The End of SAAB

joepunk

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Aug 5, 2004
2,557
13
a profane existence
http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2009/dec/18/gm-shuts-saab

Swedish carmaker Saab is to be shut down by General Motors after the collapse of a last-ditch attempt to sell it to Dutch sports car manufacturer Spyker.
GM announced today that with "regret" it was starting an orderly wind-down of 62-year-old Saab's operations. The marque, which grew out of an aircraft manufacturer shortly after the war, employs 3,400 people in Sweden and sold 93,000 cars in 2008, but has struggled to turn a profit.
 

steve2112

macrumors 68040
Feb 20, 2009
3,023
6
East of Lyra, Northwest of Pegasus
Koeniggsegg backed out of the deal, so GM then tried to make a deal with Spyker. It seems that one fell through, as well. There was some talk of selling Saab to the same Chinese firm that bought Hummer, but nothing came of that.

A similar thing happened with Saturn. Penske was going to buy them, but couldn't secure a manufacturing source for the future, and the deal fell through.
 

SkippyThorson

macrumors 68000
Jul 22, 2007
1,513
498
Utica, NY
Damn it GM!!! :mad:

I don't believe they didn't pursue Penske after he opted out of the Saturn deal, but now GM is just letting this sale go too? These were 2 of the best brands out there. Saabs are consistently hitting the 200,000 mile mark with the best of the Audis and Volvos, and Saturn up until 2002 made great and reliable cars that developed as much of a cult as Subaru drivers.

It's a shame. These were both great brands. Only GM could take on so many good names and then not know what to do with them when things got tough. There's a reason Ford doesn't do that... :( Ugh.
 

21stcenturykid

macrumors 6502
May 6, 2006
266
0
Newcastle UK
My dad looked really unhappy when he heard this news. He loves his Saab and wants another when this one this one gets passed it. I'd love one myself, some of the nicest cars i've ever driven. BIG shame.
 

xIGmanIx

macrumors 6502a
Dec 21, 2008
839
0
its a wonder how the traditionally not esthetically pleasing vehicles like saab and volvo but placed a premium on safety are not more profitable.

My dad looked really unhappy when he heard this news. He loves his Saab and wants another when this one this one gets passed it. I'd love one myself, some of the nicest cars i've ever driven. BIG shame.
 

mkrishnan

Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
29,641
12
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
It's a shame. These were both great brands. Only GM could take on so many good names and then not know what to do with them when things got tough. There's a reason Ford doesn't do that... :( Ugh.
Honestly, Ford kind of did... I mean, I think they infused a lot of great technology into Jag (I personally think the Ford era cars are among their prettiest, too) and Volvo, and perhaps into Aston (less sure about Rover), but from a business standpoint... I think Volvo will land on its feet, but I would watch really keenly to see what, if anything, Tata can do with Jag.

Anyway, I don't think GM ever had a plan for Saab. Penske is a pretty good businessman, but I'm not sure he could've gotten Saab into a good place.

Sometimes things just come to an end, and it's no use blaming anyone. If the people at Saab had more business acumen to begin with, they would not have gotten them into the series of situations that ultimately led to their partnership with GM and to this.
 

jbernie

macrumors 6502a
Nov 25, 2005
927
11
Denver, CO
Have an 06 9-3 Aero, great fun to drive, will miss Saab.

While very disappointed that it is being wound down, I am not too shocked too hear it. While the economies of the world were good it was easier to deal with a brand that just wasn't making any money, if the GFC was just a generic recession it wouldn't have been so bad, but the GFC have forced a lot brands (in general and not just auto) to be closed down.
 

carlgo

macrumors 68000
Dec 29, 2006
1,804
17
Monterey CA
At one time Saab offered a unique product, a front-drive car of modest proportions that was touted as being especially safe. Now there are countless other cars that have the same basic layout and attributes.

Saab offered a bit of off-beat, non-conventional style and cachet, but there weren't enough compelling reasons for that many people to buy one, and the dealers were far and few between.
 

quagmire

macrumors 603
Apr 19, 2004
6,256
1,062
For those who still want a Saab, just go to China and buy a Pre-2008 Saab 9-3 and well current generation 9-5( since the new 9-5 is DOA) since BIC bought the tooling for those vehicles.
 

jonnytruant

macrumors member
May 15, 2008
53
0
West Chester, PA
we should make a post your saab remembrance picture thread...:(

Here is my 1994 commemorative edition classic 900 turbo. Handmade, one of the 500 made, before good ol' GM ruined everything. :D



 

steve2112

macrumors 68040
Feb 20, 2009
3,023
6
East of Lyra, Northwest of Pegasus
Honestly, Ford kind of did... I mean, I think they infused a lot of great technology into Jag (I personally think the Ford era cars are among their prettiest, too) and Volvo, and perhaps into Aston (less sure about Rover), but from a business standpoint... I think Volvo will land on its feet, but I would watch really keenly to see what, if anything, Tata can do with Jag.

Anyway, I don't think GM ever had a plan for Saab. Penske is a pretty good businessman, but I'm not sure he could've gotten Saab into a good place.

Sometimes things just come to an end, and it's no use blaming anyone. If the people at Saab had more business acumen to begin with, they would not have gotten them into the series of situations that ultimately led to their partnership with GM and to this.
Ford did wonders in improving Jag's reliability and image. The problem was they didn't devote the needed resources to developing new vehicles. Also, they tried platform sharing with the X Type and it failed badly. Nobody wanted a more expensive Mondeo. If Tata can keep up the reliability, they will do fine. The new XJ and XF are beautiful machines. It took a lot of guts to go away from the retro designs, but they did a great job.

Penske was never in the running for Saab. He was trying to buy Saturn only, but could not find a partner to produce vehicles for him. Penske tried to make a deal with Nissan to sell rebadged Altimas, but Nissan backed out. Anyway, you are right about Saab. GM never really had a plan for them. GM and Saab before the buyout were in a tough situation. Saab had small, but very loyal following (much like Subaru). They problem was that it was small, and it was tough to increase the fanbase and profitability. How do you make your cars more appealing to the mainstream without driving off that loyal fan base? In the end, Saab was basically selling rebadged Opels and other GM vehicles. (9-7, anyone? A rebadged Trailblazer) There was nothing to make Saab stand out. They had lost their quirky nature, yet couldn't really compete in the luxury/sport sedan market against the likes of BMW, Audi, etc.

Many of the smaller car companies are in the same boat. Someone joked about Subaru, but they have the same problem. For years, they were a quirky brand with a small and loyal following. For the past few years, they have been trying to go more mainstream, with some success. Check out the new Outback and Legacy. They blend into the car landscape very well. One of my favorite brands, Mazda has the same problem. In the early-mid 90s, they decided to go away from their rep as a sporty car brand to compete with Honda and Toyota, with terrible results. They regained their focus with the 6, 3, and others, but now seem to be losing their way again. The new 6 went from a very good sport sedan to an attempted Accord/Camry clone, gaining a lot of size and weight in the process. As a side note, whoever designed that new Mazda grill should be fired. Yuck.
 

mkrishnan

Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
29,641
12
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
Sounds like you and I like most of the same things in cars. :p I wouldn't replace my current 6 with the new one either. Way too big for my taste. Although I'd like to see Mazda and Subaru both get some high fuel efficiency cars on the road.

Hmmm, yes, a plan for Saab... maybe we should give the company to the Cylons? I hear they have a plan. :D
 

steve2112

macrumors 68040
Feb 20, 2009
3,023
6
East of Lyra, Northwest of Pegasus
Sounds like you and I like most of the same things in cars. :p I wouldn't replace my current 6 with the new one either. Way too big for my taste. Although I'd like to see Mazda and Subaru both get some high fuel efficiency cars on the road.

Hmmm, yes, a plan for Saab... maybe we should give the company to the Cylons? I hear they have a plan. :D
That has been my gripe with my Mazdas. The Honda Accord V6 was getting 30MPG or so on the highway, while my 6 got mid-20s or so. Even my first Protege got worse mileage than a Civic or Corolla. It was a lot more fun to drive, though. :)

I wanted a 6 the first time I read about it. It took me a long time to find one with the V6 and 5 speed manual. A couple of dealers I talked to didn't even know it was an option. Ironically, I found it used after I had given up and decided to get one with an auto. It had been rolled onto the lot the day before. Too bad some idiot decided to do some free bodywork on it for me. I really miss that car. I downgraded to a 2003 Protege5 due to lowered income at the time, but I still want another 6. I loved that car.

Sorry for the threadjack. :D
 

cjmillsnun

macrumors 68020
Aug 28, 2009
2,399
45
Honestly, Ford kind of did... I mean, I think they infused a lot of great technology into Jag (I personally think the Ford era cars are among their prettiest, too) and Volvo, and perhaps into Aston (less sure about Rover), but from a business standpoint... I think Volvo will land on its feet, but I would watch really keenly to see what, if anything, Tata can do with Jag.

Anyway, I don't think GM ever had a plan for Saab. Penske is a pretty good businessman, but I'm not sure he could've gotten Saab into a good place.

Sometimes things just come to an end, and it's no use blaming anyone. If the people at Saab had more business acumen to begin with, they would not have gotten them into the series of situations that ultimately led to their partnership with GM and to this.
I assume you mean Land-Rover. Rover was split from LR after the BMW sale of 2000 and is now a dead firm unlike LR.
 

Forsaken

macrumors regular
Dec 1, 2009
214
0
noes!
I mean Saturn, sucked when died but they sucked anyway, but Saab, they were freakin' awesome! Why didn't Koeniggsegg buy them? Could've prospered.
 

mkrishnan

Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
29,641
12
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
I assume you mean Land-Rover. Rover was split from LR after the BMW sale of 2000 and is now a dead firm unlike LR.
Sorry... when I worked at Ford, we just referred to it as Rover for short, and most people knew what we were talking about.... But that's probably also since the non Land Rover products are little known in the US. It seems even less inappropriate, of course, now, to do so....
 

quagmire

macrumors 603
Apr 19, 2004
6,256
1,062
noes!
I mean Saturn, sucked when died but they sucked anyway, but Saab, they were freakin' awesome! Why didn't Koeniggsegg buy them? Could've prospered.
Do please explain how Saturn sucked? The first Saturn's were successful until the other GM divisions got jealous then in the middle they did languish and the L-Series and Ion sucked and the S-series withered away. The Vue was successful though. But, their latest lineup were actually good cars( I may be biased I like my Aura :) ).

At least Saturn kept its identity until the latest lineup. Saab lost its identity a long time ago with the Saabaru and the 9-7x.