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We need to keep in mind that if they were left on their own, Saab would be dead in ten years (or less) anyway. The industry simply won't allow small, stand-alone players like them anymore.

If GM bought them and then let them keep going the same direction they were headed anyway with all their own engineering, keeping their full Saab-ness in tact, they would still continue to bleed money profusely like they had been doing on their own, and what's the point of that? Saab's quirky character assured them of an audience for many years, but it was a small audience and was not going to grow.

The complexity and cost pressures of the industry today are to blame for Saab's troubles. A company with the volume Saab has had simply can't survive without sharing products from a larger manufacturer. This started back in the 80's. Wasn't the Saab 9000's basic platform shared with Alfa and some other car (that I can't think of right now)?

Everyone thinks they know how to do things better than GM has while knowing a tiny fraction of what it takes to run an automobile company. When you dismiss GM's platform sharing with Saab, the alternative is to keep throwing a lot of cash at this money pit simply so that they can keep their own identity, or let it go belly up.
 

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Originally posted by paul8488+Jun 8 2004, 03:12 PM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (paul8488 @ Jun 8 2004, 03:12 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-MelvinJ@Jun 8 2004, 02:56 PM
We need to keep in mind that if they were left on their own, Saab would be dead in ten years (or less) anyway.  The industry simply won't allow small, stand-alone players like them anymore. 

If GM bought them and then let them keep going the same direction they were headed anyway with all their own engineering, keeping their full Saab-ness in tact, they would still continue to bleed money profusely like they had been doing on their own, and what's the point of that?  Saab's quirky character assured them of an audience for many years, but it was a small audience and was not going to grow.

The complexity and cost pressures of the industry today are to blame for Saab's troubles.  A company with the volume Saab has had simply can't survive without sharing products from a larger manufacturer.  This started back in the 80's.  Wasn't the Saab 9000's basic platform shared with Alfa and some other car (that I can't think of right now)?

Everyone thinks they know how to do things better than GM has while knowing a tiny fraction of what it takes to run an automobile company.  When you dismiss GM's platform sharing with Saab, the alternative is to keep throwing a lot of cash at this money pit simply so that they can keep their own identity, or let it go belly up.
i'm curious why saab can't be volvo though. i'm on the "don't care if it looks different" side of the platform sharing debate (and am not trying to start a new one here!). volvo, to my eyes anyways, has retained all of it's character and positioning despite being under fords control and using shared platforms. volvo doesn't compete in every market, but does well within its narrow field of vision. and yeah, it's easy to sit here and decide how GM should do things, but i'd rather see saab fade away than become another full-line GM division with nothing substantial to differentiate its vehicles. and i'm not saying it's there now... but looks like it's heading that way.

the article says 150,000 is the magic number of vehicles for saab profitability... done properly a 9-5 sedan & wagon (maybe with an AWD all-road sorta option), 9-3 sedan, hatch and 'vert, and perhaps a unique 9-2x could reach that, no? again, it's easy to be an armchair expert... but that's the place i see for saab within GM's quagmire of vehicles. [/b][/quote]
Volvo had a more mainstream character to begin with. I've only done minimal research on this, but it looks like Volvo typically has more than double the sales of Saab. This makes them a much more self-supporting organization and more worth the investment to keep them unique.

That said, I think Volvos have become more mainstream in recent years also, just like Saab. And their platorms are being shared too, although the other way around - Ford is using Volvo platforms. Should GM build something on a Saab platform, or give Saab responsiblilty in designing a platform? Maybe. That would help them earn their keep, but they have less to offer there than Volvo.

They've done a good job differentiating the 9-3 from it's other Epsilon siblings. I don't think there's anything to be ashamed of there. The 9-7 and 9-2? It's true, at best they are stop-gap vehicles. I like the idea of Saab having a version of the SRX rather than the Envoy.
 

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Originally posted by Smaart Aas Saabr@Jun 8 2004, 08:25 PM

Saab-Scania's automobile division was bleeding money profusely since the late 1980's. (around 1987+). As a whole, this was offset by Saab-Scania's truck, bus, airplane, defense, etc. profits.


There were talks of a Fiat buyout, since Saab already had dealt with Fiat and Alfa Romeo on the Group of Four project (that gave the Fiat Croma/Lanica Thema, the Alfa 164 and the Saab 9000) however, Fiat wanted to sever all ties with Sweden, and relocate all design and production to Italy. Saab refused 100%, and later negotiations had them relocating to a neutral territory (the Netherlands).

You had posted the term "bleeding money profusely" in another post a while back, and I stole it for my post earlier in this topic. Thanks.

And thanks for clearing up who shared the 9000 platform. I knew someone out there would remember.
 
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