With Saab struggling to stay alive, they are now resorting to selling some things to other companies. They have sold the tooling and rights for the pre-2006 Saab 9-3 and the previous generation Saab 9-5 (Pictured above) to Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Corporation (BAIC), one of the companies in the running for buying Saab.
Reports say that the money from this, $197 million, is enough to help keep Saab alive for another 3 months. There’s no word on whether or not General Motors will actually use this money to continue running Saab until it is sold. They may simply use the money to cover the costs of shutting down the brand.
BAIC says they will integrate the technology from these cars into their future models. There’s no word on whether or not they’ll be making rebadged 9-3’s and 9-5’s.
Spyker’s CEO believes that the BAIC deal is a good idea. Speaking of Spyker, while there is reason to believe they are the preferred bidder, the sale to Spyker is still only under consideration. General Motors is not yet at the point where they’re sure they will sell to Spyker and just need to make a deal.
Saab United says that a Swedish group wants to join the bidding for Saab. It is unknown what group this is, the only details available are that they are Swedish and are asking the Deutsche Bank for backing. They haven’t even contacted Saab about their interest yet, but they better hurry up, as the brand may be either sold to Spyker or killed off very soon. To make matters worse for them though, the Deutsche Bank currently has their hands full helping out Spyker.
Also, Saab has a few cars planned, though the fate of these cars depends on how the sale of Saab goes. There is a 9-5 SportCombi (Wagon) pretty much ready for production, as well as a 9-4x. A next generation 9-3 is being worked on as well.
The deadline GM set was December 31st. That’s in 15 days. So there are 15 days left before General Motors has to either sell Saab or decide what to do with it. There are a few paths they can take: extend the deadline to 3 months later using the money from the BAIC deal, keep Saab running for a bit longer while a deal is finished off (If the deal with a bidder is in the final stages) or kill Saab. Hopefully the last option won’t happen, I don’t want to see Saab die and I’m sure many people support me.
Update: GM CEO Ed Whitacre has announced that Spyker is the only remaining bidder on Saab. This doesn’t mean the previously mentioned Swedish group has given up though, as they haven’t yet announced their interest to General Motors. Whitacre claims a deal can be reached with Spyker by the end of the year. He also reiterated that if a deal cannot be reached, Saab would be shut down. There was no word on whether or not the deadline for the deal has changed though, but Autocar claims that they have until March, presumably meaning that General Motors will use the money from the BAIC deal to keep Saab running.
Source: MotorAuthority, Automotive News – sub. req. via WorldCarFans, Saab United via Autoblog, Autocar