If you're in need of a Saab-atical, it's time to take a Saab for a spin. Saab Cars Holdings (previously Saab USA) supports one of Saab's largest markets -- the US -- by importing and distributing Saab automobiles. Saab Automobile was a wholly-owned subsidiary of GM from 2000 to 2010, when GM sold it to Dutch car designer and maker Swedish Automobile (formerly known as Spyker Cars) for about $400 million. After a long period of struggle, Saab filed for bankruptcy in 2011, but Saab's North American operations pursued an out-of-court solution. Saab's main assets were acquired by National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS) in 2012.
NEVS now plans to develop an electric vehicle based on the Saab 9-3 for sale initially in China by 2014.
Following Swedish Automobile's acquisition of Saab, the US organization restructured. Emphasis was put on sales efforts, especially since the US market lost so much ground during a 2009 standstill when Saab did not produce cars. When Swedish Automobile took over the company in early 2010, there were only 500 Saabs available through US dealers; normal inventory stocks about 6,000 to 7,000 units. By mid-2010 Saab's US arm had built its staff, connected with its more than 200 dealers, and arranged for financing for dealers and customers. It got its leasing business up and running and launched its first sales campaign in print, promoting the company through online and social media venues, as well.
During its bankruptcy in 2009, General Motors filed a viability plan with the US Department of the Treasury that outlined its long-term restructuring goals, stating that it would allow Saab and its global operations to become an independent company. After only a year under Swedish Automobile's control, rather grim reports emerged in spring 2011 that Saab required a transfusion of equity for its survival -- as much as €300 million (about $437 million) in equity that was needed just to make interest payments. Parent Swedish Automobile admitted that it needed new funds and was looking to Russian businessman Vladimir Antonov and his banks to provide Saab with a needed cash infusion for Saab to invest, as well as to pay off loans and get better terms for additional debt. For unknown reasons, GM barred Antonov from having anything to do with Saab as one of its conditions when it sold the car company to Swedish Automobile.
▲ Show Less▼ Show Full Description