By on January 22, 2012

According to media reports and TTAC, all kinds of high-powered parties are interested in sucking the last bone marrow out of the corpse of bankrupt Saab. China’s Youngman supposedly is ready to plunk down  a billion Euro (or $1.3 billion) for the carcass. In Turkey, Brightwell Holdings “will make a bid very shortly, there’s no question,” as Brightwell board member Zamier Ahmen told Bloomberg. The trouble is: Nobody is bidding.

“There have been no formal bids,” receiver Anne-Marie Pouteaux told Reuters. Her colleague Hans Bergvist added that they “ have had discussions with a number of interested parties. Some of them are interested in the factory as a whole and some of them are interested in parts of it.”  But no, no bid.

It would be folly to place a bid, because even the receivers don’t know yet what that bid will buy. In a press conference on Saturday, receiver Hans Bergvist said:

“Everything that was possible to pawn in Saab has been pawned. The work to identify Saab’s assets is not yet complete, but we have come a long way.”

Anybody who had lent Saab money recently, did so with assets pledged. In July, just as a for instance, Saab sold 50.1 percent of its real estate holdings to a consortium led by Hemfosa Fastigheter AB, for about $40m. They leased it right back, with the proviso that the rest is security for the rent. Should Saab default on the rent, the contract allegedly said, then the consortium will say tack så mycket and  owns the whole thing.

Even in a bunker in Sweden, from which the last faithful had been sending blog posts in support of the zombie brand, defeatism makes the rounds.

“The headline everywhere is “Saab is dead”, which actually, right now, is true.

This amazing revelation comes from Saabsunited, which continues:

“The fact that Saab has not even had money to buy toilet-paper since march is a fact that not a lot of people knew about. We’ve heard horror story after horror story from Saab employees and suppliers describing how a company has to act when it is completely out of money and saving up on absolutely everything! But despite having to clean the offices, toilets, kitchens and even buy supplies themselves for their own money the employees stayed at their post! They did not leave which is the biggest evidence of how great Saab actually was.

They said it: Was.

And the reaction from the peanut gallery?




“Griffin up!”


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14 Comments on “Last Holdouts Admit: “Saab Is Dead”...”

  • avatar

    What would they bid on and what exactly is for sale — land, buildings, etc.? There is no “company” to buy, just an asset sale. Assuming that the creditors don’t have first dibs on the “assets.”

  • avatar

    As a former 9-3 owner (who actually liked the car for its quirkiness) I am not sad at all. This soap-opera had gone on quite too long, and was both embarrassing and ridiculous for anyone involved. For years Saab was a the wrong answer to a question that no one was even asking anymore.

    Memo to employees: Time to go home. And take what’s left of the TP with you. The new landlord probably won’t need it.

  • avatar

    And let’s remember there is still no decision from SAAB AB as to if any new buyer will be allowed to continue call the cars Saabs.

    So no brand, no new models, no factory buildings, no dealer network (at least not here in the UK.), no customers and now no toilet paper. Sounds like a good buy, where do I sign?

  • avatar

    I think that the smartest thing any company serious about reviving SAAB could do is to buy the name and logo and perhaps rights to whatever engineering work has been done so far on the 92 and just start over with a new plant with the best of the old company’s employees. That way all the legal wranglings over who owns what would not affect the new company’s ability to build and sell cars wherever they would like. Sure it would be much more daunting starting up again from scratch but the result would be a true SAAB without any GM influence and IMHO that would be a good thing.

    • 0 avatar

      That is the point. You can’t “buy” the name and logo.

      In a similar way as Volvo Cars and AB Volvo have done, the Saab brand and trademarks are shared through a separate trademark holding with Saab AB (the defense contractor) and, probably, Scania, as it also uses the Griffin badge. All three are (or were) shareholders with 33,3% of shares each. However, should a shareholder default, then his shares go to the remaining companies in the holding.

      Brightwell or Youngman or anyone who gets their hands on whatever bits of ‘Saab’ they may get, have to renegotiate a deal on the Saab name and logo.

  • avatar

    Certainly the best part of Saab is their employees. They have been able to do great things from such a shoestring budget. Hopefully they will find employment somewhere again soon.

  • avatar

    I’m sure I read somewhere that in Swedem administration can actually be fully reversed if a buyer comes forward. The Turks have been looking for a car maker for sometime and once considered MGR so who knows…..

  • avatar
    Car Spy Tweets

    Please, someone just get it over with and figure out a deal. Even if what was done with them is essentially the same as what is currently being done with MG (which are actually probably the best looking cars coming out of China).

  • avatar

    Stick a fork in it; when the enthusiast sites say its done, it’s done. FINALLY, RIP Saab…

  • avatar

    I am really wishing I still had my 900 SPG right now. I could get, 5 maybe $600. Since it would be a collector car.

  • avatar

    If you wander back over to The Church Of The One True Saab and have a look at the thread titled Developing A Saab Portfolio to see that they are making amends for last nights doubts.

    It is truly the most deluisional piece of writing I have seen a very long time. It is quite incredible and the replies are even more insane. They really don’t understand that its ended, the brand is dead.


  • avatar

    News late yesterday that Saab Cars North America is going to be liquidated. Thats now the two biggest markets for the ‘brand’ without dealer networks.

    Someone at The Church has posted;
    “With the time its taking them to put in a bid, I’m beginning to think that Youngman don’t want to build Saabs in Europe and only want to manufacturer vehicles for China,”

    Really? You think?

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