David buys Goliath

News came through yesterday that the specialist, high-value, low-volume Swedish car maker Koenigsegg is to buy the family-orientated, generic-platformed, ‘high’-volume Saab.

Koenigsegg CCX or next Saab?
Koenigsegg CCX or next Saab?

To be fair, at under 100,000 units per year, Saab on its own is not a big manufacturer. It may even produce fewer cars than Rover did before BMW offloaded them. However, it still represents a very odd business plan. Koenigsegg produced only double figures last year, and while they do make great cars, they certainly don’t have the experience of a a mass producer.

Here’s a little taster how we think things could go..

Good

  • Saab’s products are refined. Build quality improves, performance improves.
  • Key partnership(s) forged with another mass producer, ensuring lower cost development and access to latest drivetrains.
  • Reputation for solidity and quirkiness restored.
  • Saab fleet buyers get free Koenigsegg 🙂

Bad/Ugly

  • No alliance is forged, Saab products grow older.
  • Sales dwindle.
  • Saab kills Koenigsegg’s cash position. Both companies suffer.

Apparently, as part of the proposed sale, GM will continue to provide Saab with ‘architecture’ and powertrain technology during a ‘defined time period’. Saab plans to produce its next generation 9-5 models in its production facility in Trollhättan, Sweden.

“The proposed agreement will enable us to maximize the brand’s potential through an exciting new product line-up with a distinctly Swedish character.  Today’s announcement is great news for Saab’s current and future customers, dealers, suppliers and employees around the globe, said Jan Åke Jonsson, Managing Director of Saab Automobile AB.

We sincerely hope all goes well and we see some great Saab products in the future.

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