Ever since the company was bought by GM the writing has been on the wall. Saab's appeal was its go it alone attitude, which produced unique, if quirky cars. That appeal has gradually tarnished with the release of new cars less and less distinguishable from the Vauxhall's they were based on. The brand's reputation for building bullet proof cars was going down the toilet too. I drove a two-year old 9-3 earlier this year and there were so many rattling pieces of trim I was worried it was going to fall apart before I reached my destination. By comparison I last drove a pre-GM 900-T16 at fifteen years old that would have passed muster at many new car PDIs.
Its a tough sell, Saab can't compete with the Germans in the premium sector, there are any number of better tier two marques out there and rock-cliff depreciation should be enough to put off any remaining lingerers.
There's likely to be a big battle to hoover up Saab's assets when the axe finally falls - China seems a likely destination for the 9-3 tooling, if not the company name. Maybe SAIC will merge Saab with Rover and turn two lame ducks into a glorious swan?