The Saab ownership situation – a breath

What a frantic week it’s been.
Everyone is publishing GT’s 0.5 out of 3 stars news piece but more than that, everyone’s got a theory as to why-this-would-be-good and why-that-would-be-bad and everything in between.
I think it’s time to stop, pause and take a breath.
Here are a few known things:
1) Saab have letters of intent from either two or three of the bidders who have been through the entire process.
2) The fact that these parties have signed letters of intent means that they have reviewed Saab’s business plan and agree with it, meaning that production and support will stay in Sweden and we’ll get a new 9-5 and 9-4x.
3) Fiat are outside of this group of two or three. They are external to the process and if they get control of Saab, it will be via a backdoor clause in their agreement for Opel, which is far from a done deal.
4) Saab have not identified who these two or three are, but I can tell you with the utmost confidence that one of them is The Renco Group. If you read a report that doesn’t include Renco or “a US private investor” then you should be skeptical. In fact, if I’m wrong about this then I’ll gladly do a nudie run outside the offices of GT in Gothenburg.
In a Saabnut’s Utopia, the group that takes over Saab will be a group of like-minded Saab lovers who have deep pockets and let Saab do their thing.
Watch for that report on Auto Extremists’s favourite news website:
The basic fact is that we are all – me included – going to have to get used to the fact that whoever buys Saab will have a downside. Just like belonging to GM has a downside.
FIAT represent a risk of becoming just like GM. Vattenfall may want to just build electrics and seek manufacturing capacity. Renco have a poor environmental record. Geely (or any other Chinese company if Geely are out of it as they claim) represent fear of a technology drain. Koenigsegg are reportedly too small. A German bank is not a car company. BMW may just pinch Saab’s engineering and do nothing to build the brand.
Everyone has a downside.
The one thing that I have is faith in Saab’s management and reconstruction team. They are rebuilding the business so that when a new entity takes the reins, they will have what are reportedly two very, VERY good all-new vehicles waiting to be released. I’m confident that they will restructure marketing, support and distribution so that people can feel a personal connection to Saab once again.
The one thing management can’t do – and this is another fact to go with ones above – is make the final selection themselves. That’s GM’s job on the advice of Deutsche Bank.
If we choose to stay with Saab then we will all have to live with the new owner, which means we will all have a personal choice to make.