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TTELA: Several interested parties submitted bids

April 10, 2012 in News

FROM TTELA: The activity among the interested parties for Saab was high today as the deadline to submit final bids expired at 17:00. The bankruptcy administrators explains to TT that they are hoping to get a bid for more than the 3,6 billion SEK which Saab’s value has been estimated to.

Saab’s bankruptcy administrators explained last week that the parties who are bidding for Saab as a whole had until today to submit a final bid. The known parties are Mahindra, Youngman and the Japanese-Chinese consortium. According to sources to TTELA at least one or more have raised their bids just before the time-limit expired. From Youngman a lot of activity is to have taken place yesterday.

The bankruptcy administrator Hans Bergqvist confirms to TT that new bids were received today.
- We are evaluating them

TT: You have earlier talked about a handful of parties, have all of them submitted final bids?
- They remain, none have jumped ship. The interested parties who have followed us during this process are still here, without saying who or how many remain.
- We see this as a base-point for continued discussions, say Bergqvist.

If this deals goes through, will there be car-production in Trollhättan again?
- Everyone wants to build cars, and all of them wants to continue with Saab in one way or another, say Bergqvist.
- These parties have different abilities to do what Saab wanted to do. They see possibilities to use whatever is inside Saab to accomplish this.

Bergqvist concludes that the almost ten year old 9-3 is more or less free-for use, but there are other models that GM owns the right to and where a permission from GM is needed. The ambition of the administrators is that a deal is to be completed before the summer. The most important thing for the interested buyers are to get back large parts of the employees and this becomes more difficult as time passes.

- Luckily there are many left in the proximity and a firm owner and an exciting concept can get a lot of them back, say Bergqvist and adds: What is fun about this is that the knowledge within Saab is ranked very high on the world-market. This is honorable for Saab and the employees.

At which price do the administrators expect to get for Saab, Bergqvist is unwilling to disclose other than that they are hoping for a complete sale for more than the 3,6 billion SEK which Saab has been valued at.
- It’s a “slaughter value” (swedish expression)

114 responses to TTELA: Several interested parties submitted bids

  1. Mahindra can make a go of this—-and I think Youngman can too. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.

  2. I would be glad to come back to SAAB and rebuild a new company from the ground up!

  3. I hope everything works out! I wanna buy one of the first new Saabs produced!

  4. As for the “ten year old” 9-3. If that’s what a new owner needs to start with, so be it. Handled correctly, it can buy the time needed to develop new models. New 9-3 colors, perhaps a new fascia, interior redesign at some point—-it’s a nice car that can soldier on for a few more years. Offered at the right price, I’d take a 9-3 over almost any other comparable car from the usual suspects—-GM, Toyota, etc. I sat in a 9-3 at my Saab dealer about a month ago and it has a genuine Saab feel to it—-again—-better than most cars on the road in that price range.

    • On several Edmunds 9-3 reviews I read yesterday, people say that once they drove one they were disappointed with other cars.
      I find that now when I drive my wife’s VW or my son’s Volvo I am beating them trying to get them to do what a 9-3 does naturally. The 9-3 is just a good, fun car to drive.

      • I sincerely can’t see how people can say that the 9-3 was inferior to the competition. I bought a 2011, and compared to the cars in the market, the car is by far the best driver. Other cars might be roomier or have nicer appointments (and more adequate audio systems, *cough*, even if curiously other automakers still view Bluetooth as an option rather than necessity), but if you are looking for a car to DRIVE, there’s simply no competition whatsoever.

        A new Volvo V40ish hatchback body based on the SportCombi with an “X” version and an Aero and there you go. If the receivers make a quick decision, could be ready in 18 months tops, by that time Mahindra could assemble the Korando just to keep the plant running.

        Of course this is only a pipe dream. We all know the bidders are Youngman, who won’t get accepted for well-substantiated reason, and the BAIC consortium who will ultimately win backed by the Swedish Goverment, who in turn will subsidize a very limited loss-making operation providing a fraction of jobs Saab did, while Volvo will be free to chip in some additional monies for the unused equipment they can send to China and their own engineering facilities.

        • The 9-3SS was definitely competitive…for about a year. But by then, the competition had surpassed it, and the car’s poor manufacturing had caught up with it. By the time all the bugs were worked out in 2006, it was actually a fine car, albeit one that was far behind the competition in power, styling, handling and value. Was it a class leader in any categories? No…but it was a decent family sedan that had just enough sporty character not to be boring.

          But honestly…by 2011, the 9-3 was on a par with the cheaper Passat and slipping behind Hyundai and Kia. THAT’S the reason the 9-3 is basically “free-for-use” — it’s now an outdated, underpowered platform that never lived up to its promise.

          • If you are going to tell me that ANY Hyundai or Kia drives better than the 9-3 SS, I rest my case. There is an entire different world of driving that I know nothing about then, and as such I can’t rate a car against those standards. In the world of driving as I know it, and the people I know personally know it, there is no better sedan or combi than the 9-3 with regard to driving experience, be it 2003s against 2003s, or 2011s against 2011s. Period.

            There is no absolute measure of car “betterness”. The Hyundai might give you more kit for the money. The BMW might have better-looking or better-feeling interiors. The Volvo might have more airbags. But unless you are a Consumer Reports groupie, why would you believe there is a single dimension of car “betterness” and a straight lines along which all cars can be placed and compared to using it?

            • Exactly.

              Spend 300 km on icy roads while trying to match the speeds you’d drive the same roads during the summer. The best car is the one that gets you to the destionation without your legs feeling like jelly. This is the base-line for comparing cars. Audiosystems and interiors are just fluff that can be sorted out after getting the basics right.

              That test btw…: Easy-peasy in any Saab. Of course.

              @mike saunders: what kind of driving do you do?

          • Wow Mike, so you are claiming that a 2011 Saab 9-3 is on-par with the Passat and “slipping behind” Hyundai? I’ve heard some wildly bizarre claims in my time but I must say that this one “takes the Taco” :-) Have you actually driven a new Passat or a new Hyundai? Before purchasing my 2007 9-3, I can say that I have.

            In fact, my previous car was actually a 2006 Hyundai Sonata and while it served me well, the steering was way too light, lacking in feedback and handling was mediocre at best. Furthermore, the engine-block had to be replaced before 60k miles due to an oil circulation problem (which should *never* happen on a car of that age), and the suspension started getting extremely rough and noisy around the same time. Acceleration was incredibly sluggish, considering that it had a larger engine than my 9-3. Plus there were refinement issues such as a weird rumbling noise in the trunk (which I found out was fuel sloshing around in the tank), excessive road noise, and interior trim peeling like no-one’s business (something that hasn’t happened on my 9-3 at all). The transmission was also pretty sloppy and too quick to up-shift. I drove a friend’s current generation Hyundai Sonata and I did notice slight improvements but handling, steering and pedal feel (which is too loose) were only marginally improved. The interior on the very latest Hyundai’s are pretty nice but my 9-3 has a far superior interior to that of the Hyundai that I have owned. And the seats are better than any car I’ve ever sat in.

            All in all, my Hyundai started feeling old around 60k miles, whereas my 9-3 is close to 70k and still feels very new with zero of the issues I mentioned above. Before purchasing my 9-3 I test drove a VW CC, which is really a high-end Passat. It was a nice car for sure. But it felt “big”, and the engine was underpowered for its size. Steering feel was better than the Hyundai but the weighting wasn’t as balanced as my 9-3. The engine note was rather anemic-sounding as well, and while brake feel was pretty good: throttle feel didn’t feel right. Somehow, Saab totally nailed it: when it comes to throttle feel.

            Keep in mind that I was comparing my 2007 Saab 9-3 with a 2012 model Volkswagen CC and a 2010 Hyundai Sonata and I was so blown-away by how the 9-3 fared … I couldn’t buy it fast enough. To declare either the CC or the Hyundai Sonata as “sporty” is laughable. Whereas, the turbo in my 9-3 never ceases to amaze me. So yeah, forgive me if I have a hard time believing that the “[Saab 9-3 is an] outdated, underpowered platform”.

            • 9-3 inferior? I beg to differ. Mine is a 2004 manual, and it is the best car I’ve ever owned. Let’s start with the fact that at just over 100,000 miles, I have yet to spend a penny that wasn’t normal maintenance. It is still tight, handles great, and is fun to drive. Perhaps the most amazing is the fact that I’ve owned a number of manual transmissions across the cars I’ve owned in the almost 50 years I’ve been driving, and I’ve never had a clutch last beyond 75,000 miles. On this car, I’m still on the original clutch at 100,000 miles, and it is solid as a rock.

              9-3 inferior? I think not. It’s the best automobile I’ve ever owned.

              • I think you meant to reply to Mike ;-)

                Anyhow, i’m probably just under two years away from 100k miles so this is reassuring to hear! Based on how refined the engine sounds I am already confident about my car’s life-span.

              • 300,000 km, _still_ the first clutch. I start feeling I might have missed something ;-)

            • Mike
              Regarding your comments about the underpowered 9-3, In the European market the car is anything but under powered as it was delivered with 180Hp as standard (TTid4) with a Saab authorised option to goto 200Hp and 430Nm of torque, that is not underpowered.

              ??? Maybe with petrol/gasoline engines you might be right.

              Baz

            • You are so right. From 1974 to 1997 I got a new car every second or third year but since I bought my first convertible in 1997, a Saab 900 it went to 2009 before a got a new car, a Saab 9-3 Convertible. I still have my 900 also and if I got an offer to change my 9-3 against a new Audi, BMW or Mercedes convertible my answer should be – No, thank you. It´s about feeling!

            • @Rune: What kind of driving do I do?

              About 80-90 miles per day commuting in New England (ice, snow, slush in winter) and frequent long car trips of 5-6 hours at a time. Once or twice a year, I do 3,000-mile round trip drives on vacation. Throw in the occasional track day.

              That’s a fair amount of driving.

              @Ryan: I wouldn’t expect you to consider the Sonata in the same class as the 9-3. Few Saab drivers do. But unfortunately for Saab, Hyundai used the 9-3 as a benchmark for the Sonata and came close to it for about 3/5 the price. re: the CC…I’ve driven the 2011 CC and a 2010 9-3 back to back within the same day. The CC slays it in every category, including handling and interior appointments….for less money.

              • …and what speed do you engage when on the ice?

                When you hit 100 kph, that is the watermark it seems. In adverse conditions, drivers of other brands stay well below 100 kph in my experience. (and they rarely overtake in the slush, even if someone slows down to 60 in a 90 kph zone)

                • Rune, most reasonably balanced front-wheel drive cars will perform capably in ice and snow. With traction control and good winter tires, most rear wheel drive cars are fine in snow.

                  Snow and ice stability isn’t some magic Saab feature. ;) Maybe Saab drivers think they’re invincible, but that’s the person behind the wheel, not the car. My 9-5 is great in snow, so it’s my winter commuting beater until the snow is too deep…then the Suburban takes over. ;)

              • Mike, you like the Hyundai or the Volkswagen better, and good for you, you have found a perfect car for yourself. But if so, why would you bother to come here, Saab is obviously not a brand for you, you prefer something else, and I hope your Sonata or Passat bring you much satisfaction.

                Just please do not mistake personal preference for objective truth. I love my 9-3, but some people are far happier in a Dodge Ram or Fiat Panda, and I won’t tell them they’re wrong. (I’ll let them drive the 9-3 though for them to know what they’re missing though :D )

                • I think its fantastic that you love your 9-3. It’s a nice little car, and you exercised your personal preference to buy it. But the objective truth is that the 9-3 is a dated platform that has been long surpassed in power, handling and amenities by its European competitors…and is falling behind the Koreans that used the 9-3SS as one of the benchmarks.

                  Of the seven Saab’s I’ve owned, two are currently in my driveway: a beater commuter 9-5 and a 400bhp “fun” car. I’m likely going to snag another C900 for a Sunday car. I might pick up another 9-5 from the ones released in bankruptcy proceedings, but that will be it for any new Saab. There’s just too much competition out there, with better features at better prices.

                  • But something makes you return here, day after day. Are you also on competitor’s sites, commenting on those better/cheaper cars?

                  • You’re strange Saaber Mike. You don’t think the NG 9-3 is any good and promote openly VW’s and Korean cars (it was BMW a while back). Then you tell us OG 9-5′s are okay and that you will pick up a NG 9-5 for a bargain at an auction.
                    Who needs enemies when we got friends like you? ;)

                    The 9-3 is still very good to drive compared to anything out there but helplessly unpractical compared to the classic Saabs even in the wagon trim. For some strange reason I’ve also liked driving the NG 9-3 better than any OG 9-3 or 9-5 so the chassis can’t be as bad as you claim. Maybe it’s due to the fact that it measures almost identical to “the little” 9000? I suspect the weight distribution and ride height is also fairly similar.
                    What do you know even some journos like it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9PSwWlE3PJI but they must be clueless, right.

                    If you think all FWD’s perform the same in the winter or that RWD’s only need good tires you haven’t ever seen roads or conditions we have over here. Good luck with your average VW, Merc or whatever. It’s not a pleasure especially if you have to travel 100-300 miles a day. With a Saab it has been effortless. At times I try out the competition to get a feel what’s out there but something’s always wrong with them compared to the 9-3. A flashy exterior is pretty useless if the car won’t like going straight on the highway or driving it is uncomfortable.

                    PS. 400k< km with just about everything original except a couple of EGR's.

              • Hyundai used the Saab 9-3 as a benchmark? I honestly can’t see how. And once again: my old Hyundai’s engine block was replaced before 60k miles. Everyone who I told that to said that is pretty bad. But even if I ignore that, everyone who has seen my old car and saw my new one has talked about how much nicer my 9-3 is. So not sure how they supposedly “came close”.

                About the CC: the interior is nice, I’ll give you that. But after just replacing the door handles, that differentiater evaporates. But I just don’t see how it “slays the 9-3″ in every category, in terms of performance. Granted, at some point, we can just agree to disagree but let me just say that after my MapTun upgrade I haven’t had any problem leaving some Audis and BMWs in my dust … let alone CCs.

                I suppose we can just “agree to disagree” ;-)

          • I own a 2006 9-3 and have received so many compliments about the looks, style, build, and handling of the car. I purchased the car 5 years ago with 5,600 miles and it just rolled over 100,000 miles with no issues (no rattles, ride is tight, still plenty of power, etc.). The platform may be dated, but not outdated. The new changes/updates to the car keep it as a contender with other cars in it’s price range. It is truly a fine automobile that puts any Hyundai and VW to shame.

          • Don’t agree with anything you have said Mike S.

            Have you experienced a Sport Combi, the wonderful V6 turbo, or the most advanced all wheel drive system on the market? Doesn’t sound like you have.

            I had an ’03 SS Linear, ’06′ SC Aero, and now a ’09 SS Aero XWD. All have been excellent cars. The ’03 did have several bugs but were all workded out under warranty. Matter of fact I had virtually no repairs on the ’03 out of warranty up to 109,000 mi. when I traded it in. The ’06 SC had virtually no repairs under warranty or after.
            Now the ’09 SS Aero with 48,000 mi. has had no issues except a bad XM receiver (huge GM part).

            So while the 9-3 is getting old you have to remember it was 3-5 years ahead of its time in 2003!

            • Yes, I’ve driven the XWD. it’s fantastic…but it’s no longer the “most advanced all-wheel drive system on the market” and hasn’t been since the year after its debut. ;)

              It’s a meaningless distinction. Consider that Vauxhaul sold more XWD Insignias in GB than Saab sold 9-3 XWD models….

          • I don’t know about passat as I didn’t try it, but if Audi A4 is any indication, I can calmly say, Saab handles better. I experienced a pretty bad case of torque steer on the latest generation of Audi. Yes, A4′s have better transmissions and they are percieved as fancier cars, but 9-3′s are more space effective, practical, have better seats and cost way less.

            As for BMW, yes bimmers do handle considerably better, but are not nearly as practical or roomy. They do have advantage in transmission, but again they are much more expensive. But when it comes to accomodations Saab comes on top and do not forget about winters.

            That is my real life experience with those cars. I won’t even comment on Kia – had a ride in one not so long ago and they don’t even come close. If you ask me, 9-3 is getting outdated only after new 3-series hit the market, but even that could be remedied if only there was enough advertisement. Look at the passat. VW is selling us the exact same thing for the last 10 years, but no, this is a new car, it has a new body.

          • Mike-You’re not going to convince them. Some of these folks still honestly think it is a good idea to put the 9000 back into production. As a whole, visitors of a Saab fan site aren’t the sort of people to weigh their cars objectively against the competition (real or imagined). You will get a lot of “feels best to me” and “best car I’ve owned” but not a lot of measurable data.

            That’s probably how it should be too, on a fan site. We aren’t here, 4 months after bankruptcy, just to bash Saabs.

            • But isn’t a major component of car ownership/car enthusiasm the “intagibles” that really can’t be measured objectively? Guys: A Toyota Camry or Honda Accord will offer low cost of ownership, long, reliable life and will get you from point A to point B like a good refrigerator keeps food cold. But that’s the problem for me with Honda and Toyota—-I like appliances in my kitchen, not in my garage. Yes, the way a car “feels” is important to me. I own a Kia Sedona van to haul stuff on weekends. I own a ’79 Chevy Monza V8 as a fun project car. My company car is a Prius. The two cars I have a passion for driving are my ’93 BMW 325i and my ’04 Saab 9-4 ARC Wagon. Those cars “feel” right to me. I love the comfort of the 9-5 on long trips—-superior seats, at least for me. The BMW is fantastic on twisting roads and I love the exhaust note. “measurable data” is all well and good but when it comes to owning and driving cars, it’s more of a romance for me. For me, driving and owning car is an experience that exceeds cameras or computers, appliances, etc. It’s a love—-and when it comes to loving a person/falling in love, do you go by “measurable data” or do you go by “how it feels?”

              • I still drive my GM900 on weekends. I enjoy it and I’m not going to trade it until I find something I enjoy just as much. I love its lazy turbo and the long, liquid rush it makes through its 4 speed auto. I love it warts and all. Trust me, I don’t fault anyone for viewing something they love through rose colored glasses.

                That said….. it sure does boom and creak when I go over railroad tracks or hit a bad patch of pavement. The dash dances and the rear seat beam creaks and (by today’s standards) she is one twisty ship. Would I buy it today at its 1999 MSRP? Hell no. Am I glad I bought it when it was a contender? Yes I am.

                With enough effort, the 9-3 ss could be tweaked to be competitive enough again but I hate the thought of a new owner putting any more time into it. most of us have owned a few of them already. Let’s move along. I want the new owner to use 110% of their time making the next great thing. I love old Saabs but I can’t make a business case for producing them again.

            • Hang on there for a minute… Why do you consider Mike’s opinion objective? He has made some, quite frankly, amazing claims here.

              I could point to a Swedish magazine that points out the same thing (about the V60) I did about the Volvo V50. It just does not behave well on a rough icy winter road.

              You mention the 9000. I had that awful V50 the same day I went to pick up my 9000. Where I struggled (and gave up, albeit “only” after five minutes) to get the V50 to drive at all, the 9000 simply pulled itself through without any drama.

              That is quite significant, because my 9000 was built in 1997 based on a design from the early 80s. The V50 was built in 2008 or so (had much less than 20000 km on the clock). With the V50 I got to try every trick in the book (let the car ‘chew’ itself forward – FAIL, rock the car gently back and forth in a hope to get the wheels to somewhere they can find traction – FAIL — this was as objective test as it gets, a total FAIL vs a walk in the park — driving afterwards and observing how the car nervously kept bouncing between icy patches on the road was a little more subjective, but IMO quite easy to notice a dramatic difference there as well)

              This clearly demonstrates that one FWD car does not equal another FWD car. FWD helps, but it is only half the equation. E.g. weight distribution and wheelbase factor into the equation. Put all the weight in the back and you don’t get grip up front. Put all the weight in the front and you have no traction in the back (which makes the ride quite challenging and nervous).

              From what I observe on the road, there certainly is no competition from any RWD cars, unless the asphalt is completely void of any trace of snow and ice. (see Top Gear’s funny Ferrari AWD test up north where they demonstrate what happens when that Ferrari goes RWD in fifth gear) That, to me, indicates that Mike is barking up the wrong tree(s).

              Producing the 9000 again is madness. Not because the car would not be competitive technically from a driver’s POV, but because it was an expensive beast to produce.

          • “Slipping behind Hyundai and Kia”….Well Mike, I don’t know what you’re smoking, but I don’t want any of it!

    • But you can be sure the whole automotive press will start their bla bla about this “old” 9-3 and they will run it down although it is an excellent car. Because of this I fear new customers won´t come.

      • Yup, that’s the thing. Many successful “new” and “redesigned” cars are actually mostly or almost entirely carryovers of old tech with new metal and interior appointments, if we were to look at it that way. That’s the key to the Japanese quality and reliability, btw, to change as little as possible, and other manufacturers started taking note long ago (notably on the other hand GM had cars so crap in their darkest days they thought that perpetual starting from scratch is a better idea).

        But yeah, the media like “new” and the public often buys it because nobody will really want to dig down into the details most manufacturers prefer to keep secret just to make a very subjective assessment of a car’s “newness”.

        The (by now not so) “new” Ford Mustang uses a Panhard rod, how’s that for new, even if Ford had to design the rear suspension from the ground up for it to fit on the mangled DEW98 floorpan. It’s s freaking Panhard rod. But it was a “new” car.

        • re: the new Mustang’s Panhard rod: Yes….it used a tried and true component to nearly match the track times of an M3.

          Next, you’ll be going on about pushrods in the Corvette ;)

    • “Better than most cars on the road in that price range?”

      That depends on the price range. If you’re talking about the MSRP, I’d start laughing uncontrollably and likely need medical intervention. At that price point, it is absolutely outclassed in every aspect.

      If you’re talking about the current deeply discounted, fire-sale prices, then I’d agree. I’d pick a 9-3 over a Malibu, Corolla and Accord.

      • Somewhere in between. The sticker prices on American cars are whittled down significantly too, as are year-end deals on Volvo, Volkswagen, etc. BMW, Toyota, Honda—-stay closer to their sticker price. Of course at sticker, the 9-3 isn’t best in class. But a reasonable discount (not even a deep discount) makes the car very attractive. Before you knock it, drive it against the competition.

        • I don’t think that the Saab needs to absolutely outclass everything to be a reasonable entry. Even the best-ever compact executive sedan (or 5-door for that matter) will still haul less than a cheaper minivan, have worse mileage than a 1.0-powered, <1t Volkswagen Up and struggle against an 18-wheeler in any kind of collision.

          The Saab needs to deliver value and particular qualities to a particular set of buyers, who will be seeking for those in particular in turn and be willing to pay for them. At one point, Saab delivered so much of it, it really seemed the best entry overall, even if it could never be accused of overly lavish and showy interiors and many other advantages you could find in other cars. And Saab did make business sense as a going concern, and a reasonable consumer option as such.

          I do believe even in 2011 the Saab 9-3 did what it was supposed to do best absolutely well. Of course, not everybody was looking for precisely what it delivered, otherwise Saab would have to build a few more factories to build all those 9-3s. There is a question of whether there are enough people who care for how the car drives enough to pay for the 9-3, but I guess the thing was more about not enough people driving the 9-3 to find out that it was still worth the money.

          • Yes, I agree with all of your points Bravada. What people want is definitely at issue and while Saab interiors are nice, there are some parts that really should be improved (the interior door handles for example). But aside from there being a mismatch with what people want, there is also a mismatch with what people *think* they want. All too often, I suspect that customers would look at the relatively small engine and just move onto the next choice on their list, without even test-driving the Saab. I strongly suspect that if people knew how well their engines are matched with the car, and how impressive the handling and driver-feel is — Saab would be in a very different position now. So yes, Bravada, I strongly concur that lack of awareness was a huge problem. What’s incredibly ironic and (frankly quite frustrating) is that if the liquidity crisis never took place last year, people’s views of the Saab’s engines would “magically” improve since the competition is all moving to smaller turbo-charged engines. So in being supposedly “behind the curve” … Saab was actually ahead of the curve.

            • Yes, I agree with you. Look at BMW now with their turbocharged engines. If Saab starts producing the current gen 9-3, I am sure it will give the turbocharged 3series a run for their.money.. I was testing out my friends new 328, yes it was quick, but the delivery of the speed was not as exciting as my 6 year old hirsched 9-3 2.0t.

              With better door handles, I am sure it is more than enough to compete with the current passat and S60.

        • Angelo, that’s a fair and honest assessment that other folks here would be well-served to read. For those outside the Saab fold, the price-to-value ratio of the 9-3 suffers horribly from the competition…

          • From outside of the VW fold, do does VW’s, and don’t get me started on BMW. To each their own, I believe. Again, have a great time in your Hyundai, I am sure there are equally fine Hyundai enthusiast sites to share your joy of owning one.

      • Mike, I owned a corolla (MY 2003, 2,0D4D, 90HP) and an auris (MY 2007, 2,0D4D, 126 HP) for some years just before I got a 9-3 (TTiD4, 130HP) in mid 2011. I had enough kilometers in every season with each of this cars, so you can trust me: Toyotas are no match for Saab in any aspect with one exception: usage of space – that’s it. But please, do not compare handling, cornering and performance in winter. Saab is so far ahead there that anyone, no matter how biased he or she is, should notice a world of difference. Those cars are not in the same league.

    • And a full shell hood please.
      And yes lets get rid of those last GM genes including the loan in subordinate shares, that’s one thing that’s good about the bankruptcy.
      What could be more benefits ?

  5. Let’s hope the best. The way bankruptcy administrators look at this is always different from our point of view. Main interest is to pay the invoices….Just remember that splitting up the company is a definite option.
    New Saabs won’t be produced prior to 2014/2015…and they won’t be the current 9-3 and 9-5 if you ask me…because of GM’s recent behavior.
    A restarter of Saab should cherish the way Saab has been. Some things have to be done smarter (more efficient) than in the past. Most of it is commercially (dealer network etc.). It will be a hell of a lot of work to get dealers back on track

  6. Seems good so far. But End of February, March and now by the beginning of Summer? The suspense is killing me (As well as everyone else), hope they’re taking their time to find a well fit and strong new Owner.

  7. “The ambition of the administrators is that a deal is to be completed before the summer.” Not a very promising statement. I was hoping on a known winner by the end of this month. They are just hoping before summer. Kind of scary!

    • Remember the deal with Spyker was done lightning fast. Something like 2-3 weeks if I remember correctly. But those were totally different circumstances.

      • It only proves you can do those things ultra fast if only both parties want to. Now we have multiple parties, and many have vested interest in not pushing for a quick solution.

  8. According to sources to TTELA at least one or more have raised their bids just before the time-limit expired.

    Sounds like the typical rush of activity for the top item at the end of a silent auction. :-)

  9. Done deal before summer, OK. But, when do we know who the prefered bidder is? Shouldn’t that be like in a week or two?

  10. Before summer? This year? Come on! Nevertheless I feel positive , that there are still serious bidders who want to produce (Saab )cars. In the end it’ll be alright, I’m sure. But the waiting is annoying . Can a bidder withdraw now anymore , or are they to be held on their bid?

  11. The future new owners of SAAB should team up with Hirsch and release one fantastic looking 9-3, the facelift did it the world of good, and with the Hirsch handling extras and interior refinements, I wouldn’t choose any other new car still.

    Seriously class leading car http://elevencreative.wordpress.com/2011/09/29/are-people-who-drive-saab-just-friendlier/

  12. Sounds like a bit of a bidding war going on between Youngman and someone else.

    3.6 billion SEK is about 530 million USD. The first bidder to make an all cash offer in that amount will have the inside track. IMHO

  13. GRIFFIN UP !!!!!
    I hope its Mahindra !!!

    • Do not know … I guess I do too.
      Youngman .. do not know .. a dubious sense of inner rings only
      Japanese / Chinese consortium … Sounds like they want to do a remote-controlled toy car by Saab. And how long does it work?

      Guess Mahindra is the best we have to “choose” between but I’ll have no choice .. lol

      Anyway, it sounds good that there is interest and willingness to move on.
      Will wait and see …. as usual.

  14. “they are hoping for a complete sale for more than the 3,6 billion SEK which Saab has been valued at”

    I wonder what the real value of a company with over 60 years of Scandinavian Automotive know-how is? (if they get most of the personnel back). I mean the tens of billions of euros that has gone through the company over the years to make SAAB Automobile what it was last year. THN engineers are capable of competing with the best in the business.

    Just think how much it would cost to start a car company from scratch and then there is the aspect of a learning curve that doesn’t come with a price tag…

  15. Very glad to hear some news. The silence was long but now its time for things to start running. May the best bidder win and hopefully it will be the one who can revive the best the Saab spirit.

  16. I bought my (first) Saab a few years ago, it’s a 9.3 convertible. I had always have Italian cars before but when I tried a 9.3 for the first time I got the virus and now I hardly imagine buying another car than a Saab. The 9.3 is A 10 years old car which is still a fantastic car nowadays. Let’s hope, fingers crossed…

  17. Seems Youngman may have their hands full soon with the buyout of Lotus’ assets.

    This snippet taken from Autocar.co.uk (UK) just now…

    http://www.autocar.co.uk/News/NewsArticle/AllCars/262208/

    “Rumours circulated by the well-known F1 reporter Joe Saward, among others, suggest Proton’s new owner could be shaping up to sell the assets of the sports car company to China Youngman, Lotus’s importer in China since 2006, and a company which already makes its own “Engineered by Lotus” cars for sale in the region using Proton running gear.
    Youngman, which has long recognised the value of established European brands in emerging markets, was a bidder for Saab after the Swedish company’s collapse last year. Talks with other Chinese car companies are also rumoured to have taken place.”

    Could they afford to build up Saab as well as Lotus???? Hmmm….

    • This is really an important news! I guess that Youngman is doing a backup plan! What they need is a engineering company with prestigious name, and executive/luxury products. Lotus has all of that! Plus it doesn’t have a baggage full of problems, like almost non-existing product portfolio, issues with GM and the Chinese competitors, damaged brand etc.
      I don’t believe in Youngman wanting to buy both SAAB and Lotus! But maybe it is not far from reality either! Think of F1 Lotus car powered by the SAAB turbo engine! I wouldn’t mind that, would you?

  18. TimR. You probably have a reason to why You translated one important sentence in the TTELA article in to a question, while I only can read it as a positive statement. Please correct me if I´m out the bike (as we say in Sweden when we´re perhaps incorrect).

    “– Vi ser det här som en utgångspunkt för en fortsatt diskussion, säger Bergqvist.
    Om en affär går igenom blir det bilproduktion i Trollhättan igen.”

    That last sentence says ” There WILL be car production in Trollhättan again IF we have a signed deal.”

    So Bergqvist (MountainTwig in english) seems to be very certain of future car manufacturing in Trollhättan.
    As soon as the deal is signed.
    :)

  19. At what point will the bidders become known? Will these negotiations continue to be held in secret, with maybe some small facts leaked out, or will this be an open and transparent sale? Information has been severely lacking, and the rumors and innuendo surrounding the sale have made it very easy for the press and non-petrolheads to write Saab off. Some simple facts would be most welcome!

  20. I cannot get mad at the administrators because I know this is a complicated process. But at the same time, I cannot understand WHY they won’t let us know who ALL the bidders are (and by months end the preferred bidder).

    What harm can it honestly do??
    The dealer network in the United States has collapsed completely…how does Youngman/Mahindra/whomever honestly plan on building a dealer network is my question.

    • They can’t because they have singed agreements with the companies placing bids to keep it a secret…

      and no, the dealer network has not collapsed. I am in personal contact with several dealers who are still there, fighting!

      • I live in Central New Jersey. One of Saab’s largest markets. A couple years back during GM’s initial problems with Saab, we lost Paul Miller Saab (Volvo moved in). Now we lost JMK Saab, one of Saab’s best dealerships (Fiat Now). Now there is no Central NJ Saab dealers. They completely lost this market. I honestly don’t even know where the nearest Saab dealer is now… :( .

        Your contact with the few dealers here is not going to bring those dealers -amongst others- back if Saab is brought back. Getting these dealers back here is going to be a huge issue. :/

        • With all due respect to the right reverend dealers, dealers do come and go. Once Saab would be back with an attractive proposition, I am sure they’d find dealers ready to spare some showroom space for the brand. It’s not that a dealer network is set up overnight, but it’s not something you can’t rebuild.

        • E said on April 11, 2012

          Believe NJ still has Perrine SAAB. They still have a nice selection of 9-5s…

  21. So the 9-3 is available for production without much GM crap attached? So, ‘new buyer’, go for it!. The old 9-3 is still competitive but getting on in years. This should be reflected in its price. Just make the pricing such that you just break even and get as many of them on the road as possible. Keep in mind the time around Christmas 2010 and beginning if 2011, the 9-3 were selling as hot cakes because they were priced appropriately considering all the uncertainty around Saab and the murdering competition. I know this is not what people want to hear, but at this point it is important to keep the few remaining dealers happy and to get the message across that Saab is still alive.
    Btw, what about the old 9-5? If the 9-3 is pretty much GM free then the old 9-5 should be even more. With some updating and, again, appropriate pricing, also the old 9-5 should be able to stand its ground for another two years. For both the 9-3 and possibly a 9-5 I wouldn’t know where the engines would have to come from. The older engine just don’t cut it as far as mileage and (ugh, ugh) C02 is concerned. Power is not an issue, cranking the engines up to 260hp to 300hp is fairly straight forward.
    OK, so maybe I’m just dreaming….

  22. Unfortunately the 9-3SS doesn’t really have the endearing charm or the cult status of the C900, so continuing to build it long past it’s use by date will be a very difficult sell. Building it has to be very much a stop gap until the new 900 comes on line. Whatever changes made to the 9-3SS to prolong it’s life, have to be cost effective too. Spending a lot of money on an old car with a very limited lifespan makes very little sense.

    • Well, I just had a thought. If Saab has the rights to build it, wouldn’t they have the rights to license it? They could generate some royalties if they licensed the platform to every chinese, russian, etc. car manufacturer who wanted it and they could churn out the majority of the platform for completion by the licensee using the tooling in the Troll plant.

      A fairly innocuous and brand-neutral measure to take until the next big thing can be launched.

  23. Come on Mahindra.

    If GM is gone for good, I wonder whether if the trolls in TN could do any magic with Mahindra’s cars until they get the new platform up and running.

    Do a bit of that Saab magic on that Korean car, Korando, and maybe we could have a player. That Korando, was supposedly a Benz design anyway (probably dated) but a little Saab beefing up, some safety tweaking, some turbocharging and some suspension tuning just might make an attractive intermediary car.

    • Korando Specs:

      Length 4410 mm
      Width 1830 mm
      Height 1675 mm
      Wheel Base 2650 mm
      Boot Space 486
      Kerb Weight 1672 Kg
      No Of Doors 5
      Mileage
      Seating Capacity 5
      Maximum Speed 179 kmph
      Engine
      Engine Type e-XDi200
      Displacement 1998 cc
      Power 175 PS @ 4000 RPM
      Torque 360 NM @ 2000 -3000 RPM
      Valve Mechanism DOHC
      No Of Cylinders 4
      Cylinder Configuration Inline
      Valves Per Cylinder 4
      Fuel
      Fuel Type Diesel
      Fuel Tank Capacity 57 litre
      Fuel System Common-rail, high pressure, direct injection
      Transmission Type 6 Speed Manual
      Gears 6
      Suspension
      Front Suspension sub-frame-mounted McPherson Struts, with coil springs and gas-filled shock absorbers. Anti-roll stabilizer bar.
      Rear Suspension sub-frame-mounted multi-links, coil springs and gas-filled shock absorbers. Anti-roll stabilizer bar.
      Steering Type Power Steering
      Power Assisted Standard
      Brake
      Front Brakes Ventilated Disc
      Rear Brakes Solid Disc
      Tyre/Wheels
      Wheel Type Alloy
      Wheel Size 18 ”
      Tyres 6.5J 225 / 55 R18

    • The retro Korando was nice and original. The new one looks boring and average in comparison, imho. But both have nothing to do with Saab, could not be saabified easily, and would require enormous efforts to be built in Trollhättan.

      If you want a SUV with some Saab influence in it, I think that a better option would be to buy a Cadillac SRX, as a sister car to the 9-4x. It is not about the sticker, but about the spirit, right?

  24. It is said by press yesterday that the assets of Saab are representing only a third of its debt: because of that I do hope it will tip the balance scale for a take over instead of a liquidation as many suppliers would not get anything at all.

    Now I don’t see why GM would not give a veto again and I am afraid they just don’t want to see Saab alive anymore.
    As it is business, I assume they have good reasons for them to act so like for example exclusive partnership with one another car maker in China for example.

  25. Saab and Hyundai shouldnt even be mentioned in the same sentence. And as for a VW Passat….please….DAS BORING!!!

    • Please stop mention Saab and Hyundai in the same sentence, it’s killing me! ;)

      • I apologize if someone gets offended, but Hyundai owners really don’t care about cars.

        • Nonetheless, Hyundai makes a lot of money selling cars. And there is a lot of variety in their lineup. The sedans are appropriately non-offending (boring to death) while the Genesis coupe is loud and raucous in all the right ways and there is nothing wrong with that if you are in the mood for it. Hyundai isn’t a one trick pony. They’ve made rapid improvements and they are just gearing up for their best products.

          I haven’t and wouldn’t buy one, but that’s more to do with my dislike of me-too branding than the faults of the cars themselves. They are, for the most part, good machines (for the masses of apathetic drivers) that are rapidly becoming great machines (for the masses of apathetic drivers).

          • I agree with a lot of your points. In fact, compared to Toyota and Honda, Hyundai and Kia sedans are NOT boring to death. The Sonata/Optima is affordable, stylish, nice interior and a lot of engine choices. Look, I love Saab too—-but obviously, they are bankrupt and for example, Kia is gaining market share and growing faster than most other makes in the world. Lessons can be learned—particularly in offering value and variety. Saab can do it on a higher scale if the right party gains control.

    • +1 for zippy

      I’m not getting all the glowing comments about Hyundai and 9-3 bashing. I’ve actually owned a Hyundai, and while I agree they have come a long ways (and generally applaud their recent success): if you actually *drive* one for an extended period, it loses its flair.

      Hyundai is chasing after the “more bang for your buck” customer. So, if that is what you are after, I don’t blame you for buying one. but, Saab is about making driver-oriented cars that will make a bold statement and provide you with many years of enjoyment.

      • Actually, no Ryan—-Saab is not “about making driver oriented cars, etc.” Right now, they’re about bankruptcy. They haven’t made a car in about a year. Sometimes, being successful means offering perceived “bang for the buck.” Saab’s failure to include a smaller, entry level model (preferably a hatchback) is one of the reasons why they’re belly-up, hoping to be rescued by China or India. I love my Saab—-but I’m being realistic. Doing the same things that put them in bankruptcy will only put them in bankruptcy again. Hopefully a new owner will have a clue about that.

        • “Saab’s failure to include a smaller, entry level model (preferably a hatchback) is one of the reasons why they’re belly-up”

          Angelo, it was GM’s decision and failure to cut just about everything that would have made sense for SAAB. The reasons are also pretty obvious and gone through many times by now.

  26. I think the single biggest question here is this:

    Mike S, could you please share with the rest of us how you have managed to find do much free time in your life that you are able to spend part of it visiting websites of brands that you dislike so you can put them down in post after post after post?

    Ok so you don’t like SAAB. As Bravada said, you’re entitled. So go over to http://www.hyundaiumited.com or some other site for people that like Korean pieces of CRAP.

    Why waste your time? I don’t understand why belittling SAAB is so portably to you that you wod pour the effort into visiting and posting the way you have?

    Frankly you must have beena the school yard bully as a kid the ultimately was only picking on others when they were down because it is really bizarre to see you here.

    Also, my very very first car when i was 16 was a 93′ Mercury Cougar, teal grean and in hindsight it really was vomit inducing with that 90 degree rear windshield. At the time, i was taught to drive in my grandmothers Pontiac (9000 i think), a family friends’ 94′ le sabre & my parents 94′ Grand Caravan; I sold the cougar 6 months after I bought it because I was able to get double what I paid for it and wanted the money. I went without a personal car for awhile, then over the nexr 2 – 3 years, I drove varying vehicles that were my friends vehicles or family cars etc.

    In 2003 i was driving a 99′ bmw 3 series, I sold that about 4 weeks later, hated it. Then i drove a beat up 97′ Mazda 626 for about 6 months when one October night my mother was in a minor accident. Her car at the time was a 1988 wagon of some GM brand so even the minor accident meant the car was totaled.

    They were hurting financially at the time so that night, as i watch them stressing very badly about to do (they worked in opposite directions from home so one car was impossible) i pulled my dad aside and said “take the mazda, its yours. Just use it tomorrow to get to work, then pick me up at work and we will go car shopping fort new car. After tomorrow the mazda is yours totally.)

    That next day i signed the mazda over to him and we went shopping; i had the trip mapped out: MB, then BMW then Jag, then Audi and i hated them all. I found theday was getting late and there was one last spot on the shopping trip; i then went to the last dealership on the map; the one for a Sweedish car company that was not Volvo – and when younger i thoughr Volvo was my dream car, boy was i wrong – i walked into SAAB Nashua North and test drove an 04′ 9-3 ARC. It was a 7 mile, 11 minute test drive. Got back to the lot, walked inside and bought it on the spot.

    Since that day, i have driven: BMW 3, 5 and M3, Audi A & S 4, MB C & E because various family members, friends and coworkers all have them. My mom & dad have had 4 Kias since 2005 – Rio, Spectra and now 2 sportages; I’ve driven them as well. Beyond all of that, i have test driven every car I can think of at every “new car shopping” interval. Most recently, i test drove the redesigned Kia Optima with Turbo engine. It’s an impressive leap for them, no question. I drove the CC, the outback and the 3 series in the same day for my car shopping due dillogence.

    I have yet another SAAB in my lot.

    You are delusional to feel the Koreans have a car matching or besting the SAAB.

    I live in New Hampshire and honestly, you either aren’t originally from around here or youre drinking some kool aid if you think that:

    A) all FWD is created equal.
    B) FWD with TCS is just as good as AWD
    C) RWD with “snow tires” do just fine in the snow.

    If you look on YouTube you can find several video reviews for the Hyundai Sonota and Kia Optima and every one of the reviews speaks of its questionable ability on wet roads and that they had traction issues in the RAIN!!

    The VW CC I’m sure has decent reviews but personally the 4cyl is undersized and under powered for it and the v6 is way overpriced. The sunroof won’t open only vents. The seats suck. Poor grip on the steering wheel and it’s just plain DAS UGLY

    So, those are the reasons I don’t have those cars and I have the experience with other brands as well as the open mindedness to keep trying the others every time. Yet even with GM working so hard to kill them I still feel at home inside the cabin of my Saab.

  27. Mike S:

    I drive anywhere from 200 to 300 miles per day on average.

    I too live in new England and I know what our winters are – despite this years – and my fathers 09 Kia Sportage 6cyl w/ TCS and AWD/4WD does very well in the winter. However, last year during one of The average storms, there were noticeable ments where the 4WD struggled to initially getting its footing to get out of the 8+ inches that just fallen.

    I won’t even waste my time telling you about my mothers 09 Sportage with TCS & FWD and NOT 4WD handled. She was stuck in the driveway once with 4 inches of snow.

    I ended up using the 2004 9-3 that I given to my sister the day prior and it was able to pull out my mothers Kia.

    So, if that’s the brand for you so be it. If thats what you prefer than that is ok too. As Bravada said, to each there own and you will have no hard feelings from me for your personal choice.

    But to espouse verbal idiocy by saying that Hyundai does better than SAAB tells me that most likely you are the one on I-93 going 50mph in the middle of July, 97 degrees, sun is out and roads dry and clear yet you are driving like you’re either scared or you didn’t know that cars can be DRIVEN too.

    And on that note, I have to say that very few understand the statement “I cant wait to just drive that car” like most enthusiasts will.

    For us “drive” becomes an adjective. And that is why we love SAABs. It is a machine that creates one of the best interactive driving experiences ever.

  28. @spinm
    Can I get an Ah-men!?!?
    (amen is spelled wrong for effect)

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