Saab's Sine Wave...

... Back in March this year, I was bringing the almost-certain death of a once great car maker to your attention. Yes, I'm talking about Saab, once famed for making some of the quirkiest hatches around. In the meantime, things have evolved, by some accounts, but they have also involved, by others, almost following a sine wave.

To put it in short, Saab first escaped certain bankruptcy following Koenigsegg's announcement of a buy-out, then it fell straight into the gutter again last week, when the same supercar-making company said it changed its mind. In other words, Saab is walking the green mile again. Or is it? Spyker, another niche supercar-maker, but this time from Holland, is apparently also having the hots for the Swedes.

A few months ago I was also sharing my opinion about a wave of Chinese car manufacturers and automotive companies that are on a mission of taking over the car world. I wasn't kidding then so I'm not going to try to be funny now, especially since we're talking about Saab, a brand with a fan-base even larger than some exotic car makers'.

The latest rumors concerning both aforementioned subjects (Saab and the Chinese invasion, ed) have resurfaced as of this week. According to Reuters, Beijing Automotive Industry Holding (BAIC) has just secured a loan of 20 billion yuan (that's close to three billion US dollars, by the way) from the Bank of China. Remember these guys were one of the so-called partners of Koenigsegg in the buy-out back in October.

Why is this important and what does it have to do with the Saab brand? Well, first of all, it wouldn't be the first time when BAIC – which doesn't even have its own car brand, I might add – says that it's interested in buying GM's struggling Swedish brand. Guess what, now they have enough money for a rather good offer! So far both parties declined any official statements about the matter, but pretty much everyone in the know can see the big picture.

Second of all, about a month ago, BAIC announced that it will launch its own car brand at the beginning of 2010, various sources saying it will be called "Beijing". Of course, when that plan was set, Saab was still in advanced talks with Koenigsegg, but as we all realize, those talks are in the past now. Which kind of means BAIC might be back in business pretty soon.

Third of all, no less than 27 offers are currently battling for the take-over, according to head of Saab Automobile, Jan Åke Jonsson. Curiously, apart from Fiat, BAIC and Koenigsegg, none of them has been in the spotlight until now.

Adding insult to injury, in a very surprising outcome that's not yet confirmed, Saab has just sold all the production lines for the previous generations 9-5 to... drum roll... BAIC. Put that in your pipe and smoke it, Spyker!

So, I propose that we set things straight once and for all - or at least until the next high-roller bidder emerges from nowhere. Let's see what we have. From the alleged 27 bidding offers for Saab, Spyker and BAIC are battling for pole position - albeit BAIC seems to be the better half in this ecuation.

GM officials have made their intentions pretty clear. First they will keep reviewing all the bids for the Swedish car maker, but for a limited time only. Translation: this means that if Saab doesn't get sold till the end of December, GM will shut it down completely.

Now, I know this may not exactly come as good news for some people, since both current options for the future of Saab seem pretty grim. What's your take on the matter? Would you rather see Saab die or would you like to see it live on by partly supporting the Chinese invasion of the automotive world?
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About the author: Alex Oagana
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Alex handled his first real steering wheel at the age of five (on a field) and started practicing "Scandinavian Flicks" at 14 (on non-public gravel roads). Following his time at the University of Journalism, he landed his first real job at the local franchise of Top Gear magazine a few years before Mircea (Panait). Not long after, Alex entered the New Media realm with the project.
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