Dutch supercar maker has made a last-ditch rescue bid to buy ailing Swedish car maker from General Motors.

Is Saab about to close?

At the end of last week its owner General Motors said it would begin shutting down the loss-making car brand after attempts to find a buyer had come to nothing. But Autocar reports that yesterday, Dutch supercar maker Spyker mounted an eleventh-hour rescue plan for Saab – but gave GM only until close of business today (Monday, Dec 21) to agree terms. Spyker had previously negotiated with GM to buy the Swedish car maker. But the two sides were unable to reach agreement and so the decision was taken to begin closing it down. Meanwhile, the jobs of 3400 Saab employees hang in the balance, while 1100 dealers worldwide – including 90 in the UK – worry whether they’ll be without a franchise in 2010.

General Motors took a 50% share of Saab in 1990 and gained full control a decade later.

In the UK, the make has the 9-5 saloon and estate (pictured above), models which date back to 1998 and the seven-years-old 9-3 saloon, estate and cabrio. An all-new 9-5 was announced and was due to go on sale early next year but this make now never see production. Both cars are based on obsolete Vauxhall models – the 9-5 on the Omega and the 9-3 on the Vectra.

A replacement for the 9-5 was originally due in 2005 but GM cancelled this to save money.

GM vice-president of corporate planning, John Smith, said while there had been ‘no shortage of effort’ to make a success of Saab, it had always proved difficult to integrate the make with the rest of the company.

Do you, or have you own(ed) a Saab? How do you feel now that the make may vanish? Share your views below

Stephen Jury


December 21, 2009