US Saab dealers send notice to GM, Car Czar

Michael Corkery from The Wall Street Journal called me a few days ago and we spoke for around 20 minutes. He asked me a whole lot of really good questions about Saab and about the depth and breadth of support for Saab.
I thought it went really well, until I read his piece the next morning. Basically, he skewered the company with a mocking article about having to sell cakes at Saab events in order to save the company.
So you can imagine it was really pleasing to see him take his latest Saab-based article a little more seriously today.
In his DealJournal blog at the WSJ, Corkery covers a letter that’s been sent by a group of US Saab dealers to General Motors.

In a letter sent last week to General Motors ‘s general counsel and reviewed by Deal Journal , about 50 U.S. Saab dealers are lobbying GM to accept one of the bids reportedly on the table for the 60 year-old brand.
If Saab owners are trying to pull the Detroit automakers heart strings by emphasizing the emotional appeal of the Swedish car, the dealers are talking tough.
“Please take notice that General Motors shall be held accountable for any failure on its part to proceed in good faith and make a full and fair effort to sell the Saab brand,” writes Richard N. Sox, a Tallahassee lawyer, representing 51 of the nation’s approximately 200 Saab dealers

It’s great to see them standing up.
I haven’t seen that attorney’s letter, but I can tell you that the dealers have also sent a letter to President Obama’s “car czar”, Ron Bloom. I do have a copy of that one, but am unsure if I’m permitted to reproduce it here.
The letter covers many of the issues we’ve been covering here for the last few weeks – the validity of offers and buyers already present, the nature of GM’s dealings, the loss of jobs in the US, and quite a bit more. It’s a great presentation, and one that definitely needed to be made.
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And whilst we’re talking about the nature of GM’s dealings, Ed Whitacre’s quotation of a $450million price tag today at the NAIAS just jacked up the price from the $400million previously reported – for no apparent reason.
Good faith effort to sell, or a good faith effort to jack up the price and squeeze the bidders who’d already met their price in the first round?
You decide.

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