Saab’s sale to Koenigsegg expected to be finalized soon
Struggling to make ends meet, it looked as if it was only a matter of time before Saab would have crumbled under the mounting debts it had incurred over the past couple of years. Fortunately for them, there’s finally a sliver of light at the end of the tunnel.
On the heels of reports that said that Saab was on the market for anyone willing to take a stab at restoring the company to its glory days, it appears that someone has taken up that challenge. Swedish supercar makers Koenigsigg, together with a group of Norwegian investors, has ironed out a lot of the details involved in the company’s imminent purchase of Saab. While there are still a few kinks left to iron out, it’s becoming more and more apparent that Saab has found new life under the Koenigsigg brand.
Although there are still other bidders still making a push to acquire Saab, according to Saab spokeswoman Gunilla Gustavs, it’s appears that Koenigsigg has the leg up on the others after Koenigsegg promised to infuse new strategies to turn around Saab’s fortunes and return it to the lofty perch it used to have as one of the most admired car manufacturers.
For its part, Saab has its own plan to show its creditors on how it’s aiming to dig their way out of the proverbial hole they’ve fallen into. One of its goals is aiming for positive cashflow by 2011 and it plans on doing so by erasing over 75% of its non-prioritized debt by that time.
Koenigsegg has shown that it has the vision and the confidence to infuse some much-needed life on the Saab brand, including a number of positive introductions it plans to incorporate to Saab as soon as the purchase is finalized. Despite being a company that’s only 50-deep and churns out only a handful of exotic supercars per year, Koenigsegg remains confident that it can bring Saab back to life.
Saab has also received some extra assistance from the Swedish government to the tune of $3.23 billion in loans and loan guarantees giving the company the opportunity to remain in operation despite the mounting losses it has incurred over the past few years. The company – having already lost over $340 million in 2008 – is expecting to lose more than $300 million for 2009.
The funding given to Saab is expected to be used on three new models the company is planning to release in the foreseeable future. With its global sales numbers dropping 25.5% in 2008 and the numbers expected to take another nosedive in 2009, the pressure on the 9-3X, the 9-4X and the 9-5X to make a lasting impression has become that much more crucial.
Of course, it helps that Saab has Koenigsegg in its corner now, and barring any last-minute setbacks, the impending sale could be finalized in a few weeks.
To be honest, it’s a unique partnership that features two brands that couldn’t have been more different from each other. One is an established manufacturer looking to restore some of its glory while the other is a brash and exotic supercar maker determined to prove that their capable of more than what they’ve been given credit for. How this marriage ends is still up in the air but from the looks of things, it seems like it’s a match made in auto heaven.