Saab has reached a dead end

Posted on Tuesday, 1 December 2009 , 13:12:58 byEmil

Filed under dead-enddeadendsaabSaabKoenigseggGM

Saab has reached a dead end

As we previously told you, the situation at Saab seems to be extremely grim. After Koenigsegg, the famous Swedish super car maker, which was backed by BAIC (Beijing Automotive Industry Corporation), pullet out of a deal to acquire Saab, the Swedish automaker currently owned by General Motors, it looks like a dead end has been reached. The decision of Koenigsegg and BAIC to pull out came only one week before the deadline that was settled with General Motors. The Swedish government is still hopeful that a new buyer might be found to save Saab, but the future of the automaker looks very dim. This scenario is very similar to the Saturn – Penske deal, which fell through after Penske decided to pull out of the deal. The result of Penske retiring was that Saturn disappeared into thin air, as no other interested buyer appeared.

Maud Olofsson, Swedish Enterprise Minister, has declared that ``For every day that passes the challenge gets bigger and bigger``. Some rumors claim that the General Motors board will decide the future of Saab at its monthly meeting on December 1st and that the automaker does not expect any other bidders to emerge and that a shutdown is imminent. Tom Stallkamp, industrial partner at buyout firm Ripplewood Holdings LLC, which took part in an unsuccessful bid for GM`s Opel division, has stated that ``They should just get rid of it``. He continued by saying that `` Saab really doesn`t matter in terms of technology, and there is no synergy like there was with Opel``. If General Motors would restart the sales process of Saab, it would be extremely difficult to find a willing buyer to complete the deal in a short time frame while if it took longer, the North American automaker would have to continue to fund Saab and that does not seem to be a viable option for GM at the time. Unfortunately, this is the harsh reality.

Stephen Pope, Chief Global Strategist for Cantor Fitzgerald in London, has stated that ``That`s it, goodnight, goodbye``. He continued by saying that ``Saab has reached the end of the road, there is nothing left in the tank``. It seems that a lot of people have the same opinion as mister Pope. Other rumors claim that the Chinese companies Geely and BAIC are interested in Saab. Still, this does not seem very likely, as analysts believe that if BAIC actually would decide to show interest, it would be most likely for Saab`s assets and not for the company as a whole. In what concerns Geely, they are already in talks with Ford for another Swedish automaker, Volvo, so it is highly unlikely that they would turn their focus on Saab at this time.

Personally, I hope that a miracle will happen and Saab will be saved. It would be extremely sad to see an automaker like Saab go. Let us be honest, there are a lot of other automaker that make worse quality cars than Saab. Unfortunately for Saab, their marketing team practically did not exist. If Saab would have been better promoted, I am sure that people would have realized that Saab makes very good, more than decent cars. Sad to see you go, Saab. Hope you will be back soon.