Spyker saves Saab! Maybe. Probably not.
Out of the burning ashes known as Government Motors, it appears as if boutique supercarmaker Spyker has won the rights to take over the money pit known as Saab.
After a long, drawn out affair, rose-colour-glass-wearing Saabistas are rejoicing that Swedish-designed Opels will continue.
Potentially still-born product like the next 9-5 sedan, 9-4X crossover, 9-3X and maybe even a smaller, compact 9-1, will keep the brand humming along nicely…
The reality is something more like this:
• The Spyker/Saab deal is still subject to a Swedish government guarantee on a €400m (US $564m) loan from the European Investment Bank. Based on what we’ve seen from GM’s announcement of its sale of Opel to Magna (oops) and the “still working on it” sale of its Hummer brand to those Chinese back-end loader makers, don’t count your knoners yet;
• Even if Dutch Spyker gets control of Swedish Saab, there’s no guarantee it will return to the Canadian market. Despite such obvious unadulterated passion for the brand, Saab is still an unpopular marque in Canada. Sales peaked at 2,640 in 2006, falling to 1,568 in 2008, followed by less than half that last year;
• Spyker’s 100-odd employees have zero experience as a volume automaker;
• Saab hasn’t made a dime in over a decade, with GM apparently losing $5,100 US on each Saab it sold.
• Spyker may end up using the newfound money to keep its operations afloat.
Sorry, kids. But if you add it all up, things aren’t really all that different for Saab than at this time last week, or the week before that...
[Source: Wall Street Journal]