As Saab closes up its latest chapter, which included bankruptcy and many months or “We’re sold, wait, no we’re not” turmoil, we were left wondering what happened to the 900 (ish) Saabs that got held up at port whenever the failed car company filed for bankruptcy. Well, now that Saab has been liquidated to the point that only the 900 cars remain, we now have an idea what’s going on with them.
According to reports, all 900 cars will be auctioned off to varying companies and exporters. Only 300 of these leftover Saabs will make their way into dealerships and the dealers have the option to either put them up for sale at a 30- to 50-percent discount and sell them or strip them down for parts. Obviously the most profitable game would be to strip them down, but it may take a while to sell off all of the parts. So we may be in for some super-cheap Saabs hitting what remaining Saab dealers there are.
The majority of the leftover Saabs will be auctioned to exporters and rental companies. So, for an American to snag up one of these Saabs he has to either find a dealership close enough that actually wants more stock on its lot or pick one up after the rental car company is done with it – AKA after it has been thrashed to within an inch of its life. Who buys a used rental car anyways?
According to the inventory report, there are 67 company cars, which include a 1960 Quantum IV and a `70 Sonnett III, over 450 9-5s, 400 9-3 sedans, 60 9-3 wagons, 12 9-3 convertibles and 28 9-4X crossovers.
So thus closes another part of the Saab saga. Now we just have to see what NEVS can do with the bankrupt Swedish automaker.
few days ago, we let you know that several sources were reporting that bankrupt Swedish automaker, Saab, was finally sold to Hong Kong-based, Sweden-registered renewable energy company, National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS). This in turn booted Youngman out of the bidding war for the third time, but we had not yet seen any official reports. Well, we now have all something official.
NEVS’ boss, Karl Johan Jiang (interesting mixture of names) announced at a news conference that NEVS indeed won the folded automaker and that NEVS will indeed use the “Saab” name on its cars. NEVS was awarded the Saab factory, its tooling company and the 9-3’s architecture, which is odd, as BAIC purchased the intellectual rights to the 9-3 several months ago. We assume that BAIC got the drivetrain rights and Saab retained the underpinnings and body.
NEVS also let us know that we will not be without a new Saab vehicle on the road for much longer, as NEVS is currently developing an EV car based on the 9-3’s architecture that it was awarded and that car should be released in the next 18 months. Sales will start in China, then eventually move worldwide.
Unfortunately, NEVS’ bid did not include the 9-4x or 9-5 rights, so other than the 9-3, Saab will be starting all over again with brand new models, if it ever gets off of the ground. Given the Saab 9-3’s somewhat sporty nature, we expect to see a higher performance EV made of it. It definitely won’t be a screamer, like the Tesla Model S, but also not as slow as a Nissan Leaf.
There should be loads more information coming down the pike in the next 18 months, and we will update you as often as we can. Until then, congratulations to NEVS and the “Saab” name for making it through this long saga.
We reported just a few days ago that despite twice being bumped out of the bidding war for Saab, Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile, reentered the bidding with a $552 million bid. Apparently, this was still seen as an unsafe bid and the Chinese firm was again stuck with the highest bid, but no car company to show for it.
This time around, it looks as if Saab has finally found itself a home. Sweden-registered and Hong Kong-based firm, National Electric Vehicle Sweden AB, has been awarded the folded automaker and what’s left of its assets, according to a Swedish newspaper. The winning bid is estimated to be between $208 million and $250 million. That is less than half of the last reported bid by Youngman, which really shows that the Chinese firm was either demanding the parts operation, which the NEVS AB deal does not include, or just not seen as a trusted bidder.
The deal is expected to be finalized and pen is expected to hit the “Sign Here” line in about a week, if the reports are accurate. After that, NEVS AB can take complete ownership of what’s left of Saab, which is little more than an S, a pair of As, and a B. We are not aware of NEVS AB’s plans with Saab, but we can say with a lot of certainty that it will involve alternative fuels (i.e. electric, hydrogen, hybrid, etc.)
We have yet to receive official confirmation on the deal, but this looks to be the real deal, FINALLY. We will keep you updated as more information becomes available on the ongoing Saab saga.
The Saab saga continues…
Just a few weeks ago, Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile – no, not that Lotus – was pushed out of the bidding ring for Saab due to what Autoweek called “Chinese bureaucracy” and the fact that there were some worries about the Chinese firm coming up with the scratch needed to finalize the deal.
This allowed a group of Chinese businesses, headed up by an alternative energy firm, to swoop in and take the lead on bidding. It looks as if Youngman isn’t quite ready to throw in the towel just yet, as according to Bloomberg the Chinese firm has just entered in a new bid of 4 billion kronor ($552 million) to purchase the bankrupted Swedish automaker.
The true test here is if this bid is even accepted. Youngman’s first bid was flat out rejected by GM. The second bid went belly up for similar reasons, we can only assume. So what makes Youngman think that this bid will receive a stamp of approval?
Even if Youngman succeeds in purchasing Saab’s remaining assets, what exactly does it plan on doing with the folded automaker? Most signs are pointing to Saab moving toward alternative energy sources to attempt to spearhead that market early on with a recognizable name. That’s all well and good, but the intellectual rights of the 9-3 and 9-5 are owned by BAIC, which leaves the company the rights to just the 9-4X SUV.
This lack of vehicles to base new ones off of means that whoever wins this relatively low-budget bidding war will essentially be building the company from scratch. Fortunately for the winner, the “Saab” name is well known and was once a fairly popular brand.
We will continue following the Saab bidding war and keep you updated as more information becomes available.
Just a few weeks ago, it seemed all but inevitable that Saab would be saved by a massive takeover bid from Chinese mega-company, Youngman but unfortunately, the company recently confirmed that it has pulled out of its multi-billion dollar bid to purchase the flailing brand. However, if the latest reports are to be believed, Saab may not be dead just quite yet.
Little known Swedish firm, National Electric Vehicle Sweden is said to be behind the latest bid to purchase Saab’s remaining assets for an undisclosed amount. But if previous speculation about GM shooting down Youngman’s billion dollar bid for Saab is true, then we can only imagine how much this new deal must be worth.
If NEVS really has struck a deal to purchase Saab, then it’s likely the firm has ambitious plans to turn Saab into an electric automobile producer, to help inject some life into the brand. What’s very interesting about this latest bid is that NEVS is actually owned by none other than Karl-Erling Trogen, the man once behind the operations at Volvo Trucks.
Although all of this sounds very promising, we have serious doubts that NEVS bid will be accepted if previous, unsuccessful attempted acquisitions are anything to go by.
Back in 2009, we reported that little-known Chinese car manufacturer Beijing Automotive Industry Holdings Co. Ltd., which fortunately goes by the acronym BAIC, officially purchased the intellectual rights to the Saab 9-3 and 9-5. It was a rather odd transaction, to say the least, as few people knew what BAIC’s plans were with these rights.
Well, BAIC has officially come forward to let us all know the plan. There are two BAIC cars making their debuts at the Beijing Auto Show, which opens to the press on April 23rd and the general public on the 27th, one of which we know is based on the Saab 9-3.
The Saab 9-3-based model is dubbed the C70, but that is about where our knowledge stops, as BAIC has kept a pretty tight lid on the happenings on at their office. We can speculate that the C70 will feature a Saab engine, likely the 210-horsepower 2.0-liter used in the final 9-3.
The larger BAIC C80K is the most likely home for the high-output Saab V-6 from the defunct 9-5. This model has a little more info available, as BAIC teased us with a few images of the upcoming vehicle. From what we can tell from its outside, this vehicle appears to be designed to compete with the likes of BMW, Mercedes, and maybe even Bentley, but that 3.0-liter V-6 wouldn’t hold a candle to those makes. This makes it a possibility that the C80K’s engine is an in-house build.
Really cool, yet potentially dangerous, features on the C80K are the B-pillar-less suicide doors. This looks really cool, by giving one wide open entry with both doors open, but could potentially weaken the structural integrity significantly. We also know that the C80k will measure in at 205 inches long and 75 inches wide.
That’s about all we know right now about these new BAIC models, except that they will only be available in China. We will pass along more details as they come along.
We knew something was going on when a Swedish newspaper reported that Volvo was looking into purchasing Saab from Spyker, but the deal didn’t exactly go down like they had stated. Volvo won’t be purchasing the Swedish automaker, but as of June 15, 2011, the Spyker/Saab pair will now be known as Swedish Automobile N.V. (SWAN) after both companies were purchased by the Chinese Pang Da Automobile (Pang Da). Pang Da gave Spyker new life by filling its veins with a €65 million investment for a 24 percent stake in the company.
In a previous statement, Victor Muller, CEO Spyker Cars and Saab Automobile, said: "Based on our discussions with Pang Da we are confident about the possibility of Pang Da obtain regulatory approvals necessary to formalize the transaction. I am very eager to create a solid company with Pang Da, first in the distribution and subsequently in the manufacture of Saab cars in China. It must be stressed that the prepayment Pang Da and sales of Saab cars imported are not subject to approval by the NDRC. The first advance of 30 million has been received by Saab on Tuesday."
Volvo and Saab have long since been rivals in the automotive industry. Recent years have seen a decline in this competition, but the two still share much in common. After General Motors was finished running Saab into the ground by making re-branded Chevrolets with their nameplate, it was sold off. One of the most unique companies in the world, Spyker, bought Saab and has been running it since 2010.
Earlier today a Swedish newspaper has reported that Volvo in conjunction with the Swedish government were in talks about buying Saab. Volvo spokesman Per-Ake Froberg said, “No such talks have been going on and no such talks are scheduled.” The idea of this merger is rather interesting and has several implications on capital markets.
The De Telegraaf newspaper mentions that the Swedish government would like Volvo to take over Saab because that would mean a greater chance that a loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB) granted to Saab, which was guaranteed by Sweden, would be repaid. This type of acquisition would also help Saab deal with its cash problem. Spyker had its 2010 sales fall below forecasts and has therefore struggled to pay suppliers. Sweden has also come to the rescue here by approving financing to help get production on the move once more.
The Swedish government is not the only player in this transaction seeing as China is essentially the owner of Volvo. Geely Automotive Holdings took over the Volvo brand after its sale from Ford. This acquisition was the largest of any automaker by China. You may also remember the acquisition of the Hummer brand, but that paled in comparison to this. The Saab CEO, Victor Muller, has said, “the Swedish carmaker is negotiating with a wide range of Chinese car makers about a tie up.” It will be interesting to see how this situation plays out and whether these two monikers can rise from the ashes of their U.S. ownership and become profitable once again.
Saab and BMW are continuing their "I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine" partnership on the next 9-2 supermini due out in 2012 by announcing that they will also be borrowing BMW’s latest front-drive platform. This news comes shortly after the two companies announced that the new 9-2 would be powered by a BMW sourced engine allowing BMW to reduce costs on their ever popular Mini which carries this same engine.
The sharing doesn’t end there either as Saab boss Victor Muller said that the next 9-2 might share technologies with the future 9-3: "We’re in constant dialogue with a number of players to share the [9-3] technology," he said. "There are parties that are interested in talking about possible licensing of the technology."
Expect the new Saab 9-2 to be unveiled sometime in 2012 and to be powered by a modified 1.6-liter turbocharged engine. The new model will compete with models like the Audi A1.
Spyker, the company that purchased Saab from General Motors, has released an official statement confirming talks with BMW about component sharing. These talks, which we heard about back in June, were originally thought to benefit the new 9-2 first, but it seems the larger 9-3 will get the first taste of BMW’s goodies.
An all-new BMW-sourced motor that will produce around 220 horsepower, according to Bloomberg, could power the new 9-3 schedule to be released by 2012. The report also stated that a BMW engine might find its way into the 9-5.
Though the 9-3 will be the first to receive the BMW treatment, we shouldn’t rule out the 9-2. Saab hopes to launch the teardrop shaped car by 2014 if it can find a partner. The Mini Countryman’s underpinnings might be used on the 9-2, as well as some small displacement motors from BMW.
Check out Spyker’s brief statement after the jump.
So it looks like the Saab 9-4X Crossover – yep, that very same vehicle that we’ve been waiting a long time for – is finally ready to for its time in the spotlight. And, according to event organizers of the 2010 LA Auto Show, that time will take place later this year at their event.
If you’re having a little difficulty placing where you last saw this vehicle, it was actually a little over two years ago at the 2008 Detroit Auto Show where it was presented in a slightly different tag as the 9-4X BioPower Concept.
At that time, Saab was still owned by General Motors and the concept that was shown in 2008 carried the same powertrain with that of the Cadillac SRX. Now that Saab is under the Spyker brand, there’s no telling what kind of powertrain will be available for the production version of the 9-4X Crossover. The good news is that we won’t have to wait past the LA Auto Show to get the scoop on Saab’s new crossover.
Looks like MINI won’t be the only brand that’s returning to the World Rally Championship.
Reports are coming out that the reinvigorated Swedish brand, Saab, is also set to make its return to the most prestigious rally racing series in the world, which, if everything pushes through, could happen in the 2012 season.
Saab has been absent from the rally scene since 1979 and the brand’s return to the WRC could be in-line to the recent revival the automaker is enjoying under its new ownership.
Details are still sketchy at best, but there appears to be mutual interest from both Spyker - that’s Saab’s new owner, if you’ve been living under a rock for the past few months – and officials from the WRC for Saab to make its rally comeback. Given the brand’s rich history in rally racing, we’re going to be surprised if their return to the WRC doesn’t happen.
In the event that Saab does come back to rallying, it is expected that the brand will be fielding a modified 1.6-liter turbocharged Saab 9-2, which, interestingly, will also be the same platform that the MINI Countryman will be using when it makes its own return to the world of rally racing.
It’s been an interesting year for Saab and now things just keep getting better. AutoExpress is reporting that BMW and Saab are linking up to work on the new Audi A1 rivaling 9-2.
Auto Express spoke with new boss Victor Muller at the recent Saab Festival in Trollhattan. “We could build the 9-2 on our own, but that wouldn’t make sense,” he said. “Thanks to the crisis in the industry, everyone is willing to share everything. So Spyker couldn’t have bought Saab at a better time.”
Saab will look to take advantage of BMW’s joint project with PSA Peugeot Citroen. The group will work on a front-wheel drive chassis that will be on the new Mini. Front-wheel drive is in the company’s history, so it seems like a smart buy for Saab.
For BMW, this also seems like a smart move. Gaining partnerships will help reduce the cost of the new Mini and it shouldn’t hurt sales given the Mini’s reputation. Yet, we haven’t heard anything from either company, so we will have to wait and see.
Spyker’s purchase of Saab is finally complete after the Dutch supercar maker announced that the company has completely paid General Motors for every penny, nickel, and dime left in the purchase.
With the last payment on the 15th of July, Spyker opted to pay GM the remaining $24 million it owed ahead of schedule, officially finishing the deal that saw the General turn over Saab to Spyker earlier in the year. Even more impressive is the fact that Spyker didn’t have to take on any loans or add to its debt to make the payment, opting to use funds that came from the company’s internal sources.
Now that Saab is officially the property of Spyker, the latter has become extra aggressive in building the Saab brand back up to respectability, a stark contrast from where it stood a year ago when it was on the verge of shutting down permanently. The latest we heard was that Spyker is looking into ramping up and expanding Saab’s dealership networks in the US and in doing so, would also open the doors for its own line of Spyker supercars, which the company is also looking into ramping up as well, to join the fold.
We gotta say, we thought Saab had one foot in its grave before Spyker swooped in from the Netherlands to save the beleaguered Swedish brand. Now it looks like the brand is on the rebound to become a player in the auto industry once again.
Press Release after the jump
If the reports linking car designer extraordinaire Jason Castriota to Saab pushes through, then you gotta give up for the auto manufacturer; they scored a big coup on this one.
Castriota, the brilliant car designer who licked his chops and fine-tuned his skills while working for some of the most legendary automotive design houses in the world in the form of Stile Bertone and Pininfarina, has been responsible for some of the most out-of-this-world designs we’ve ever seen, including the Bertone Mantide and the Ferrari P4/5. Now, Castriota is embarking on yet another challenge as he begins his tenure as the head designer for Saab.
As his first assignment, Castriota will be tasked to come up with a new design for what is expected to be the next-generation Saab 9-3, a model that the Swedish brand is looking to integrate into a higher market segment where it would compete with a number of market mainstays including the Audi A4 and the BMW 3-Series.
Continued after the jump
An unnamed source has reported to Reuters that the Saab chairman has been in talks with BMW to use its engines and transmission in a new version of the 9-2.
Victor Muller, the chairman of Spyker and Saab, has said he is deep in talks with potential partners about a 9-2 platform. They hope to have a tear-drop-shaped model, similar to the 9-2 of the 1950’s.
Dagens Industri reported on Friday that BMW had plans to provide diesel motors for the Saab 9-4X city jeep that will debut in Europe at the start of 2011.
The two companies have made contact over the possibility of a partnership on the 9-2, which could be built on the MINI platform, the newspaper reported. There is a meeting scheduled for the end of June.
Spyker and BMW both declined to comment to Reuters.
"We are in talks with several interested parties who have interest in our technology," a BMW spokesman said to Reuters. "There are no contracts with Saab at the moment."
Saab said that they were looking for “possible partners”, but they too declined to comment on the issue.
"We are concentrating on the 9-5 and the 9-4X," Eric Geers said. "A smaller Saab below the 9-3 is not in our business plan though it would be on our wish list."
Earlier this year Saab was saved from General Motors when Spyker took the reigns for $400 million.
Many have thought that Spyker’s purchase of Saab was done solely for the purpose of saving the beleaguered Swedish brand from getting its head chopped off. Turns out, there’s more to this than meets the eye.
According to Bloomberg, Spyker may be looking at the prospect of increasing, possibly even doubling, their dealerships all over the world by using Saab’s vast network to channel those rare Spyker machines to a bigger market. That’s great news for us, especially since Spyker has never been known as a high-volume manufacturer.
Currently, Spyker has 35 dealerships all over the world while only producing roughly the same amount, maybe a little higher, of Spyker cars in a year. Now that they have new networks to explore, Spyker is toying with the idea of not only increasing their dealerships to about 60 on the planet, but also ramping up more units to sell as a result of the increased options available to them.
Even though its far from a confirmed report, we’ll be the first to tell you that we can never have enough of those C8 Ailerons prowling the streets of the world.
Remember that cute little Saab 92 that littered the streets back in the 1950s? Well, if Victor Muller gets his wish, we might be seeing more of them in the near future.
According to a telephone interview done by Bloomberg, the Saab CEO is pushing for a revival of one of the brand’s most iconic cars and is doing his part in talking with a number of different automakers in negotiating to share technology and develop a new platform for the modern day 92.
Despite confirming their plans for a 92 revival, Muller is keeping mum on who the brand has been negotiating with, saying only that "discussions are already ongoing". And in the event that everything pushes through, Saab’s "old-new" car should come back for quite a revival in the next two to three years as it gears up for a full-scale war with MINI, the Audi A1 and the Fiat 500.
Spyker’s purchase of Saab certainly came with its fair share of risks and the Swedish supercar maker is optimistic that the short-term risks would eventually yield to long-term gains.
Now that Saab is in the fold, Spyker aims to increase their production total from about 50 cars per year under their own brand to somewhere in the thousands range through the Saab brand they purchased from General Motors. As it stands, Saab is being kept afloat through loans from the European Investment Board and funds it received from selling some of its assets to Beijing Automotive Works.
In the long run, Spyker is pegging a number of 80,000 to 85,000 vehicles sold annually for the next few years so that it can dig itself out of the proverbial red ink hole it’s currently in. According to Saab CEO Jan Ake Jonsson, the brand is confident that it could reach those figures sometime in the next few years - possibly as early as the latter part of 2011 - and eventually, reach somewhere around 125,000 units sold annually thereafter.
That’s their version of a light at the end of the tunnel.
Imagine the dread felt by Saab fans when their favorite car brand came this close to being shut down. "What?! No more Saab Festival?!"
That came very close to happening, too. Fortunately, Spyker came to the rescue, saving Saab from fading into obscurity by taking the Swedish brand off of the hands of General Motors.. Now that Saab is alive and well, the 2010 Saab Festival is likewise healthy and ready to blast-off.
For the first time since switching parent companies, Saab will be hosting the 2010 Saab Festival at the brand’s stomping grounds in Trollhättan, Sweden, from July 15 to 18, 2010. Among the scheduled events expected to take place in the four-day affair is the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Saab 96, including the three RAC Rally triumphs it enjoyed during its peak in the 60’s. In addition to giving Saab fans a chance to take a trip down memory lane, Saab will also afford them the opportunity to catch glimpses of the future of Saab, including the all-new 9-5 sedan, which is expected to be one of the event’s highlight displays.
According to Jan Åke Jonsson, CEO of Saab Automobile, this year’s event is especially important given that the brand is starting with a clean slate under a new parent company. "Many Saab fans around the world demonstrated great support for Saab during the sale negotiations and we are delighted to take this opportunity of showing our appreciation," he said.
If you’re a Saab fan, we suggest you mark your calendars and should time and money permit, hop on a plane to Sweden to enjoy the festivities with your brethren. It should be a lot of fun.
Press Release after the jump
It seems like it was only yesterday when General Motors had little interest in keeping Saab on its roster resulting in the Swedish brand being primed to get the proverbial ax of the guillotine.
But thanks to a last-ditch effort by Spyker, Saab lived to see another day.
And that another day has finally come after the first Saab cars produced under Spyker finally rolled out of the Trollhättan production facility.
Saab Automobile CEO Jan Jonsson was present at the plant with his Spyker counterpart, CEO Victor Mullen and plant director Gunnar Brunius to welcome the first Saab to roll off of production – a new 9-5 sedan, which was then followed by a 9-3 Convertible.
Continued after the jump.
Saab cars will have a new home in Royal Oak, MI thanks, in large part, to the State of Michigan Economic Development Council and the City of Royal Oak. The two worked together to establish a $1.4 million tax credit over five years. The project was established in order to convince Saab to keep its headquarters in Michigan. Saab plans to move 60 current positions to their new location and will altogether create or retain 2000 jobs in North America.
"This is tremendous news for Oakland County. While the county continues to transform into a knowledge-based economy through my Emerging Sectors, Medical Main Street and Automation Alley initiatives, the automobile industry still employs a large segment of our workforce. This affirms that we remain the global center of the auto industry. Credit is due to the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, my Economic Development Department and Royal Oak," said L. Brooks Patterson, Oakland County Executive.