Saab’s 9-3 and 9-5 Models Going to Chinese, But the Rest to Dutch

saab-sypykerThings were looking bleak for Swedish automaker Saab, a GM subsidiary. Late in November Swedish sports car-maker Koenigsegg walked away from a pending deal that would have united the two Swedish automakers and preserved Saab’s key assets. With a similar Saturn fizzle leading to the shuttering of the brand, many speculated that the Saab story might end in a similar fate.

The failure, in part, led to the resignation of Obama-endorse GM CEO Fritz Henderson, and his temporary replacement by GM Board Chairman Ed Whitacre, a former AT&T executive.

In the eleventh hour it appears that Whitacre has brokered a deal to save Saab, but it will come at the cost of brand removing some of the brand’s most valuable assets and selling them in a separate deal. Dutch automaker Spyker Cars NV, a maker of $200k+ USD luxury sports cars such as the C8 Aileron, has reportedly emerged as a frontrunner and is on the verge of finalizing a deal with GM to buy most of Saab’s assets. However, technology for the 2010 Saab 9-3 and 9-5, two of Saab’s most popular models, will be sold to China’s Beijing Automotive Industry Holding, Co.

The Spyker deal is also contingent on the EU handing Spyker a 400 million-euro ($585 million USD) loan from the European Investment Bank. Despite the many uncertainties surrounding the non-finalized deal, there is some optimism. Describes Mike Tyndall, an automotive analyst at Nomura Securities in London, “[The sale] would be a step in the right direction. I’m not sure if it will be viable in the long term given Saab’s small scale and weakened brand image.”

The deal with BAIH seems more certain. The Chinese auto firm will receive Saab’s turbo-engine and gearbox technology, as well as the 9-3 and 9-5 platform assets, in exchange for at least $281M USD, according to sources. The tech will likely allow BAIH to produce rebranded Saab luxury sedans, sating the Chinese consumers’ lust for luxury autos. While it will be painful to give up the popular models, it’s worth it, according to Saab’s engineering union head, Haakan Danielsson, also a member of the company’s board. He states, “This is exactly what we need. We can live a long time on this.”

Spyker, based in Zeewolde, Netherlands, is bidding for Saab in conjunction with Chairman Vladimir Antonov’s RMC Convers Group. According to sources other bidders also eyeing Saab include Merbanco Inc., a Wyoming-based investor, and billionaire Ira Rennert’s Renco Group Inc.

BAIH may only be one of two Chinese auto firms to own assets from a Swedish luxury automaker. Ford is in advanced negotiations to sell its Volvo brand to China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group. Both parties are pushing for a finalized agreement to be reached “as soon as practicable”, according to the Chinese firm.

Emerging Tech

SpaceX makes rocketry look easy, sticks yet another Falcon 9 landing

SpaceX is due to perform its latest Falcon 9 rocket launch and landing on November 15 from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Here's how you can watch the proceedings live.

Google rolls out Night Sight to Pixel 3 and 3 XL camera app

Google's latest flagships, the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, are now official and we have all the details from the October 9 event in New York City and Paris. Here's everything we know about the Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL.

Where are you going this weekend? These 5 off-road vehicles say 'anywhere'

The body-on-frame SUV is going extinct, but there are still several options for buyers looking to skip the asphalt. To help you sort the good from the bad, we've rounded up the best off-roaders currently available.

Google, Samsung, OnePlus, and Huawei face off in an Android battle royale

The good news is that there are some great options in the Android smartphone market right now. The bad news is that too much choice makes it tough to decide. We compare the Pixel 3 XL, the Galaxy Note 9, the OnePlus 6T, and the Mate 20 Pro.

Born to run (forever): The most reliable cars you can buy right now

We all dread the thought of our car turning into a money pit, but choosing a dependable vehicle from the start can help us rack up countless care-free miles. Here, we've rounded up some of the most reliable cars available.

Prep your car for the coming snow and sleet with these cold weather tips

Driving in the winter, whether downtown or across the country, is rarely easy. Luckily, we've put together a quick rundown of a few things you should do to winterize your car before the snow officially hits.

Many adults believe fully self-driving cars are already traversing U.S. highways

The American Automobile Association tested cars with features such as lane-keeping and adaptive cruise control and found them lacking in real-world conditions. Forty percent of surveyed U.S. adults think self-driving cars exist now.
Digital Trends Live

DT Daily: Waymo’s driverless cars, ‘Fallout 76’ tips, and Racella

In today's episode of DT Daily, we discuss Waymo's foray into the ridesharing sector, along with various tips for making the most of the recently launched Fallout 76. We also sit down with singer Racella to chat about her new EP, Waves.

Want to keep connected on the road? Here are 5 ways to add Bluetooth to your car

The best way to make an old ride feel young again is to bring it up speed with the 21st century. Here's how to properly add Bluetooth to your vehicle, via independent kits, vehicle adapters, or aftermarket head units.

Jeep’s outdoorsy Gladiator pickup truck bares it all ahead of schedule

Jeep will introduce the long-promised Wrangler-based pickup truck at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show. Named Gladiator, the model was designed to conquer the great outdoors, not for the construction site.

The hamster-friendly 2020 Kia Soul will rock out at the Los Angeles Auto Show

Kia has released a teaser image to preview the next Soul. Scheduled to make its debut at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show, the 2020 Soul will keep the outgoing model's boxy proportions but it will wear a sharper design.

2020 Toyota Corolla sedan aims to offer sharper handling, better tech

The 2020 Toyota Corolla sedan gets the same upgrades as the recently-introduced Corolla hatchback, including a firmer foundation, new engine, and more tech features. Will that be enough to keep the long-lived Corolla nameplate relevant?

Startup Rivian exits stealth mode with a bold promise to electrify off-roaders

Electric car startup Rivian has finally turned off stealth mode and provided details about what it's been working on since 2009. It will build battery-powered off-roaders instead of taking on Tesla and others in the luxury EV segment.

Honda will squeeze another model into its SUV lineup at the Los Angeles show

Honda will introduce a new SUV with a familiar nameplate at the 2018 Los Angeles auto show. It envisioned the 2019 Passport as a five-seater alternative to the eight-seater Pilot. The two models will share a platform and many tech features.