Saab files for bankruptcy

Saab files for bankruptcy
19 Dec, 2011 12:50pm Luke Madden

Saab files for bankruptcy as General Motors blocks Chinese rescue deal

The saga has been running for two years but Saab’s fate looks as if it has finally been sealed, with news that the Swedish manufacturer has filed for bankruptcy.

In a very public struggle to stay afloat, Saab was almost sold off to Pang Da and Youngman – both Chinese manufacturers – but the deal was called off by Saab’s former owners, General Motors, who didn’t want its technology falling into Chinese hands.

The troubles began when General Motors sold a struggling Saab to Spyker in January 2010, and there was never a successful model to kick-start sales in the competitive segment Saab is a part of.

An official statement read: “The Board of Saab Automobile subsequently decided that the company without further funding will be insolvent and that filing bankruptcy is in the best interests of its creditors. It is expected that the Court will approve of the filing and appoint receivers for Saab Automobile very shortly.”

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What tragic news especially just before Christmas (some workers haven't been paid in months!)

It was drawn out, and was almost as if GM *wanted* Saab to die.

They had interesting things on the horizon, including a 9-3 fastback that we will now never see.

RIP.

Saab Join Mercury, Plymouth, Saturn & Pontiac in that great scrapheap in the sky of Auto Makers gone to the wall in the last decade.

Chinese auto makers have also snapped up Hummer & Volvo wonder who will be next once the £10,000 Geely Emgrand Mondeo's start arriving in the UK that are cheaper than a Fiesta or Focus to buy new?

GM have let Saab down big time in the last decade with never ending bland boring dull uninspiring cars that no one wants to buy. 60's 70's & 80's Saabs that had bags of personality and charisma will soar in value now and become very collectible cars now without a doubt.

The words p155 up, in a brewery and couldn't organise a, come to mind. GM never understood SAAB and ran it in to the ground with a lack of investment and imagination.

When I first became interested in cars as a boy in the eighties, I remember the Saab 9000 being untouchable by any other car in its class - it looked great too.

Shame that in recent years they haven't been so competitive, sometimes earning the reputation of "Vauxhalls in drag" thanks to GM.

My thoughts go out to the workers, just like they did with Rover.

Sorry to see SAAB's demise - an interesting and distinctive car brand well worth saving...

Sad news, but Saab's own fault for only making 2 cars, both of wich were rebadged Vauxhalls, which were no different to standard Vauxhalls & no classier, whilst pricing them in the BMW, Jag, Mercedes sector...... even the Germans have seen sence & started making small "Breadwinner" cars.
Whilst I feel for those who are likeley to loose their jobs, this situation is a sign of the times & Saab has been just a badge for a number of years. Jaguar were in the same situation & hadn't made a profit for years, for the same reasons, but fortunately, were joined at the hip to Land Rover who were worth a lot of money. Sorry, but Saab haven't made a decent car since the original 9000 & have failed to tailor their productts to suit the market ever since.

Saab used to offer something different from the mainstream, but in recent years they've lost their way - or more precisely had it stolen from them by GM.
The 900 Turbo 3-door was a truly aspirational car that had an upmarket image without the associations with a particular type of inconsiderate driver that other brands carry.
Later models were quirky on the outside but the interiors lacked both perceived quality and style, and the driving experience was compromised by the Vauxhall underpinnings.
It's a shame they've gone, but it was inevitable.

The board of General Motors should be thoroughly censured - they all seem to be progeny of the 60's BMC board and those idiots should never have been allowed to be-get offspring - in addition to that denouncement they are all probably accountants as well !! This act of vandalism is an indictment upon the erroneously motivated current industrial management ethos.
There is a general resignation abroad, which should be condemned as 'lily-livered' - I have to pose the question 'why was it inevitable' as so many correspondents seem to think? If the Mini, the Beetle and the Fiat 500 can be reborn - why not the Saab 92/ 96? This was a class-leading small car which dominated the rally-scene for years and had an outstanding record in this arena. At a time when all are 'down-sizing' why did GM not just drop the large cars and release a unique successor to the little two-stroke - only this time with a subaru-type boxer engine?
I sound like a committed Saab fan, but I have never owned one - so my opinions are without prejudice. As a motor-nut I just hate to see another historic manufacturer go to the wall.
The Asians seem to be able to profitably make and market cars and expand into substantial companies as well. They obviously have better qualified accountants.

Ironic that it was GM who destroyed SAAB with second rate platforms and lack of development. Seems to be similar to BA blocking Virgin from keeping Concorde flying!
Also I can't imagine that the Chinese haven't already got there hands on the technology that GM are so concerned about retaining for "good Old Uncle Sam".

As I have said so many times before, Saab went beyond the point of no return months if not years ago. As Chappers24 points out, their meagre offerings were hopelessly uncompetitive against both premium and mainstream rivals. I'll be sorry to see them go, but "survival of the fittest" applies in the motor industry as elsewhere.

chappers24 has hit the nail on the head. Saab only make 2 models. If there was a smaller car of about 1.3 or 1.6 litres, same size as, say a Jazz, then I'm sure Saab's reputation, as that of Volvo, for reliability and safety, would have been a help. The 2 models in the range are not the best lookers on the market and are too big for most people to want, even though deep down they are damn good cars.

Premium cars are always in danger when the accountants 'rationalise operations'. Assuming that a Vectra platform will produce a quality performance car is/was a bridge too far.

GM should have taken a look at the Volkswagen Audi Group output. With Seat, Skoda and VW producing successful models on common platforms - the big BUT here comes from making a decent fist of the underpinings in the first place.

It should never have come to this, but corporate greed and lack of inspirational thinking will have us all in the equivalent of a 21st century Trabant if manufacturing continues to contract at the current rate.

Back in the late 80's SAAB UK in Marlow appointed a new Ad Agency. The result a whole new image presentation (see YouTube- SAAB TV commercial " Nothing on earth comes close, directed by Tony Scott, the year before he shot TOP GUN ). This image was to build on SAAB's unique heritage...the pilot/driver analogy, car/jet aircraft analogy.

The 9000 was launched shortly thereafter. Sales showed healthy increases, customer spec'd equipment shot up, so gains in both profitability and volume.

Enter GM, who immediately appointed a new (German) European Marketing Director....at the very first meeting at Marlow, despite tracking research showing very significant improvement in the marque's image, we were instructed to change the whole advertising approach.
" I personally and subjectively forbid you to use the fighter jet analogy, it makes me very uncomfortable....instead consider using the wonderful propeller SAAB aircraft used for commercial flights."
Thanks GM. The long drawn out death of SAAB was as much to do with GM's global inability to comprehend the power of good marketing, as it was to do with their subsequent dilution of the product with their euro-tat platforms.
Can anyone, in any country, show me an ad for a GM product that makes you really yearn to own the product ?
Well can you ? Anyone ?
I have ordered some "Boycott GM" bumper stickers to be proudly displayed on my own SAAB. Has anyone else?

As GM is already building and selling lots of car in China, so I think technology falling into Chinese hands is just an excuse.

AEX 1334
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