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!