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Javelin
Javelin SuperDork
7/21/11 3:21 p.m.

Has anybody else been following this saga? For those of you that haven't:

When GM went belly-up 2 years ago SAAB got sold off and was going to be liquidated out. The guys that founded and owned Spyker, who were making money hand-over-fist in the extreme exotic car category, made a last-second deal to buy SAAB. To do so they had to sell Spyker.

Since then they've released all of 1 model (that GM designed and developed before the sale) and have stopped production. Their suppliers won't deliver, their main investor (a Russian guy that keeps popping up all over) can't invest due to some law-breaking, and they had to sell off all of their assets to lease them back (STUPID!!!).

Now they've got some funding from 2 Chinese companies but still haven't started production. I think they don't have a snowball's chance in a rotary exhaust of making it.

Who was the bright one that convinced them to sell of the extremely profitable exclusive car company to buy the rotting remains of a never-successful one?

a401cj
a401cj Reader
7/21/11 3:25 p.m.

How do you know it was extremely profitable? I'm dubious. I think that for a small scale operation even charging mega bucks for each car would be hard to break even

Javelin
Javelin SuperDork
7/21/11 3:28 p.m.

In reply to a401cj:

Because Magna Steyr bought them out and is continuing to make money hand-over-fist. Corporations have to publicly disclose financials.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
7/21/11 3:29 p.m.

By the way, we just had a 9-5 as a test car.

Javelin
Javelin SuperDork
7/21/11 3:33 p.m.
David S. Wallens wrote: By the way, we just had a 9-5 as a test car.

Shoulda kept it! That unicorns gonna be worth some money because they sure aren't going to make them anymore. Unless they come out in China as the Youngman QZZYQ.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
7/21/11 3:34 p.m.

You know, I wonder what the eventual demand will be for that car. I was surprised there was one in the press fleet.

Otto Maddox
Otto Maddox Dork
7/21/11 3:42 p.m.

I'd like to see one of these belly-up car companies become like a communist era eastern bloc car company and just make the same exact car for the next thirty years whether anyone wants it or not.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
7/21/11 3:46 p.m.

Seriously, I'm surprised we haven't seen any successful designs from our recent past licensed for such thing. Why not keep the 1992-'95 Civic in production forever? It's totally practical and reliable.

Javelin
Javelin SuperDork
7/21/11 3:46 p.m.
Otto Maddox wrote: I'd like to see one of these belly-up car companies become like a communist era eastern bloc car company and just make the same exact car for the next thirty years whether anyone wants it or not.

I like that idea! Wonder what the defunct G8 and Solstice tooling would cost from GM?

Otto Maddox
Otto Maddox Dork
7/21/11 3:54 p.m.

In reply to Javelin:

Come to think of it, Ford has come pretty close to my plan with the Crown Vic.

It seems like Miatas have only changed for the sake of change over the years.

Javelin
Javelin SuperDork
7/21/11 3:59 p.m.

I think we are still getting the run-ons, we just don't see it because they re-body it. The platforms are going unchanged (or changed very little).

Think Fox-chassis (Ford) 1978-2004, W-Body (GM) 1998 (at least) - 2012, Panther (Ford) 1978? - 2012, Ranger (Ford) 1982? - 2012, etc, etc

Duke
Duke SuperDork
7/21/11 4:02 p.m.
David S. Wallens wrote: Seriously, I'm surprised we haven't seen any successful designs from our recent past licensed for such thing. Why not keep the 1992-'95 Civic in production forever? It's totally practical and reliable.

Thank Uncle Sam. Plus, Honda would never license it because it would show how much more awesomely fun that car was than the current Hondas are.

RossD
RossD SuperDork
7/21/11 4:06 p.m.

They still make the A2 Jetta with an updated front end in China, and the Cherokee was being produced there until 2005. Something about Ford cars in Brazil too...?

integraguy
integraguy SuperDork
7/21/11 4:10 p.m.

Funny, as I heard it Spyker WASN'T making mountains of money on their cars before they bought Saab....guess I read it wrong?

Saab has fallen into a big black hole with the car buying public, even if production started back up this morning, it's not like there are hundreds of thousands of folks waiting to buy a new one. Last year, if I remember correctly, Saab sold less than 100,000 cars. And apparently, that's AFTER dealers got so antsy they heavily discounted their remaining inventory.

Finally, the latest issue of the British mag CAR (hit the U.S. newsstands in the past week) tests a new Saab 94x. According to the story, this car/SUV is closely related to the Acadia/Traverse but for some reason GM decided to holdoff on marketting it. The tester thought the 94x was a pretty good vehicle...just not great, when perhaps Saab really needs great cars.

oldeskewltoy
oldeskewltoy Reader
7/21/11 4:13 p.m.
David S. Wallens wrote: Seriously, I'm surprised we haven't seen any successful designs from our recent past licensed for such thing. Why not keep the 1992-'95 Civic in production forever? It's totally practical and reliable.

same as the AE9 Corolla sedans and wagons from the late 80s early 90s

belteshazzar
belteshazzar SuperDork
7/21/11 4:24 p.m.

can you still get a brand new B13 sentra in Mexico?

I'd prefer that to a civic anyway.

mtn
mtn SuperDork
7/21/11 4:34 p.m.

They still make the VW Type 2 in Brazil. Largely unchanged from the 1950 version, IIRC from some ever reliable internet source.

Javelin
Javelin SuperDork
7/21/11 4:41 p.m.
belteshazzar wrote: can you still get a brand new B13 sentra in Mexico? I'd prefer that to a civic anyway.

I know you could still get a Nissan Hardbody there in 2004 (in Double Cab form no less! ) which we only had until 97 in original form. And that truck is a faaaaaaar better light pickup than the nearly-a-tractor monsters we have today (that are incidentally always waxed to perfection and lifted 30" around here).

spitfirebill
spitfirebill SuperDork
7/21/11 5:22 p.m.
Javelin wrote:
belteshazzar wrote: can you still get a brand new B13 sentra in Mexico? I'd prefer that to a civic anyway.

I know you could still get a Nissan Hardbody there in 2004 (in Double Cab form no less! ) which we only had until 97 in original form. And that truck is a faaaaaaar better light pickup than the nearly-a-tractor monsters we have today (that are incidentally always waxed to perfection and lifted 30" around here).

I think it came with a diesel too. Something we never got.

peter
peter Reader
7/21/11 5:24 p.m.

The B13 Sentra is still produced in South America somewhere. Not sure if it's still a Nissan or what, but there were a ton of them running around Chile when I was down there in '07, my host told me they were still being made!

mad_machine
mad_machine SuperDork
7/21/11 6:18 p.m.

it's a shame. Saab has potential.. but I think the damage done to them by GM might be terminal

Curmudgeon
Curmudgeon SuperDork
7/21/11 6:44 p.m.

^^ What he said.

alfadriver
alfadriver SuperDork
7/21/11 7:18 p.m.
mad_machine wrote: it's a shame. Saab has potential.. but I think the damage done to them by GM might be terminal

Uh, odds without GM they would have died some time ago. For whatever reason, both Saab and Volvo needed help from bigger companies. Both were sold off, it's just that Volvo was making reasonable cars. Not sure how long it will last.

Much like Mazda, Alfa, Rover, Jaguar, etc etc. Rover is gone, Alfa is a re-badged Fiat, Jaguar was a collosal waste of good money.

Sucks for Saab fans. Sucks worse for the management team who bought out GM (quite arrogantly, IMHO), and is now facing this mess.

Lot harder to sell cars than it appears, yes?

friedgreencorrado
friedgreencorrado SuperDork
7/21/11 7:24 p.m.
Otto Maddox wrote: I'd like to see one of these belly-up car companies become like a communist era eastern bloc car company and just make the same exact car for the next thirty years whether anyone wants it or not.

Good point, but if it was SAAB doing it with the classic 900, I'd be tempted to give one a try..

triumph5
triumph5 SuperDork
7/21/11 7:26 p.m.

That Spyker/Saab deal was REALLY shaky from day one. No surprise there; and with their little foray into F!, Spyker had big time problems paying the bills. IIRC, some of their shipping containers were siezed until suppliers were paid.

I think Saab would have died a long time ago had GM not bought it. And Saab knew it.

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