Saab Follows a Long Trail of Dying Car Brands in 2009

December 31, 2009
This has been a tough year on the automotive world. We have seen the loss of Pontiac and Saturn this year and now General Motors has opted to let Saab drive to that junkyard in the sky. After trying to sell the brand since January of this year, it seems that time has just run out.

The demise of Saab has probably been a long time coming. Fans of the brand believe that Saab was stripped of the quirkiness (or is that Swedishness?) when GM took over the brand. GM had all the right intentions; they wanted to sell more cars and sell them in more places. It seemed like a win-win proposition, but the thing that ultimately has lead to the demise of so many of the GM brands may also be the root cause for the SAAB situation quality.

Ask anyone, I mean anyone, who has owned a Saab in the last ten years and they will probably describe exciting and numerous accounts of their beloved Saab being in the shop for oil seals or turbo repairs. Maybe they had parts just fall of the car or electrical problems that seem to travel more than some salesman. In any case, the Saab brand has suffered from quality, or maybe more to the point, reliability. That said, the people who own a Saab will tell you that they are one of the best driving cars on the road. Alas, sometimes the positives cant over come the negatives.

Some believe that the introduction of the Envoy to Saab (sold as the 9-7X) was the beginning of the end. Of course, there is also the re-badging of the Subaru WRX wagon that probably didnt help their case either. No matter how you look at it, the Saab brand wasnt fresh, new and exciting like its Swedish brethren Volvo. Saab didn't have a unique C30 competitor or the pillar of safety to stand on. As a result, Saab is left without a buyer while Volvo moves forward to be sold to the Chinese.

If there is a silver lining to this rain cloud of car news it would have to be the collectable nature of the Saab brand after it seizes to sell new cars. Just like with the other brands we have lost over the years, the loss tends to bring a resurgence of remembrance for the brand. It is possible the demise of Saab may lead to its ever-lasting presence in the collector car market.

The question that is left for us to ponder: Will GM loose any more brands?

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