guaranteed by the Swedish government.

  • avatar
    Aeroelastic

    Wow, that’s pretty cool. Maybe they’ll bring back the SPG.

  • avatar

    Send the new 9-5 and 9-4x directly to the crusher! Make with the new 96 and 99 post haste.

    and let’s spell it SAAB again, yes?

  • avatar
    Lokkii

    Where does the money behind Koenigsegg come from?
    How many cars did they produce last year? Somewhere around as many as Tesla, I’d guess.

    The price of SAAB must have been awfully cheap.

    I have a feeling that this takeover started over drinks somewhere one night, followed by laughs, followed by a phonecall the next day from someone at SAAB saying,

    “Were you serious when you said, Hell – We’d take over SAAB if the price was right!….?”

    While I’m thrilled to see SAAB in the hands of a Swedish company that is passionate about cars, I predict tears all around in the end.

  • avatar
    Brian E

    Lokkii: I predict tears. Tears of joy.

    I hope they re-brand all their future supercars as SAABs. Couldn’t hurt, eh? Goodbye born from jets, hello born from crazy awesome!

  • avatar
    jaje

    I think this will be for the better. I may look into future Saabs if they get their act together and put together some really nice competitive products.

  • avatar
    jkross22

    I am a closeted SAAB fan. I grew up loving the 900 Turbos that looked like upside down bathtubs. They were quirky, different, safe, looked like nothing else.

    GM could have funded the nextgen SAAB wierdness/coolness, but they just couldn’t resist screwing up a free lunch.

    I hope Koenigsegg knows what it’s doing.

  • avatar
    guyincognito

    This is awesome. I’m looking forward to the entry level SAAB CCXR. Seriously though, this is the best Carpocalypse news yet.

  • avatar
    Ingvar

    “Or is this one of those Marchionne-style, no-money-down deals?”

    Yes it is. Koenigsegg is playing with other peoples money. It seems that GM is actually giving Saab away, with some half-assed promise of “If you get some returns, give us a share” kind of deals. Koenigsegg has 45 employees, Saab has a hundred times more.

  • avatar
    Bunter1

    Ingvar-that does sound like good news.

    While I see the odds stacked against them I’m rooting for them. Shoot, we had a pair of 99s when I was a kid.

    Anything would be better than dying from the final coup de crap from GM’s “management”.

    Go Svenska Aeroplan AB!

    Bunter

  • avatar
    jconli1

    Now if only Volvo AB would buy back the car division…

    (sigh)

  • avatar
    CommanderFish

    That I know of, Chrysler and GM both took V8’s and more or less chopped them in half to make “slant-4” engines. These were for midget car racing, but it is possible.

    So, the synergies between Saab and Koenigsegg? Maybe it is… More than meets the eye.

  • avatar
    The Sinjinzen

    Lokkii:

    Here’s where the money behind Koenigsegg comes from:

    http://www.ekergroup.no/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=3&Itemid=4

    These buyers are considered a Swedish/Norwegian collaboration, the Swedish-based Koenigsegg bringing technical know-how and passion for cars into the deal, and the norwegians are providing the necessary financial muscles onto the table.

  • avatar
    Paul W

    An unsuccessful wanna-be supercar company with no money buys an unsuccessful wanna-be premium car company. I’d be nice if it worked out, but I’d have to say that the odds are stacked against it.

  • avatar
    kurtamaxxguy

    Sounds like a match, given where SAAB itself seemed to want to go in the market.

    Now Koenigsegg-SAAB can sell those 9-3 Aero Turbo X’s with no misgivings whatsoever. :-)

  • avatar
    441Zuke

    of all the things to come out of carmageddon 2008/09 this is great a good company finds a great owner with a vision best of luck

  • avatar
    agenthex

    Better them than the Chinese. Much better.

    Why would the chinese want saab unless it was free? It’s been a very much broken brand, about as bad or worse than hummer.

  • avatar

    Oh, its not THAT broken.

    It IS the redheaded Cinderella stepchild getting paroled, winning the lottery, getting that nose and boob job, THEN(hopefully) meeting a nice, supportive, rich guy…and (re)claiming some market-share from the highly overrated Germans and lameass Americans. Fairy tale? Maybe. But it COULD happen.

  • avatar
    Andy D

    SAAB, born from rockets

  • avatar

    Time to break out the Swedish Chef translators!

  • avatar
    Campisi

    I’ve always had a fascination with Saabs, and have been hoping for a fresh infusion of Swedish identity and northern European quirkiness. This development pleases me.

  • avatar
    Ronman

    well i think if this goes through, and Saab Designs get a bit of Koeninseggs, the inspired by jets slogan will finally mean something.

    but Saab’s are Ok cars, why is everyone obsessed to get the perfect car. no such thing exists,

    i have a feeling the Aero X concept will be made on limited series if Koneninseg actually takes over. and that i would love to see…

  • avatar
    qfrog

    This is the best thing to come of GM having purchased Saab. I’m rather pleased to see Saab going back to being wholly Sweedish. It just seems right, or maybe that is because it feels a whole lot less wrong than the Chinese buying Saab.

    Question of the day… how many Koenigsegg employees have owned or own Saab products?

  • avatar
    lakediva

    I’m with “keepaustinweird” about the ’00 Viggen. The 1999-2002 generation (pre-GM) is my absolute favorite. I think SAAB had just re-purchased the company back from GM in 1997 or 1998 (? am I right?), and they launched the new line in 1999, then re-sold to GM again in 2002, and GM came out with their line in 2003 or 2004. (May not have all my facts straight so don’t hold me to the dates.)

    In any case – I love my Viggen. It is now going into it’s 10th year. It still gets 32 MPG. It has tons of room, is still sexy and still super fast. When I hit 160,000 miles I had to replace the fuel pump and opted to do that rather than buy a new car because there is absolutely nothing on the market that I want that could compare to my Viggen. So I decided to wait, and I’m so glad I did. One week after my fuel pump replacement, Koenigsegg announced their intent to purchase SAAB and I couldn’t be happier! I’ll drive this Viggen into the ground waiting for a new model from Koenigsegg that is actually made well, versus the current generation that are essentially on a Chevy Chassis with a SAAB logo. Tragic. GM destroyed the car but hopefully the brand will survive.

  • avatar
    Walter_Gilmore

    This appears to be very good news for loyal Saab enthusiasts like myself. Hopefully Koenigsegg will return SAAB to counter-culture aesthetic and functional appeal. I miss the unique interiors (full of highly accessible buttons and good build quality) of cars like the SAAB 9000 Aero and hopefully these unique interiors will resurface. I have owned a 900, a 9000 and a 9-5 and was going to be done with SAAB because of what GM did to the interiors in 2007 but now I look forward to the 2010 Koenigsegg SAAB’s!

  • avatar
    jvilmenay

    I’m sure glad I held on to my 1978 99 Turbo. This one-of-kind model (first Turbo/last 99) is what hooked me on SAAB. I was an undergraduate back in 1981/1982 when I first saw that unusually shaped car with the fighter jet windshield. At closer inspection it was the smooth,ergonomic knob of the shifter and the ignition key uniquely placed at its base that further caught my eye. I finally test drove one after graduation while shopping for my first car: The purr, the cockpit seat belts, the 4-speed Turbo acceleration,and the simplicity in opening the manual sunroof after reaching cruising speed – aah, what pleasure.
    I’ve been smitten ever since. Can you blame me?

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