It’s too bad that SAAB went under. The Swedish automaker still had a couple of aces in its sleeve before it went bankrupt. Back in 2011, a year after gaining independence from GM, Saab unveiled an amazing concept at the Geneva Motor Show. The vehicle was called “The PhoeniX” and it should have represented Saab’s rising from the ashes.
Designed by Jason Castriota, the PhoeniX showcased Saab’s Aeromotional design language which incorporated aircraft-inspired styling elements. A few of its awesome features included butterfly doors, winglets, a twin-ripple hood, LED ‘ice-block’ headlights, and a distinctive front fascia which was expected to make its way onto Saab’s production models.
There were way too few pictures of the interior and from the looks of it, it had a minimalist design with a 2+2 seating arrangement and an afterburner-inspired instrument cluster. The vehicle also packed an interesting Android-based IQon infotainment system that could even download third-party apps via the internet.
Under the bonnet, Saab mounted a turbocharged 1.6-liter petrol engine that was said to have been able to generate 197 HP – 147 kW and 250 Nm (185 lb-ft) of torque. It was connected to a rear axle electric motor (dubbed eXWD) which developed an extra 34 HP – 25 kW and could also give the ride an all-wheel drive system. The vehicle was rumored to be able to run the 0 to 100 Km/h sprint in 5.9 seconds and reach an electronically limited top speed of 250 km/h (155 mph). Last but not least, Saab mentioned that the PhoeniX could do all that whilst having a combined fuel consumption of 5.0L/100 km (56.5 mpg img / 47 mpg US) and CO2 emissions of 119 g/km. It’s a shame the vehicle never made it though.
Source: Saab via WCF
A new era started for Saab today with the Swedish automaker officially restarting production at the company’s Troollhattan plant. The first Saab to roll off the production line today was an all new Saab 9-5 saloon which will go into a couple of tests ahead of it’s official launch later this year. Saab will also start producing a 9-3 Convertible that will join the 9-5 saloon in the testing fleet.
During the talks between General Motors and Spyker Cars the factory from Trollhattan was on hold for about two months. Saab Automobile CEO Jan Ake Jonsson and Spker Cars CEO Victor Muller marked this significant occasion by taking position on the production line alongside assembly workers as the production restarted.
Victor Muller declared that the all new 9-5 is a fitting symbol that a new era has begun for Saab while Jan Ake Jonsson said that today’s resumption of production is a milestone in the history of the Swedish automaker.
General Motors and Spyker confirmed today the details of an agreement over the transfer of ownership of Saab Automobile. The transaction is expected to close in February and Saab will exit the wind down process started by GM in line with that timetable.
Spyker will acquire all the issued and outstanding ordinary shares in the capital of Saab for $74 million. This purchase price will be paid in two instalments, the first one of $50 million that will be paid on the date when the deal is finalized on or before February 15 and the second payment of $24 million on July 15, 2010.
The deal between GM and Spyker for Saab is also subject to the execution of 400 million Euros loan agreement between Saab and the European Investment Bank that is guaranteed by the Swedish Government. After this transaction is completed GM will retain redeemable preference shares of $326 million which represent less than 1% of the voting rights in the capital of Saab.
Spyker also intends to negotiate the acquisition of all the outstanding shares in Saab Great Britain Limited, the UK distribution, marketing and sales company for Saab from GM UK Limited.
The Dutch supercar maker will convene a general meeting of shareholders as soon as possible to approve the transaction and they obtained irrevocable voting undertakings to vote in favor of the transaction representing the voting majority of the current shareholders.
In addition to this transaction, Spyker might also change their name from Spyker Cars N.V. to Saab Spyker Automobiles N.V. at the general meeting of shareholders.
[Source: Spyker/General Motors]
A lot of recent press reports suggest that a deal between GM and Spyker over the sale of Saab might be finalized during this week. If these reports are true, this deal would save the Swedish brand and will probably secure a lot of the company’s 3,400 employees.
An agreement between General Motors and Spyker might be announced as soon as today according to Financial Times even though news outlets believe the deal is far from being finalized. Bloomberg News believes that Spyker will acquire Saab for $500 million in cash and preferred stock in Saab.
These $500 million will be made up $75 million in cash from Spyker, $100 million in Cash from Saab’s coffers and $325 million in stock. At 9:00 am GMT shares in Spyker Cars were up nearly 30% on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange.
General Motors announced today that the intended sale of Saab Automobile AB failed and that they will start winding down Saab operations. Last month Saab was close to be bought by the Swedish supercar maker Koenigsegg Group AB and after this deal failed, GM started to negotiate with Spyker Cars.
During the discussions certain issues arose that both parties could not be resolved and the sale would not be concluded. GM are going to work closely with Saab organization to wind down the business in an orderly and responsible manner and the Swedish automaker will continue to honor its warranties and will provide service and spare parts to the current Saab owners.
General Motors was trying to find a buyer for Saab since January 2009 and last week they have closed a deal to sell certain Saab 9-3, current Saab 9-5 and powertrain technology and trooling to the Beijing Automotive Industry Holdings Company (BAIC).
[Source: General Motors]
After Swedish super car maker Koenigsegg has pulled out of Saab purchase a couple of days ago, the company’s future was a bit uncertain but it seems there are other companies interested in buying Saab. Two new bidders emerged these days according to reports coming out of Sweden. BAIC (China’s Beijing Automotive) and Wyoming-based merchant bank Merbanco are interested in buying the Swedish automaker.
Both companies were among the original bidders for Saab even before GM decided to start negotiations with Koeniggesgg. Beijing Automotive was even a small partner in Koenigsegg’s bid and they hoped to start the production of the 2010 Saab 9-5 in China.
Saab’s future is not even close to be solved and negotiations with new potential buyers will probably last for months from now on but one thing we know for sure: the brand will probably survive. Until Saab is bought by another company they are surviving on loans from the Swedish government and European Investment Bank of about $3.23 billion.
A week ago the deal between Swedish super car maker Koenigsegg and General Motors for Saab was almost finalized but today Koenigsegg has pulled out of negotiations. They backed out of Saab purchase and the Swedish automaker’s future is very much in doubt at the moment. It is unclear what will happen to Saab now but GM announced they will take the next days to assess the situation and will advise on the next steps next week.
Fritz Henderson, the current CEO and president from GM said that the company is very disappointed with Koenigsegg’s decision to pull out of the Saab purchase. Even though Saab’s future isn’t too clear at the moment, the brand’s fans have some reasons to hope for its best since General Motors had a different approach when they announced this deal is off.
When Saturn’s sale was canceled GM announced that they would begin winding down the brand but with Saab they probably have better plans. There were other serious bidders interested in purchasing the Swedish automaker previous to Koenigsegg and if they’re still interested, new negotiations might start for this brand.
We hope Saab will survive as a brand because their latest projects were pretty impressive.
Koenigsegg, the Swedish sportscar maker who will recently become the new owner of Saab will reject 81 Saab US dealerships, leaving just 137 of the current 218 dealerships. General Motors already sent out letters to the rejected dealers through FedEx last Wednesday.
Koenigsegg selected their Saab dealerships based on the business plan and the needs of that plan. Also, they made this decision after considering the each store’s profit, throughput and location. Mike Colleran, the COO of Saab Cars North America in Detroit announced that they are probably going to finish the sale of Saab in two weeks in November 30, but it might also take until the end of 2009.
We don’t know yet what’s going to happen with Saab, but the good thing is that they keep working at new interesting concepts that seem pretty great. General Motors unveiled today the new 2010 Saab 95 which be displayed at next month’s Frankfurt Auto Show.
The new Saab 95 will be equipped with two engine types: a 2.0L gasoline engine that could develop 220 HP and a 2.8 V6 turbo engine that offers 300 HP and a torque of 400 Nm. The car will be available with the XWD all wheel drive system and after its launch the company is going to add two more engines options for this car: a 1.6L gasoline turbo engine with 180 HP and a 2.0L BioPower E85 capable engine.
The car’s pricing details weren’t announced yet but the company says it’s going to be available in three trim levels: Linear, Vector and Aero. We’ll get more details at the Frankfurt Auto Show.
[Source: Saab Press Release]
Things are going from bad to worse for Saab. New reports indicate that the Swedish tax authorities have shut down Saab until the company will pay back unpaid customs duties. Saab used a lot of parts from suppliers or from General Motors plants outside the European Union and authorities from Sweden halted all parts shipment. Without any supplies the company has been forced to stop production.
Gunnar Brunius, Saab‘s production manager, hoped to solve this situation by this evening but those unpaid duties are just a sign of the cash flow problems at parent company General Motors. Customs officials haven’t disclosed how much money Saab has to give but they said that the amount is considerable.
A couple of days ago Saab filed for bankrupcy protection in Sweden and if General Motors can’t help the company to pay it’s debts Saab will have to find another benefactor. The Swedish government already rejected a bailout last week so things aren’t too great for Saab from now on.