By on December 20, 2009

Rest In Peace. Picture courtesy

Sweden’s prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt had his fill of failed negotiations. Returning home from round-the-clock talks at the Copenhagen climate conference, he said that he saw the Saab collapse coming. Sweden’s prime minister is “unsurprised” by the collapse of the sale, says Reuters.  Asked if he was surprised, Reinfeldt  said: “No, the process was built around a loss-making company and an American owner that owned Saab for 20 years and made a profit in one of the 20.  It’s clear that it was not successful enough.” Sweden’s head blames GM for the failure.

Fredrik Reinfeldt said GM had failed to make Saab strong enough to survive.

“Basically, they GM have not been successful enough at building Saab’s profitability, and they have not either come up to those volumes which modern carmakers probably need,” the premier said in an interview on Swedish public radio.

That’s the charitable way to look at it. The other version is that GM can’t even dispose of its unloved brands in an orderly fashion. Opel was withdrawn. The Saturn-Penske deal fell through. Even the Hummer-Tengzhong deal is stuck somewhere in never-never-land.

BAIC would have been more than willing to take Saab completely off GM’s hands, instead of just buying used tooling and machinery. Ironically, hours before the announcement of the failure to sell Saab, BAIC had signaled their intention for further cooperation with Saab, Dow Jones had on its wire. It wouldn’t be astonishing if the large Beijing expat community receives a large influx of engineers from Trollhättan. A friendly IKEA beckons.

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18 Comments on “Death Of Saab: Sweden’s Prime Minister “Not Surprised”...”

  • avatar

    If your volume is in the same order of magnitude as Porsche, then you best be selling at Porsche prices. Even so, Porsche nearly went broke in the early 90’s.

    • 0 avatar

      Good point. There’s going to be a lot of finger-pointing at GM in the aftermath of Saab’s death, but Saab wasn’t exactly a paragon of financial stability prior to its purchase by GM. I’m not necessarily offering that as a defense of GM; quite frankly, I never understood the reasons for acquiring Saab in the first place.

  • avatar

    Spyker has made a new bid on Saab, so now it’s up to GM what happens. Also, it seems that GM had decided beforehand that they didn’t want to sell, but liquidate Saab, as the new Saab 9-5 would have been a competitor to the new Opel Insignia. According to that theory, it will be interesting now to see how GM responds to the new bid.

  • avatar

    I look at SAAB and see nothing worth buying.   I’d rather buy an SRT8.

  • avatar

    Wow, look at that picture!  And you thought that Cadillac coachbuilders had work to do!
    Hmmmmmmmmmmmm, memo to GM, when you’ve got somebody willing to buy the whole kit and kaboodle, sell it to them, who cares what their nationality is.

  • avatar

    The hearse is an English Coleman Milne conversion. No Swedish coachbuilder would produce a hearse with such awful lines…

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    Some excellent points, all.
    Perhaps Saab expiring couldn’t have been prevented; but with the mishandling and demise of Saturn, Pontiac, Saab, and Hummer (and let’s even go back 10 years and throw in Olds), along with bankruptcy and government $$$, this will cost GM plenty in customer support and goodwill in the years to come.  We’re now into  a 2nd generation who doesn’t trust them…..

  • avatar
    Bubba Gump

    I could be wrong buts lets get a little perspective here. If you go look at a few of spykers financial statements their total worth is 50 million euro at best. They built and delivered 12 cars in the third quarter of 2009. Their total net worth couldn’t even cover the tooling for the new 9-5. Not to mention they haven’t made a dime in the last five years. (at least the two company’s will have somthing in common) My guess is this deal is nothing more than an opportunity for Spyker to put their face in the press. As a Banker in this financial climate you’d either be a psychotic or a loon to underwrite an investment in this turkey shoot.

  • avatar

    I always wanted a turbo coupe with FWD for the winter. Saab used to fit that bill. Now what’s left GTI? Speed3? The bottom line is that GM was responsible for SAAB, and it’s quality, marketing, and service. It failed on all fronts. Farewell SAAB, I will miss you.

  • avatar

    When even a politician says Saab is not viable, it is truly doomed. It’s time for Saab to join Hupmobile and Kaiser in the automotive heavenly pantheon.
    The Saab workers can be satisfied that they got their wish, that the company not be sold to a Chinese outfit. And in Sweden’s welfare state, being unemployed has its advantages.

  • avatar

    If GM isn’t willing to include the new 9-5 and upcoming 9-4x in the deal because the are afraid of “competition” with Opel, then this deal is over.

  • avatar

    Is that a 9-3 in the back?
    Oops, forgive my poor manners.   This is a solemn moment for pipe-smoking university professors around the world.    Let us put our elbow patches at half-mast.  Rest in peace, Saab.

  • avatar

    I’ve heard about the Spyker offer on a tv broadcast today. The media is actually presenting it as a viable offer that might come off as a last minute bailout! The media is great with hype.

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