A Marriage Made in Sweden

koenigsegg_ccx

In a move that surprised nobody but pleased many, GM announced that extreme-car maker Koenigsegg won the bidding for Saab. After two decades, the Swedish automaker comes home.

The union representative called it “a great relief,” and the government is giving loan guarantees from the European Investment Bank of $600 million, and there will be additional support from GM and Koenigsegg. Other financing details weren’t revealed.

saab-9-5It’s a strange marriage. Koenigsegg makes the CCX (above), priced at a cool million dollars, and caters to the *very* wealthy. For all its slumping sales, Saab is still a mass carmaker of quirky and interesting cars that hasn’t prospered under GM. It’s looking to revamp the flagship 9-5, shown here, and return production of that car to Trollhaetten, the main factory.

GM Europe President Carl-Peter Forster praised the union:

Koenigsegg Group’s unique combination of innovation, entrepreneurial spirit and financial strength, combined with Koenigsegg’s proven ability to create world-class Swedish performance cars in a highly efficient manner, made it the right choice for Saab as well as for General Motors.

Still, we have to wonder. Saab sold only 783 cars in the U.S. in May and 2,191 in Europe. That is saad indeed. The company has about 3,400 workers; Koenigsegg has a staff of 45. But Koenigsegg is rich, has connections, and, best of all, is Swedish. While there are skeptics, things might just work out.

Will Saab come back and prosper? What are your views?

—jgoods

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