Now this ought to be high risk.
Buy an extensively equipped, complex car from a defunct car maker. Buy the last model that this defunct maker developed, complete with teething troubles. Pay a surprisingly high price for said car, despite the absence of a dealer network, an apparently uncertain parts supply and a tiny constituency of people who might actually want one when the time comes to sell it. But if I had £10,000 to splash, a Saab 9-5 might just win my money – even though I know there are better cars to be had for the same price, just as there were when it was new. And back then, between 2010 and 2012, there was a network, a parts supply and the spluttering flame of a future for Saab.
Most of us know how Saab’s most exciting new model in decades came to be cut short in its prime. Saab’s owner General Motors was months away from launching the all-new 9-5 when the Lehman Brothers bank collapsed, triggering a monumental recession that took GM down with it. In return for a US government bailout, GM had to agree to sell or close several brands, Saab included. Opportunistic manoeuvring from Spyker supercar boss Victor Muller allowed him to buy the company, part-funded by Russian oligarch money and an EU loan underwritten by the Swedish government, which shrewdly required the Saab parts operation as collateral. The money allowed Muller to launch the 9-5, to mixed but generally positive reviews. It wasn’t a BMW-beater, but it wasn’t so far off that you couldn’t justify the temptation.