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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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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.


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