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Saab Taking Its Toys And Going Home, Maybe

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Saab is the red-headed stepchild in GM's family, and the General has been trying to unload it for some time. (Alas, two decades of losing money hasn't endeared the brand to potential buyers.) Then last week, GM's Bob Lutz threw out some very ominous words: "Saab is a luxury that we can no longer afford." Which is exactly the sort of thing Ernst Stavro Blofeld might say before strapping James Bond to a conveyor belt. Not exactly comforting.

Today, however, there's a bit of good news for Saab. GM's Fritz Henderson has confirmed that the company is in serious talks with the Swedish government to put the troubled brand back in the land of meatballs, lutefisk, and '70s erotica. Apparently, the discussions center around moving both production and R&D back to the company's headquarters in Trollhattan.

While GM remains cautious, Sweden is clearly excited by the possible deal, and has prepared a $100 million support package to help launch the new Saab 9-5 model.  And since roughly 75% of Saab's sales are in European markets, the move would seem a no-brainer. It feels a little odd, rooting for a divorce, but, you know, vive la difference.

[Autocar, Autoweek]

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Comments (4)
  1. "A ray of light for SAAB"

    For some reason I have always had a soft spot for SAAB though more the quirky 60's-80's versions not the bastardised Vectra/9-3. For years they have been teasing us with new product plans but nothing other than stupid nose jobs on other people's vehicles (Saabaru and that US SUV thing).
    It's only hope is to stay tied to GM for technology but to managed from home as an outpatient of the Swedish Government. OK it is getting new 9-5 but wrong car. I's like to see a 9-1 to take on mini and the like and a 9-2 to take BMW 1 series and the like. turn it into a kind of swedish Alfa Romeo. I'd also like to see a SAAB version of the next soltice/sky for sale in markets other than US.
    SAAB has been mismanged by GM but GM should look at what Fiat is doing with Chrysler as a model for sub brands like SAAB, give them access to technology such as drive trains and platforms but let them set their own path and direction.
    In the end though Government management usualy means poor management and focus on jobs rather than vehicles but here's hoping.
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  2. "offensive"

    How dare you start your article by using the term "redheaded step child", you inconsiderate prick! If you said something about a black person you be in front of a judge and most likely be fired. Obviously your a second rate journalist. Why don't you go work for one of the tabloids. I bet you fit in real well there.
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  3. "Some people..."

    ...need to lay off the caffeine or learn to use emoticons.
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  4. "Also..."

    Gary: I think you have an imperfect understanding of the term. In common usage, calling someone a "red-headed stepchild" is roughly equivalent to calling her/him a "black sheep" or an outcast. It's particularly apt in this case, because the term has Scandinavian roots and is tied to Viking culture. Just FYI.
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