Commentaries

Now raising intellectual capital

Saab’s Phøenix moment?

Photo
-

Koenigsegg's boy racerThe great global automobile restructuring is throwing up some fairly unlikely bidders for some famous marques. Who would have thought Magna (who?) would end up buying Germany’s mighty Adam Opel? And who would have seen Fiat as Chrysler’s white knight?

Although, come to think of it, there’s a certain tragic inevitability about the ghastly Hummer ending up in a death embrace with the Sichaun Tenzhong Heavy Industrial Machine Co.

But when you get down to the true GM offcuts – like Saab for instance – you are really down in the weeds. It was a pretty motley trio that made it to the bidding stage. Ira Rennert, a private equity guy who once owned AM General, the maker of the Humvee armoured vehicle, was about the most credible.  Then there was Merbanco, a Wyoming-based investment company (no, me neither).

But the real biscuit is taken by the likely winner, the splendidly-named Koenigsegg. This is, um, something of a niche operation run by a Swedish toff. According to its website, it has five models in production. Last year’s sales? A juicy 18 motors, suggesting an average of 3.6 sales per model a year. Sounds like an ideal partner for Saab, an ailing manufacturer of souped up Vauxhalls while sells 100,000 a year.

  •