Skip to comments.Koenigsegg 'confident' of Saab rescue
Posted on 06/14/2009 12:10:12 PM PDT by WesternCulture
Koenigsegg, the Swedish luxury sports carmaker set to buy Saab Automobile from US firm General Motors, is confident that the company can be rescued, the firm's co-owner said on Saturday.
GM, which has now filed for bankruptcy protection in the United States, placed Saab on the market in February as part of its attempts to slim down its brand range and return to profitability.
A Sveriges Television (SVT) report on Thursday said Koenigsegg and a group of Norwegian investors had signed a letter of intent to buy Saab.
Bård Eker, whose holding company Eker Group holds a 49 percent stake in Koenigsegg, confirmed his interest in the Swedish automaker in an interview with Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet.
"We think it is possible and we have several good solutions to bring with us into Saab," Eker said.
Commentators in Sweden have questioned whether Koenigsegg, which produces just 18 high-end sports car a year and employs only 45 people, would have the financial muscle or industrial know-how to run Saab.
Founded in 1994 by Swedish businessman Christian von Koenigsegg, the company posted a turnover of 106 million kroner (10 million euros, 13 million dollars) in 2008.
Eker told Dagbladet that there were "several investors" backing the bid.
"But I don't want to comment on the amount of money and who is involved," he said. "I want to make one thing clear. We are not buying Saab just to chop it up. That's not what we do."
The Eker Group was unavailable for comment and Saab spokesman Joe Oliver refused to comment.
GM also kept silent.
"We're not making any comment at this time. We continue to work towards a resolution for the sale of Saab," said GM Europe spokesman Chris Preuss.
Saab sold 93,000 cars worldwide in 2008, according to its website.
It owes 9.7 billion kronor ($1.3 billion, 924 million euros) to GM - its largest individual creditor - as well as 347 million kronor to the Swedish government. Other creditors are owed 647 million kronor.
The automaker employs about 3,400 people in Sweden. Including suppliers, some 15,000 jobs in the country are believed to be at risk if the company were to disappear.
I have no worries.
If a Swede says he’s capable of leading a company relying on engineering skills, he probably is.
If a Norwegian claims to have the money, he probably has.
Ha! A post-GM future for Saab can only be good.
A Chevy with a Saab badge and cheap leather interior is not a Saab.
- IMO, GM has done a lot of good for SAAB, but SAAB definitely could’ve hoped for more.
I hope GM, Opel, Opel's future owners and SAAB will continue to cooperate.
SAAB could survive for decades if Norwegian billionaires would keep pumping money into the company, but SAAB needs close partners like every other car manufacturer of today to become profitable.
I hope it works out. The Koenigsegg cars are incredible. Pretty much a tiny car company in Sweden that built an incredible super car.
At least they are not built by UAW scum.
GM couldn't run it with all the muscle in the world. This is good news for Saab...
Saab builds great cars that are fun to drive. Unleashed from the shackles of Government Motors, they will build even better cars.
I just purchased a Saab 9-3 Turbo X SportCombi on Wednesday of last week: http://www.saabsunited.com/2009/06/saabs-united-—bringing-people-and-cars-together.html
My sixth Saab.
“As far back as the late 60s they had HEATED drivers seats!”
- My mother drives a French car, a Peugeot.
It has heated seats, but after 15 months they stopped working.
No biggie as long as the retailer could’ve fixed it. But they claim they can’t:D (- and you Peugeot guys want to sell cars here in Sweden!?)
I doubt my mother will buy another Peugeot.
Jeremy Clarkson test drive, and a hot lap by The Stig. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svxRpqeqFRY
“My sixth Saab.”
- Good luck with it, from a Volvo owner!
I’ve owned four great SAABs, but have switched to Volvo. I experience that Volvos of today are more or less just as fun to drive as SAABs and BMWs (if you go for one with hps enough) but are even more comfortable and reliable - especially compared to BMWs.
But living in Gothenburg (home of Volvo), makes me partial I guess.
Yes, Volvo makes an equally great car, if not better, but my experience with the Volvo dealers in this area is the same as I have had with Toyota....not very good unfortunately. Very condescending and they act like they aren’t really interested in your business...therefore they haven’t gotten mine.
I’ve dealt with four Saab dealers over time and have never had a complaint...especially with the service.
I have friends that love their Volvos and drive nothing else. (My wife and I have been buying JEEPs also)
I think they had it back on the show with a spoiler added ad it was the fastest or close to it. 800 to 850 bhp on an engine built by Koneigsegg.
I wish they were a little bigger company with a budget because I would have liked to see one race at LeMans against the Maserati MC12 and the old McLaren GT with the V-12 BMW.
“I had heard a lot of stories about the lack of quality associated with Peugeot’s but it was the first Pig out I had ever driven. I have to admit, I was impressed and loved it!”
- PSA, the company of which Peugeot is the “core” so to say, seems to have lots of competent engineers and design folks.
But something evidently is lacking.
Undeniably, Peugeot has been highly successful allover Europe for the last decades; they’ve competed away much of the Japanese rivals from the German, Dutch and Scandinavian markets, but my impression is that there are more complaints about their products these days than 10-15 years ago. Here in Sweden, that is definitely the case judging from polls I’ve seen (among other sources).
In any case, France lacks a mark that could challenge Audi, BMW, Volvo, SAAB and MB.
Always nice to hear how our cars are appreciated across the pond, fellow freeper!
Jeeps are not very common where I live (but some Swedes sure like them), but I’d say Jeeps still have a reputation of being sturdy, almost indestructable vehicles even here in proud Volvo Land!
By the way, one of the books I’m presently reading is Iacocca’s 1988 “Talking Straight” in which he explains why he decided to buy Jeep when CEO of Chrysler.
Bought it for the equivalent of a dollar in a small rural town here in Sweden. I’m thinking about writing the guy a letter and including a $50 dollar bill:)
My first Car was A 74 Saab 99LE, GM has pretty much destroyed Saab. If they can find a buyer and return them to their roots they should have a chance
I bought a new 1960 SAAB 93B right after I got married. It was a real oddball for that time, a 750cc-3 cylinder 2-cycle engine, front wheel drive, unibody construction with sheet metal twice as thick as Detroit cars, front bucket seats that made into a double bed with the back seat folded down, and several other features that were oddities at that time.
That was before self service gas stations, and on several occasions pump jockeys refused to put a quart of the SAAB 2-cycle oil in the gas tank before pumping gas as my wife requested. They were sure she was mistaken about where the oil went in, and she had to do it herself. It got 35-38 mpg on the stretches of I-75 and I-95 that were built by that time, and 28-30 mpg in town. Not too shabby even by today's small car standards, and it topped out at around 70-80 mph depending on running against a headwind or a tailwind. I drove it as our #2 family car until 1965 and as my go-to-the-office car until 1971 when it failed the FL safety inspection. Just the needed parts alone that had to come from Sweden would have cost more than the entire car was worth.
I'm sure all this is waaaay more than anyone ever wanted to know about old SAABS. I get started talking and don't know when to stop about some of the dozens of cars I have owned over the years since the 1930 Model A Ford roadster that I bought for $95 cash and drove to high school in the early 1950s. In case anyone hasn't ever noticed, old geezers love to talk about old cars they owned way back when, so don't get us started and you won't have to listen, or read in this case.
Regards from the West Coast of Sweden. Maybe life here isn't Hell on Earth (among others things Volvo, SAAB and Koenigsegg were born here..)
Swedish West Coast summers are nothing I would wish to apologize for, being a son of Northern Europe:
Well, they are appreciated by some, but only in the more populated areas of the country. I purchased my first Saab in Germany when I was stationed there as a U.S. Army officer. I was hooked.
As far as Jeeps go, they are the only vehicle I have seen (in their price range) that is actually designed for off-road rugged terrain (as opposed to cross country dirt roads like I used to ride on in parts of Germany). They aren't any better manufactured than other American cars, but they are designed well for their intended use. I couldn't get into the location in Pennsylvania where I'm building a cabin without it!
I would advise you to wait until you can buy an authentic Swedish SAAB again. I haven't had any experience with the SAABS built after GM bought the remaining 50% of SAAB from Svenska Aeroplan Aktiebolaget 8 or 10 years ago. But I have heard a few things about them from several people who have had that experience, and to put it diplomatically, what I heard was not always entirely favorable.
Now I want to check out the youtube links you posted.
From what I've understood, there are tons of paper work, red tape and all sorts of unnecessary, ridiculous bureaucracy that “must” take place before the actual takeover is completed.
Among other things, the EU has to contemplate over this burning issue:
If Koenigsegg is “allowed” to buy SAAB, could that possibly harm the competition among European car manufacturers?
From a personal perspective, I sure would like to earn the kind of salaries these EUrocrats do, but I'd rather kill myself than having no other purpose in life than that of being an obstacle to true business dynamics and the spirit of sound entrepreneurship.
- Thanks for doing so even if you probably agree Sweden can't compete with places like Florida and California in terms of beaches and sunshine.
However, like these (amateur) clips indicate, Sweden isn't all snow and ice, alcoholism and lack of sunshine. Furthermore, our beaches and bikini girls existed long before the climate scare of Al Gore and his comrades.