In a surprising move, GM and Koenigsegg have both issued statements revealing that the sale of Saab by GM to Koenigsegg has been called off.
Well, knock me down with a feather. We were sure this was one deal that was going to be done – Koenigessg buying Saab, that is – but in a surprise, and completely unenlightening statement, issued this afternoon GM has said that Koenigsegg has withdrawn its offer to buy Saab.
It seemed like a deal made in car heaven – supercar wunderkid Christian von Koenigsegg single handedly (well, with more than a few bob from investors, it’s fair to say) rescuing Sweden’s most iconic car maker from the oblivion beckoning after the meltdown of GM. Christian himself waxed lyrically about the Saab deal, and we even managed to uncover a long term plan to push Saab upmarket and make it profitable and innovative again.
The statement from Christian von Koenigsegg was equally unforthcoming, giving absolutely nothing away apart from the fact that Koenigsegg and its partners were withdrawing their offer to buy Saab. He said:
“We regret that after six months of intense and goal-oriented work we have come to the painful and difficult conclusion that we are not going to be able to carry out the acquisition of Saab Automobile.”
“The time factor has from the beginning been critical for our strategy to breathe new life into the company. Unfortunately, delays in completing the deal have led to risks and uncertainties that prevent us from successfully carrying out our business plan for Saab Automobile.”
So what now for the future of Saab? Will GM perform a volte-face and decide to keep Saab after all? Or will GM implement its previously stated strategy of winding Saab down if a buyer isn’t in place by the end of the year? Or maybe the Chinese – in the shape of BAIC, a minority shreholder in the ill-fated takeover – will now take all the assetts of Saab off to China along with those of the old 9-5 they’re already in the process of moving.
Sorry end to a sad tale. I’m sure we’ll know more in the next few days.