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Bernie Ecclestone part of newest Saab deal

Posted by Clifford Atiyeh  January 7, 2010 04:57 PM

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Luxembourg-based investment group Genii Capital said it will partner with Formula One billionaire Bernie Ecclestone in a majority stake of Saab, hours before today's 5 p.m. deadline General Motors imposed to either sell or disband the Swedish brand.

In a press release, the group said Saab "has a tremendous brand value in a number of key automotive markets as well as an innovative image" and stressed the importance of "VOIP and GPS location based services" in future Saab models.

The group cites other unnamed investments in the public health, hospitality, and entertainment industries, in addition to Movit, a German brake manufacturer, and MCE-5, a French company testing the waters of variable engine compression ratios.

According to Business Week, a Genii spokesman said that the firm is modeling its business plan after Koenigsegg, which stated it would make Saab profitable by 2012 by increasing production to 105,000 vehicles a year. GM rejected the Swedish automaker's deal on Nov. 24. No other details on the Genii proposal have been disclosed.

On Dec. 17, Genii Capital bought a majority stake in the Renault F1 racing team, which was rumored to be shut down following the demise of factory teams from BMW, Toyota, and Honda.

Dutch-based Spyker Cars is reportedly still revising its offer.

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Clifford Atiyeh is an automotive writer and car enthusiast . He has spent his entire life driving cars he doesn't own.
In the garage: 1995 21-speed Iron Horse, 2002 Jeep Wrangler X (by association)
Bill Griffith is a veteran Boston Globe reporter, having reviewed cars for more than 10 years and serving as assistant sports editor for 25 years. He was also the paper's sports media columnist.
In the garage: 2006 Subaru Baja
AAA's Car Doctor, John Paul John Paul is public affairs manager for AAA Southern New England, a certified mechanic, and a Globe columnist. He hosts a weekly radio show on WROL.
In the garage: Hyundai Sante Fe, Chrysler PT Cruiser convertible
Craig Fitzgerald has been writing about cars, motorcycles, and the automotive industry since 1999. He is the former editor of Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car.
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Keith Griffin is president of the New England Motor Press Association and edits the used car section on He also writes for the Hartford Business Journal and various weekly newspapers in Connecticut.
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George Kennedy is a senior writer for WheelsTV in Acton, which produces video reviews for Yahoo, MSN, and other auto websites.
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