Death’s Revolving Door is Now Spinning

They are digging up Saab again.

1980 Saab-Lancia 600
1980 Saab-Lancia 600

Automotive News has reported another turn of the swing door in Trollhattan. Those of you keen on re-gravedigging will have been following the death-rebirth-death-rebirth of Saab. At this point the cycle is akin to an automotive version of Buddhist re-incarnation except Saab keeps coming back as an about-to-die brand. The last news (May) was that some of Saab’s putative investors declined to throw more money into the open grave in Trollhattan and the stake was once again hammered into Saab’s turbo’d heart. 

Saab is owned by National Electric Vehicle Sweden AB and may they have found a pair of Asian investors to get the Saab corpse up and running again. Automotive News said, “An Asian carmaker agreed on Sunday to buy a majority stake in National Electric and finance the company’s operating costs until the deal is complete early next year, the Trollhattan, Sweden, company said in a statement today. National Electric also said it’s in talks with another Asian manufacturer on a joint venture to develop vehicles.

Dongfeng and Mahindra are rumoured to be the investors in question. The amount of money involved is rather small, just bridging finance which will help get production running and buy some more time until the latest re-interment.

The doors and the lack of charisma were shared with the Saab 9000.
The doors and the lack of charisma were shared with the Saab 9000.

I wonder if this situation could be made more grotesque (for humorous purposes) if at the same time Lancia could be appended to this process of death and rebirth. Lancia has been about to die for some considerable time now and is now just about dead.

Given the historical links between the two firms (the much loved Saab 600 and the Lancia Thema/Saab 9000) perhaps a case could be made for FCA selling the storied Italian brand to the Swedes. This would allow a second range of never-quite-launched cars to dangle before the expectant masses of Saab and Lancia enthusiasts. It’s just a thought albeit quite a cruel one.

Author: richard herriott

I like anchovies. I dislike post-war town planning.

6 thoughts on “Death’s Revolving Door is Now Spinning”

  1. The never ending re-birth story has become quite sickening as the companies involved will almost certainly not offer a genuine saab innovative product. It would be nice if they turned an electric vehicle with genuine technology “gamechangers” though.

  2. All the while Saab has been subjected to the indignity of this awful process, Tesla is up and running and selling very pricey cars without the brand recognition and customer base Saab had. Odd that. Despite it all, I do want Saab back. The first car I was really aware of as teenager was the Saab 900. They were very popular in Dublin´s Fitzwilliam Square area which was where adland was in 80s Dublin, along with lots of lawyers and accountants. I used to count them on the walk home, detouring along the square so as see how many I could tot up. Sometimes I´d count 15-18 in half a kilometre.

  3. Best of luck to all in Trollhättan, but please don’t stick a Saab badge on whatever you produce in the future. If anything.

  4. Is there not a conceivable electric car concept that would merit a Saab badge? I could do a whole interior and exterior sketch programme around that.

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