Last-Gasp Saab Bids: Along Came A Spyker?

Thor Johnsen
by Thor Johnsen

GM decided to grant Saab 30 days worth of life support to await new potential buyers. If no buyer is found within 30 days, then Saab is a goner. That’s the message all Saab workers and enthusiasts were given yesterday, to a certain relief. GM and Saab have confirmed there are potential buyers out there, but who are they? Who’s in, who’s out?There are supposed to be at least 4 interested buyers; BAIC has confirmed they are interested in Saab – but what exactly they are interested in at Saab are unclear. Is it 100% ownership? A partnership with other buyers? Bits and pieces of Saab’s technology? TTAC’s Bertel Schmitt figures they’d take the new 9-5, but not old tooling or production assets.Merbanco has confirmed interest too. In a dialogue with, their CEO Christoffer Johnston expressed interest, given the right conditions. But in a statement to Reuters, Mr. Johnston says Merbanco are ruled out as a bidder for Saab. “We were disappointed to learn we were not invited to move forward in our efforts for Saab,” Johnston writes in an email to Reuters.Renco is also reportedly one of the interested parties, but the mysterious new bidder on the block is…Spyker! The Dutch supercar manufacturer, owned mainly by Lithuanian bank Snoras, and Russian Conversbank, has roots going back to 1898, when the two brothers Jacobus and Hendrik-Jan Spijker made their first car using a Benz engine. Production ceased in 1925, only to resurrect in 2000. Focusing on the super exclusive, super fast, supercar segment, they kind of remind you of Koenigsegg, right? Their spokesman, Mike Stainton told Swedish businesspaper e24 “We’re interested in Saab, and are just now talking to General Motors”. And even though they’ve lost money for the last 5 years (more Koenigsegg parallels?), with a registered motto from 1914 saying: “Nulla tenaci invia est via” (for the endurant, no way is impossible), who knows what they might try.On the other hand, given GM’s sad history of not pulling off even the simplest sale (ho-Hummer…) 30 days or nothing sounds like … nothing.

Thor Johnsen
Thor Johnsen

More by Thor Johnsen

Join the conversation
2 of 13 comments
  • Porschespeed Porschespeed on Dec 02, 2009

    Please. Saab is the poor SOB stuck between the train and the platform. You wish there was some way to save it, but there simply isn't. It is gonna die. Everyone say goodbye and pull the damn train out already.

  • Oosh Oosh on Dec 02, 2009

    'roots going back to 1898' - bollocks! 'Spyker Cars' has nothing to do with the original Spyker other than now owning the brand name of a company that went bankrupt 80 years ago!

  • Socrates77 They're pinching pennies for the investors like always, greed has turned GM into a joke of an old corporate American greed.
  • Analoggrotto looking at this takes me right back to the year when “CD-ROM” first entered public lexicon
  • Alan My comment just went into the cloud.I do believe its up to the workers and I also see some simplistic comments against unionisation. Most of these are driven by fear and insecurity, an atypical conservative trait.The US for a so called modern and wealthy country has poor industrial relation practices with little protection for the worker, so maybe unionisation will advance the US to a genuine modern nation that looks after its workers well being, standard of living, health and education.Determining pay is measured using skill level, training level and risk associated with the job. So, you can have a low skilled job with high risk and receive a good pay, or have a job with lots of training and the pay is so-so.Another issue is viability of a business. If you have a hot dog stall and want $5 a dog and people only want to pay $4 you will go broke. This is why imported vehicles are important so people can buy more affordable appliances to drive to and from work.Setting up a union is easier than setting up work conditions and pay.
  • El scotto I can get the speedometer from dad's 72 Ford truck back. I can't get dad back.
  • El scotto BAH! No dividers in the trunk for bags of onions or hooks for hanging sardines! Hard Pass.