Tuesday, January 26, 2010

An Encore for the Saab Story?

While it is way too early to declare this a happy ending, it looks like GM's red-headed stepchild, SAAB, is getting a new lease on life and being sent home to Scandinavia. Well, sort of. The WSJ offers coverage here.

Spyker, the new owner of SAAB, has announced its intention to turn SAAB into a lower-volume, more premium oriented car maker. The werewolf thinks this a bold, but troubled move. GM, the corporate king of conformity, has spent the last two decades eroding SAAB's quirky and unique image. Beyond purging its designs of all GM DNA, Spyker will have to invest heavily in reversing the damage GM has done to SAAB's brand image. The werewolf would be a very concerned investor.

However, the real drama in this tale is told in the numbers. Between 1989 and 1999, GM paid $725M to acquire SAAB in addition to assuming all of SAAB's debt and liabilities. In 2010, SAAB was sold by GM to Spyker for $74M.

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