I’m despaired and furious

December 19, 2011 in News

This was the reaction by Victor Muller this morning after having submitted the bankruptcy application to the district court of Vänersborg.

To TTELA Victor gives the following interview:

When was the decision taken?
– Early this morning, when GM replied to my e-mail about our suggested solution.

How do you feel about GM right now?
– How would you feel?

How did Youngman motivate that they would not invest the money promised?
– GM said that they would not support any investment from Youngman regardless if it was considered a loan or capital. Youngman could not disregard that threat.

How will this affect you personally?
– I am despaired and furious – at the same time…

21 responses to I’m despaired and furious

  1. I cannot even imagine how Victor must feel at this point, I would say “furious” is pretty restrained under the circumstances.

    GM is a bad egg, decades of bad behavior reinforced by a taxpayer-funded bailout. Now this. I am very embarrassed as an American that some of my money was used to fund these turkeys.

    No more GM products for me, ever, not even small items such as AC spark plugs.

  2. I cannot even imagine how Victor must feel at this point, I would say “furious” is pretty restrained under the circumstances.

    GM is a bad egg, decades of bad behavior reinforced by a taxpayer-funded bailout. Now this. I am very embarrassed as an American that some of my tax money was used to fund these turkeys.

    No more GM products for me, ever, not even small items such as AC spark plugs.

  3. Imagine Victor Muller, so much work, his sister and his father that died… :( And now this!

  4. Now VM knows how scientists feel, months and months of hard work, and no result. I feel with him. Also financially.

    I wrote a short posting on a German website on the matter, and to my surprise, could fancy five plausible, potential buyers, in just two minutes. Magna International, Renault, Tata, Apple and BAIC/Chinese banks. Now, tell me why non of those will be interested. 😉

    Maybe I am just hyperventilating, or utterly ignoring reality, but I am not yet at a point to assume complete disaster.

  5. It would seem that GM are the villian in this pantomime!


  6. How about plan Ö (that’s the last Scandinavian alphabetic)? I mean that US investing group/bank which was willing to invest some money to SAAB. What happened to them and would they still be willing to invest some money to SAAB?

  7. It´s pretty much clear that GM finally got what they wanted. How can anyone invest in this company if one major shareholder and part supplier doesn´t want anyone (from China or Russia) there? F— GM.

  8. GM emerged from their second government sponsored bankruptcy themselves. The last bankruptcy only a few years ago. The company has 4 chief executives in the last two years. Their current CFO, the banker from troubled Morgan Stanley, is the fourth CFO in the past three years. GM’s management had been singled out for criticism by the Obama administration’s autos task force as a contributing factor in the company’s 2009 collapse. After having been overtaken by Toyota, now Volkswagen is next. The bad publicity ripple effect will not be turned around by the current GM management, as today’s developments clearly show. Stock value has dropped dramatically over the last six months, almost 30%. From 32 to about 20 now. You cannot expect constructive well-founded decisions from the present GM’s management, as it is a rudderless ship heading for their third bankruptcy. I am convinced SAAB will rise from its ashes and once again show the world how to make cars and establish a brand customers are loyal to.

  9. I absolutely understand the emotions towards GM management here – and now it is possibly not the time to be rational.
    GM took the decisive hit at our favourite car brand and deliberately turned down what was a serious attempt to get the line in Trollhättan moving again.
    Still, we have to see that GM acted according to principles that are considered common sense in business life and that dominate our Western economy. It is what people learn at business schools and colleges.

    GM was in a weak position back in 2009/10.
    The had just escaped a terrible mess – with a lot of government support. That’s why they let SAAB live – to avoid what was looking like another PR disaster
    Today, they are striking back.
    There are rumours that 2012 will be the decisive year for OPEL/VAUXHALL, a brand that is probably 50 times as big as SAAB. So if GM are willing to sacrifice a whole division, what do they care about a lost battalion somewhere in Sweden?
    For GM, it’s about winning the war for market shares in China.

    I don’t know what else to say.
    Is there another plan? Most likely not.
    But there are still some SAABs out there. Let’s keep them running!

    • No, they didn’t. Quite evidently, Youngman was willing to separate any existing car production and technology from the one that was to be developed in the future, possibly for Youngman built cars in China. If I understood the situation correctly, in other words, Youngman agreed to not use GM tech for their own products, but only for Saabs, just like it it now the case.

      Given this, the refusal of GM is not understandable, also from an economic point of view. It boils down to GM believing that Youngman would still, and contrary to the planned deal, use GM’s technology, i.e. would simply steal it. And here comes the problem: What would hinder Youngman from stealing this technology anyway? What had GM gained here? No security. In both cases, the use of GM’s stuff would be illegal. On the other hand, GM could still earn some money by continuing to supply components and 9-4xs to Saab. I see no business rational behind their decission.

    • Do not agree with you at all; business does NOT has to be NON-ETHICAL.
      This is just the old style US company behavious; it will once hit them in the face as well.

  10. I have worked for Saab in the UK in various dealerships continuously since 1975. Virtually my whole working life dedicated to this wonderful brand. To see it end up in this state is an extremely sad day for me and my colleagues who have also given a similar part of their life to Saab.

  11. After bundling my wife off to work in our 9-5 Aero Sedan, I am now looking in my driveway at my beautiful new (to me) 9-5 SportKombi, watching the rising sun melt the frost away.

    As an American who from an early aged learned (the hard way) to stay away from GM products, I am ashamed and disgusted. Sadly, I can understand the business rationale for GM’s position. From their perspective, why would they want to subsidize their competition?

    Apparently, GM are staking their hopes on positioning Buick as a premium brand in China, a spot they presume that Saab would occupy if they survived. If true, this is truly laughable. Buicks are just as much of a joke here as is the rest of GM’s pathetic, lackluster line-up. They will sell though, because GM will resort to their tried and true sales tactic – a tsunami of empty marketing crap, to brainwash a naiive population into believing they are getting a quality product. It worked in this country for decades. The bigger problem is that there is something wrong with a world where a company like GM can survive by using lawyers, marketing accountants and my tax dollars to keep themselves afloat when their crap products couldn’t, and SAAB can’t.

    I was one of many who rushed out to buy one of the last pure non-GM 900s because we all know that once GM got their hands on the company, sooner or later they would destroy it. As much as I hoped for a better outcome it was doomed to failure from the start. The real villains are the ones who made the deal to sell off Saab Automobile to GM in the first place, and killed the original 900, replacing it with a rebadged Vauxhall, starved the brand of capital investment, and ordaining from on high that rebadged Subarus would suffice.

    They were clever cowards though. They managed to escape the work of making workers redundant before Christmas and dismantling a proud name, leaving a mess for someone else to clear up. Hypocrisy in the extreme from a company that was not too proud to take my tax dollars to survive. I would have preferred to see my tax dollars save Saab instead. I would not miss GM.

    BMW has prospered by remaining independent and retaining control of their technology, marketing and image. The time to save SAAB was 20 years ago, before GM got their hands on them.

  12. It is clear that GM have done this because they do not trust the Chinese with their IP. I wonder how the Chinese will react to this very clear and very public insult.

    • My understanding is that the Chinese do not have a reputation of trustworthiness when it comes to IP. If that is the case, GM’s clear and public insult is warranted. Unfortunately, it had to come at SAAB’s expense..

  13. Sadly, while I have been criticized as a naysayer here, I have been saying this for weeks. GM is and always has been Saab’s biggest problem. There is absolutely no reason for them to play ball. They’ve already written off Saab’s losses. Anything currently being proposed would only create a new risk for them from an IP perspective.

    It’s easy to say this since there’s no way to prove it, but I am confident that Saab would be in an entirely different situation if GM had treated Saab the way that Ford treated Volvo. It’s truly a shame.


    • you are so right

    • I have to agree totally. I wish Ford had bought Saab back in 1989. Supposedly it looked at Saab in late 1988 but ended up choosing Jaguar instead. This led GM to playing “me too” and bought Saab right from under Fiat’s nose.
      If Ford had bought Saab, GM would probably bought Jaguar (which it certainly wanted). That being the case, I think Jaguar would no longer exist today. Very little survives or escapes GM.