Originally Posted by jmsent
I keep reading how GM ruined SAAB. But if SAAB had been a viable company they wouldn't have ever been acquired by GM. When GM bought them, SAAB was out of money, and was still selling ancient models. The pre GM SAAB 900 dated all the way back to the 99 with a few modifications. They had no money to develop a new generation. The 9000 was never a pure SAAB vehicle, with its platform sourced from Alfa, as I recall. These cars were quirky to say the least, the dealer network was terrible, and they were falling further and further behind. Yes, GM failed to keep SAAB going in the long term, but SAAB was in big trouble long before GM came along. As for BMW saving them, I really don't see the point. BMW's reputation is far better than SAAB's in virtually every respect, SAAB's sales have never been very large, and their dealer network is in shambles.
Thank you. This is exactly on point. GM's mistake was buying Saab in the first place. Saab should have died in the early '90s. The only thing GM could do with it was share common parts and platforms in an attempt to make Saab profitable. Which is what also led Ford into trouble as well, trying to save small, boutique car companies that design great cars (in most instances) but are expensive, unprofitable, and don’t appeal to a wide automotive consumer base to justify their existence.
Large automotive companies are only profitable when the costs of engineering and production are amortized over a vast array of vehicle sales, which is why every car company (regardless of what BMW tries to advertize) shares platforms between models and brands. Volkswagen is currently on a quest to become the world’s largest and most profitable automotive company. Their strategy to achieve this goal is to design, manufacture, and sell as many cars as possible from one (or a few) base platforms. Right now VW AG makes something on the order of 12 different cars off of one platform.
Saab would have never survived as an automotive company past 1993 as the global auto industry was consolidating to fewer and fewer platforms to build cars from. Saab was too small to remain in business and undercapitalized to develop new products.
All this means is BMW will just increase the price of the 3 series even further to offset the massive financial burden Saab will bestow on BMW.
Please just let Saab die.