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