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New Saab Chief Sees Maker Returning to Its Roots

New models will emphasize safety, technology - and quirks.

by on Aug.10, 2010

The Saab assembly line re-starts, earlier this year, after the Swedish maker's sale to Dutch Spyker.

Conventional wisdom in the auto industry says that economy of scale is the only way automakers will survive in the future.

Then again, there’s never been anything conventional about Saab, at least not when it was a successful independent automaker. Saab’s best cars have never been conventional, either. And the way tiny Dutch sports car maker Spyker Cars tried to save the brand wasn’t conventional.

Spyker, which failed to close the deal in its initial try to buy Saab, was finally able to put a winning bid together in February, just as former owner General Motors was ready to turn out the lights on the faltering Swedish subsidiary.

But Victor Muller, co-founder and CEO of Spyker and now chairman of Saab, promised his plan will make Saab profitable within as little as two years. The key will be to reduce the break-even point for the number of cars it produces from 120,000 to 85,000 cars while building vehicles that the loyal core of Saab aficionados want. (more…)