Nick Walker has put together some good thoughts about BMW acquiring SAAB. I tend to agree with his sentiments (despite his Silverado comment). BMW could use another brand to help them meet the fuel economy standards and to compete with the likes of Volkswagen. This seems to be the key to the conversation. Whoever buys SAAB will need to take the brand downstream. No more $50k SAAB 9-5s. That idea of making SAAB into an upscale BMW competitor never resonated with me. The new 9-5 was a good car but you have to earn the reputation before you can get people to buy at those prices.
Look at what Hyundai has done recently. When they first started importing to the US, they were known as basic transportation with plenty of engine problems. But most consumers don’t remember that. Hyundai is now moving upscale because they have worked out the issues and are known as a quality car. That is what SAAB needs to do. I’m not saying that they should start at the bottom, but with the uncertainty attached to the name they should consider a lower goal. If they do well at a lower level, they will have the opportunity to rise in the future. The first step is reestablishing the name with a popular entry-level car that can make the company some money. Then, and only then, will there be the possibility of going upscale again.