Saab Sale Finally Official -- Now, for the Hard Part
Posted: Feb. 24, 2010
Saab has officially found its savior. General Motors’ Swedish division has been sold to Dutch supercar builder Spyker. Now, the tiny company, which has never built 50 cars in a single year before, must attempt to resuscitate a troubled automaker badly in need of new products, and new customers.
Edmunds Inside Line reports, “With the transfer of ownership, Spyker assumes responsibility for Saab operations, and GM ends its previously announced ‘wind-down’ of the brand.”
Saab dealers are starved for a new product to sell. Saab factories have been shut down throughout the negotiating process, with no new cars reaching U.S. dealerships. Motor Trend reports, “The factory in Trollhattan now has materials to build cars, but it will be three or four weeks before assembly starts up and Saab can supply '10 models to its dealers.” Those 2010 models will include just one new design – the 2010 9-5, an entry-level luxury sedan that has impressed automotive journalists in photos, but that no members of the media have driven yet. Otherwise, the entire Saab lineup is a bit out of date, and was selling very slowly even before rumors of the company’s demise.
Motor Trend notes that a new 9-4x midsize SUV “will begin production next year, with the 9-5 SportKombi (wagon) following later. The 9-3, currently built on GM's Epsilon platform, is still a few years off from a redesign.”
Still, Saab enthusiasts are excited by the brand’s prospects. “The rumormill has been rife with return-to-form scuttlebutt, including the return of a five-door hatchback bodystyle for the next-gen 9-3 and the possibility of a '50s-era teardrop-inspired 9-2 model,” Autoblog reports. “If the build-up to the handover of the brand is any indication, Saab's revival effort is at least going to be one hell of a spectacle.”
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