Call it Saab or Phoenix?


#1

Saab is risen! GM decided to sell Saab to Spyker after all. GM bets $74M up front and $326M in stock. The deal is contingent on a $563M loan from the European Investment Bank. Does this mean I’ll be able to buy a Spyker at my local Saab dealer soon? Hey, just having one in the showroom to drool over might get me in there. I’m hoping for a C12 Zagato. Here’s an article with way more than anyone really wants to know about the transaction:



http://www…f1lCytjqxI


#2

The biggest Saab dealership in my area has been closed for a few months, and I imagine that this may have happened in other areas also, so Spyker may need to revitalize the dealer network–if they know what a dealer network is. After all, Spyker has to be one of the lowest-volume manufacturers in the car industry.

On a side note, right after GM bought Saab, they attempted to strongarm my local Subaru/Saab dealership (a true family-run business where they know every customer by name) into closing their long-established showroom on a secondary state highway, and opening a brand new HUGE showroom on US Rt. 1. This change in location and square footage was necessary in order for them to keep the franchise.

The local dealer essentially told GM to pound salt, since his Saab sales volume was never significant to begin with. With a subsequent decent increase in sales of Subarus, he probably did not lose any money by losing the Saab franchise.

When I was at the dealership recently, I jokingly asked the franchise owner if he regretted turning GM down on their demands. We both had a good laugh.


#3

Good point, I remember before GM Saab dealers were small shops often located where a gas station had gone under, or an old car sales lot where the previous dealer had moved into new bigger, fancier facilities. The early Saab dealers knew their cars, were enthusiast, and cared about serving the few customers they had. Kind of like the old motorcycle dealers, has HD done the same to its dealers as GM did to Saab?


#4

Does that mean we’ll have a better or worse chance of getting the SAABaru models back into production ? SAABs enjoyed their most successful years when they were technology leaders, which they have been no more. A cookie cutter mainstream Camry/Taurus had become more advanced to the point they were subletting vehicles with their logos. Until they rekindle that spirit, it will just be another “look at me, I have a SAAB logo and you don’t” car. Let’s hope they try to compete with BMW and not GM and Ford in their aspirations. SAAB SUVs ?..not. The first things they should do is bring back the Sonnet as a draw, do only AWD, specialize in hybrids/electrics and grow wings.


#5

I really don’t hold out much hope for Saab. Spyker made 43 cars last year and is a true niche player. They have little knowledge of mass merchandising and dealer mangement. In its current form, Saab needs a volume much larger than what they had with GM in order to be profitable. The best they can hope for is to become something like the British Morgan, a low volume car which sells at a relatively high price but has unique qualities.

The current market is saturated with cars like the current Saabs, offering more value for money.


#6

Saab will continue to buy parts from GM for the time being. Spyker is free to negotiate with whomever they choose to develop designs in the future. Why not email them and tell them what you would buy, if only they’d build it?


#7

I were running Saab and was just purchased by Spyker I’d move to drop as much dependance on GM as I could. No more Saab SUVs built by GM for instance. I’d drop all the GM V6 motors from the line up and retool and revert back to the Saab 4 cylinder Turbo and normal aspirated motors until new power plants can be developed. The Saab 4 was better than any V6 GM provided anyway.

Without GM deciding what direction to go perhaps Saab can find its roots and get back to building quality cars that are spacious, fuel efficient, fun, and reliable. GM pushed for high volume cars that “everyman” would like. Well, everyman always thought Saabs were wierd, but some not so everyman folks liked them wierd. Saab needs to build cars they like and let the buyers looking for something unique discover Saab cars again.


#8

I saw a new Spyker tested on the British TV show “Top Gear”. It was a weird car in every sense of the word. It didn’t even have a airbag in the steering wheel.

While it’s possible that Spyker hopes to use SAAB as a path to the U.S. market, they’d have a very long way to go to meet our regulations. I don’t see it as likely in the foreseeable future.


#9

“I were running Saab and was just purchased by Spyker I’d move to drop as much dependance on GM as I could. No more Saab SUVs built by GM for instance. I’d drop all the GM V6 motors from the line up and retool and revert back to the Saab 4 cylinder Turbo and normal aspirated motors until new power plants can be developed. The Saab 4 was better than any V6 GM provided anyway.”

I’m sure they will in time, but can’t now. There aren’t any contracts in place. Look for some meaningful changes in 2012 or maybe 2011. OTOH, the GM V6 is a mighty fine engine. But I doubt that Spyker will keep much of Saab as it is now. If today’s Saab was a winner, it wouldn’t have been sold.