We’ve all now had 24 hours to reflect on the fact that GM has finally off-loaded Saab to Koenigsegg the Swedish supercar maker backed by Norwegian money.
But my nagging doubt remains: is this really the best route for Saab?
You can see why the Swedish government is so keen on domestic ownership and you can also see the attraction to GM. The fact remains though that building 18 billionaires’ playthings per year is rather different from making money out of what should be a company making around 200,000 cars per year.
Admittedly Koenigsegg has been dealt a good hand by getting the next Saab 9-5 for virtually nothing and all of the GM technology it’s made with on the cheap. There’s a 9-4SX off-roader on the way too and the next 9-3, based on the Astra, should be a decent Audi A3 rival. But there’s a lot more to making money out of cars than just having good products. Ask Jaguar.
Whether Koenigsegg has the sophistication and savvy to run a global car brand remains to be seen.
Just looking at Chrysler tells you that private equity and car makers aren’t usually a happy marriage, Because if Koenigsegg doesn’t get it right the next generation of Saabs will surely be the last.