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2010 Saab 9-5  (Source: AutoBlog)

2010 Saab 9-3  (Source: CarGurus)

2010 Saab 9-3x  (Source: Gawker)
Yet another GM brand looks to fall as its sale falls through

One of General Motors' most important steps in emerging from bankruptcy was its offloading of stale, unprofitable brands.  GM had hoped to gain a small bit of profit off their sale, so it lined up buyers to all the stale brands.

Now those deals seem to be falling through left and right.  At the start of last month, news broke that the sale of the Saturn brand to Penske Automotive Group (PAG) had fallen through, leaving the brand to die

Now, Swedish supercar maker Koenigsegg Group AB has pulled out of its deal to buy struggling Swedish luxury car brand Saab.  The move puts Saab's future seriously in question.  Koenigsegg cited many reasons for pulling out, but wouldn't reveal what those reasons were.  One possibility is that its financing for the purchase fell through.  Another possibility is that it got scared off by the vanish number of Saab dealers internationally.

GM is unlikely to want to keep Saab - Saab has almost never turned a profit for GM and it doesn't fit with GM's vision of making Cadillac its global luxury brand (and doesn't contribute much in the way of unique engineering assets).  Thus GM must scramble to find a new buyer while the brand is kept on life support by the Swedish government.  If it fails, the likely outcome is that the brand will be killed, just like Saturn.

One possible buyer is Beijing Auto Industry Co., who originally made a bid on the brand, but lost to Koenigsegg.  The Chinese firm now seems more cautious following the fallout of the Koenigsegg-Saab union, stating that it will now "cautiously reconsider" making a new bid.

Even if the Chinese don't buy the whole firm, they'll likely opt to at least pick up the the assets to the already tooled-up, forthcoming 9-5 sedan. 

Regardless of what happens, the latest failed deal is a major disappointment and setback for a recovering GM.  States GM President and CEO, Fritz Henderson, "We're obviously very disappointed with the decision to pull out of the Saab purchase.  Many have worked tirelessly over the past several months to create a sustainable plan for the future of Saab by selling the brand and its manufacturing interests to Koenigsegg Group AB. Given the sudden change in direction, we will take the next several days to assess the situation and will advise on the next steps next week."





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