A “pre-GM-bankruptcy” chat with Saab Sweden

UPDATE – additional remarks below

I’ve just spent 20 minutes or so on the phone with Gunilla Gustavs from Saab’s PR dept in Trollhattan.
With GM’s announcement on their bankruptcy proceedings due later today, many people are nervous about what that could mean for Saab, about their sale process, even down to things such as the tooling etc for the new Saab 9-5.
Here are the dot points from that conversation:

  • Saab have no cause for concern with regard to GM’s bankruptcy announcement today. They are still focused on the process of negotiating with their remaining bidders.
  • Funding for Saab’s ongoing operations is preserved and available to Saab’s administrators as it has been since early in the reconstruction period (February this year).
  • Saab’s potential investors are also aware of what’s coming from General Motors today and whilst I’m sure they’re doing their own due diligence on the effects, they’re still part of the process and involved with Saab.
  • A buyer has not been decided on as at the time I made the phone call, though I got the impression that the decision is close. The time period between when they make a decision and when they announce the decision is unknown.
  • With regards to the ownership of Opel and any effect that might have on the 9-5, Saab do not expect any negative consequences. It is worth remembering that GM want to sell Saab and they want Saab to have access to that tooling and technology so that Saab can build and sell those cars. GM still retain a prominent stake in Opel and will still purchase technological expertise from Saab, so there should be no negative effects at all from this.

I’d expect that Saab may have some words to say about their position in relation to GM’s bankruptcy announcement and their own reconstruction efforts after proceedings in the US take place.
I might be asleep by then, but watch this space……
The following are additional remarks from Joe Oliver from Saab in Sweden, via email.
“……we are calm and are not deviating from our plan – if there is an announcement in the US it will not affect our focus.
As you know we are making good progress carving out from GM, reorganizing effectively and securing a new investor and we also have sufficient funds to complete all of these tasks. The new ownership structure will be finalized in the early summer and rest assured the potential investors are still extremely keen to move forward.”