The truth of the matter is probably only that GM turned a natural death into 20 years of torture. Saab was obviously not a healthy company in 1990 and its future a bit dubious, but at that moment in time they probably held at least some attraction as an acquisition, and it seems like GM's move was mostly defensive and not as a benefactor. They stepped in so nobody else could. Which, you know, sort of played out two more times with GM creating roadblocks for other owners which ultimately prove unnavigable.
GM's 1990 business *could* have been a positive for Saab. BMW was obviously winning, but Mercedes was having some problems reinventing itself, Audi was still hurt from the bogus SUA publicity, after years of "boxy but good" Volvo was trying to figure out what to do next, and Lexus showed up waving a knife. The market was crazy, and Saab probably had an opportunity. But GM wouldn't let Saab be Saab nor would they provide the tools needed for Saab to be a Swedish Audi. GM's purchase was life support *at best* and ended with a strong dose of too little too late.
So, yeah, maybe GM didn't murder Saab per se, but hooking up the life support machine just to be the one that pulls the plug later on AND prevents the family from changing hospitals? It's still at least a bit murdery.
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