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GM To Sell Saab To Spyker

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2010 Saab 9-5

2010 Saab 9-5

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The never-ending story of Saab's sale looks to be finally over, and the brand born from jets will be adding a propeller to the mix. Dutch supercar maker Spyker has reached a deal to purchase the brand from GM. Trading in Spyker stock was halted early this morning by the Netherlands Authority pending an announcement by the company, and now GM has made it official.

Terms of the deal will see Spyker forming a new company, Saab Spyker Automobiles, which will be the brand's standard bearer. Closing is expected by mid-February if things go smoothly.

“General Motors, Spyker Cars, and the Swedish government worked very hard and creatively for a deal that would secure a sustainable future for this unique and iconic brand, and we're all happy for the positive outcome,” said John Smith, GM vice president for corporate planning and alliances.

Completing the full transfer of Saab will take at least a month yet, but the sale enables Saab to avoid further winding-down steps and to move forward with new product creation and production. Just yesterday word of production of the 2011 Saab 9-4X broke, with other models, including the 2010 Saab 9-5 now expected to hit retail soon as well.

spyker c8 aileron production version 010

spyker c8 aileron production version 010

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Spyker is a tiny company in the grand scheme of things, turning out just a handful of supercars each year, but its dedication and perseverance throughout the Saab purchase indicates it is committed to the brand over the long haul. Saab's rabidly loyal fan base will no doubt be hopeful for the future, with their beloved Swedish marque saved from GM's brand exodus and given a new lease on life.

“Throughout the negotiations, GM has always had the hope to find a solution for Saab that would avoid a wind down of the brand,” added Nick Reilly, president, GM Europe. “We’ve worked with many parties over the past year, including governments and investors, and I’m very pleased that we could come to such a good conclusion, one that preserves jobs in Sweden and elsewhere. GM will continue to support Saab and Spyker on their way forward.”

The sale began its long and turbulent path during GM's bankruptcy last summer, attracting multiple bidders, but never seeming to get much in the way of real traction until Koenigsegg AB, itself another firm whose primary automotive business is the construction of high-end supercars, managed to secure a deal, but was later forced to back out at the last minute due to funding complications. That move prompted comparisons to Saturn's failed sale to Penske Automotive Group, with many despairing of any future for the quirky, boxy brand.

Spyker never let up, however, despite Ed Whitacre's statements on the sale, saying in December, "It's real easy--just show up with the money and you can have it. Nobody's come with the money." Now that Spyker has come up with the money, the future of Saab is once again bright, if still somewhat uncertain. Saab's position within the market has been tenuous over the last several years, with stale products and weak sales, prompting GM's decision to sell the brand in the first place.

Stay tuned as we uncover what Spyker plans to do to turn things around, and what it plans for the future. We'll bring you the latest as it breaks.

[GM]

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Comments (29)
  1. about time, now Saab will live on as a unique brand again
     
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  2. Finally!
     
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  3. Quirky yes, but boxy??? Is the author confusing Saab with Volvo?
    Anyway, I am certainly glad that Saab will live on - they are GREAT cars!
     
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  4. "Quirky yes, but boxy??? Is the author confusing Saab with Volvo?"
    Seems to be the standard statement from the press and the un-informed public for any design that is not like an Italian sports car. Not even Volvo is "boxy" now.
     
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  5. The iconic Saabs are, in fact, quite boxy. The 900 is a perfect example. Under GM the cars lost a bit of that, and aerodynamics have rounded the edges, but there's still a definite rectilinear flavor to their design, even in the new 9-5. The pictures don't lie.
     
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  6. Whew! What a relief. Now my fun red "unboxy" convertible can live on! I'm grinning from ear to ear.
     
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  7. Fantastic! So glad the miserable days of GM have passed for SAAB. We all knew when the SUV hit the market, that the end was near. Hopefully Spyker will drop those hideous beasts first.
    Speaking as an US American - We're sorry - it was typical US Corp mentality that caused all this pain: "take a good brand, cut costs by cutting quality, keep up with the Joneses (SUV)... whoops, that didn't work - let's just throw it away"
     
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  8. Yes, I should have asked - Is the author confusing Saab with old Volvos. To reply to the author, I would call the Saab 900 "boxy" I think it is more inverted bathtub shaped. Not that that is a bad thing mind you, I love Saabs!
    I currently drive a 2003 9-3 Convertible, and I don't find that "boxy" at all :)
     
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  9. Correction - I would NOT call the 900 "boxy" more inverted bathtub shaped.
    I would also like to add that those who speak of the GM Envoy/Chevrolet Trailblazer based 9-7x with so much disdain - please drive one, the Saab engineers did a fantastic job with the ride, suspension and the put in a Saab dash. I too, discounted the 9-7x as just another badge engineered GM, until my wife went out and bought one. It may not be a "true" Saab in the strictest sense, but it is a very nice vehicle in any event!
    I can't wait to check out the 9-4!!!!
     
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  10. "The iconic Saabs are, in fact, quite boxy. The 900 is a perfect example."
    Nothing with a Panoramic wraparound windscreen and a sloped hatchback (when it's not a convertible) could possibly be considered "Boxy"...
    ....unless you're comparing it to a 1970's Corvette.
     
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  11. That panoramic windscreen stands at about a 70-degree angle, the entire front end is a loose interpretation of a flat-pack shipping box, and the cabin ahead of the hatch area is the definition of a box. You could rough out a basic 900 profile with two elongated cubes and one cube cut in half along the diagonal axis. I call that boxy, but feel free to disagree.
    That said, I love the 900, and I'm looking forward to more characteristically Saab designs to come.
     
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  12. At last! I was about to order a replacement for the 93 convertible I had when GM made the decision to close Saab down, I can now go and order one :-)
     
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  13. I hope Spyker has what it takes to bring SAAB a unique set of cars that can go against the heavy hitters...I'm SO happy about this purchase...
     
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  14. "I hope Spyker has what it takes to bring SAAB a unique set of cars..."
    Indeed - I wouldn't even mind if SAAB/Spyker partnered w/ FIAT to use the C-Evo platform for the 9-3 replacement as they did w/ the Type 4 Chassis of the 1985-1998 SAAB 9000...
    ...or Peugeot for the excellent platform of the 407.
     
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  15. You guys need to work on your reading comprehension. The term "boxy" was applied to Saturn, not Saab.
    "That move prompted comparisons to Saturn's failed sale to Penske Automotive Group, with many despairing of any future for the quirky, boxy brand."
     
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  16. Now driving a 93 9000, a very pretty and roomy car, but I really loved the 900 turbo 4-door more. Great engine, great handling, great dashboard (analogue!)
     
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  17. John - me thinks it is YOU who is not comprehending correctly. It was applied to Saab!
     
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  18. And to think, NBC paid Conan O’Brien $45 Million to walk away. At $75 Million and 24,000 cars sold annually that is a whopping $3125 per car.
     
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  19. Saab was deep in debt when GM wasted a lot of money buying it. If it wasn't for GM buying that money pit it would have been history a long time ago.
     
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  20. First on the boxy thing... The cars that Saab produces today are not boxy... It's like saying that that all American cars are really long and have V8's, because they did 40 years ago... The cars that Saab design are not boxy, they have a simple design that's smoothed off around the edges and don't go for the flat bonnet/windscreen approach... Anyway, I'm really looking forward to a 9-9 roadster based on a Spyker model...
     
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  21. Saab owner General Motors announced the deal, without disclosing financial details, but a source familiar with the matter said Spyker would buy Saab for $400 million, $74 million of which is in cash, with the rest in deferred shares.
     
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  22. good move =]
     
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  23. Fantastic news. My SAAB 9000 has just topped over 204,000 Miles; original engine, clutch, shocks, gearbox, etc. etc. - what a superb bit of engineering. I guess one day I may need spares though. Long may SAAB continue. Well done the Dutch!
     
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  24. Spyker car is not profitable, SAAB is neither.
    So two companys who isnt profitable and the swedish taxpayers will be forced to pay when they fall.
    No chance
     
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  25. peter - Try thinking positive.
    Saab is a fine brand and it may do very well in the future.
    Negative thinking will get you nowhere.
     
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  26. Saabs are homely. No matter how great Saabs might seem; many folks just cannot get past the uncool, ugly factor. Saabs are for dorks and dweebs.
     
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  27. merl - I don't think anyone here cares about your opinion.
     
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  28. Saabs are great cars!
     
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  29. Great job Spyker---I'm glad you obtained Saab--they are wonderful great cars--I have (2) a 2001 9-3and a new 2009 9-3. And to the boxy--it's been ages since the 900 was around- maybe the writter thinks Edsels are boxy too- I think that writter has a box for a frickin brain. Long live Saab :)
     
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