Auto blogTue, 09 Oct 2012 09:15:00 EST
According to Just-Auto.com Victor Muller wasn't a fan of the Saab Griffin logo. The executive was quoted as saying he wanted to "abolish" the Griffin logo and return to the airplane emblem. Muller made it clear that if he'd had his way, the propeller would have replaced the Griffin across the Saab lineup long ago.
National Electric Vehicle Sweden, the company that recently bought Saab, was forced to abandon the Griffin logo due to the fact that the emblem is still used by truck manufacturer Scania. The manufacturer is reportedly concerned about potential Chinese counterfeiting - NEVS is owned by Youngman, a Chinese automaker - though it's unclear how that relationship would lead to illegal copies.
Either way, NEVS has said the loss of the Griffin logo isn't that important to the company so long as it can continue to build on the Saab name. Muller, meanwhile, said he wishes NEVS luck in the company's electric-vehicle endeavor, but that he doesn't understand its new business model.
Reuters reports General Motors has dismissed claims by Spyker outlined in a $3 billion lawsuit. Spyker alleged GM deliberately bankrupted Saab by preventing a deal with Chinese investor Zhejiang Youngman Lotus. GM, meanwhile, filed a response with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan saying that as the former owner of Saab, GM had the legal right to approve the deal with Youngman. But Spyker's lawsuit claimed GM's refusal to approve the deal with Youngman stemmed from the fact that the American automaker didn't want to create a competitor in China.
GM has said the issue stemmed more from the fact that it would stop licensing its technology to Saab or stop building vehicles for the manufacturer in the event it was bought by Youngman. Since Saab built its own platform that didn't use any GM tech, Spyker says that argument is meritless.
The lawsuit has Spyker seeking $3 billion in compensatory damages, though that number could swell with interest, punitive damages and legal fees, as well. Victor Muller, Spyker chief executive, has said the lawsuit is being funded by an anonymous third party. That party will share in any settlement. Youngman has refused to comment on whether or not it's footing the legal bill.
Sun, 02 Sep 2012 10:01:00 EST
According to the Associated Press, a Hong Kong-based concern is close to building new Saab models. After some delays, National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS) has completed the purchase of bankrupt Swedish automaker Saab.
NEVS says it plans to debut an electric vehicle in about 18 months. When the car comes to market, it will wear the Saab name, but not the marque's well-known griffin logo. Reuters reports that the company will produce EVs based on the Saab 9-3 platform, with intentions to sell these vehicles primarily in the Chinese market. Due to the continued use of the distinctive griffin head logo by commercial truckmaker Scania and the Saab aerospace group, NEVS was only granted access to the Saab name, not its emblem.
When a brand goes belly-up, it's natural for analysts to wonder where that brand's consumers will turn. General Motors has mothballed more car brands the last decade than most other automakers' have in their entire portfolios, so "Where did [insert brand here] buyers go?" has been a common question asked of The General. According to reports, it didn't do so well at retaining Oldsmobile owners (who supposedly went to Hyundai), or Hummer and Saturn buyers, but did get some return love from Pontiac owners.
A consultant with Polk has turned the loyalty lens on Saab. The Polk Disposal Loyalty Methodology tracks owners selling vehicles within six months of buying a new one. In 2010 and 2011, Polk found that when Saab died, owners went right up the middle of the mainstream to Honda. It was close, though, with just 0.2 percent separating Honda from number two Volkswagen. Audi comes in third.
After that it's back to the masses with Toyota, Chevrolet and Ford trumping import luxury brands. And if you combine all of the General Motors brands that Saab owners have migrated to, GM more than doubles Honda with a 15.2-percent share, so all the love is not lost.
It appears Spyker is strengthen its ties and carmaking ability with Chinese carmaker Youngman. This comes in the wake of the brand's latest dealings with a $3 billion lawsuit against General Motors regarding the demise of Saab.
Youngman is reportedly investing €10,000,000 ($12.5M USD) for a 29.9-percent stake in the company. The shares are being sold for €0.05 (6.3 cents) each, representing a fully diluted share. Youngman has said it will not take on more than the 29.9-percent stake.
Additionally, Youngman will invest €25,000,000 ($31M) for the development of an all-new Spyker vehicle, called the D8 P2P, named for the Peking-to-Paris rally. The vehicle had been shown as a concept by Spyker previously, but things had been quiet since then. It appears Spyker will now build the uniquely styled D8 Concept shown above. The vehicle is to launch at the end of 2014 and carry a price of $250,000 per vehicle.
After a door-fire investigation that dates back to February, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has officially announced a recall today that affects around 250,000 General Motors SUVs for a faulty driver's door module. The recall applies to the Buick Rainier, Chevrolet Trailblazer, GMC Envoy, Isuzu Ascender and Saab 9-7X from the 2006 and 2007 model years, as well as the 2006 Chevrolet Trailblazer EXT and GMC Envoy XL for vehicles sold and/or registered in the Snow Belt.
Road salt use in these midwestern and northern states can lead to corrosion of the driver's door module on these GMT360 and GMT370 vehicles, which allows water to come in contact with the circuit board. If shorted out, the vehicle's power door locks and power windows will not work, and could possibly lead to overheating and, in some circumstances, a fire. No official word on how many total vehicles caught on fire, but back in June, 28 fires had been reported to the government agency. A fix for the problem is still being worked out, but all affected vehicle owners will be notified by GM.
Scroll down for the official NHTSA statement.
"Smack." That's the sound of Spyker's process server dropping a big ol' pile of legal documents on the doorstep of The Renaissance Center, home of General Motors - or wherever GM's attorneys live during business hours. Contained therein is a Complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan and demanding a jury trial, that seeks $3 billion in damages due to "the unlawful actions GM took to avoid competition with Saab Automobile in the Chinese market." Spyker accuses GM of "tortiously interfering" with Saab's business relationship with Chinese automaker Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile (Youngman), actions that Spyker CEO Victor Muller (above) said "deliberately drove Saab Automobile into bankruptcy."
(From Wikipedia: "Tortious interference, also known as intentional interference with contractual relations, in the common law of torts, occurs when a person intentionally damages the plaintiff's contractual or other business relationships.")
The interference in question specifically refers to the very last potential deal, called the Framework Agreement, that Spyker worked out with Youngman. With lots of GM engineering embedded into the 9-4X and 9-5, The General had the right to approve any Saab partnership that would involve the transfer of GM intellectual property. Spyker had been rebuffed over every previous deal with a Chinese firm, including two bids by Youngman, due to GM concerns over its IP getting into Chinese hands and having to face Chinese-market competitors using its technology. The Complaint alleges that the Framework Agreement would have put a firewall around all GM IP - Youngman would only work on Saab's Phoenix platform, said to be just about free of GM tech, and would have no access to 9-3, 9-4X or 9-5 technology until after Saab ceased all ties to GM.
Remember a month and a half ago when we told you that Saab will "soldier on?" Well, we should have written "stand at attention."
According to SaabsUnited, the deal for National Electric Vehicle Sweden to buy the remaining Saab assets didn't close on schedule. In fact, it's been delayed by "a month, perhaps more." NEVS also seems to have indicated that it's not going to be answering any more questions about the deal until it's completed.
NEVS is supposedly planning on building electric cars based on the design that would have been the next-generation 9-3. The company itself is a partnership between a Chinese energy company and a Japanese investment group.
Yes, we've seen this 1985 Saab 900 Turbo limo for sale before. But somehow, this time is just seems more right. And we've got more pictures this go-around.
With the Saab brand now dormant and little hope for a true renaissance, save for one that comes in name only, Saab's future must lie in the celebration of great cars of its past. And what better way to celebrate the wonderful Saab 900 than to chop it in half and turn it into a freaking limousine?
Claimed to have been built by a Denver area Saab specialist, this five-speed manual 900 Turbo is listed with a Buy It Now of $8,500. It's actually surprisingly well turned-out, too, with a pretty decent interior that sticks to real Saab seats, avoiding the crushed-velvet or button-festooned lounge chair look. While this seems rather spendy for a well-used limousine, good luck finding another one like it. And besides, that's a lot less than the $12,500 asking price from back in 2010.
Not to state the obvious, but if you're going to buy an automaker, it's probably advisable to secure rights to use the name.
That's what the new owners of Saab are trying to work out after buying the iconic Swedish automaker earlier this month, Automotive News reports.
National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS), the Chinese-Japanese conglomerate, acquired the company's physical assets, including its factory in Trollhättan, but didn't get rights to use the Saab name and logo. Truckmaker Scania and defense company Saab AB maintain the name and logo rights, and will need to sign off on NEVS using it, according to the publication. The parties are in discussions.