Flogging a possibly deceased equine mammal

Just a reminder for the ‘Are-GM-going-to-sell-Saab’ people out there.  It’s now January, which is the month when Porsche were going to seek shareholder approval that would allow the company to pursue acquisitions "outside it’s own borders".  I don’t know when in January that it’s supposed to happen, but the initial reports said January, so maybe we can expect something in the near term.

Note 1 – Porsche’s thought about acquiring another brand, should it happen and whoever it ends up being, is in addition to their purchase of a 20% stake in VW.  That’s already happened and this is a seperate issue.

Note 2 – I know there’s plenty of "It’ll never happen" out there, but I still maintain that Saab, properly managed, would be a great fit for what would be the "Porsche Group".  More entry level than a Porsche, disctinct, well designed, safe, technologically advanced sporting sedans.

One can dream.


UPDATE: The Porsche AG Annual General Meeting will be held on January 27, 2006 in Stuttgart.  The Agenda (pdf file) for the meeting includes the following:

Amendments to the statutes

5.1 The Executive Board and the Supervisory Board propose that § 2 Para. 2 of the statutes be modified as follows:

„(2) The company is entitled, for the purposes of furthering the object of the business, to acquire or to lease other companies of any kind in Germany or abroad, to take a holding in them in any form or to represent them, to establish subsidiaries and to conclude joint venture and similar contracts.”

So they are going to seek permission to acquire if they see it as a good option.  The next step is for them to see Saab as a good option.  The clash with VW in terms of model range might be an obstable, but I’ll say it again: one can dream.

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  1. The Teutonic Knights and the Vikings were simply made for each other! Heck, even King Carl XVI Gustav married a Fräulein!

  2. It would be a big mistake for Posche to buy Saab. Why would they? Saab and Posche would compete in the same market, and Posche gets a lot of its parts from VW (another Saab competitor in terms of price). A smarter move would be for Nissan/Renault to buy it. The reason is Nissan’s minvan. Strange car to point out I know but if you speak to any Saab dealers in the US, what they want is a 7 seater Saab (which rules out the 9-7X). Nissan has this werid sporter looking minivan that has a terrible interior. The outside reminds me a lot of Saab (looks planelike). Saabify this car and you’ll have a winner. Plus Nissan seem to be pretty good engines, and let their designers run riot without beancounters overlooking their shoulders too much. Just what Saab needs.

    I still think GM will keep it. The $64K question, is whether they will get the investment that they need.

  3. Paul, I agree that GM are likely to keep Saab in the short term, but I wouldn’t too surprised to see that they’ve been posturing for a sale.

    But, Porsche and Saab in the same market segment? I think not. Porsche, with the exception of the Cayenne, is pure sports. I can’t see any level where Saab are competing directly in their market.

    VW is another matter altogether and it’s this that’s the most likely fly to land in the ointment.

    But I can dream.

  4. I would visualize so that Porsche buys, say 51% of Saab and shares architecture with 2-3 models to generate more volume. Or 100% buy and agreement with GM that goes way beyond 2010.
    Just like 9-2X is made dispate GM sold Subaru shares.

    On the long run Saab stops using GM parts and starts using same as VAG&Porsche.

    Renault’s financial situation outrules any Saab buy and any expert would tell that Saabist hate France cars and their idea of good car is even less same than notorius GM.

    It would only work if Saab would be totally independent and that does not work in todays world.

    But even if Porsche would like to get Saab, GM might not want to sell yet, they want to see Saab’s financial status of the future when more parts are shared and design is truly global.
    I think GM has calculated very precisely that Saab is very OK once Epsilon 2 is go go.

  5. If anyone does it, I feel strongly it will be Renault/Nissan. Porsche has strong ties with VW (and Audi), and there’s just no logic for them to buy Saab.

    A Korean or Japanese buyer could emerge, or some venture capital guys might do it if the price was right (GM fire sale), but I’d bet on Renault, or, most likely of all, GM’s continued ownership. I just don’t see anyone lining up to pay top dollar right now, and the General’s better off holding than folding on this one.

  6. Swade, I think you are dreaming, both as it concerns Porsche, and Renault/Nissan. Neither of those companies needs anything that buying SAAB would provide. A much more likely scenario would be for a Chinese car company to buy SAAB to get a well known brand name. Think of Lenovo buying IBM’s laptop business to get the “Thinkpad” name. Or of the Chinese company that tried to buy Maytag, the US appliance company. Many faded American brands in electronics have also been bought by foreign companies for their names. Fisher in stereos and RCA in TVs are two that come to mind.

    If that were to happen, you would end up with Chinese designed and manufactured autos, with a few Swedes on the payroll to lend some credibility.

    Having said all that, I’ll bet that GM keeps SAAB.

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