BMW bidding for Saab? There’s more chance of BMW buying Rangers

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BMW bidding for Saab? Not a chance

The interwebs claim that BMW are to bid for what’s left of Saab, which seems about as likely as BMW buying Rangers.

Saab was back in the car news this week when Youngman confirmed they’ve placed a bid with the receivers for what’s left of Saab. But the rumour mill never stops where Saab is concerned, and the last few days has seen speculation that BMW are to bid for Saab.

As far as we can see, the closest BMW is ever going to come to being involved with Saab is as a supplier of engines and chassis, something Saab were trying to broker back at the end of 2010. But BMW as owners of Saab? Not in a million years, at least not as long as there is anyone at BMW who remembers the ‘Rover Adventure’.

We can’t see BMW having any interest in owning a company producing cars that sit somewhere between mainstream and premium, and nor can we see BMW being daft enough to repeat the grief that Rover was – and remember, Rover was far more viable when BMW acquired it than Saab has been for the last few years.

Yes, BMW came out of the Rover debacle with a bit more glory than the Phoenix mob – who got Rover for £10 and then proceeded to wreck it – and they did sell Land Rover to Ford, get the MINI rights and, although you’d never really have known it, kept the rights to the ‘Rover’ name.

But the Rover exercise was surely enough to put BMW off ever trying to dabble in the sub-premium market again – certainly with acquisitions? And whichever way you look at Saab, there is none of the core potential value of the MINI or Land Rover badge BMW recovered (some of) their Rover Adventure costs with.

Our money’s still on Youngman. But we’ve been wrong before!

Cars UK Motoring Directory


  1. Christian says

    Sounds like a lousy idea. It would be cheaper and more profitable for BMW to achieve the same thing with the Triumph brand using existing BMW technology, existing BMW factories and existing Mini dealers. Plus the Triumph brand is far cooler than Saab and probably still has as much recognition in the UK Market as Saab which had a very small domestic Market in Sweden.

    mini owners will also never upsize to a Saab but a Triumph made by BMW with retro charm?

  2. Anj says

    Just because Rover (woof woof) was a lump of crap put together poorly by British workers doesn’t mean a UK writer should or can compare Rover (woof woof) to SAAB.

    SAAB is a well loved brand full of amazing history even to this day with the enthusiasm that won’t let her go to the grave. BMW will be lucky to get SAAB and the factory and staff in Sweden.

    Whoever wrote this article is literally a moron.

    • Walton says

      Rover is unknown and never sold in the US. Saab has a rather extensive distribution network in the United States. They also enjoy brand recognition as a premium luxury brand in the US. Unfortunately GM badly destroyed the reputation of Saab, but BMW could easily turn things around if they chose. I hope they do.

      • Cars UK says

        That’s not quite true.

        When BMW bought Rover it came with Austin-Healey, Mini, Land Rover, Riley, and Triumph, and although some of those names may not be well-known in the US (and Austin-Healey, Triumph and Riley seem gone forever), Land Rover certainly was (Range Rover too) and MINI is now a big hit Stateside. The point was – apart from the almost unthinkable prospect of BMW repeating the Rover experience with Saab – that Rover as a whole had far more depth and potential than Saab has.

        We’d love to see Saab bought and returned to the glory it was pre-GM, we just don’t see BMW’s board being willing to subject themselves to this sort of process again.

    • Cars UK says

      By the time BMW bought Rover they were back on the up, selling well thanks to the Honda partnership and had as big a history as Saab. Saab was destroyed under GM and has been on the wane for years.

      That said, the article was more about how unlikely BMW would be to repeat the debacle of venturing in to the sub-premium market through acquisition again.

      The Moron!

  3. PhilipJH says

    I’m not sure it’s that bad an idea. Much depends on how good the Phoenix platform is, and maybe BMW could do good things with it and move Saab in to the Toyota market place. With BMW engines and build quality it could make some sense.

What do you think?