Saab Gets a New Owner Today?

By Brendan Moore

06.12.2009

saab-logo1967-1974-small1The badly-kept secret in Sweden this week has been the rumor that GM is selling Saab to Koenigsegg, a small Swedish manufacturer of supercars. The rumor reached the rest of the world yesterday, and the current chatter is that his deal will be announced today.

GM took the step yesterday of stating that Koenigsegg is the preferred bidder for Saab.

“Unidentified sources” say that GM picked Koenigsegg to buy the insolvent Saab because the company is both Swedish and an actual auto manufacturer, even if their production volumes are small.

How small? Well, in 2007, they had a production capacity of around 15 units a year. No, I didn’t leave out a number. In 2008, their production capacity was reportedly increased by 100%, up to 30 units a year. Koenigsegg makes high-strung, high-horsepower (as much as 800 hp), 200 mph+ supercars, a product category dramatically different than the one Saab inhabits currently.

Koenigsegg has also had some financial issues in the recent past. It’s worth pointing that Fiat did as well, almost declaring bankruptcy not so long ago, and now they own Chrysler. koenigsegg-with-car

There is an actual Koenigsegg, and that is Christian Von Koenigsegg, the young and very wealthy owner, and, CEO of Koenigsberg.

It is thought that GM is offering Koenigsegg a “lease-to-own” type of financial arrangement, that is, Koenigsegg gets Saab with very little money up front, and then pays GM back the purchase price as Saab is successful. GM is going to provide $500 million in assets and cash, plus production equipment for a new Saab model as well as $150 million of cash already in Saab’s account.

The other two bidders on the short list for Saab are two investment groups from the US. Neither group has automotive experience.

COPYRIGHT Autosavant – All Rights Reserved

Author: Brendan Moore

Brendan Moore is a Principal Consultant with Cedar Point Consulting , a management consulting practice based in the Washington, DC area. He also manages Autosavant Consulting, a separate practice within Cedar Point Consulting. where he advises businesses connected to the auto industry. Cedar Point Consulting can be found at http://www.cedarpointconsulting.com.

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7 Comments

  1. The deal will get done today, but it won’t be public until next week. Koenisegg doesn’t seem like a great choice, thoug.

  2. I think Saab is going from the fire to the frying pan.

  3. Yeah, looks like GM didn’t really have any serious bidders. Guess this was just the best deal they could get.

  4. I think GM just wants to be able to say the Swedis people got their company back. I don’t think they really care how viable the new owner is.h

  5. On the other hand, Koenigsegg have a history of designing, building and marketing a rather unique and idiosyncratic supercar…..and Saab have a (admittedly not so recent) history of designing, building and marketing a range of rather unique and idiosyncratic (and often) super cars.

    Could be a rather perfect match. Especially when one takes into account Koenigsegg’s long association with BMW as an engine supplier.

  6. and isn’t this guy Koenigsegg supposed to be sort of an all around jerk?

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