cmattson

Saab next?

27 posts in this topic

Ok, Ford declined offers to sell Volve to Renault. The word is that Renault was looking for an established presence in Europe for which to launch the Infiniti nameplate onto the European market. See article: http://www.autoindustry.co.uk/news/industry_news/11-10-05_3

If Volvo is not-for-sale, perhaps Saab is.. What does GM have invested into Saab that it cannot live without? I can't think of one thing. Saab is yet another constraint on GM's pocketbook. What if GM could sell Saab, thereby ridding itself of a cash-drain and putting some money in it's checkbook at a time (ahem, Delphi) when it looks like it needs it.

Seeing that the stillborn Saab 9-6 was to have been Subaru-based and that GM has diverged itself of Subaru, perhaps selling Saab is a foregorn conclusion? It's not like GM had an identity carved out for Saab. As a matter of fact, Saab (by outsider appearances) appeared to be just stumbling along; a view that would only be encouraged by the knee-capping of the 9-6 by the sale of Subaru.

Thoughts? Personally, I like the idea of GM shedding Saab. Saab just doesn't bring enough sales in return for GM's money spent on marketing, engineering, etc. Edited by cmattson
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Tell them 60 billion GM and pay your debts off and start fresh cars and sell cars cheaper! It will work.
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Oh yeah sell saab and bring overe Vauxhaul as a replacement.
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Not sure what would be lost here. The 9-3 is barely adequate. The 9-5 is beaten by everything in it's price class including Volvo. 9-2x is a flop 9-7x a great Saabravada* Things Renault should consider. Infinity doesn't do FWD. Saab buyers like FWD. Infinity doesn't do turbo-4 Saab is all about turbo-4 *name not coined by me.
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If GM was to sell a brand SAAB would be the best to get rid of. I belive there are a few board members that would like to see SAAB go. Think of it this way: all of the US SAABs could be Saturns or Buicks. Make a compact Buick out of the 9-3 make the 2.8 HF standard with the 2.8T optional. Then overseas GM has the BTS for Europe and Opel and Vuaxhall for the other stuff. SAAB is not needed. While I like SAAB's style and conservative exteriors I don't think GM would or should pass up a good chance to sell it and make a profit.
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These are my sentiments exactly. Saab doesn't bring anything unique to GM's table -- they only take from GM's already-scarce resources.

The sale of Subaru really highlights how thin Saab's US offerings really are. I'm not sure Saab is exactly what Renault is looking for, but at least we know they are interested in buying something. If I'm @ GM, I'd be fishing right now and seeing what I can hook..
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I wouldn't be at all surprised if Saab wasn't sold off in the near future...
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I think it would be a good thing for both parties if Saab is sold off. GM wouldn't have yet another financial drain and Saab would prosper under a smaller company that has the resources.
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I've been wanting GM to sell Saab for some time now, and it seems now would be the perfect oppurtunity. I don't know how much GM could get, but probably a good sum of money. Do we know how much Renault offered for Volvo? I would expect them to offer a little less for Saab since it doesn't have as many sales or models, but it'd be a good indication of Saab's value I think.
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Disagree. Y'all are once again guilty of US-centric thinking. SAAB is great in Europe, and SAAB is needed for GM to compete in Europe. Sell SAAB, and what's left? Opel/Vauxhall? A newly launched Cadillac and a Chevrolet lineup of Daewoos? I don't think so. GM needs SAAB to compete in Europe. If Renault wants an existing make to buy so as to launch Infiniti, why not pick Lancia? Seems perfect to me, upscale Fiat, poor sales, already has the upmarket image...seems perfect. Or Renault could just launch Infiniti in Europe as is (the best option IMO)
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Since 1997 Saab has only sold 1 million vehicles worldwide. That's 125000 a year, worldwide, which means it's less than 100k sales in Europe a year. That means Saab sells about 8k units/month in Europe, which is not impressive. I don't think it's worth that as Cadillac is already set up in Europe now.
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With where GM seems to be going with Saab, I'd rather see them make money on Saab now then continue changing thier minds about what to do. I love Saab and thier design team is fantastic, but thier lineup still looks like it will take until 2007 at earliest to get some much needed product. As soon as a product infusion could occur for them, Saab could be a revelation here in the U.S. marketplace, where everything Euro is seemingly cool. Until then, they are another financial and product drain on GM, who can't even give good products to thier core linuep.
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I love Saab, I drive a Saab. oldsmoboi---I feel my 9-3ss is more than adequate. If GM sold off Saab, they would lose their only European upscale brand. Please GM don t sell it off, just come out with Saab products, the current 92x is insulting. Maybe if Opel made it and "Saab-ified" it, the the 92x would have worked. Saab is not the answer to Gm s money losing problems.
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I can't believe that a quiet auction isn't being held for SAAB right now. As others have properly pointed out, GM is in the early stages of a significant and historic restructuring. Core brands with clear futures are going to stay and be funded, and marginal assets like Subaru and SAAB are going to the highest bidder. Wonder what all those GM dealers who built standalone SAAB stores are going to think when they open up the paper one day and find out that GM gave their franchise away to some firm that has little interest in it except for Europe? Oh, oh.......
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The only thing saab has is a center mounted console key, and quarky looks... not enough to keep it around in my books. It's a waste of time and money for GM to keep the sudo lux brand around.. money better spent elsewhere, in europe (vaux/opel), In NA (Buick and Caddy)
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Saab lost credibility in Europe when GM bought them. Now Vauxhall on the otherhand and Opel seem to gaining more an more. This might be an indication that GM is slowly killing off Saab. Look at how much development money is going into Opel & Vauxhall and Saab gets a lukewarmover on the 9-5! Hmm seems strange to me.
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GM needs a premium brand in Europe. The market in Europe is stratifying into Premium (BMW / Mercedes / Audi) who are going increasingly into smaller segments and low cost (Hyundai / Kia / Chevwoo) who are getting increasingly good product . Everything in the middle (like GM and Ford) are being squeezed. GM has attacked the low cost end brilliantly with Chevwoo, now they need to tackle premium with SAAB. What they need is a really stylish BMW 1-series / Audi A3 competitor based on a gussied up delta. I can't see a Cadillac badge on that product. In any case GM has already effectively closed SAAB as an independant entity by merging production and development with Opel, so it should not be a cost burden - rather it adds useful additional volume to Opel platforms.
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Forgive me if I'm wrong, but what market segment is the Cadillac BTS targetted towards? I thought it's purpose was to target the small-lux market. Anyways. If you look at the European market, with Opel/Vauxhall in the middle, and Daewoo/Chevy on the entry-level, that would leave both Saab & Cadillac competing for the same market segment. GM needs to pick a direction & run with it. Personally, this is just another reason why GM needs to divest itself from Saab. Saab is clearly getting GM "leftovers". The 9-3 was one of the first to use the new Epsilon platform. After that they got what? Warmed over Subarus and a also-ran GMT SUV? GM isn't exactly pouring money into Saab right now. Besides the 9-6, does anybody know anything firm for details on Saab future product? Saab appears to be dying on the vine -- all because GM is being treated as an also-ran to their core brands. The more I look at this, the more I'm convinced that GM will divest themselves of Saab. I hate to say it, but seeing how little GM is investing in Saab, perhaps Saab will be better off under someone elses umbrella. Lastly, GM purchased 50% of Saab back in 1998 for $600m + $100m in "investment/infrastructure" costs. They purchased the remaining 50% in 2000 (I'm not sure how much). So, if GM were to get equal dollars back for Saab (very questionable), they'd roughly need the future value of 1998's $1.2b-$1.3b. Edited by cmattson
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GM should definetely sell SAAB. The trouble is, there's nobody stupid enough to take it.
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I disagree. Saab is vital to GME and why give the competition a leg up? GM should not shrink to compete because they will never gain the ground back again.
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GM needs a premium brand in Europe.

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I think what he meant to say was: a premium european brand in europe.
Many europeans will not warm up to Cadillac simply because it's an American brand. They might with Saab.
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I disagree.

Saab is vital to GME and why give the competition a leg up?

GM should not shrink to compete because they will never gain the ground back again.

[post="27735"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


Yeah, 'cause heaven forbid GM should give up sales of 38,553 vehicles/year! :rolleyes:

Take a look at the sales figures. 38,500-some vehicles/year is a drop in the bucket for a company like GM. Most brands have one model (at least) that has higher sales than that, yet SAAB has 4 models! The only brand that had less sales than SAAB last month was Izuzu... And how many models does Izuzu have, again? Also, it's quite obvious that GM can't pull the wool over anybody's eyes by re-badging other cars... The 9-2X and 9-7X are on track to sell 7,733 and 1,981 copies this year, respectively. GM could easily gain back 38,000 sales. Maybe not from SAAB customers, but from even two or three hot models, spread across a couple divisions. That's where GM needs to put more money: Into making desirable cars, not making Sweedish turdballs that practically nobody wants.

You mention that "SAAB is vital... why give the competition a leg up?" Please show me one, single SAAB model that does something better than it's competitors, because I can't think of a single one. The 9-5 is an aging also-ran, the 9-3 was half-baked from the start (which seems to be the trend among Epsilon sedans) and is only just now becoming competitive. The 9-7X is the most laughable luxury SUV on the market, and the 9-2X is a niche model clone with a slightly more luxurious interior than it's father, the Subaru Impreza. Not a class leader among them. Half of the lineup isn't even remotely competitive. The competition got a leg up on SAAB a long time ago.

As for the Europeans, let Cadillac, Vauxhall and Opel take care of them. True, the Euro market is moving more towards upscale cars... But that's what Cadlilac is for, isn't it? The Cadillac BLS will soon make the 9-3 sedan redundant, and who in their right mind would choose a 9-5 over a CTS or STS? It looks to me like GM is getting itself perpared to dump SAAB in the not-too-distant future by filling in the spaces that SAAB used to take up, like with the BLS.

To me, SAAB isn't the biggest problem GM faces... not nearly. However, they have managed to slowly drain money from GM's pockets, just a wee bit at a time, like a mosquito. Sooner or later, though, that mosquito is going to get swatted. It is inevitable.
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