Saab Deal Going The Way Of Opel?

saab deal going the way of opel

Saab has not had an easy path to salvation. The Koenigsegg Group has had to provide finances, agree to a price and conditions with GM, get loan from European Investment Bank (EIB),and coax the Swedish Government into guaranteeing loans. Now there’s one more hurdle left, and it’s the same challenge that scuppered the Opel to Magna deal: The EU.


Reports of recent weeks in the Scandinavian media have told us that the EU is thinking the Saab deal over. And when mighty EU thinks, things take time… So, what are they thinking about? They have to decide whether Swedish Govt’s guarantees to SAAB’s loan in the European Investment Bank should be considered subsidies or not. EU countries are not allowed to subsidize unprofitable companies – and the EU has some questions on SAAB’s and Koenigsegg Groups financial plan, and Saab’s results prior to the reconstruction. So the whole thing might stretch into next year until – or if at all – the deal is closed. Incidentally, questions about the anti-competitive nature of the German government’s support of the Opel to Magna deal killed that sale already. But does GM want Saab back as badly?

Now, this wasn’t really unexpected (except perhaps for Christian von Koenigsegg, who wanted the deal finished in time to present it at the IAA in Frankfurt in September) because it’s part of the process of doing business in Europe. But Saab is being squeezed from other sides too. Swedish Radio is reporting today that Saab has to return 11 million Euros to the Government, money that guaranteed salaries for the employees at Saab in connection with Saab’s restructuring application in February. And at the same time, a spokesman from GM, in connection with their letter to the US Saab-dealers last week makes it clear that if the Koenigsegg-Saab deal goes wrong (as Opel has) Saab is history, gone, dead (as in Pontiac, Saturn or Oldsmobile dead).

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  • CUINCT CUINCT on Nov 16, 2009

    " spokesman from GM, in connection with their letter to the US Saab-dealers last week makes it clear that if the Koenigsegg-Saab deal goes wrong (as Opel has) Saab is history, gone, dead (as in Pontiac, Saturn or Oldsmobile dead)." Better to kill it outright and keep the engineers around for the dual clutch gearbox they were working on for the next corvette (C7) rather than create a company that competes with them and uses their engineering prowess.

  • CUINCT CUINCT on Nov 16, 2009

    FYI the pictures of the Saab 9-5 show an awesome looking Saab. What remains to be seen is whether it has the works to be successful.

  • Bryan Raab Davis I actually did use the P of D trope, but it was only gentle chiding, for I love old British cars of every sort.
  • ScarecrowRepair The 1907 Panic had several causes of increased demand for money:[list][*]The semi-annual shift of money between farms and cities (to buy for planting and selling harvests)[/*][*]Britain and Germany borrowing for their naval arms race[/*][*]San Francisco reconstruction borrowing after the 1906 earthquake and fire[/*][/list]Two things made it worse:[list][*]Idiotic bans on branch banking, which prevented urban, rural, and other state branches from shifting funds to match demands. This same problem made the Great Depression far worse. Canada, which allowed branch banking, had no bank failures; the US had 9000 failures.[/*][*]Idiotic reserve requirements left over from the Civil War which prevented banks from loaning money; they eventually started honoring IOUs illegally and started the recovery.[/*][/list]Been a while since I read up on it, so I may have some of the details wrong. But it was an amazing clusterfart which could have been avoided or at least tamed sooner if states and the feds hadn't been so ham handed.
  • FreedMike Maybe this explains all the “Idiots wrecking exotic cars” YouTube videos.
  • FreedMike Good article! And I salute the author for not using the classic “Lucas - prince of darkness” trope, well earned as it may be. We all know the rap on BL cars, but on the flip side, they’re apparently pretty easy to work on (at least that’s the impression I’ve picked up). On the other hand, check the panel fits on the driver’s and passenger’s doors. Clearly, BL wasn’t much concerned with things like structural integrity when it chopped the roof off a car designed as a coupe.
  • Mongo312 Had an 89SE, 92SE and an 03SE all with stick. The 03 took almost 3 months to find because there were so few produced with a manual transmission and dealers didn't want to give them up. Ended up buying one from a dealership in San Antonio and having it shipped here to St Louis.
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