Bob Lutz confirms that Swedish brand is under threat
12 January 2009

General Motors product boss Bob Lutz has signalled that Saab's future is under threat, despite a fondness for the brand among the top brass.

"Saab is a luxury that we can no longer afford," said Lutz.

Speaking to Autocar, Lutz also confirmed that GM's Swedish subsidiary had never made a profit, but had cost its parent company up to 800 million dollars a year since it was acquired.

Lutz wouldn't comment on whether the next Saab 9-5 would ever see production. He did admit however that senior GM executives had an emotional attachment to the brand that couldn't survive the current economic climate.

"The fact that we all liked Saabs has meant that we have indulged it," said Lutz.

The future for Saab therefore looks uncertain and Lutz conceded that other loss-making GM brands were under threat. Also facing sell-off or closure are Hummer and Saturn, whilst Pontiac is likely to be scaled down.

Vauxhall's future is secure, however. "There's no reason to move Vauxhall to Opel," said Lutz. "Why go through the pain and expense of changing?"

Chas Hallett

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Lexus LC500
    Car review
    20 October 2017
    Futuristic Lexus LC coupé mixes the latest technology with an old-school atmospheric V8
  • Maserati Levante S GranSport
    First Drive
    20 October 2017
    Get ready to trade in your diesels: Maserati’s luxury SUV finally gets the engine it’s always needed
  • Jaguar XF Sportbrake TDV6
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The handsome Jaguar XF Sportbrake exhibits all the hallmarks that makes the saloon great, and with the silky smooth diesel V6 makes it a compelling choice
  • Volkswagen T-Roc TDI
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    Volkswagen's new compact crossover has the looks, the engineering and the build quality to be a resounding success, but not with this diesel engine
  • BMW M550i
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The all-paw M550i is a fast, effortless mile-muncher, but there's a reason why it won't be sold in the UK