Two companies that provided 007 rides facing tough times

Two automakers that provided James Bond his ride at various times are facing tough times.

Earlier this month, Saab Automobile of Sweden of Sweden filed for bankruptcy and may be broken up. Author John Gardner depicted Bond using a Saab when he began his run of continuation novels in 1981 with Licence Renewed.

Meanwhile, Lotus may be put up for sale after 15 years of unprofitable ownership by Malaysia’s Proton Holdings. Lotus appeared in two 007 films, most famously in 1977’s The Spy Who Loved Me, when a Lotus converted into a submarine car. Lotus also appeared in 1981’s For Your Eyes Only, including one depicted as exploding when a thug (Bond stunt arranger Bob Simmons) tried to break into it.

Saab, 007’s former ride, lives to die another day

Saab, once the ride of the literary James Bond, avoided the fate of automotive brands such as Studebaker, Plymouth and Stutz. Here’s the start of a story by Ola Kinnander and Katie Merx:

Feb. 23 (Bloomberg) — General Motors Co. sold Saab Automobile to Spyker Cars NV, the Dutch maker of supercars, for at least $400 million in cash and preferred shares, averting the extinction of the 72-year-old Swedish carmaker.

“The transaction secures the future of Saab Automobile and signals the start of an exciting new era for the iconic brand,” Spyker said in a statement after Chief Executive Officer Victor Muller and Saab CEO Jan-Aake Jonsson signed the final accord today in Stockholm.

Saab was the choice of John Gardner, when he was commissioned to do a new series of Bond continuation novels starting in the early 1980s. Click here to see a diagram of the Saab described by Gardner. It includes a remote car starter, now a fairly common gadget for drivers. You can read the rest of the Bloomberg story about Saab by CLICKING HERE.

Saab, like 007, refuses to go down quietly

Saab, once 007’s preferred ride in some John Gardner books, refuses to go down quietly. Trade publication Automotive News is reporting Dec. 20 that Spyker Cars is making another bid for Saab to address issues General Motors Co. had in calling off talks on Dec. 18.

The Swedish carmaker is almost following a 007 script. We’ll see how it turns out.

Saab, once 007’s ride, won’t live to die another day

James Bond has escaped many death traps. It appears that Saab, which was 007’s car of choice in a few John Gardner novels, will not live to die another day.

General Motors Co. said today it would begin to “wind down” Saab after a last-minute attempt to sell the Swedish brand fell through. It was the second failed attempt for GM, which had a quick trip through bankruptcy court this year, to sell off Saab.

Saab, once 007’s ride, is on the endangered list

Back in March, we ran an article on how the literary James Bond once drove a Saab and how that Swedish brand was facing tough times.

James Bond Saab

Illustration of the literary Bond’s Saab via MI6 James Bond website

Things haven’t gotten easier for Saab. In fact, Bloomberg is reporting that General Motors Co. may close Saab after sports-car maker Koenigsegg Group AB canceled a planned acquisition of the Swedish company. The story cites a person familiar with the matter that Bloomberg didn’t identify.

Bond drove a Saab in the first continuation novels by writer John Gardner, whose 007 ran began in 1981 and lasted through 1996.

Saab, once the literary 007’s ride, facing tough times

When John Gardner began writing James Bond continuation novels in the early 1980s, his choice for 007’s car was a Saab. While Saabs never made the movies, the Swedish brand is part of Bond’s history.

Well, things aren’t going so well for Saab, the Swedish automaker owned by General Motors Corp. Sarah Lyall of The New York Times, traveled to Trollhattan, Sweden, to describe what’s going on. A sample:

(I)t is impossible to find anyone in this city in southwest Sweden who is not somehow connected to Saab. Which makes it all the more wrenching that the Swedish government has responded to Saab’s desperate financial situation by saying, essentially, tough luck.

To read the entire story, just click RIGHT HERE. Registration may be required for you to check it out.