GM Unloads Saab to Spyker
Well, it finally happened. Saab has been saved from the scrap metal heap that its brothers Saturn and Pontiac ended up on.
Spyker Cars, maker of the sexy C8 Aileron Spyder, is the proud new owner and savior for Saab fans around the world.
The deal (you can find the full details on Spyker’s site) involves a cash payment of $74 million and $326 million in preferred stock. The deal is also subject to Sweden agreeing to guarantee a 400-million-euro ($563 million) European Investment Bank loan for Saab. To top it all off, the whole thing is expected to close in February.
The financial details aren’t the interesting part of this, though. The thing we all want to know is, will Spyker be able to save Saab?
There’s a lot of optimism in the car blogosphere, with hopes of super-Saabs and an all-new generation of 9-5 sedans.
I don’t mean to crash the party, but here’s the reality:
Right now, there is nothing unique or even exciting about Saab. Twenty years of being a GM side project has ripped the brand of any personality, leaving a sorry shell of re-badged Trailblazers in its wake.
I have a feeling that all of the Saab fans who lobbied to save the brand own cars that are pre-GM. Can Spyker count on these fans buying new Saabs when the time comes? I have a feeling owners of pre-1990 Saabs aren’t exactly the target market Spyker has in mind for new models.
Considering the current state of Saab, a $500 million bank loan isn’t likely to be enough to fund making completely new cars from the ground up. Spyker also has to bear Saab’s losses AND make a profit for themselves. That’s a tall order, even for a maker of supercars.
I truly am glad to see Saab have a future, I’m just not convinced it’ll be a permanent one.
Will Spyker turn Saab around? What kind of cars do you hope to see from the new Saab?