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Saab buyer to be revealed this week, most likely Koenigsegg


Supercar company Koenigsegg believes it has what it takes to save Saab

Supercar company Koenigsegg believes it has what it takes to save Saab

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The ongoing tale of Saab's sale may be drawing to a close, as early reports out of Sweden today have General Motors and Swedish supercar maker Koenigsegg, along with a group of Norwegian investors, agreeing to the deal in a letter of intent. GM confirmed in its February viability plan that it would no longer supply Saab with funding and that the Swedish company would become an independent business as of January 1, 2010.

An official announcement of the sale is expected this week, Saab officials revealed to Automotive News. In its own turnaround plan presented to creditors, Saab confirmed that it is seeking to write-off roughly three quarters of its non-prioritized debt, aiming for positive cashflow by 2011. If the decision to sell to the Koenigsegg-led group goes through, don't expect final details to emerge for another month or more, however, as final negotiations on the details of the deal still have to be hammered out.

Saab spokeswoman, Gunilla Gustavs, also revealed that there were three remaining bidders left for the company and the sale process would be completed soon. "I think that during this week, chances are good. It could be anytime now," she said.

Koenigsegg, meanwhile, says it has what it takes to save Saab. Koenigsegg co-owner, Baard Eker, said over the weekend that his company has several good solutions to bring into Saab. Strong words coming from a man whose company has less than 50 employees and turns out only a handful of $1 million supercars each year.

However, thanks to 28 billion Swedish kronor (approximately $3.23 billion) in loans and loan guarantees from the Swedish government, plus help from private investors, Saab will be able to operate as usual for the foreseeable future but the company is still predicting a loss of more than $300 million for the current year. Saab lost about $340 million in 2008, according to documents filed with the Swedish court that granted the company a stay of execution.

The injection of funding will be used to help launch three new models over the next 18 months and hopefully see the company become an innovator of technology like it had been in the past. Some important automotive technologies pioneered by Saab include headlamp wipers and washers, impact-absorbing bumpers, wastegate-operated turbocharger systems, and one of the world’s first 16-valve turbocharged engines.

The three new models planned include the recently revealed 9-3X as well as the new 9-4X and 9-5, all of which are desperately needed. Last year Saab saw its global sales drop 25.5% to just 93,338 units and 2009 is expected to be even lower.

Saab's Jan-Ake Jonsson talks about the company's reorganization

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Comments (13)
  1. It is pathetic, that GM Bob Lutz can even say that the brand is not working. "Well Hello" havent spent any major upgrade money in the past 10 years, tryn to sell old products with just small pennys. What do they expect? Ok they might have spent a bit of money oin the past few years to bring in new models but its too little too late. I have always loved saab and do own a 2004 9-5 Aero which I love. Bring on the new models, give it a hard go at trying to make it work instead of a friken excuse of it not workn.
     
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  2. Maybe the Swedish nationalization for the brand would have been better
     
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  3. Love my 2004 93 aero (when it's not in the shop). I am seriously considering the A4 quattro avant since there are no Saab dealer left in Seattle. Why can Saab do what Audi is doing. Audi just led BMW and MB in sale of its A4 line at home.
     
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  4. Let Saab be independent. They'll be a much better company for it. They'll be able to tailor the cars to be more interesting and exotic than what GM has been able to do. Saab has a great opportunity to really reinvent themselves and launch these new vehicles and survive as a independent entity.
     
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  5. it never deserved GM. GM didn't make it a good brand, Saab can stand on it's own.
     
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  6. taksan Saab would have disappeared if GM had not bought it
     
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  7. Let Saab be independent. They'll be a much better company for it. They'll be able to tailor the cars to be more interesting and exotic than what GM has been able to do. Saab has a great opportunity to really reinvent themselves and launch these new vehicles and survive as a independent entity.

    I fear it is far too late for this..

    Back in '93 or earlier was the time for new Saabs..Instead it was just SaabOpels..Then, about ten years later, the Saab-Olds-Blazer and the Saabaru...pathetic..:mad:
    Audi has an advantage with VW numbers behind it. And VWs are far superior to most GM badge-mobiles....

    How does BMW do it ??

    Saab did not have the funds for new designs in '93 and has less now.
    Well, its been fun....'47 thru '10 or '11... far better than many.:D
     
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  8. Saab would never survive as an independent. When GM bought them the company was on death's door and just hanging on. Saab's quirkiness has always been a Janus for it, repelling more buyers than it attracted. Too often mediocre to poor dealer service in the US hasn't helped and added in the recent cars poor quality.

    BMW, at least since the early 70's has been a far better funded company than Saab and it has been reflected in the engineering investments the company has made. Saab never had an angel like the Quandt family has been for BMW, nor all the small Bavarian investors who banded together with the Quandts to save the company in the late 50's early 60's.
     
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  9. I agree, not sure it would survive alone.
     
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  10. That would be weird but maybe a good thing if Koenigsegg bought Saab.
     
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  11. Screw Koenigsegg, how about Tata? I hope Tata has made a bid for Saab and could realign the automaker into a near-premium and premium auto group of Jag and Land Rover. Am I thinking of a Swedish deja-vu?
     
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  12. if this goes ahed... i hope saab become more like koenigsegg and not the other way around.
     
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  13. Are you kidding? This is fantastic news! Saab could not have asked for a better deal. I think it's always good news when a supercar manufacturer acquires more volume. Saabs used to be known for being cool, sporty and quirky (and I mean quirky). Koenigsegg is known for the same attributes. I can't wait to see what happens next. Very exciting!
     
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