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Spyker C8 Spyder T   (Source: Supercar Specs)

2010 Saab 9-3  (Source: Car Gurus)
Agreement is reportedly binding, so this story will finely be at an end

Late Tuesday General Motors reached an agreement with Dutch Spyker Cars NV to purchase the Swedish brand Saab Automobile AB, saving the brand from being shuttered.  The agreement is reportedly binding and is the result of compromises from all players and local governments.

Saab was originally to be sold last June during GM's bankruptcy house-cleaning to Swedish supercar maker Koenigsegg.  The drama began in November when the company pulled out of the deal, citing unspecified concerns.  That failed deal, along with the collapse of the Penske Automotive Group bid for Saturn, led to force-out of then-CEO Fritz Henderson.

Scrambling to find a new buyer, GM sold the assets behind Saab's 9-3 and 9-5 sedans to China's Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Corp, who will likely make clones of the luxury models.  A deal with Spyker was quickly discussed, but appeared stalled.

That impasse was finally resolved this week.  The deal was greased by a 400M € (about $568M USD) loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB), via an agreement with the Swedish government.

Swedish Minister for Industry Maud Olofsson describes, "That is a deep involvement of the government with the GM Europe. The [loan] money is not used for running the company but for development projects which will lead the future of Saab to be greener and more environmentally friendly."

John Smith, GM vice president for corporate planning and alliances cheers the sale, stating, "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."

Saab's facilities will cease their wind-down and the deal is expected to be finalized by mid-February, pending standard applicable regulatory, governmental and court approvals.  The new brand will carry the name Saab Spyker Automobiles and will continue the company-turned-brand's 65 year tradition, which began with the former aircraft parent company Saab's Project 92 automobile prototype.

The deal leaves GM able to focus on its core luxury offerings -- the prestigious Cadillac brand and the entry-level luxury Buick brand.

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By Sazabi19 on 1/27/2010 11:58:54 AM , Rating: 2
Out of all the makes they could have saved they chose saab? I honestly havent seen a Saab i have ever though worth buying personally, maybe its just me. I think that Saturn would have been a pretty good one to save, their vehicles are pretty decent and the Saturn image has been looking up quite a bit latley in the states... but Saab? *dumbfounded*

RE: Really?
By T2k on 1/27/2010 1:15:50 PM , Rating: 2
Saturn over SAAB?

While I admired the late euro-styled Saturns you must be a clueless American if you want to save it over SAAB...

RE: Really?
By porkpie on 1/27/2010 2:09:42 PM , Rating: 2
I hate to get in the way of some juvenile American-bashing, but Consumer Reports rates Saturn a more reliable brand than Saab.

RE: Really?
By Oregonian2 on 1/27/2010 2:27:44 PM , Rating: 1
Sometimes "being reliable" isn't the end-all that decides what car someone buys.

RE: Really?
By porkpie on 1/27/2010 2:40:56 PM , Rating: 1
Of course not...but someone who calls people "clueless" because of their choice of something as trivial as a car's styling cues, has the mental maturity of a 12 year old.

RE: Really?
By Samus on 1/27/2010 4:18:16 PM , Rating: 1
Right. Reliability isn't everything. If it were, I'd probably drive a Camry instead of my SVT Focus.

Ohh wait, those were just recalled for killing people :\

RE: Really?
By VMWareDude on 1/28/2010 5:40:23 PM , Rating: 1
Camrys only kill dumb americans who confuse the gas pedal with the break pedal...

RE: Really?
By ZHENDHIDE4 on 1/28/10, Rating: -1
RE: Really?
By BikeDude on 1/27/2010 2:40:15 PM , Rating: 3
A Saab and a Saturn are rolling towards eachother @ 70 kph. The Saturn is piloted by some guy from Consumer Reports, and I am driving the Saab. I have a case of chronical flatulence.

The cars are going to crash, and you are a passenger in one of them.

My question to you: Which one do you prefer?

There are about a dozen crash tests that car manufacturers need to test to pass various government regulations. Saab carries out more than 30 different tests on each model. They especially test for moose impacts. The A-pillar on a Saab is built to resist a small car and the roof is designed so it won't collapse (again: all about keeping the moose on the outside of the car).

So again I ask you: To which car would you trust your life?

The clowns over at Consumer Reports may be attempting to look after your wallet, but they sure as h--- are not concerned with keeping you alive and well. Saab's engineers OTOH are.

RE: Really?
By Sazabi19 on 1/27/2010 3:36:39 PM , Rating: 1
The Saturn, as your car gets crushed by mine cuz it's not a moose:P. I have never seen a moose in real life... not sure i have to worry about that 1. not everyone looks at saftey as the biggest seller, if i did, i may have gotten a Volvo ;)

RE: Really?
By BikeDude on 1/27/2010 4:45:11 PM , Rating: 2
No, Volvo is not as safe. has several years rated the 9-5 as 30%+ safer than the average car. It was only last year that Volvo managed to cough up a model matching that score. Up to 2009, the 9-5 was the only car in its class to achieve that score.

The new generation 9-5 promises even better safety.

RE: Really?
By porkpie on 1/27/2010 4:09:51 PM , Rating: 2
Oh, the delicious irony of someone named 'BikeDude' instructing me to select a vehicle based on no criteria other than safety.

RE: Really?
By BikeDude on 1/27/2010 4:41:16 PM , Rating: 4
OK... How about XWD? The latest generation of Haldex all wheel drive system, which is the most advanced AWD system currently on the market?

First found in the 2008 9-3 TurboX, and soon to be a feature in the new 9-5 as well.

Or HyperStrut, promising a smooth ride in the new 9-5?

Then there is Saab's excellent turbo charge pedigre, allowing a relatively economical V4 engine to give considerable boost when accelerating from 80 to 120 kph. (I routinely overtake three big trucks in a row on winding snowy country roads)

Finally, a Saab is a delight to drive on any snow/ice covered road. It is not for naught that Saab still has a good name in the rally driving community.

Combine that with Saab's unchallenged safety record, and you have one heckuva car.

On the other hand, if all you do is drive on straight and dry roads, it really doesn't matter what you drive.

RE: Really?
By safcman84 on 1/28/2010 6:13:19 AM , Rating: 2
Saab is a european brand, and they have more success internationally than American cars do.

Most Europeans will avoid American Engineered cars if at all possible (american cars drive a lot differently to european cars)

Saab has (unless it was sold to the chinese....?)engine technology for bio-fuel that kicks a**. The Saab Aero engine produces 310bhp when running on environmentally friendly bio-fuel (bio-fuel produced from paper mulch, the waste at Swedens paper factories), and 270 when running on petrol.
Yep thats right, get more power and speed while protecting the planet - no need for sacrifice.
Well yeah I know not all bio-fuel is good for the planet, but at least the technology is there.

On a last note, the Saab is an excellent car to drive. My father got a choice of a Saab or an Audi for a company car. He tested both, and chose the Saab. You can get all the options in a saab for a lot cheaper than the same in an audi (the company fixes a limit on price of car), the automatic gear change is a lot smoother and the interior doesnt feel like cheap plastic.

RE: Really?
By trisct on 1/28/2010 11:33:24 AM , Rating: 2
Maybe Spyker will finally rescue Saab from its long tradition of fugly. That is mostly what holds it back now, being a well engineered brand. Saab could use an additional spike of reliability lately, too, but we'll see.

RE: Really?
By jconan on 1/27/2010 3:52:34 PM , Rating: 2
SAAB has history vs Saturn, and plus it has a more sentimental value to the Swedes. Saturn is very American and will not win Swedish over and plus it is still a nascent brand.

RE: Really?
By slashbinslashbash on 1/27/2010 9:22:48 PM , Rating: 2
You have no idea what you're talking about. GM didn't choose to save Saab over Saturn. GM tried to save both, but couldn't come to a deal for Saturn, and came close to not being able to find a deal for Saab. But there are a couple of big differences that made a Saab deal come through where a Saturn one didn't.

1) Saab is a European company; Saturn is a US company. The Euro governments don't want to lose another car-maker with all of the factory jobs etc. associated with it, so they have made the loans to get Saab in the hands of another Euro car company.

2) Saab is actually a functioning car company with its own factories, designers, engineers, etc. in Sweden. Yes, they shared platforms and engineering with GM (especially GM Europe) but Saab had a long history as an independent company and never fully lost that independence. Saturn, on the other hand, was created by GM in the mid-80's and never fully functioned on its own. Yes, it had its own factory, and its original designs were Saturn-only, but in the late 90's that started to change; to the extent that the latest Saturns are only rebadged Opels made in Belgium. Saturn design, engineering, and manufacturing were pretty much farmed out throughout GM's system. Roger Penske's plan for saving Saturn was to keep the same thing going and farm out designs to other companies and basically turn Saturn fully into an import-and-rebadge car company; Saturn's biggest assets were the dealerships and the brand name, with their associated feel-good no-haggle approach. Pretty much "soft" assets compared with Saab's actual engineers, factories, etc. in Sweden.

In summary, Saab could be effectively sliced off of GM without too much pain. Saab can function on its own, as it was never fully integrated into GM. Saturn, on the other hand, might have been spin-off-able 15 years ago, but now it is basically just another GM marque like Pontiac or Buick.

RE: Really?
By joos2000 on 1/28/2010 6:12:06 PM , Rating: 1
I don't see why the Swedish government would give a flying fuck about some crappy American car brand, dealing mostly in badge engineering. It certainly isn't GM that is doing any of the saving here.

Now that SAAB is free of it's GM shackles, they might be able to fund development of good cars again.

Whilst I'd love to see Saab survive and prosper
By 306maxi on 1/27/2010 11:37:58 AM , Rating: 2
You've got to wonder....

Spyker sold 43 cars in 2008 when it posted a loss of $35m (£21m). Its first offer to GM for Saab was rejected.

Six-year-old Spyker, which sold another 23 cars in the first half of 2009, has yet to make a profit.

.... what the deal is?

RE: Whilst I'd love to see Saab survive and prosper
By R6Raven on 1/27/2010 11:40:57 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, so we've got a Dutch company that's not currently profitable purchasing a GM brand that has only once been deemed profitable, and combining them. Is the corporate equivalent of killing two birds with one stone?

By Mitch101 on 1/27/2010 12:44:00 PM , Rating: 3
If they just kept making/selling parts for the existing SAAB's they could probably make a few bucks. Plus newer SAAB's dont look like the profile of a bottle nose dolphin.

By BikeDude on 1/27/2010 2:53:46 PM , Rating: 3
First of all... If you base your knowledge of the Saab-Spyker deal on news stories like the one we're commenting on now, then you're severly missing several crucial pieces of information.

What the reporter is not telling you:
* Saab was an integrated part of GM.
* The accounting books are complex.
* Profits from the sale of Saabs in the US went directly to GM NA. Result: Saab (on paper) made a loss for every vehicle sold (they produced the product, but never saw the money from the sale).
* GM parts are expensive. Saab's people could not help but notice that parts jumped significantly in price over a very short period of time. (80% overpriced has been mentioned)

Sources (use google translate):

Also worth noting: It was the old 9-5 that was sold off to China. And that deal was initiated by Koenigsegg as part of their bid for Saab. At that point they had already stopped producing the 9-5 sedan, because Saab were tooling up for the production of the all new 2010 9-5. I.e. a win-win deal for everybody involved.

By BZDTemp on 1/27/2010 12:03:37 PM , Rating: 1
Could be they just think long term. Building a luxury car brand, or rebuilding as is the case here, takes a really long time so the yearly loss could be seen as an investment.

And as for buying SAAB. Both companies have a history going back to airplanes and both companies like to do things differently. It is hard to tell for sure but comparing the price payed for SAAB with the value of a skilled work force, a good name, a lot of hardware... it could be Spyker has done a very good deal. I for one do not see it as impossible SAAB will do much better now it is no longer i GM chains.

Oh? Odd title
By ClownPuncher on 1/27/2010 11:42:47 AM , Rating: 5
"finely be at an end"?

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