By on November 24, 2009

And ne'er the twain shall meet (courtesy:seriouswheels)

A press release [via] confirms that Koenigsegg has withdrawn from negotiations with General Motors over the sale of Saab. Fritz Henderson shares his disappointment:

We’re obviously very disappointed with the decision to pull out of the Saab purchase. Many have worked tirelessly over the past several months to create a sustainable plan for the future of Saab by selling the brand and its manufacturing interests to Koenigsegg Group AB. Given the sudden change in direction, we will take the next several days to assess the situation and will advise on the next steps next week.

Why did Koenigsegg pull out? A brief statement by Koenisgegg is all we have to go on at the moment. “The time factor has always been critical for our strategy to breathe new life into the company,” the firm tells Reuters. Which leaves… BAIC? Absent any other obvious interest in the Saab brand though, GM now finds itself with two messy restructurings in Europe.

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18 Comments on “Saab-Koenigsegg Deal Falls Through...”

  • avatar
    Cammy Corrigan

    Don’t worry, I’m sure the <strike>U.S Taxpayers</strike> White house will help out financially with these restructurings.

  • avatar

    Please, I beg you GM, just let Saab die with dignity. It’s over, just let it go. Saab can’t survive, and I don’t want to watch more of my tax money being pissed down a rat hole. Just let Saab die.

  • avatar

    Replace “Fritz Henderson” with “Angela Merkel”, and “Saab” with “Opel”.
    Oooooh… poor Fritzy’s disappointed. Baby wanna bottle?

    • 0 avatar
      Steve Biro

      Bloomberg is reporting that GM’s board will meet next Tuesday (Dec. 1) to discuss Saab’s fate.  It’s quite possible they will decide at that time to wind down Saab.  Apparently, the firm has a contingency plan similar to the Saturn wind-down ready to go.   Of course, a Chinese company could step in and offer to take Saab off GM’s hands for cheap.  And GM could decide to keep Saab – the same way they decided to keep Opel.  This last option – while highly unlikely – isn’t impossible.  Almost anyone who has looked closely enough has said Saab doesn’t cost that much more to run outside of Opel – because many operations have already been merged with Opel.  If the Swedish or EU governments kick in a bit of money, maybe they can keep the brand and factory alive.  I suspect Saab may have finally reached the end of the line.  A pity.  Soon, we’ll all be driving Camrys and Accords – or Camry and Accord alikes.

  • avatar

    sanity reigns at koenigsegg.

    to carry the costs of a lux. car line you need the volume that comes from a competent 3 & 5-series wannabe. Saab never had it, never will.

  • avatar

    Look at the pattern.
    It’s not the Chinese that just don’t get deals done. It’s GM.

  • avatar
    bill h.

    Someone I know on a separate Saab list posted this, I can’t verify of course, but it’s out there and I trust the poster:
    I just talked with my private equity guy who is on the inside of the deal, no surprise that Sweden and GM are more to blame than K-egg.

    In short from my conversation notes:
    – Union employees from scuttled GM brands must be retained i.e. K-egg would have to bring in Pontiac people, which was clearly unacceptable to K-egg – GM merely interested in protecting their union contracts.

    – K-egg required that Global HQ and control reverted back to Sweden, this was scuttled by GM

    – By GM’s rules thrown into the deal, production would have had to be split between US and Sv.

    – Added to which, Sweden required an 18-month payback on their loan – while K-egg thought that refinancing was possible, the deal was dead anyway thanks to GM.

    • 0 avatar

      Interesting. What’s even more interesting is that with a (supposed) 60% stake in the company (GM), we (the taxpayers) can’t tell GM to sell the damned thing with no strings attached.

    • 0 avatar
      John Horner

      I’m skeptical. That list of requirements makes no sense at all. Pontiac employees? Pontiac was a marketing brand, it had almost no employees devoted to Pontiac.  US production? Saab has never had US production unless you count that horrific tarted up Chevy Trailblazer.

    • 0 avatar
      bill h.

      The Pontiac thing sounds like a “for instance,” to me, unless it WAS meant to be marketing types. As for production, who knows–weirder things have happened than the Trollblazer fiasco.

      We report, you decide!

  • avatar

    Typical GM hatchet job. Shut the whole thing down – Keep Saab!

  • avatar

    GM is a complete train wreck.

  • avatar

    Saab cars were never aimed to sell in significant numbers. Their cars were an acquired taste and not everyone would put money down for something as quirky as the Saab brand, no matter how much GM tried to make it mainstream.
    I fear with this latest news, Saab will just whither and die. Pity, the new 9-5 was shaping up to be a pretty interesting car.

  • avatar

    Unless you have ever owned or even driven a Saab,  you won’t understand what this brand was and still is all about!  These are special cars.  I own 5 of them currently.  I hope the GM board can find it in their hearts to keep it going!

  • avatar
    John Horner

    Saab has been a money loosing operating for at least two decades now. GM mismanaged the brand so horribly that there is very little brand equity left in the thing.
    Selling to the Chinese would be a bad strategy for GM because 1) China is GM’s best market right now … why help competitors? and 2) The reason for a Chinese company to buy Saab would be to be better able to compete in export markets and to get more expertise. Helping your competition is rarely a good strategic move.
    Sadly, the only thing left to do is to shut it down. Or …. if the rumored “Crown” deal to buy Volvo out with a mostly Swedish team of money men and managers is true, then Crown-Volvo might pick up the pieces of Saab at the auction block.

    • 0 avatar
      bill h.

      There may be some Saab enthusiasts who would agree with you–better to go down on one’s own terms than to keep limping along as a shadow under GM’s cluelessness. 

  • avatar

    I have owned a 2002 Saab 9.3 for 7 years now.  It has many modifications that have made it a street legal tuner pushing 250 hp.  It has nowbecome a second car with 170K on it. It still runs great, gets 30mpg, has never had any major issues, and you can run a well cared for Saab 250K plus miles…….Refresh my memory GM, but how many cars in your line have that track record?  GM butchered this brand as it was never going to be a mainstream car.  They should have made the deal in Sweden work.

  • avatar

    Russia and China are in contract to cooperate on grand infrastructural projects that will need trucks’, tractors’, of different designs, weights, payloads, capacities, ect.. GM ought to see if they can get in on that action. Send a salesman and get to work.

    GM can use its’ excess industrial capacity at home in creating a modern mass-transit system and freight train facilities; nuclear generation facilities can be manufactured in the modular and transported anywhere in the nation or around the world. Attorney

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