Fighting Words Over...Saab?

January 14, 2009
Saab logo

Saab logo

As we mentioned yesterday, GM is looking to unload several of its underperforming brands, including Saab. GM's been willing to entertain offers on the Swedish brand for some time, but so far, no takers. (Possible cause: Saab has been profit-free for about the last 20 years. Not a strong selling point.)

Saab fans have been holding out hope that GM might change its mind and pump cash into the struggling brand, but GM honcho Bob Lutz has made things abundantly clear yesterday when he said, "Saab is a luxury that we can no longer afford." Ouch.

The folks in Sweden disagree. In fact, Swedish official Joran Hagglund is in Detroit, meeting with auto execs and telling journos that no, Saab will totally survive the current crisis; it just needs to design cars that people want to buy. (Which makes it sound like that would be a new direction for the company.) Also important in Hagglund's opinion: giving Saab more independence from GM, which would entitle Saab to loans from the Swedish government.

Of course, if Sweden were to buy Saab from GM, the company could have all the independence it wanted.

--Richard Read

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