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Thursday, September 23, 2021

Good-Bye Saab: GM Kills Another Brand

The death of Saab was officially announced by General Motors today. Unable to find a buyer for the Swedish car maker, GM plans to start shutting down assembly lines. This despite the fact that multiple suitors came knocking on GM’s door over the past year.

Saab has had a small but loyal following, selling only 93,000 vehicles world-wide last year. All-wheel-drive made it a popular vehicle for drivers in northern regions, as well as it’s history of Rally wins prior to 1980. The brand’s reputation for building quirky, technologically advanced and agile automobiles has been gradually on the decline since then.

Throughout GM’s ownership, many of the "Saabs" released lost the unconventional style the brand was known for. Technological advancement dwindled to GM levels and more vehicles became knock-offs of other GM vehicles.

The ultimate evidence of GM’s poor forethought and lack understanding of Saab buyers was the introduction of the Saab 9-7X. The model came to be known as the "Trollblazer" due to it’s similarity to the Chevy Trailblazer. These two vehicles as well as the GMC Envoy, Buick Rainier, Oldsmobile Bravada, and Isuzu Ascender were all built on the GMT360 platform. Six duplicate SUVs, with this business model no wonder GM failed in the first place.