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Koenigsegg Group set to take control as next 9-5 ramps up

A binding agreement that will sell Saab to the Koenigsegg Group will be in place by the end of this month, according to sources in Sweden.

The move comes in the wake of General Motors’ rapid exit from bankruptcy. With that hurdle cleared, GM — the current owner of Saab — is now able to finalise the deal with Koenigsegg Group, a conglomerate of investors working with the owners of the Swedish supercar manufacturer Koenigsegg.

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The handover is expected in late summer, as Saab rushes to prepare its Trollhättan HQ for production of the all-new 9-5. The new car is expected to be unveiled in September, before going on sale in the spring of 2010.

As part of the deal, GM Europe will transfer production equipment to the Trollhättan factory to allow Saab to build the new 9-5. The 9-5 is based on GM’s Epsilon 2 platform.

Details of Saab’s ‘sensible’ business plan for the new 9-5 has also emerged. Sources say the Swedes want at least three per cent of the ‘profitable’ global large car market, which accounts for around 1.2 million cars per year.

Annual production of 45,000 9-5s would be around the same achieved by the outgoing model. However, while the business plan is based on this ‘modest’ figure, insiders say they would be surprised not to sell more, especially as the new 9-5 is a much more sophisticated car than the current 12-year-old model.

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Hilton Holloway

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