GM tech in Saab’s models

This article is a few days old but I thought it would be an interesting read while we are waiting for news to come. It gives a bit of clarification which technology GM really has their hands on (from affarsvarlden.se):

Both GM and Saab have been reticent about exactly what GM has the rights. But Ny Teknik can sort out the details, model for model:

– The rights to the technology in the new 9-5 is 100 percent owned by GM. Saab has certainly developed a range of technical solutions, but there are GM authorized to use them as you wish. Saab has no right to use “their” technology in other cars without paying the license fee to the GM.

– The technique of 9-3 only partially owned by GM. Saab owns most of the time itself, and may also use GM technology without paying the license fee.

– In the case of 9-4X is the GM of the principle supplier of all cars.

– The so-called architecture of the new Phoenix, which will form the basis for the new 9-3 and even the next generation 9-5, 100 percent owned by Saab. But at least the new 9-3 is containing components and technology to be purchased and licensed by GM.

This illustrates that there is no way to get things going without GM, at least if you want to produce cars in the near future. So let’s hope that all parties negotiate serious enough to agree on a solution. I am still optimistic though the big question mark is how many hits the Chinese are willing to take since GM seems to have a clear view what they are willing to allow.

kcaco

JasonPowell
Member
4 years 10 months ago

Whatever people think or want to think, I think that the unfortunate is that we simply need GM more than they need us. We need a good 2-3 years before we can fully break free from GM in my mind.

Chris Hansel
Member
4 years 10 months ago

Drop the 9-4x projext today, drop the new 9-5 next week . Change the basic existing 9-3 platform in outside appearance, and work 24/7 on the new Phoenix platform. Hire a good European lawyer, and tell GM to kiss off. Then produce a new 9-2 in China in 18 months, problem over, do the deal. Get Swed. govt to pressure U.S. to allow this and just move on with the Chinese, alone.
Chris

TonymacUK
Member
4 years 10 months ago

Chris,
Drastic, but could be the way forward if it`s possible to do – after all, no 9-4xs are being produced and the 9-5 wasn`t selling when it was in production. The 9-3, on the other hand, was selling reasonably well and would sell more if the interior quality was improved (and we didn`t have to pay exorbitant prices to Hirsch for leather upgrades) and the price was right.

Troels, Denmark
Member
4 years 10 months ago

The reasons why the 9-5 didn´t sell well were two: a. the crisis for Saab as a company. b. the lack off a wagon – which will be solved very soon , if all goes well for Saab.

Coke is it
Member
4 years 10 months ago

+1

hans h
Member
4 years 10 months ago

a) Yes
b) Yes

And it still sold more than the old 9-5.

Coke is it
Member
4 years 10 months ago
If Saab would drop the 9-4X, 9-5 Sedan and the 9-5 SportCombi and only produce the 9-3 they can just shut down for good. The 9-3 will not bring in enough people to the dealers. I love my 9-3 but i will not buy a new 9-3 (the current model, not talking about the Phoenix based 9-3) since it feels to old for me compared to the 9-5. I still hope I will get my ordered 9-5 SC but if Saab only can sell a 9-3 SC to me I will move on to another brand since the 9-3 SC… Read more »
Jeff
Member
4 years 10 months ago

Not only that, but you’re looking at a disaster in terms of consumer confidence in a brand if you sell consumers cars for a year then go back on the deal and decide that you’re going to drop production and most likely your ability to sell them parts. Incredibly messy from not only a PR standpoint but practically too. It’s nice to think in abstract sweeping terms, but without GM, the investment that is needed to shore up Saab truly is in the billions of dollars.

fido
Member
4 years 10 months ago

I can’t agree more. drop 9-4x and 9-5. and speedup new 9-3

SAAB will reborn from death, just like Phoenix.

davidgmills
Member
4 years 10 months ago

What happens to all those people like me who just purchased the new 9-5? No parts ever?

hogge
Member
4 years 10 months ago

Doesen’t this article state that Saab can make the current 9-3 without GM’s permission?
Start making the current 9-3,then start selling some kind of captive import to broaden the range.

RS
Member
4 years 10 months ago

The tech is on only partly owned by Saab. If GM would want to be nasty they won’t sell the parts necessary to build the 9-3’s if an agreement with the Chinese can’t be reached.

Had to dig for a EGR/turbo related vacuum problem the other day and noticed that it says; GM patent no. xxxxx on the solenoid valve even though it must be a THN original.
“GM IP” right there…

RS
Member
4 years 10 months ago

That tag didn’t quite work as planned. lol

hogge
Member
4 years 10 months ago

How much would it take to replace the particular parts with non- GM components?

ivo 71
Member
4 years 10 months ago

Hundreds of millions. It would involve redesigning and retooling most of the basic platform the cars are built upon. Not viable imho.

Ivo

Osama Dajani
Member
4 years 10 months ago
All car customers, and the people working in the Auto industry, will respect SAAB if it continues and survives in these turbulent times. I’m neither familiar with Auto manufacturing nor Auto Industry, but, I think that SAAB should terminate its relationships with GM, so that NOT A SINGLE component in its future cars would be procured from GM. SAAB should return back to its old suppliers, old partners, whom supported the firm to develop and deliver the great old SAAB 99, 900 Classic, and SAAB 9000. Even if SAAB had to deliver retro cars, perhaps, SAAB enthusiasts would be very… Read more »
SAAB340
Member
4 years 10 months ago

+9000 !

ivo 71
Member
4 years 10 months ago

+ 2x 9000!

Ivo

davidgmills
Member
4 years 10 months ago

Saab should just….. Well come up with a $billion and you can do it.

Troels, Denmark
Member
4 years 10 months ago

To me, all those obstacles from GM, seem to be an excuse for their wishes to shut down Saab. If not so the parties could make an agreement, where SWAN still had some part-ownership and with a clause that the current model will not be manufactured in China.

Thylmuc
Member
4 years 10 months ago
Right, a compromise will be something to this effect. Actually, I wonder why GM would be concerned with any particular ownership. In the end, we don’t even now how big a share of GM is already owned by Chinese entities. The US have sold a significant portion of GM on the market. To whom? And regarding an export of Saabs to China, why should GM be bothered? Saab is already doing that, as is GM with their cars. They can only be concerned with IP moving to China. But this could be blocked by confining the 9-5 production to Trollhättan,… Read more »
Troels, Denmark
Member
4 years 10 months ago

My guess here would be that Youngman – if they are clever – WILL still be interested in Saab: 1. There is actually no need to produce the 9-5 in China. 2: If any, Saab will be the partner to help with development off new, GM-independent tech, for upcoming models – that be 9-6, 9-7, 9-1 or some sub-brand without the Saab-name.
So, IMO, it is all – still – a question about GM exploiting the opportunity to strangle Saab. – Will we let them do so ?

Coke is it
Member
4 years 10 months ago

I don’t think GM’s decision is any more complicated than that they want to make as much money as possible and that they want to ensure that they get a nice percentage for the used licenses in every car built by Saab with the new owners.

Thylmuc
Member
4 years 10 months ago

That might well be. And certainly a higher fee than before.

davidgmills
Member
4 years 10 months ago

I disagree. I think GM does not want to be forced into business with these particular Chinese partners. It already has Chinese partners. It doesn’t need new Chinese partners (especially ones it didn’t pick) to compete with the partners it has already chosen.

Peter, Sweden
Member
4 years 10 months ago

I’m still uncertain of all the facts. Is GM saying that their technique mustn’t be used if Saab is owned by Chinese companies, or are they saying that no Saabs mustn’t be produced (reselled?) in China as long as they contain GNM-technique?

SAAB340
Member
4 years 10 months ago
Why not drop all that GM stuff and for the time being take the the mighty 9000 back in production? 😉 After all, the 9000 was truly a superior vehicle in its days; clearly much better than the Audi 100/200 or even BMW 5 series. Even driving one today it radiates that ‘True Saab Feeling’ that current Saabs, with all there typical GM knobs and buttons, are so sorely lacking. I still remember how impressed I was when I drove a 2.3 T 9000 for the first time. Later models, although logically equiped with much more modern technology, never could… Read more »
Eagle63
Member
4 years 10 months ago
I agree 100% ! Today everything that is newer or more modern is regarded as being better, there was a time that this was mostly true, but nowadays that hardly is the case anymore. I’m a strong believer in PROGRESS, but progress nowadays is no longer self-evident in new products. With the 9000 Saab took a tremendous leap forward from the old classic 900 (which in itself was just a highly modified 99 from 60s vintage..). The OG 9-5 was a great car, but not really superior to the 9000. And the NG 9-5 is by some seen as the… Read more »
nordican
Member
4 years 10 months ago

+1
Also, the ‘old’ 2.3 T engines are built rock-solid; tunable to much higher HP/NM outputs than the newer ‘more efficient’ GM-era 4 cyl. engines..

Thylmuc
Member
4 years 10 months ago

“but progress nowadays is no longer self-evident in new products”

Surprising, but it really seems so. Cameras (including video cameras) are another example. Or TV sets. I start believing that the majority of development funds are spent not in making products better, buit in lowering their costs.

And the functionality is more side stepping than impproving.

This does not hold for new fields, like smartphones, but for maturing fields.

arnold
Member
4 years 10 months ago

I own the latest Audi Quatro 2 ltr turbo, and it is a very nice car, BUT, when I bough it, I told the dealer Audi was my second choice, and how I missed my beloved 9000.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T3d4v_gEIAs

I had to sell it when I left the country, and last year it was written off in an accident. I went back and got the serial number tag by the windshield, and this is all I have left of that car.

davidgmills
Member
4 years 10 months ago

I’ve had all three. The 2011 is vastly superior to the old 9-5 and the 9000. My 9000 was one of the poorest car purchases I ever made. It is a good thing it wasn’t my first Saab or it would have been my last. It had so many things wrong with it, it would take an hour to post them all. But it was fun to drive.

Thylmuc
Member
4 years 10 months ago

Intriguing idea, though I think that it would not pass temporary regulations, and there is no H engine plant any longer; so they would need the BMW engines.

Also, the 9000 is probably to costly to built, and too many parts were built in-house by departments long outsourced (and the external suppliers won’t have the ability to build those parts)

Really frustrating though, that 14 years after the 9000, people are still even considering it’s return. Says more about the Saabishness of recent Saabs than anything. Or would anybody seriously ask to bring back a twenty years old Audi design?

Thylmuc
Member
4 years 10 months ago

When the 9-5 was introduced, I was perplexed. Such a square design! No hatchback! And the wagon, imho really ugly (I know that this is controversal, but I just don’t like the big C column, same with the Mercedes M, or Renault 21; personal taste, you know…): Barely bigger than the 9-3! What the heck!

Will presumably be my next car (can’t afford a new 9-5 right now). But still…

ivo 71
Member
4 years 10 months ago

Well, there are a few memorable Audi models that I wouldn’t mind seeing back on the road with a more contemporary drive train, of course: the Audi 4WD coupé of Walter Röhrl fame, the big old Audi 100 fastback coupé…

Ivo

welshwizard645
Member
4 years 10 months ago
“Or would anybody seriously ask to bring back a twenty years old Audi design?” Audi have done for the past 30 years – seriously apart from the A2, and the roadsters, Audi’s design hasn’t really moved on to such an extent that the only way you can tell an A4 from an A8 because of the size, and if you were an A8 owner you’d be seriously hacked off since your car wouldn’t stand out from the new A6, which really isn’t much of a design advance over the previous 2 generations. I was following the first incarnation of the… Read more »
ivo 71
Member
4 years 10 months ago
+1 I think the old 9000 could be re-tweaked to be a beter tune-in with what the markets require today. The platform, the technology, the electronics and the styling in general should not be that hard to adapt to suit the needs of many. Idiosyncratic cars for idiosyncratic people who know what they want and don’t care what others think. Affordability aside, I would buy a new 9000 tomorrow if it came on the market today, especially if powered by the indestructible and eminently tunable (up to almost 400 HP) Trionic 5 2.3 full-pressure turbo engine that is, to top… Read more »
JerseySaab
Member
4 years 10 months ago
I recently purchased a 1997 9000 CSE after 25 years of driving a “classic” 900, and it is far and away the most amazing automobile I’ve ever owned. The 2.3 turbo engine is powerful and near bulletproof, and the car’s comfort level is astounding. Friends who own new and late-model cars are likewise amazed when they take a ride in this 15-year old Saab that has near 300,000 miles on the clock – they want one. Having said all this, unfortunately it is very unlikely the 9000 could be brought back. The tooling is likely gone. Even if original suppliers… Read more »
sandycapp
Member
4 years 10 months ago

I love my 07 9-5, but still regret selling my old 9000

davidgmills
Member
4 years 10 months ago

Actually the ZF automatic sucked.

ivo 71
Member
4 years 10 months ago

You really must have bought a monday morning special, David G. … Mine is a manual and poses no problems at all but I know many 9000’s with an automatic box that have been driving around for over 300.000 kms without any significant trouble. All you need to do is flush the box and change the AG oil every 2 years.

Ivo

ivo 71
Member
4 years 10 months ago

I meant AT oil, of course.

Ivo

WooDz
Member
4 years 10 months ago

So GM could allow the chinese access to their IP but only to sell outside China.
Youngman/pang da then halt any further commitment to current GM platforms and fast-track Phoenix.

The future:
new 9-3 Hatch is launched end of 2012.
Wagon follows 6 months later.
new 9-5 launched 2013 and the 9-3 convertible.
all new 9-1 arrives 2014

Thylmuc
Member
4 years 10 months ago

Probably a good solution, with the exception of the 9-5. Simply for return on investment reasons, it should be propuced longer. For China, a long wheel base version of the new 9-3 might be a gap stop option. I assume that the 9-3 will be around 4.7 m; so the EWB could be like 4.85 m.

WooDz
Member
4 years 10 months ago
Saab have already said The NG 9-5 will be built on the PhoeniX platform. To me it sounds like the Chinese need to get the PhoeniX architecture to market asap because there’s no money in the low volume GM products. I’m still confused that no large Corporate was to snap SAAB up and save a huge amount of money in gaining a fully engineered modular platform. BMW, Peugeot/Citroèn but more importantly FIAT. I not thinking about what might be good for SAAB but actually about a company who could exploit the situation. Even KIA / Hyundai should be looking at… Read more »
davidgmills
Member
4 years 10 months ago

Here’s the question. If Saab goes under and GM reposesses in bankruptcy, does GM get the rights to the Phoenix platform? I would think it would. It seller financed Saab since the VM purchase and usually such financing permits the repossessor to all of the assets of the buyer, not just the assets existing at time of sale.

ivo 71
Member
4 years 10 months ago

GM seller-financed the sale by way of pref shares. That may be financing in practical terms but, officially, they are just another shareholder with nearly zero voting rights, they just get to stand in front of the queue whene there is some cash to distribute around.

Ivo

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