Tag Archives: Chicago Tribune

The "Save Saab" Event In Chicago, Illinois

Posted on 24. Jan, 2010 by .


Saab owners in Chicago held their SAVE SAAB gathering today beginning at the local IKEA.

It’s looking like IKEA around the world continues to be one of the best meeting spots for Saab owners.

Please continue to send your comments, photos and videos if you attended this event.

Here’s a great article covering this event by the Chicago Tribune.


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Saab Cars North America Speaks On Saab Dealer Closings

Posted on 23. Nov, 2009 by .


According to the Chicago Tribune, Mike Colleran, COO and President of the new Saab Cars North America speaks about the 37% of the Saab dealership closures in the United States that is taking place at this time.

“It’s not like we’re really eliminating them,” said Mike Colleran, chief operating officer of Saab Cars North America. “We’re just selecting ones that make sense for the new business plan for Saab.”

Colleran said that while the decision was difficult, dealership longevity and stand-alone allegiance to the brand did not enter into the equation. In addition to sales, parts and service performance, the smaller network reflects a marketing strategy aimed at recapturing Saab’s unconventional cachet, something that dissipated during the GM years.

“It is our intent to focus more on premium positioning in the luxury segment, and to focus less on discounts and volume,” Colleran said.

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Koenigsegg Owner, Bård Eker of Norway, Officially Confirms Saab Automobile AB Interest

Posted on 13. Jun, 2009 by .



Photo Credit: Eker Design

Sweden’s Dagbladet has now been the first news source that has interviewed Koenigsegg’s 49% owner BÃ¥rd Eker of Norway with his Eker Group, where he has officially confirmed the Saab Automobile interest.

This is interesting, because this is effectively the second thread of news following SVT’s original report this past Thursday afternoon, so now it’s up to Saab Automobile AB & GM Europe to come around next week to do an official press conference along with press releases about this monumental engagement.

Here is a piece from the Chicago Tribune about this in English, no translation.

Associated Press
6:57 AM CDT, June 13, 2009

OSLO – One of the main owners of Sweden’s Koenigsegg Automotive AB has confirmed that the luxury sports car maker is among the final bidders for General Motor Corp.’s Saab unit.

Baard Eker, who did not return phonecalls seeking comment Saturday, told Norwegian tabloid Dagbladet late Friday that although a final deal to buy the Trollhattan, Sweden-based GM subsidiary is not yet in place, his company would have the financial backing to pull the acquisition off.

“There have been many processes going on at the same time to get the buy together,” he said, adding hurdles could still pop up before anything is finalized.

“We think it is possible and we have several good solutions to bring with us to Saab,” he said. “But I don’t want to comment on financial sums or who it is we have with us.”

On Thursday, Swedish broadcaster SVT cited unnamed sources saying Koenigsegg, along with Norwegian investors, had signed a declaration of intent to buy Saab.

Neither Saab nor Koenigsegg has confirmed the report that suggests it is already a done deal.

On Friday, Saab issued a statement saying “there has been no official announcement relating to any potential investors but rest assured our negotiations are on track.”

Saab went into creditor protection Feb. 20 in an effort by GM to spin off or sell the unit. Saab confirmed last month that three bidders remained in the sales process.

The three bidders reportedly in the lead to buy it were Koenigsegg; The Renco Group Inc., a private equity firm; and Merbanco Inc., a Wyoming-based group of investors.

Eker, who sits on Koenigsegg’s board and whose shareholding in the firm is estimated at around 49 percent by market watchers, added that “many investors” have been interested in joining up in the deal that Saab has described as being “just around the corner.”

“We’ve had good wind in the sails since we started, but we might be at a new level soon,” he said.

According to Eker, Koenigsegg — which is headquartered at a former air force base near Angelholm in southern Sweden — aims to freshen up the work culture and the technology at Saab.

“Saab needs to be more creative,” he said, but noted: “I want to make one thing clear, we are not going to buy Saab just to chop it up. That’s not what we do.”

Koenigsegg was founded by Christian von Koenigsegg, a Swedish sports car fanatic and entrepreneur, in 1994. The company, which has 45 full time staff produces around a dozen customized cars a year, including models like the CCR, the CCX and the ethanol-fueled CCXR.

The company doesn’t advertise prices for its cars, but they are believed to range between 8 million-18 million kronor ($1 million-$2.3 million).

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