February 07, 2010

Saab Steers Clear Of The Scrap-Heap

In a previous post, I wrote of my sadness at the likely demise of one of the great car brands, Saab.

Naturally, I'm delighted with recent news that the brand has been granted a stay-of-execution, thanks to its buy-out by Dutch luxury car manufacturer, Spyker.

Now, Saab isn't out of the breaking yard just yet; whilst Spyker makes breathtakingly beautiful cars, the six-year old business has yet to make a profit. At the same time, Spyker's attitude towards the brand it's acquired is in marked contrast to the cackhanded management approach of General Motors, which has seen the once-proud brand reduced to a poor shadow of itself.

During early discussions around a possible purchase of Saab, Spyker's owners spoke often about their excitement about taking over stewardship of such a storied brand. As Spyker CEO, Victor Muller, put it: "Saab is an iconic brand that we will be proud to shepherd. I think the unique heritage of the brand requires a very strong focus," he said. "If you are part of a very large conglomerate, it's very difficult to have a focus on all these brands."

Now that Saab is in the hands of an owner that seems to truly appreciate the worth of the brand, there's hope that a car with a personality that's a legend in some circles (Don't believe me? Check out some of the Saab fan-sites online, including Saab Club UK) will soon be back on the road, quirkier and more beautiful than ever.

If so, I'll be one of the first in line to cheer it on.

Over To You: What do you make of the news of Saab's last-minute reprieve from the wrecking yard?


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