Allow me to dream for just a moment……

 OK, so I’m dreaming here.  Dreaming a dream that only has about a 1% chance of becoming a reality – if that.  But what a pleasant dream.

It’s been reported that Porsche have started the ball rolling on looking for a suitable acquisition to make.  They’ve shored up their own supply line by taking a stake in Volkswagen, but are now possibly on the prowl for a company they can really sink their teeth into.

On the other side of the Atlantic, GM are facing a crisis.  Burdened with crippling on-costs and a lack of brand identity, they need to tidy up shop in a big way, especially in their home market – the United States – where they’re bleeding market share like a haemophiliac.  GM are looking for cash to bolster their already well-padded reserves and Saab, a light seller in the US, is costing them money (still).

So why not offload Saab to Porsche?

Both companies have a motor sports heritage to draw on.  Both companies have been involved with turbocharged passenger cars for around 30 years.  Both companies have persistently gone their own way, against convention, but in what they see to be the right direction for very good reasons.  Saab has an unparalleled reputation for safety and Porsche an extremely high standard for quality.

Saab would benefit more than Porsche from the relationship at first, but every Saab sold would be a bonus for Porsche – a sale in a market they don’t currently enter, the sports sedan market.  Shared engineering between Trollhattan and Stuttgart (if that’s where Porsche develop – excuse my ignorance) could bring new models to the table for both marques and with Saab’s house now in order, combined with the extra cache brought by the relationship with Porsche, profitability would be forthcoming in the short to medium term.

Imagine a model path leading from an entry level Saab through the sedan ranks and then into Porsche sports cars, where the driving characteristics are shared but the vehicle attributes are different.  Saab – the Porsche for the family. 

Need I even mention that both marques have a penchant for the number ‘9’ in their nomenclature?

Or the Michael Mauer factor – once at Saab, now at Porsche. He could finish the work he started before the rug was pulled out from under his feet.

There is so much that could be synergised with this relationship. I really hope someone at Porsche is reading this……..

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OK, back to reality.  When’s that strike going to be on? 

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10 Comments

  1. Sounds great for Saab, but…

    We just bought our first Saab, a 2.0 SportCombi, and love it. I hope there are real Saabs still available in a few years when the wife and I replace our other car. I’m not interested in a Chevy Malibu with a Crowned Griffin badge pasted on. Porsche would obviously take the Saab line in a different direction.

    If you take U.S. fleet sales out of the equation (sales to corporations and rental agencies), GM basically doesn’t sell midsize cars anymore. We just replaced the 2003 Chevy Impala my wife was driving (company car) with the SportCombi. To say the Impala was a horrible car is a huge understatement. I simply cannot imagine who would walk into a showroom and decide to pay for an Impala with his own money.

    GM needs to re-learn how to build cars (not trucks) that people actually want to buy. If they are smart, they will be incorporating Saab engineering and spirit into their pathetic sedans. Big if.

    They had better learn from somebody and fast before they disappear with the SUV market. Of course they’ve been told for years that their cars are lagging and putting all their eggs in the SUV basket is a giant risk. So far they’ve managed to bravely ignore all warnings.

  2. Quite true that Saab and Porsche would be marriage blessed in heaven. But I wonder what Porsche would benifit from it in larger scale.

    Ok they could share SUV and race car and one sedan platform and use quite a lot same parts inside of car, that creates synergy volume but is it enough for Saab to make profit?

    Other thing is that GM might not want to give up Saab, they would never ever get those customers back. And Saab is more and more integraded with GM, Saab is not anymore just a company that GM owns, Saab is inside of GM.

  3. Sorry if I crash Your dreams now but the thing is that Porsche is also involved in Audi trough the VAG = Volkswagen Audi Group, wich means that a coop with SAAB is out of hands…SAAB and Audi should be eating eachother…

  4. Saab and Porsche? What a dream. But : Forget it. Neither Saab or Porsche have capabilities and engineers to build Diesel engines. The current Diesels share with Opel and stuff. So where should Porsche/Saab get these kind of engines from? We have learned that buying these engines from others is not a good idea – remember the V6 TiD – desaster?

    Porsche and Saab – to good to be true 🙁

    Martin

  5. As an aside, recall that most (all?) Viggens and 9-3 Cabrios are built in the same Valmet plant in Finland that builds the Boxster.

    (Not that this would have even the slightest bearing on a future Saab/Porsche alliance…)

  6. The thing a company like saab offers porsche is the ability to sell family cars to 911 drivers who would otherwise buy something else. Two door sports cars are nearly always the 2nd or 3rd car in a garage. This is is why the Cayenne was so important ( and the 97x for saab). If you don’t offer something, the customer MUST go elsewhere, no matter how high their loyalty.
    I work with a guy who has two cars: BMW 645 and Volvo XC 90. However, the replacement for the Beemer will need to to have four doors due to his expanding family. So, no matter how much he might want to drive a carrer 4S, its not gonna happen. Now, he’s probably not going to buy a 95 either at the moment , but with some persistance from Porsche, who knows what Saab could make. None of which would dilute the brand. I think that despite all of the business reasons/synergies underpinning any such deal, the sales focus is along these lines.

    As for diesel – no lacking of expertise or contacts ( volkswagen) for a JV on those grounds.

    Anyway, its a longshot but its a nice thought.

  7. A nice dream. But what could be the gift Saab would present in this marriage? Perhaps only the prototype of its SVC-engine?
    Time brings wisdom!
    saabaudi

  8. In the UK at least, SAAB and Porsche have often been sold from the same dealership… P.S I remember Telling GM About It:
    ….
    2. Based on historic, cultural and economic reasons GM’s target buyer for SAAB must be either:

    a) Porsche (a missed opportunity in the late 1940s) and who are currently stretching the limits of their brand

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