Saab Delays Sale Decision, New Bidder In The Ring

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2009 Saab 9-3

2009 Saab 9-3

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Saab may yet fend off relegation to the same scrap heap as Pontiac and Saturn, as the company today delayed a meeting to decide on Spyker's latest bid in order to consider new proposals, including one from private equity firm Genii Capital, which also owns a stake in Renault's F1 team.

Spyker's final shot was due to be decided upon today, but the entry of Genii into the ring--potentially with a cash offer--means the meeting will be put off until tomorrow. Genii plans to use Koenigsegg AB's business plan, which received GM's approval, the deal falling short on funding instead. But Genii stands poised to fulfill Ed Whitacre's desire to have someone--anyone--show up with the money. It'll have to wait until tomorrow to see if Saab has a surprise new owner. Other issued to be handled tomorrow include how to start Saab back up on January 11 after its four-week break.

The details of Spyker's final bid are still wrapped in secrecy, but GM is open to the offer, according to Reuters and other reports. Spyker is said to be optimistic about its long-shot chances at taking over the much-larger brand--so optimistic, in fact, that it already has floated a product plan to be implemented, should it win Saab.

The core models under Spyker's leadership would be the 9-3 lineup of sedans and wagons, the 9-5 sedan and wagon, and the 9-4X crossover. The stalled 9-1 minicar project would be put on hold until the company is able to spend more on developing and launching a new car. The Saab HQ would stay in Trollhattan, Sweden, and production of all vehicles save for the 9-4X would stay in the snowy Scandinavian nation. The 9-4X would be built in GM's Ramos Arizpe, Mexico facility, according to Reuters.

Spyker's final bid is its third attempt to meet GM's goals for the Saab sale. GM's Chairman and interim CEO says meeting their goals is simple. "It's real easy--just show up with the money and you can have it. Nobody's come with the money," said Whitacre, "so we're in the wind-down mode." If Saab doesn't find a buyer this time around, it will likely be closed by January 31.

[Bloomberg, Automotive News (1) (2), Reuters, The Local, ]

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Comments (10)
  1. I think Spyker will buy Saab. The Swedes won't let their car company go around in shame, because few people can buy the company.

  2. it is foolish to make a Saab in Mexico. This will be like what GM did to Suzuki
    by importing cars from S. Korea(Daewoo).

  3. I agree that it is silly to produce a Saab in Mexico, but if is to Saab survive, it needs a vehicle in the Small SUV/crossover category in the US. The margins are higher, the tooling is done (the new caddy crossover and it were developed at the same time, and it was supposed to already be rolling off the line.) The suspension and engine options are different as well as some other finishing - but the initial pre-production reviews of the 9-4x were actually more favorable than the Caddy's. (Much like the reviews of the 9-7x which Saab re-engineered the suspension of the Trailblazer were much more favorable than any other flavor of that vehicle.)
    Saab simply has to make lemonade out of the lemons GM left it.
    While there is time, you really should go test drive a 9-3 and 9-5, especially the Aero SportCombis, you will be surprised by them ... they have a spirit that no other GM product can touch.

  4. I still love the (facelifted) 9-3, especially the 2.8 V6 - What a beauty! No other manufacturer can take a 90's Opel Vectra platform and transform it into something as desirable as the X! Now I'll wait patiently for prices to drop locally before taking an even closer look at some of those 2.8 Aero's on the floor these days. Some SA Dealers are still living in dreamland with their asking prices....

  5. hope they make it through this. but i think GM will continue to suck dry all their ideas and then sell everything else off like old chevy junk parts.

  6. It seems nobody cares that BMW built the Z4, X5 and X6 in North America but SAAB shouldn't build the 9-4x outside of Sweden? This seems a bit strange to me that SAAB, a company that really needs to find anyway possible to keep their overheads down should have to use a different rulebook?
    The current 9-3 uses only 60% of the Epsilon platform which was 1st introduced by GM in 2001. The 9-3 can't be built in any other GM factory because of the changes SAAB made to the architecture. It's probably the reason why it drives like no other GM vehicle too.

  7. Man, if Saab gets saved, someone needs to make a movie bout much suspense this past year

  8. Saab has been mismanaged by GM , and yet GM has taken all the inovation and used it in the Caddy , Trailblazer and other models in there line up . Did GM pay for this ? You can make a company look bad on the books but I know SAAB is a better brand than what GM makes them to be , 32 years of working on the SAAB brand has taught me that . More jobs than you think will be lost, and one heck of a fine Automobile. I dont care to drive the "lil-boxes" that the trimmed down manufactures, are soon to offer , I'll drive a car I build before that happens. Yes I do want SAAB to continue for the inovatiion and safety they offer and lot of adults and young drivers are alive today because of it , I know 1st hand

  9. Yet another brand that's been GM'd.... GM, the pancreatic cancer of the automotive culture. Slowly eating away at your insides until its too late to save you.

  10. Hi Guy's,
    The current 9-3 uses only 60% of the Epsilon platform which was 1st introduced by GM in 2001. The 9-3 can't be built in any other GM factory because of the changes SAAB made to the architecture. It's probably the reason why it drives like no other GM vehicle too.

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