By on December 20, 2009

The Raising of Saab?Can’t we just be done with this Saab story? Reuters reports that Spyker has submitted a new bid to GM for Saab. And GM has commented on it. You can choose to ignore this story, safe in the knowledge that the odds of this deal coming together are not likely any better than the last one, or you can make the jump and read the details:Spyker’s new offer submitted on Sunday apparently addresses each of the eleven issues that killed the last deal.

“We have made every effort to resolve the issues that were preventing the conclusion of this matter and we have asked GM and all other involved parties to seriously consider this offer,” Spyker Cars Chief Executive Victor Muller said in a statement.

Spyker Cars said the new offer eliminates the need for a European Investment Bank (EIB) loan approval prior to year end, which would allow the deal to be concluded within GM’s deadline.

Muller added Spyker was confident the offer would remove the impasse and allow it to conclude the deal prior to the expiry of the deadline originally set by GM of December 31.

The renewed offer is valid until 5:00 p.m. EST on Monday December 21.

Did that just say the renewed offer was only good through tomorrow? That should improve its odds. GM isn’t exactly the paragon of fast decision making. But another web site does have a statement from GM, so at least they’re aware that there’s something in the mail:

“Following Friday’s announcement that GM will begin the orderly wind down of Saab, GM has received inquiries from several parties. We will evaluate each inquiry. We will not comment further until these evaluations have been completed.”

Stay tuned; or not.

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10 Comments on “Spyker Drags Out The Misery; Makes New Saab Offer...”

  • avatar
    Via Nocturna

    I wouldn’t want to be a Saab employee or fan right now. As it stands, this circus Spyker’s putting on is akin to dragging the coffin out of the grave at the funeral and attempting to give the corpse CPR.
    I mean, sure, I feel for the employees that lost their jobs over this, but Saab’s demise was a long time coming, and hoping that a flimsy deal by a tiny Dutch firm is going to resuscitate  Saab is the definition of wishful thinking.

  • avatar

    If you take GM’s statement at face value, they received “several inquiries”. Those aren’t offers, and there’s more than Spyker involved.
    My best guess is there’s interest in the Trollhatten assembly and current model bodies, but not the IP, except for a short period, and not the new 9-5 platform. That would be a cheap way for Konigsegg, for instance, to build a limited production luxury-performance vehicle without having to take on SAAB’s dealers or debts.

    With SAAB’s current ytd production of less than 8k, it might be easier to convert from mass production to something along the lines of Aston Martin, with similar prices.  I assume GM will take any cash it can get to dump SAAB, as long as the new owner doesn’t plan to compete with GM.

  • avatar

    If GM is refusing to sell to Spyker then that may represent the first time that GM has saved a small independent car maker instead of killing one.  If Spyker takes on Saab then both with die. 

    A company that makes hand made, beautifully designed cars that are powered by Audi has no business trying to make mass produced, badge engineered, transverse engined FWD cars that can’t compete with Audi.

    Nobody wants a transverse engined premium car, ask Acura and Lincoln.  Does Acura even sell cars anymore, or just cute-utes.

    Here is automaker consultant and contributor Jack Baruth on the transverse engined (like a current Saab) Lincoln MKS:

    “As with the [longitudinal engined] Audi, I prefer the layout of the [Infinti] M45’s AWD system, which avoids the annoyances of a transverse engine and the attendant wandering steering wheel.”

    This is the reality: Unless it is mid-engined or a full-hybrid a premium car needs to have a longitudinal engine and needs to be either AWD or RWD.  GM’s mass market transverse engine FWD Opel platforms aren’t going to cut it.

    Only VW Audi and Subaru have the FWD/AWD longitudinal engine platforms that could actually be the basis of a competitive Saab.  VW Audi isn’t going to buy Saab because Saab is a reduntant but weaker brand, and Subaru isn’t going to by Saab because Subaru already has many of the old Saab customers, Subaru is on the way to being as prestigious as Saab, and Subaru isn’t going to deal with the cultural issues of taking on a Sweedish subsidiary.

    The original Saabs, up to the first generation 900, were backwards 911s.  Those Saabs were overbuilt, longitudinal front engined, FWD, semi-hand made cars.  Just like 911s were longitudinal rear engined, RWD, semi-hand made cars.  A Saab was as if a 911 driver encountered snap-oversteer, put the car in reverse, and keept driving.  Both had the mix of durability and quality issues that comes with being overbuilt but semi-hand made.

    The problem is that by the 1980s the 911 was the ONLY rear engined car on the market.  That monopoloy allowed Porsche to charge monopoloy prices.  On the other hand, by the 1980s FWD had become common, and that competition made Saab uncompetitive.  Premium FWD is an oxymoron, and Saab became weak to the point that GM was able to buy it. If GM didn’t buy it Saab would have died a long time ago.

    Do we really need to drive Spyker out of business building badge engineered appliance GMs (with center console ignitions to bore people with at cocktail parties, pointless in the era of chip embedded keys, and annoying since I don’t like to leave my cars, all of which have been stick, in reverse unless I’m on an incline)?

    • 0 avatar

      Have you ever made a single post without the words ‘longitudinal’ or ‘transverse’?

      I hate to break this to you, but there is more to defining cars than just if the engine is mounted side to side or front to back.

      SAAB ran into trouble for three reasons.

      1. It was a small company, which was ok with 1960s automotive technology but by the 1980s, with balooning R&D costs, it made it very hard to develop new models and compete with larger companies with deeper pockets.

      2. Under GMs ownership, SAAB tried to transform itself into a wannabe BMW and make luxury sports saloons. The problem was, that market was saturated with better RWD cars. They heyday of SAAB was making functional, interesting premium European small to mid sized cars. A SAAB 96/99/900 was a car that was more entertaining to drive than a Volvo or other utlitarian brick, more exclusive and better built than a VW, but didn’t have the jerk image or decadant luxury of  a blingy Mercedes or BMW. It was a small niche true, but clearly there were people in it.

      If SAAB today was priced several grand more than a Jetta, which is no slouch, and targeted Jetta buyers by being a bit rarer/exclusive, more functional (hatch & details), and a bit more sporting/fun to drive, it may not have survived, but at least  it would not be irrelevant.

      3. GM.

      Ok, and Skoda was making rear engined rear wheel drive cars until about 1990.

  • avatar

    From Hell’s heart I stab at thee…SAAAAB!

  • avatar

    Where is Roger Penske in all of this?

  • avatar

    For whatever this is worth, I just saw on the news today, this very discussion of Spyker in negotiation with GM. The media is   making it look as if there is true hope for this bailout!

  • avatar

    Spyker is kind of pissed because the Friday announcement made it look like the deal was off because of them. So, this is a double-dare to make GM show their cards. If the deal goes through, they end up with Saab. If the deal is nixed, again, then it’s totally and fully GM:s responsibility.

  • avatar

    they are scared to sell anything to Penske since he made them look so foolish with Detroit Diesel.

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