This statement is surprising as I remember writing about the Spyker-Saab deal in February 2010 where Spyker bought the beleaguered company from General Motors for a sum totaling US$74 million in cash and another US$326 million in deferred shares. Spyker took a 400 million Euro loan for Saab and another hundred million Euro loan elsewhere as backup. 400 million Euros is just part of the operating costs of Saab. Of course at that point of time Spyker wanted Saab to sell 120,000 cars per year and the bad news is Saab only managed around 80,000 or so units. It sold more cars in 2009 and obviously, selling less cars meant that Saab is in a real bad state. There was even an issue at the Saab Trollhattan plant which had to be temporarily shut down for about a day or so due to suppliers stopping the supply of parts. All of this isn't confidence building if you know what I mean.
According to the annual report, Saab is losing tons of money due to trying to set up new distribution networks and sales/marketing operations. While this spending of money was necessary and budgeted for in the Saab turnaround cum business plan, Spyker did not anticipate that the actual cash needed was higher than planned. There was also talk that a Russian billionaire is interested in Saab and is willing to invest 500million Euros into Saab. But this is mere speculation and nothing is solid as yet. And why someone is willing to add more money to a sinking ship is beyond me. As if Spyker's foray into Saab isn't a lesson to others already.
All this has basically shown that what I said in my earlier articlewritten way, way, way back in December 2009 where I asked a simple question on Saab and its extinction at that point of time and whether it really matter to any of us?
I basically asked and said - “And what does Saab give us that we can’t get from any other car? I still don’t know. If you do know, you must be a Saab owner and therefore you’re biased. If you’re a Saab owner and you’re feeling angry at this article, you shouldn’t. You should treat this as an early warning and sell your car as quickly as possible and buy something that isn’t a Saab before it is worth lower than the value of scrap. And don’t get any ideas that your Saab will be a collector’s item one day. If it isn’t a Ferrari or a Bugatti, it may be better if you actually sell it and save yourself the pain and suffering in the long run. “
Now do you know what? I think I am still sticking to what I said back then. I still wouldn't give two hoots if Saab kicked the bucket. They've not shown me anything within the last year or so that would make me weak in the knees, make my jaw drop or drool all over like a rabid dog in heat. Aside from a recent concept car called the Phoenix (which is too much of a concept car – too overstyled and clearly on a wheelbase that's too short. It is also inspired by marketing nonsense like Saab's aeronautical heritage – Saab automotive has not been a part of Saab aviation since decades ago), no Saab has made any sort of proper headlines in the last few months that would make a motorhead jump for joy or have an orgasm or that sort of pleasure. What is interesting is whether or not Saab can last another year or will they end up in the graveyard of automotive brands?