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BMW Purchasing Saab? Not So Fast!

Rumors | February 22nd, 2012 by 43
Saab_bmw2_767069i

Our friends at Autoblog posted some speculation about BMW’s potential interest in Saab. I dismissed that out of hand upon reading it. Saab, unfortunately, is …

Our friends at Autoblog posted some speculation about BMW’s potential interest in Saab. I dismissed that out of hand upon reading it.

Saab, unfortunately, is damaged goods (read nigh on ‘radioactive’) at the moment. Their sales in the last few years have been abysmal. And BMW doesn’t really want midrange (C & D class) cars in FWD, rather they will restrict their FWD offerings to A & B class cars.

More importantly, you need to view the Saab brand through the ‘Rover’ filtered lenses that any good BMW executive should wear. The Rover adventure cost more than one BMW executive their careers. And Rover was more of a going concern when BMW purchased it than Saab is now.

Unfortunately there is so much more debt than equity to Saab. It was a great and admired marque. (I have fond memories of seat time in Saabs, from a 93 (two stroke), 99 EMS, and Viggen – the car, alas not the plane. Not to mention some good times at Pike’s Peak covering Per Eklunds runs up the mountain at the hill-climb.)

It is an interesting notion, and as much as I’d like to see Saab resurrected, I don’t think BMW is going to risk being their savior.

  • Rekempton

    You senile old man. BMW already submitted an offer for Saab. Doesn’t matter how good you think the move is.

    • Miguel Bryan

       And how do you know?

    • Bob

      Watch this “journalist” will be flat out wrong and BMW will get SAAB and do well. Will he come back and humbly admit error? Right.

      • http://www.bmwblog.com Horatiu B.

        If we were wrong, we will come back and say that.

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  • LaMa

    well, scrap metal prices are up, so if they can buy it around 10usd per 100lb then its a good deal. It does not really worth any more anyway.
    Slaab , ops… Saab never was a good car company. It never really made money at all. It was always in dire financial needs. They have not produced a single hit car in … well… never.  The 900 ? ugly as a bug, the 9000 ? ugly as a bug.
    there is absolutely no reason for a company like that to exist. They have not made anything better then any other car company, nor did they offer anything that wasn’t offered by somebody else for less money and in better packaging.  Its actually helping other better car makers chance  to survive the recessions. Weed out the weak, crap, junk and let the strong, good and reliable to survive.

    Saab’s were always overpriced, under-powered, weirdly styled mediocre cars.

    good by, RIP no one will miss ya.

    should have been dead long time ago. 

    • Aja

      You are a retard and give BMW enthusiasts a bad name. Do us a favor and f off.

      • LaMa

         and u give slaab a good name ?

        • Reliev

          LaMa, you’re a poor fool. Get a brain man.

          • Pop

            LaMa is exactly the reason I own a Saab and not a BMW. I like the cars but I don’t want to be associated with the image of those kind of drivers.

    • JohnC

      take your bs elsewhere, Saab made great cars, although not really my cup of tea

    • Stan

      BMW reliable, funny. :) and talk about fucked up Bangle styling. The cars have looked like shite for 10 years now.

    • MCM

      Saab drivers have always had a reputation for being well-educated; therefore, if you are going to have a go at Saab, you may well want to work your way through a basic spelling and grammar book first.

    • Seriousjn

       You’re the reason why most of the customers of BMW of the nineties and the eighties aren’t buying BMW anymore.

      You’re a young brainless asshole.

  • Giom

    I share your sentiments Hugo. There’s absolutely no reason why BMW would look at Saab. Rover was a ouch lesson.

    • Aja

      Comparing Rover to SAAB automatically shows you are a moron. BMW would do well to get SAAB, and as Top Gear has said, “so much cooler than a BMW”.

      • LaMa

         they were so cool, they froze them-self to death … come on man, wake up. Saab has no real value and never was. There is no need for 300+ auto manufacturer.
        there are plenty of good ones, who needs to stay in business. Just like Oldsmobile and Saturn was a waste, same thing with Chrysler and Dodge… there should only be one strong brand rather then 2 weak.
        The Saab should have merged with the other Swedish, Volvo and create Solvo or Vaab and go on with their life stronger then the 2 apart.
        I’m sure Volvo is not doing well either, but Saab’s death should help them a little.

        • Reliev

          You are indeed a stupid person, to even compare Volvo to Saab. Poor kid, you have absolutely NO clue of the automotive sector!

        • Johnd

          Actuallly… Volvo is doing extremely well, and is about to do even better – think Chinese market.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kacy-Thacker-Lovelace/608751895 Kacy Thacker Lovelace

           Why would a Chinese car company (as Volvo isn’t Swedish anymore) care if Saab is gone? I think your line of reasoning is flawed, you blatantly ignore Saab’s contributions to the auto world, and you freely admit they should fail because you think they are ugly. You may believe that you look smart, or clever, or like you know what you are talking about, but really you just look sad and incapable of doing even the most simplistic research. But that’s fine, keep giving opinions based on your FEEL-ings.

      • Trillionblaze

        Top gear never say anything good about BMW, so their opinion should never matter to BMW. If possible, they should stop reviewing BMW cars.

    • StraightSix

      Is there anything on this blog you wouldn’t agree with completely?

  • Jplipper

    I disagree LaMa.  The Rover fiasco was compounded by the fact that gas prices increased dramatically, limiting sales (a la Hummer).  SAAB made great cars that were fuel efficient and reasonably powerful, albeit slightly overpriced.  Don’t forget, SAAB has excelled at utilizing turbo technology in its vehicles, especially its 1.8l diesel sold in Europe.  With demand strong for fuel efficient vehicles, BMW would not be stepping into the same pool of issues that it did with Rover.  I think its a win-win for BMW, as long as they keep the SAAB brand differentiated from theirs.  

    • Reliev

      So right!

  • MLC

    As a BMW driver I think it would be a great move.  My wife’s Saab is actually a pretty nice car.  Her car actually handles better in the snow and it is not AWD like my car.  Saab is just not able to be a stand alone badge carrying car company.  With BMW it give them what they have been wanting for the past several years.  A car company that can be positioned against Volkswagon.  Mercedes and BMW are the only two major car companies that do not go to market with a mid range and luxury brand.  I agree with LaMa that there does not need to be 300+ auto manufacturers but I do think the market will be owned by several large auto manufacturers with multiple brands.  Its a good move because BMW has been working with Saab designers to build the engines for the next generation Saab. They know what was being developed and for the right price a less expensive Saab built by BMW brings great value to BMW as they tap into a market they are currently not in.  With that being said.  If they want to take Saab and produce cars and sell them as is.  It will blow up in their face worse than Rover(which at 30 years old I never heard of until recently).

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1256965600 Chris Ivory

    Hmm. Whoever wrote this piece forgot to add that BMW have a deal to supply engines to Saab.

    Very convenient.

  • http://twitter.com/LarsKelley Lars Kelley

    Rover gave BMW the MINI brand?  I don’t think that was such a bad move…

    • http://twitter.com/atr_hugo Hugo Becker

       Read “End of the Road – BMW and Rover: A Brand Too Far” to get an idea of just how bad the Rover deal was – Mini was the pearl in the Rover oyster.

  • Anonymous

    I really want someone like BMW to buy Saab and turn things around to show GM aka Communist Motors that Saab really had appeal. GM ruined the brand so bad in so many different ways. I’m so ashamed our government bailed out GM. 

  • http://twitter.com/atr_hugo Hugo Becker

    Nope – I wrote a piece on the engine deal. Keep a couple of things in mind. If BMW has to take on debt to do this it’s a deal breaker. BMW is using it’s L7 platform to develop its A & B class FWD cars – the L7 also is used with the F20/30 cars and has a flexible firewall location, so it doesn’t need (or want) the Phoenix platform. I have always liked SAABs personally, it’s a shame GM hosed the brand.

  • Johnd

    You are trotting out the usual superficial anti-Saab myths. Yes Rover cost some BMW executive’s careers, but that was because it was a huge expense to purchase in the first place. Saab with all its equipment is going cheap, and they were already working on integrating BMW tech. on future small models (which fit the FWD bill). Also Saab had a knack for developing new platforms on the cheap, which could benefit BMW. Only trouble is that they may have lost a lot of good staff by now. But if BMW takes over I’m sure many would consider returning.

  • Anonymous

    As a Saab enthusiast for over 25 years and a current Saab owner I cannot think of a better ending to the sad story of what’s been happening at Saab over the last few years than BMW becoming it’s parent company. Look at what they did for Mini. Quality would skyrocket. Respect for the brand would come back, and the icing on the cake would be the slap in the face it would be to the fuck-ups at GM (who mis-handled Saab from the beginning) to see what a real car company could do with the brand!

  • Gravy

    Anyone that has not handled a good 93 dosen’t have a clue of how good they are. Let alone by the time the 2008 came out they just don’t have any real problems at all unlike BMW and Mercedes. Not to mention they are nicer looking. The Saab is a refined classy car with great looks and always have been. If you don’t see that you are just of low class and poor taste my friend. People are just ignorant and afraid of what’s unknown to them. The new Saabs were the worlds best kept secret. Outstanding vehicles!

  • Funktron

    It’s amusing to read the ignorant comments from emotionally jacked people who haven’t the first clue how business works.  Also, to the writer—-I think the horse is out of the barn.  If making a bid is “taking the risk” than I think that might have already been done.  BMW is a successful corporation who wants to gain market share and make money.  Saab is a brand that has been mismanaged, but still has a loyal customer base.  Buying the company as a whole includes a factory and technology—-if it’s at the right price, it could be a good value for BMW or for someone else.  Where does Mini fit into your world of FWD cars?  Is it A, B, C or D?  You’re throwing these terms around as though you know something.  Did someone from BMW tell you what their future plans are for FWD platforms or are you just blowing smoke and acting like an authority, even though you don’t have a damn clue what you are talking about?  

  • Jasper

    Guys, these are only cars.
    And frankly, none measure up to a Studebaker.

  • http://twitter.com/counterblow the person

    it strikes fear in every BMW douches heart that they might buy Saab and make a go of it.  never mind all of the logistical benefits BMW could leverage…the BMW snobs will have nothing of it.

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  • Autoview

    BMW bought ‘The Rover Group’ for £850 million from British aerospace, 5 years later, after stripping the important know-how on four-wheel drive technology such as hill descent control for their future X5 model, they sold Land-Rover ALONE for 1.5 billion, have developed Mini into a brand in it’s own right – generating BILLIONS in revenue and still own the rights to lots of traditional british brands such as – but not limited to – Triumph, how was this in any way a failure? It was an asset stripping! 

  • juicifer

    bmw would give SAAB potential

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