Sale Of Saab 9-5 And 9-3 Tooling To BAIC Confirmed

sale of saab 9 5 and 9 3 tooling to baic confirmed

The NY Times is saying that the deal to sell the outgoing Saab 9-5 and 9-3 tooling is done. We reported that it was going to happen, and that BAIC had the money lined up. The amount spent for the machinery and rights to build the two models was not disclosed. And of course, that still leaves the final outcome of Saab and the new 9-5 unresolved.Mixed emotions are the order of the day in Trollhattan:

The fate of Saab’s 3,500 workers in Trollhattan, Sweden, remains uncertain, following the unexpected collapse last month of a deal between G.M. and the high-end Swedish automaker Koenigsegg for Saab.

Still, a pact with the state-owned Beijing Automotive “would be good for Sweden, good for China and good for Saab,” according to a Saab official who asked not to be identified by name because the discussions were not final.

GM has not yet commented on the sale. Several buyers are reportedly still negotiating to buy Saab. These include Renco, owned by the U.S. financier Ira L. Rennert, and Spyker Cars, a specialty automaker in the Netherlands. A sale to Spyker would bring some baggage:

Spyker had confirmed its interest in acquiring Saab, but a spokesman declined further comment. Spyker sells 30 to 50 high-performance sports cars a year, which are made to individual order and cost just under a quarter-million dollars each.

As was the case for Koenigsegg, taking over Saab would mean a large increase in production as well as a formidable business challenge for Spyker, especially given G.M’s inability to succeed in making Saab profitable.

It would also expose Spyker and its Russian backers to more public scrutiny, some of it potentially unwelcome.

The main investor in Spyker is the Russian bank Convers Group, which is controlled by Alexander Antonov, a Russian tycoon who was shot seven times and reportedly lost a finger in a failed assassination attempt in Moscow in March. His son Vladimir Antonov, a 34-year-old banker who is a top executive at Convers, is chairman of Spyker.

Meanwhile, Saab is still talking up the prospects of the new 9-5 and keeping jobs in Trollhattan

The new 9-5, company officials said, is an attempt to revive Saab’s traditional appeal in Europe and win back loyal customers in the United States while increasing production in Trollhattan.

If Saab production in Sweden survives, it will be a boost to the country’s industrial base. The area around Trollhattan and Goteborg to the south is home to both Saab and Volvo factories, and a network of auto-parts makers and other suppliers in the region is dependent on the two companies.

“The Saab organization is still intact,” said Eric Geers, a spokesman for Saab in Sweden. “We’re very excited about the new 9-5, which has already been received positively by enthusiasts around the world.”

Hope springs eternal, especially at this time of year.

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  • Porsche986 Porsche986 on Dec 14, 2009

    Here's a thought: Wouldn't it be cheaper for GM to just keep Saab, move production into either a European factory or a US factory? They have already invested heavily in the new 9-5... and the basic components are already in production all over the world. It seems the whole argument to keep or let it go hinges on keeping Saabs made in Sweden. We buy TONS of BMW and Mercedes that are built right here in the southern US... so, why not US built Saabs?

    • Wsn Wsn on Dec 14, 2009

      They can't even make US built Chevies profitable. What makes you think they can make US built Saabs profitable?

  • Porsche986 Porsche986 on Dec 14, 2009

    PaulW, what is your reference source? Several people have asked this in the forum so far.

    • Paul W Paul W on Dec 14, 2009

      My source? All existing Swedish news outlets, pretty much. They all have the same story, which is based on a press release from Saab.

  • DenverMike When was it ever a mystery? The Fairmont maybe, but only the 4-door "Futura" trim, that was distinctively upscale. The Citation and Volare didn't have competing trims, nor was there a base stripper Maxima at the time, if ever, crank windows, vinyl seats, 2-doors, etc. So it wasn't a "massacre", not even in spirit, just different market segments. It could be that the Maxima was intended to compete with those, but everything coming from Japan at the time had to take it up a notch, if not two.Thanks to the Japanese "voluntary" trade restriction, everything had extra options, if not hard loaded. The restriction limited how many vehicles were shipped, not what they retailed at. So Japanese automakers naturally raised the "price" (or stakes) without raising MSRP. What the dealers charged (gouged) was a different story.Realistically, the Maxima was going up against entry luxury sedans (except Cimarron lol), especially Euro/German, same as the Cressida. It definitely worked in Japanese automaker's favor, not to mention inspiring Lexus, Acura and Infiniti.
  • Ronnie Schreiber Hydrocarbon based fuels have become unreliable? More expensive at the moment but I haven't seen any lines gathering around gas stations lately, have you? I'm old enough to remember actual gasoline shortages in 1973 and 1979 (of course, since then there have been many recoverable oil deposits discovered around the world plus the introduction of fracking). Consumers Power is still supplying me with natural gas. I recently went camping and had no problem buying propane.Texas had grid problems last winter because they replaced fossil fueled power plants with wind and solar, which didn't work in the cold weather. That's the definition of unreliable.I'm an "all of the above" guy when it comes to energy: fossil fuels, hydro, wind (where it makes sense), nuclear (including funding for fusion research), and possibly solar.Environmental activists, it seems to me, have no interest in energy diversity. Based on what's happened in Sri Lanka and the push against agriculture in Europe and Canada, I think it's safe to say that some folks want most of us to live like medieval peasants to save the planet for their own private jets.
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  • MaintenanceCosts There's no mystery anymore about how the Japanese took over the prestige spot in the US mass market (especially on the west coast) when you realize that this thing was up against the likes of the Fairmont, Citation, and Volaré. A massacre.