GM bosses confirm new Saab 9-5 and mooted new 9-3 won't be rebadged
13 January 2010

The new Saab 9-5 saloon and the proposed replacement for the 9-3 will be killed off if GM winds down its Swedish subsidiary, and not rebadged in any other markets.

Speculation had suggested the new 9-5 - a longer wheelbase version of the Opel Insignia - would be build in China and rebadged as a Buick.

But now the 9-5 is poised to go down in the annals of automotive history as an unfortunate curiosity - a design that was fully-tooled for production yet never got built.

“If Saab closes, the new 9-5 and 9-3 will go, and the cost absorbed in the winding-down charge,” says Nick Reilly, boss of GM’s new Opel/Vauxhall operation in Europe.

That charge is estimated at around 50m–100 million euros (£49-98m), Reilly says. Avoiding that charge is one of the driving forces behind continuing last-minute attempts to sell Saab.

Rumours circulating Detroit on Tuesday suggested that Saab had just 48 hours left.

Reilly also confirmed that GM isn’t looking for a payment for Saab. “We’re not trying to get any money for Saab, it’s costing us to keep it open.”

He says the main stumbling block for the various bids has been their ability to provide robust business plans to back the loans they needed from either the European Investment Bank or Swedish government.

“Koenigsegg managed to do that, but they pulled out of their own accord,” says Reilly. “although it’s still not clear why they pulled out”.

Selling Saab to a solid new buyer is also a key consideration, because GM doesn’t want a new owner to collapse after a couple of years, dumping problems at Saab back on the company’s plate.

“We have a large car parc of owners that we need to support," said Reilly. "If we sell to a ‘fly-by-night’ type operation and they collapse, the owners are going to come back to us. We need to sell it to someone who can keep it going.”

As of Tuesday morning, GM was continuing to talk to Dutch supercar-maker Spyker through its owner Victor Muller, plus a consortium of Luxembourg-based financiers including F1 ring-master Bernie Ecclestone.

But GM also announced that two two legal officials had been appointed in Sweden to wind-down Saab.

Julian Rendell

Join the debate

Comments
89

13 January 2010

What a waste. The new 9-5 looked like a great car. I fail to understand - if Saab's future was so precarious - why GM decided to release it before a new buyer was found.

13 January 2010

Seeing as you were all saying it was off to China and then retracted that statement I dont really believe an awful lot of what you say. Its pretty obvious that it wont be built if SAAB ceases to exist. You are stating the obvious really!

13 January 2010

SWEET!!! Good Riddance, more rubbish off the roads.

13 January 2010

Behind the facade of that brand new 9-5 is the future dreams of lives of people who have simply made Saab their life...and are still trying to make it their life, holding onto dear life and struggling for answers. It is simply outrageous and wrong to believe that because one company holds the stick, everyone else has to suffer physically, mentally, and now financially.

One thing that really gets to me is that so-called company owners never think about the vested interests of its people. Companies are not just filled with 'employees'.....they are filled with real stakeholders......people who have invested their time, money and most importantly - life - simply trying to make a living and make things work. In this case it is both the people in Trollhatten and at Saab dealerships and partners worldwide.

By dismantling the new model's toolings, it also shows how 'wrong' and 'corrupt' our current economic system is. First of all it is an utter and complete waste of Earthly resources (people's time & raw materials) to create something fresh and not have it built. And secondly it is simply immoral to transfer something so important out of the country, when so many lives (000's) are dependent on it for their sustenance.

This is American-style management at its worst. Not only do they 'deny' the damage they have done to the business and its people (through underinvestment, pilfing of talent and asset-stripping (quite literally 'daylight-robbery' of a viable business by selling everything off), but they arrogantly believe because they are the so-called 'investors' or 'people at the top' everything must 'conform' to their way of working without giving a thought about the people below who have been behind the ideas and most of their successes. This is a problem prevailent in American business culture, not just attributed to GM. Americans are simply too aggressive when it comes to business, that is why they have suffered and was the first to suffer when the financial crisis hit. It is an inherited illness from many years of inbred beliefs that have made their society it is today. This is why things in America don't work the way the used to anymore.....and why it needs to be cured.

Until we have an economic system based upon something akin to Peter Joseph's Venus Project; until we begin to share our resources; our beliefs and time with each other and unite as a race - unfortunately this will have to do...everyone will have to work to live instead of live to work. But what we must believe strongly as a society is the belief that there is enough in life to go around for everyone financially in the car industry and that there is no worry. GM might thinks selling off Saab might create a new competitor (hence they are hesitant and raised their price for Saab), but I think otherwise. I believe GM will do very well in the coming years, especially in China - if they play their cards right. If they utilise their technologies better (hydrogen, methanol etc) or even share them/cross licence them to other partners and platforms (such as vans/trucks), there is no reason why they (as well as Saab as an independent maker) cannot both survive.

So do the right thing GM......and sell Saab....for goodwill or whatever, to someone who is more capable or caring than you have been so far. Think of selling Saab as like passing on a legacy, to a new generation who is willing to meet the challenges, whatever they are. Just don't make things more difficult for everyone as they already are.

13 January 2010

[quote Autocar]

"Selling Saab to a solid new buyer is also a key consideration, because GM doesn’t want a new owner to collapse after a couple of years."

"If we sell to a ‘fly-by-night’ type operation and they collapse, the owners are going to come back to us.” said Reilly[/quote]

Reilly is a comic, he just doesn't know it.

So GM thinks IT will still be around in a couple of years and that IT isn't a 'fly by night' operation? GM bankrupt again within 18 months, this time for keeps.

13 January 2010

[quote HyundaiSmoke]

SWEET!!! Good Riddance, more rubbish off the roads.

[/quote]

Cretin.

I am confident that I am not the only person who considers the Hyundai/Kia products to be "rubbish" and would be happy to see every single one of them removed from our roads immediately. Despite the recent improvements in appearance and dynamics they are still the epitomy of automotive blandness, made by people who don't care about cars, and bought/driven by people who care even less. The automotive landscape would be a better place without appalling Korean junk.

Any idiot can (as Hyundai have proved) make a reliable box. It takes much more skill and knowledge to make cars with soul (merely naming a model 'Soul' is not sufficient).

Personally, I will be very sad to see SAAB go but even more upset by the problems that it will cause for the many families that will be affected.

13 January 2010

[quote bangertastic]Any idiot can (as Hyundai have proved) make a reliable box. It takes much more skill and knowledge to make cars with soul (merely naming a model 'Soul' is not sufficient).[/quote]

Making these brands sell so well definitely isn't the work of idiots... However you look at it.

13 January 2010

[quote HyundaiSmoke]

SWEET!!! Good Riddance, more rubbish off the roads.

[/quote]

Another ridiculous statement from our resident Hyundai PR man..

13 January 2010

[quote sorrel]

[quote HyundaiSmoke]

SWEET!!! Good Riddance, more rubbish off the roads.

[/quote]

Another ridiculous statement from our resident Hyundai PR man..

[/quote] Indeed. This is an actual shame - he just doesn't like the 9-5 because it's not a Hyundai. Sad to know we'll never see the 9-5 here. Or will we?...

"The creative adult is the child who survived."

13 January 2010

The point that has me dumbfounded is that the team, with Whiteacre at its head, that was brought in by the US government to save thousands of jobs from being lost (with the implosion of GM and its domino effect on the industry and communities) is now willing to do just that! But of course, who cares, it's in Sweden, right? Not quite, gentlemen: Not only is it pathetic to be so self-centered (Who cares about the rest of the World, right?), but there will be jobs lost at dealerships in the US.

Besides, I don't think that they can teach anyone a lesson about how to handle a company in trouble, much less to Genii-Ecclestone, a successful billionaire in his own right (the ethics of his behaviour being something to cover in other threads).

Pages

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