Have just woken up to the news of Spyker being the fourth mystery bidder.
Spyker Cars NV, the Dutch maker of $235,000 sports cars, has also expressed interest and has been seeking to put together a group of investors, people familiar with the matter said today. Spyker, based in Zeewolde, the Netherlands, hasn’t been profitable since it sold shares to the public in 2004. Spyker Chief Executive Officer Victor Muller couldn’t be reached on his mobile phone. An assistant in his office said the executive is traveling in the U.S.
This sounds, at first hearing, like the Koenigsegg bid, only smaller. Of course, I’ll I’ve seen is a headline. They’re Dutchies, though, and Dutchies love their Saabs so it’ll be interesting for me, personally, to see what else has been written (I literally just woke up and have a bountiful inbox to get through).
I’ve just spoken to Saab in Sweden and they’re feeling genuinely like this is not the end of the road. They’re still not expecting anything concrete for another hour or so.
It’s a beautiful morning here in Hobart. Here’s hoping that means good news!!
A note from Trollhattan for those who missed it. This is from the eye of the storm:
I’m skipping lunch today. I’m not feeling hungry, only nervous. I’ve felt exactly this way once before, in a Boeing 737 being tossed around like a leaf in an autumn storm coming in for the landing at Edinburgh Airport. While the bags came flying out of the overhead compartments, I remember comforting myself with the thought that the airplane was designed to withstand far worse conditions than we were in. That thought and a trust in that whoever piloted the aircraft knew what they were doing kept me calm.
Today, I’m trying to comfort myself in a similar manner. I want to believe that common sense prevails. I want to believe that the 13 people making up the GM Board of Directors will recognise the fact that ours is one of the most efficient factories on the continent and that killing Saab at a time when hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent developing models that are now ready to start producing would be folly of almost epic proportions.
I want to believe that they realise that the talk of global over-capacity does not equate a need to kill a specific brand, regardless of its size. If you want to remedy an over-capacity, you close a large, dirty, inefficient plant, or you downsize a huge one. You don’t shutter one of the smallest and most efficient plants there is. Let VW, Toyota and Fiat make a tiny dent in their collective flooding, but don’t ask Saab to give it all up. Give the workers at the 5 largest manufacturers an extra 15 minutes of lunch break once a week, and you’ll have offset Saab’s entire existence. That’s how small we are, that’s how seemingly unimportant our contribution to the world’s annual production is – but only to those who tally everything by pure numbers.
My hope is that the GM board members do recognise these things, that they see there is still a place for Saab in the automotive world, that they realise the skill and potential of our engineers. That they don’t shrug and give up like our, at times, rather pathetic government officials tend to. Come the 2010 elections here in Sweden, I shall likely vote blank for the very first time, because if I am still a Saab employee by then, it most certainly won’t be thanks to our politicians. They don’t build our aircraft, and if we don’t keep them out of reach of the controls, chances are that bumpy approach will end in disaster.
You know our thoughts, hopes and prayers are with you, mate.
Interesting comment fom Jacob:
KVP/Expressen say this is the plan JÅJ and the Swedish Government presented to the board of GM:
– BAIC buys the old 9-3 and the old 9-5, and takes a stake in Saab.
– Merbanco takes the lead with other investors (possibly with some of the investors in Koenigsegg Group AB) to buy Saab. Renco is still interested, but Saab prefers Merbanco.
This would be complemented with a quick decision of the EIB, the Swedish Debt Office has said that a new application can be completed within three to four weeks. The head of the Debt Office stated he believed in Saab’s business plan, after being very critical at first.
We know that BAIC are interested in Saab. check.
I’m very confident about management at Saab being bullish about Merbanco. Very highly regarded from their visits there. check.
And NDO guy saying Ksegg/Saab business plan could have worked? Too late now, cobber. You should have had an open mind from the start.
CJ: “We’re not dead yet”
US Saab sales in November:
Saab Total : 293
Nov 08: 717
YTD 09: 5,676
YTD 08: 16,904