Waiting Snippets

While we are waiting for big news on how things will continue for Saab the press reports coming out right now offer only few new facts. I put together some snippets and added a few comments to express my view.

Sverigesradio features an article that has Guy Lofalk talking a bit more than yesterday:

There is still money in the car manufacturer Saab for continued reconstruction. And so far there is no reason to discontinue the reorganization, said administrator Guy Lofalk.
– Now the Youngman and Pang Da said they will fund the reconstruction. There are of course of course also linked to how this reorganization plan can actually be implemented.
– But as it stands now, we can hold on for a while but it’s certainly not the time we think of but it is to solve the problems we face, says Guy Lofalk in an interview with the Echo, which was made last night.

This is good as far as the reconstruction is financed for now. On how to work on with GM he says:

Guy Lofalk said that the reorganization plan is preliminary.
– There is a preliminary reorganization plan. Since it is a fact that no plan survives contact with reality, but you must adapt.
– Some things might go more quickly and others take longer. But one must at least have a hypothetical plan to work for, otherwise nothing works.
The first thing is therefore to see if you can untie the knot with GM.
– First we investigate if we can get GM to change their minds and what they then require. That’s primarily what we must do now.
But have no reorganization plan had fallen in with GM’s no?
– As I said at the creditors meeting, there are a number of obstacles and there is no reason to draw any hasty conclusions. Of course, the situation is very serious, it is true.

As I said yesterday, he sounds pretty relaxed. The way to go now is surely to find some point where you can hook on at GM and get an impression what you could do. Reading between the lines of what we heared I tend to think that the big issue for GM are Youngman. It’s about IP and Youngman would be the party that benefits from getting access to it, while Pang Da are just about selling cars. So the big question is if getting back to the original plan with Youngman owning 29,9 % of SWAN is enough for GM or if there have to be additional measures to protect IP from being used by other future spin-off brands. Definetely a tough task that has to be done within a week, before the MOU expires.

The fastest way may be if Pang Da and Youngman have direct talks with GM to find out what kind of adaptions could turn a no into a yes. Victor already expressed this hope on Monday (Sverigesradio):

Muller’s hope is that Pang Das and Young’s leadership can go to Detroit and to negotiate with GM.

GM spokesman James Cain said yesterday that the no from GM was only based on the proposal they got, and this was the 100% takeover. To DI.se he declined to comment on direct negotiations:

Have you now been approached by representatives of Saab, Youngman or Pang Da?
“Our discussions have been with Saab since it is the party we have our contract. All ongoing discussions between the companies is something we would regard as confidential.”

But as “no comment” often means yes to me it’s quite likely that those talks are happening. And even for GM there is something to gain from a continued life for Saab. Future supplies of parts and 9-4x and 60 million for its shares may not sound much but it’s still a bit of money. Even for a big player like GM. And it may be a bit about image as they may not want to be the ones who killed Saab. But all of these things will be weighed against the danger of IP loss.

Sure there is still a chance for a totally different solution, a different deal. Replacing Youngman should be difficult in many aspects, with the biggest being NDRC approval. We always have to keep in mind that they are only here because NDRC made them the preferred partner for the Saab deal. So a deal with other parties would most likely be a completely different one.

And even though I believe that behind the scenes many things are happening now we won’t get to know anything until the MOU with Youngman and Pang Da expires on the 15th.

It is not over, it is just tight. As Victor said, it was forseeable that GM would not let this deal pass without raising demands. There is still hope if all involved are willing to dig for the solution or there is a rabbit left. Both scenarios are still possible so let’s keep the faith.

To end those snippets I chose some comments from the new Maud, Annie Lööf, found on ScandAsia.com:

[…] and Lööf said the Swedish government was “acting as a door-opener in the contacts between Chinese authorities and GM.” However, she stressed, “at the end of the day, it is the parties, Saab and the Chinese (firms), who need to reach a deal… Now (Saab’s court-appointed) administrator and the private parties need to sit down at the negotiation table and find a long-term solution for Saab and its employees.”

Thanks Annie. Good to know that you did all you could even though you couldn’t do anything.

StefanH STHLM
Member
4 years 10 months ago

Oh what a suspense……….
Will there be a future NG9-3 for me in 2013 as I am due to get a new lease car by then?
IF not, my AWD thoughts are drifting away towards Subaru XV, KIA Sportage, Volvo V60, Alfa something.

mnztr
Member
4 years 10 months ago

I think there will be a deal with GM, I think VM should also go with the the Chinese execs to negotiate. They also should talk to BMW. A lot of work to still be done here, but I doubt GM has too many worries about a competitor that only plans to produce around 200K cars in 3-4 years…

Paul
Member
4 years 10 months ago

I still think that as long as the IP tech won’t be sold to third parties, GM will get on board.

Iiari
Member
4 years 10 months ago
Future supplies of parts and 9-4x and 60 million for its shares may not sound much but it’s still a bit of money. Even for a big player like GM. My guess is that this is a rounding error for GM and they could care less. The SRX is hot-selling in the US and I’m sure they could just build more SRX’s there and make even more money that way than the Saab deal… And it may be a bit about image as they may not want to be the ones who killed Saab. But all of these things will… Read more »
zippy
Member
4 years 10 months ago

I am beginning to think this IP stuff is a crock. Why? What to stop Youngman purchasing a Buick made in China, taking it to pieces and copying the important parts? They are GM parts, hardly a company like Ferrari, BMW etl al who truly have some pretty advanced technology.

ANA
Member
4 years 10 months ago

As ever TILL a really balanced report. Keep up the good work.

sa10
Member
4 years 10 months ago

Nobody thought about the possibility. that the Chinese can to ignore the technology licenses and start production parts for saab in China instead of GM?
Delirium, or…..

Alex740
Member
4 years 10 months ago
I’m not a GM basher but the hope that this deal will go through because “they don’t want to be the ones that kill saab” or because they are supplying parts to Saab seems a bit naive. GM doesn’t care about Saab, it’s a company run by bean counters, they sold saab because it was cheaper than shutting it down at a time when they were going into bankruptcy and every move they made was being watched by the US media because of bailouts. Not selling Saab at that time would have been a major disaster as many would have… Read more »
jond
Member
4 years 10 months ago
Agreed, but surely this is a prescription for a whole new Saab, not a recovery from the present situation. There could be no restart to production until the new 9-3 and other vehicles have been designed and tooled up without GM IP. That is years away and the Company has weeks to engineer a financial solution. It could perhaps be done as a route out of bankruptcy, but in the meantime all the existing interested parties would stand to lose almost everything – the existing shareholders, the supplier creditors, the dealers, the workers and so on. It appears that the… Read more »
Alex740
Member
4 years 10 months ago

I agree with what you are saying as well, it’s not going to be as cut and dry as I have put it. A glimmer of hope is that GM did try to sell Hummer to the Chinese but the government said no, they even realized what a terrible brand it was : ). If GM was able to come to a deal with a Chinese company before, maybe they will find a way to do it again.

Iiari
Member
4 years 10 months ago

This was my idea too, but the problem is that “the 93 and freedom from GM” isn’t actually possible as apparently the NG 9-3 is 50% GM tech… THAT’s the problem, far more than the 9-4x or 9-5.

Jeff
Member
4 years 10 months ago
It’s not 50% of the car parts itself, but more the manufacturing process (and 50% is even high then). GM is still fairly crucial to any conceivable business plan going forward. While it may seem productive to play business strategist or predict outcomes here, I assure you the final result (if it’s a positive sale) is going to be so convoluted that it won’t resemble any particular logic that we might ascribe to. It’s wait and see at this point. There are too many moving parts to nail down a particular outcome, between reconstruction protection, deadlines, financiers’ wherewithal, tech agreements,… Read more »
aop
Member
4 years 10 months ago

Hi Jeff; thanks for the update. I’m having heart attacks waiting in the “dark” here….
So did the Hunter show up at all , or is this yet another story?

wpDiscuz