Just about two years ago to this date, Wizbang Pop wrote a popular feature about the expected end of the road for Saab. But, the company was able to labor on for two years and some change. But, today after 64 years building some respected automobile designs, Saab automobiles will really soon disappear for good. The unusual brand started in Sweden, becoming one of Europe’s last manufacturers to still build some automobiles powered by two stroke engines until the company joined with most other world manufacturers building their own version of cleaner burning four stroke engine designs. Saab and Volvo remained as Sweden’s two top car brands for many years, before Saab was eventually acquired by GM. However, when GM sought a U.S. government backed loan agreement to stay in business, the company was forced to cut back their lines and Saab was cut free. The brand struggled on it’s own, and sought to be sold to a Chinese automobile brand, however GM nixed the deal, claiming that they had too much intellectual property invested in Saab to sell to another company. This all essentially brought Saab to the brink of bankruptcy and the end of the road financially, where the company now seeks bankruptcy to close down the brand and pay off corporate debts.
Saab also was an important manufacturer of defense aircraft and radar systems as well, however the December 19, 2011 declaration of bankruptcy apparently ends that venture as well. GM no doubt had some serious concerns here as well about China purchasing this technology as well.
A long history of building interesting looking automobiles and high tech aircraft appears to end here. And the Chinese hopes of acquiring an important automobile brand ends as well. It’s a sad end to a brand that was once the pride of Sweden.