Speaking of Odd Couples

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

If we’ve learned anything from animated cats over the last several decades, it’s that opposites can attract (and that music video directors get all the good drugs). But if there are serious doubts among analysts about the Fiat-Chrysler hookup, imagine what they’re saying about the Saab-Koenigsegg deal. After all, the buying firm sells one-of-a-kind cars for a cool million dollars a pop while the purchased firm can’t sell reworked GM offerings at zero-percent interest. Is there something rotten in the state of Sweden?

You know the alliance is less than ideal because of the $700 million dowry needed to convince the opposites to attract. That’s 700 units worth of revenue for Koenigsegg, which builds about 25 cars per year (based on the latest numbers we could find). The Wall Street Journal reports that Koenigsegg has only 45 full-time employees, and that the two firms make for “strange bedfellows.” Not since the Minelli-Gest marriage have there been stranger. And to what do we owe the spectacle of two wholly dissimilar firms struggling to make their marriage work? Politics, of course. “Koenigsegg is the preferred option of the Swedish government for political reasons,” is how analysts put it to the WSJ. Now imagine Shelby Supercars buying Saturn, and you have an idea of how wacky this adventure is going to be.

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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  • Ken Elias Ken Elias on Jun 12, 2009

    From what I understand...GM's basically giving the company to Koenigsegg including cash, tooling and other assets, and rights to the newest "Saab" cars (which include GM IP mostly from Opel). GM basically wipes the slate clean, gets to announce a sale, and now all the problems belong to the Swedes. I'm not sure Koenigsegg really brings anything to the table and there are certainly no synergies. On the other hand, there's little if any downside to Koenigsegg either.

  • Bill h. Bill h. on Jun 12, 2009

    Bruce, 9-5 Linear here, 2004 w/93k miles. So far, no leaks, and in a milder state of tune getting about 33mpg on the open road. That said, your comment about the coarseness of the turbo-4 comes from the fact that the 9-5's 2.3L engine was stroked out from the 2.0 liter versions, hence it's a bit buzzier. When the old 9-5 is finally retired, so will the engine, the last of the "old Saab" fours. The current 2.0L engines in the 9-3s are a newer GM design.

  • The only thing that worries me is that the car is one of the fastest road cars in the world. It is an awesome motor but if one of these other companies (Thank god not GM) get hold of this dream machine it would never be the same again!

  • Ron Ron on Jun 13, 2009

    London Removals, your comment just flew right over my head. Care to elaborate? At any rate... It's ironic that a company rooted in the aircraft industry has been saved by a company who operates out of the former home of Sweden's RAF who used to fly Saab-built fighter jets. It looks like fate and destiny have come full circle. My sister has a 2006 9-3 and it's a nice car, I don't see what GM f***ed up so bad about it (but I haven't looked real hard either). If Koenigsaab can improve whatever it is that's been "lost" then I'll likely make a Saab my next purchase.