Never ever give up…

I followed the Saab saga from the centre of the storm for a long time. Lots of info came to my ears even before they were in the news, quite a bit of it was too hot to be published. It was a continuous quest for information and I was online nearly 24 hours a day. We were on a mission, trying to do our share to Saab’s fight for survival. The more I dug into things the more great people I met and the more I wanted to fight for Saab. Ever since I came to SaabsUnited my love for Saab has grown stronger. Just like you say that the love of a married couple growsthrough tough times I identified myself with Saab more and more. Around here I am known as the quirky guy who loves that Swedish brand. And I like to be. Still.

What makes me really sad is that GM let Saab work on a solution they knew they would never accept. I did not really blame GM for asking Saab to stick to the contracts and leave any ownership change below 20%. That was their right. But as they came out with the statement that they won’t accept any involvement of a Chinese company, be it ownership, a loan or whatever they stepped a bit too far. At least for me. The way things have gone with a greedy Pang Da trying to take over 100%, first with Geely and then with Youngman, have surely added their bit to GM’s decision but I strongly believe that SAIC had their say in this. They did not want a competitor to rise in the Chinese market that is now threatened by consolidation. I have no evidence for this but to me it’s logical. But the thing that upsets me most about GM is that they did not clearly state this three, four, five or even ten months ago. Victor would not have followed the Chisese path so eagerly if he had known about this.

Coming to Victor – he surely has made some mistakes in the past two years but if it had not been for him, Saab had been dead and gone two years ago. He fought for Saab, even beyond the point where he had to fear personal monetary losses because he still saw a chance to avoid bankrupcy. The hurdles he has faced in this fight (GM, Lofalk, SweGov…) were high enough to let many quit, he still went on. That is what I’d like to thank him for. It is not often that a CEO who meets his employees to inform them about a bankrupcy is welcomed with applause. He was. And despite the current situation I feel that he deserves it.

Besides Victor there are a lot of people I’d like to thank for their tenacity. Youngman, who stayed in there until they could not justify another investment (I don’t blame them), the employees who stayed on board and among other things developed the next 9-3 further and further. All the local teams who went out on the dealer tours and re-created faith among the customers. All dealers who kept Saab in their portfolio…

I won’t even waste a word on the others who actively contributed to Saabs bankrupcy. I just hope Old Nick will take good care of them when their time has come.

To come back to the title – about six weeks ago I was talking to Tim and told him that even bankrupcy contains a chance for survival. My point was that in such a scenario, when debts are written down, investors may show up to pick up the company and get it up again without facing such a huge amount of debt. We heared about three interested parties who already showed up. At least they had enough time to prepare for this day. So I hope there will be one among them who can get things up and running. It’s, as before, mostly up to the amount of money someone is willing to invest. If the cash is there, everything is possible.

Yes, I belive there is still a reason for hope. And I won’t give up hope. Not yet.

OliverH
Member
4 years 9 months ago

Which suppliers will work again with Phoenix from the ashes after debts had been written off (this time) or down (last time)? There must be a rocket solid investor in place.

christian
Member
4 years 9 months ago
Right, this is probably THE challenge for a restart. Many suppliers will need to be convinced from scratch by the new Saab to make a deal for supplying new programs. This UK business school researchers’ report on what killed Saab really made me think. There are a couple of very good points in there. What can a new Saab company do in order to overcome the obstacle of being an niche manufacturer with a product portfolio that is to compete with Audis and BMWs at their price level but need much higher margins to survive? Maybe they should just bring… Read more »
psmisc
Member
4 years 9 months ago

Not sure if this was discussed before, but I wonder if they can pull a MG. Acquire the assets and brand, shut down production, keep the engineers, and focus solely on developing the next-gen product.

quickbird
Member
4 years 9 months ago

YM cannot stand the lost when there is not car sales revenue while also still put money in the R&D. Don’t to mention the debt need to pay in pre-bankruptcy period.
Right now with debt off perhaps this works. But they still hope can product 9-3…

TurboLamko
Member
4 years 9 months ago

Thanks for sharing this! I am refusing to give up the hope of Saab’s future as a carmaker 😀

I think the WHOLE crew of Saabsunited should get a gift for the job they are doing.

If Saab survives this and if there will be a festival in summer 2012, each person from the crew that will attempt there will get a cake from me and of course a DRIVE the Saab 900 Turbo 16 1984-1986 for a spin 🙂

kochje
Member
4 years 9 months ago

You, and all other Saabists, are cordially invited to attend in August the International Saab club Meeting, held in Spa, Belgium.
Please do go to http://www.intsaab2012.com for more information.
It would be an excellent opportunity to get all together.

Karl Ask
Member
4 years 9 months ago

I have also hope !!!

OddJob
Member
4 years 9 months ago

My wild card tip: Indian company Mahindra. I’m not 100% sure but I believe they were among the interested parties when Grand Mother offered Saab for sale. Besides they now have a co-operation with Saab AB (the aviation and defence guys).

Angelo V.
Member
4 years 9 months ago

OddJob: I was thinking the same thing. They are a big enough player to consider this. Personally, I see the future in Saab’s “rights” being absorbed by a company from India or Asia (what about Kia?). A company that will be the ideal fit will be one that can build Saabs for less—-and sell them for less. Higher volume, lower margin will equal more stability.

davidgmills
Member
4 years 9 months ago

Mahindra was interested years ago.

Mahindara would make a much better partner than the Chinese and would not be nearly as much a problem for Americans. Americans look at the Indians as having taken much of their technology and office/service work, but they don’t see the Indians as having taken away their manufacturing base.

Indians are not equated with cheaply made products.

And the Indians seem to be doing great with Jaguar.

Jamie Lovett
Member
4 years 9 months ago

Beautifully written– thank you for your uplifting thoughts. All I want for Christmas is for SAAB to survive.

TurboLamko
Member
4 years 9 months ago

Or at least a new year gift 😉

Jamie Lovett
Member
4 years 9 months ago

Good point — what a great way to celebrate the new year! A brand new start! 🙂

Greg Abbott
Member
4 years 9 months ago

Whoever wants to come in and buy Saab needs to move quickly. The negative press in the U.S. from today’s announcement that Saab will no longer honor its warranties is quite intense. Whatever goodwill Saab has left in the marketplace is evaporating quickly.

fanofsaab
Member
4 years 9 months ago

Looks like warranties will be honored by GM, a token gesture to help ease the negative onslaught

Baver
Member
4 years 9 months ago

But not on Spyker/SWAN Saabs, which just happens to be what I have in my driveway

Saabman
Member
4 years 9 months ago

How ironic, those customers should complain to GM, they screwed it for them!

Greg Abbott
Member
4 years 9 months ago

I have one in my driveway, too. 11,000 trouble free miles, I’m not worried so much for myself.

The GM offer is not a gesture, it is a legal requirement under applicable law and also something that was covered in the sale contract with Spyker. Typical of GM to take credit for something they are already legally obligated to do.

And GM’s position or no, the negative press just looks awful.

quickbird
Member
4 years 9 months ago

Yes, GM ruined Saab, and then dumped Spyker/SWAN saabers…

kochje
Member
4 years 9 months ago

And the worst of this all is that this was communicated via press releases.
Not even the professionalism to have direct contact on this with SWAN.
What a management.

Greg Bakos
Member
4 years 9 months ago

GM is saying they will only honor warranties for cars bought in 2009 or before. You should be able to buy a warranty on later models Saabs, including new off the showroom floor.

meg haviland
Member
4 years 9 months ago
Well written Til 🙂 Yes we all want Saab to survive. My thanks go out to Victor and everyone else in TH for hanging in and fighting the fight. Saab will rise again…. As for the warranties, I was told by my shop that even my 08 is no longer covered until further notice. Sad part is, that a 10 came in with a computer problem and won’t run. The computer is in Atlanta but won’t be shipped. The customer, a true Saaber is willing to pay for it to get their car back o the road but the shop… Read more »
74StingSaab
Member
4 years 9 months ago
And that is the problem…. after such a wound like this, how can Saab recover? What do I tell my son who’s Saab is only 3 months in his hands and is worth probably 1/2 of what he paid and has no warranty (as of now) My CPO warranty is now questionable and parts for my wifes 2007 are already getting difficult to get. Why should my son have to buy an aftermarket warranty for a 2011 Saab as someone suggested? That’s ridiculous. Saab should never have allowed this PR disaster and planned for this event. Selling $40k cars “as-is”… Read more »
Baver
Member
4 years 9 months ago

It would be nice to get some clarification from Saab Cars NA. Hopefully, that will come very soon for us. If not, a class action lawsuit against General Motors from all North American owners may be in order, especially those with Spyker/SWAN Saabs. Any US lawyers out there with advice to us?

quickbird
Member
4 years 9 months ago

I am up for the lawsuit for GM, even donation for that I am willing. F. GM…

74StingSaab
Member
4 years 9 months ago

lawsuit against GM? please explain?

Irish Badger
Member
4 years 9 months ago

As a US trained attorney, I can think of several causes of action for a potential class action against GM:
1. Fraud; 2. Tortious Interference with a Contract (my Warranty); 3. Antitrust; 4. Unlawful Enrichment; even, 5. Securities Fraud
Some of these claims might not succeed ultimately but they would be sufficient to rack up several million dollars in legal fees defending against them and force a settlement.

quickbird
Member
4 years 9 months ago

Irish Badger, thanks god you are lawyer. We really need some Saaber who are lawyer can give us some advices about considering a class action against GM. Anyone who can take the lead or open a Facebook page to get other Saaber together and see what we can do?

Irish Badger
Member
4 years 9 months ago
Its an interesting question but not something I am willing to take on (sorry). I suspect, however, that there are a number of Plaintiff’s firms out there who are sniffing the blood in the water and who will be racing to the courthouse to file their claims. The Milberg firm out of NY (FKA Milberg Weiss) are probably the most notorious and largest of these firms. As luck would have it, they have an office in Detroit. Their information is: 777 Woodward Ave # 800 Detroit, MI 48226-3589 (313) 309-1760. I recommend that any US owner of a MY 10… Read more »
quickbird
Member
4 years 9 months ago

Thanks Irish for the explanation and the information. Let’s see what other driver think and to see should we do that or not. Thanks again!

Irish Badger
Member
4 years 9 months ago

I forgot to mention that a class action would cost you nothing – because the plaintiff’s lawyers stand to make millions, if they think there is a case, they foot the bill.

quickbird
Member
4 years 9 months ago

Thanks Irish, really appreciate and thanks so much for your professional explanation.

So guys, should we do that?

Baver
Member
4 years 9 months ago

Thank you IrishBadger. Quickird, I think we should strongly consider it. I am wondering if it would be best to wait and see if there is a “White Knight” that GM can agree to work with before we start a fire. IrishBadger, any insight on the timing of a lawsuit, now or wait and see what happens next?

Irish Badger
Member
4 years 9 months ago
Hi Baver, as I have no experience in class actions, I am not comfortable giving a timing opinion beyond stating that a delay of a couple of weeks/months will probably not hurt it. Interestingly, the Plaintiff’s lawyers might already be in a race to contact potential Plaintiffs. Given the stakes involved in class actions, there is often a race to sign up as many plaintiff’s as possible in order to be certified as “lead counsel” (i.e. the firm controlling the case) by the Court. If the members of SU were interested in approaching a class action firm, it would make… Read more »
quickbird
Member
4 years 9 months ago

Or on the other side, the earlier of start this case again GM perhaps would give some pressure to GM and then it would allow some buyer to take over Saab and Saab can continue the operation and then pick up our warranty again? Just a thought, perhaps I am wrong…

Baver
Member
4 years 9 months ago

Quickbird, that’s what I am wondering. It may just really tick them off. By the way, Krampus has made an appearance on GM’s facebook wall. I urge you to take a look at it. Very funny. Google “Krampus” if you are not aware of what it is.

Baver
Member
4 years 9 months ago

Would be nice to have a way on here to get the Class Action message out to us Spyker/SWAN Saabers on here in one message. I’m not sure the moderators want to tick off GM anymore, since we are still hoping that a solution to this mess can be acheived, possibly still using GM technology. I dunno…..

cwf010
Member
4 years 9 months ago

Phoenix is the hope.

Eric
Member
4 years 9 months ago

Indeed!

cwf010
Member
4 years 9 months ago

China still a key. but, what world wide dealers’ feel?

Eric
Member
4 years 9 months ago
I am with you. I still have hope as well for Saab, as I do for a resurrection of Pontiac here in the States! GM, I find, ultimately doesn’t play nice w/others whether it was GM alone or GM & SAIC. I can understand GM looking out for its own interests. But that last deal should have been fine w/them. In a sense, with saying no to any Chinese involvement they are rather two-faced. GM works w/SAIC in the China market b/c the have to to sell cars there, but otherwise & elsewhere want no relations w/the Chinese. Though I… Read more »
saabdog
Member
4 years 9 months ago

As long as Pontiac is a GM product, I will not buy one…and I own a 1965 Pontiac Tempest Convertible — when the Pontiac brand really meant something.

CSD_ChineseSaabDriver
Member
4 years 9 months ago

Ever since I came to SaabsUnited my love for Saab has grown stronger.

— exactly same here, day in day out, a proud Saab driver

kochje
Member
4 years 9 months ago

Join you, even now in this situation.
Will be proud to continue drive the best cars ever.

TRMaster
Member
4 years 9 months ago

spacy
Guest
4 years 9 months ago

till72

Re; ” The way things have gone with a b>greedy Pang Da<b trying to take over 100%, first with Geely and then with Youngman,''

I thought the 100& demand was made by Youngman??

CSD_ChineseSaabDriver
Member
4 years 9 months ago

PD & YM together to get 100% ownership

spacy
Guest
4 years 9 months ago

But was it initiated by YM, that’s my memory

CSD_ChineseSaabDriver
Member
4 years 9 months ago

I am not sure, if YM did that, proves only that they really trust in Saab and really wanted to invest billion dollars.

Maybe YM is still there, they are coming to Sweden these days, and they are planning to start the JV with SWAN (the Saab Automobile Development Co), it’s all good sign there is a good chance Saab will be OK

jond
Member
4 years 9 months ago
Well…. of course you are correct about the debts. But these debts did not appear by magic. They are the result of the Company losing over 700million Euro in under two years. They are now so large that an investor into the business as a going concern under reconstruction would have needed about twice the level of capital to make a restart compared with a business that was debt free – half to pay down the debts and half to gear up for production and sales. So, what investor in their right minds would have preferred to buy the Company… Read more »
CSD_ChineseSaabDriver
Member
4 years 9 months ago

Well writen, I am think there is a great chance for the new Saab

rune
Member
4 years 9 months ago

Back in mid-April Saab needed a relatively small amount of money and had a deal ready to secure those funds. That would have kept production going and if they had managed to keep their growth going they would have been profitable some time in 2012.

By contrast, a bankrupt Saab is an unknown entity that needs to renegotiate GM license deals. That approach was (and still is) a huge gamble. Especially given GM’s stance in January 2010 when they started taking the factory apart.

Apparent 15 months ago? Hmm… Could be. I don’t remember it being mentioned officially though. Your source?

jond
Member
4 years 9 months ago

The Company was heavily loss-making last winter, which would have been apparent the previous autumn, given demand at the time. The prudent course of action would have been to heavily cut back on production overheads. Since they owned their factory at the time, that could have been achieved.

rune
Member
4 years 9 months ago

Earlier that year they were talking about adding a second shift. So in a way they did cut costs by cancelling those plans.

Their sales numbers were pointing upwards, and they needed to stock up in the US. Difficult to do that while reducing the production rate..? (the current cost cutting efforts seems to focus on this)

Meanwhile, October 2010 they started chasing Chinese partners and other means of getting their hands on fresh funding.

OliverH
Member
4 years 9 months ago
I think they wouldn’t have been profitable in 2012. The mentioned 100k are to low to get in +margin. We forget the licence fees to GM which were really big, the 94x should have made volumes to compensate invests. The 95sc has to do the same. I think with a continual growth it should have been arrived 2013/2014. And then they had to back pay the EIB loan. To be realistic Saab had needed let’s say 2016-2018 to become profitable at all. But the bankruptcy is the chance to get rid of all and get profitable much earlier. But it… Read more »
Swizzy
Member
4 years 9 months ago
Well written Till and thanks for your thougths. Thanks to the hole SU-Crew for the enourmous time and effort you have spent to keep us informed. I hope this Spirit will survive. Even me will never ever give up to believe that SAAB will survive… SAAB and all behind that grow up as a part of my live. I was twice in Trollhättan, once as a lucky guest on a factory tour in June 2010 and once early September this Year to visit the Museum the second time. I already decided to go a third time for the Museum, maybe… Read more »
lilla
Member
4 years 9 months ago

I say it again and again, The hope dies last. I also would like to visit the factory …. a factory that produces great cars again! Remain optimistic and keep the SAAB spirit alive.

TurboLamko
Member
4 years 9 months ago

I made a prayer recently about Saab and it’s future as a car brand and maker!

Saab UP
Griffin UP

JH
Member
4 years 9 months ago

Very well written Till, I couldn’t agree more.

Martin T16s
Member
4 years 9 months ago
A nicely written piece till72. I have always liked the way you put your point across and reminds me so much of how Swade used to speak. Very eloquent and to the point. I am a UK Saab dealer with 36 years of dedication and loyalty to this wonderful brand. I have always compared Saab to an incurable infection….those that get it are infected for life! What other product on earth can have that kind of impact? What other product or brand can boast of such deep rooted passion and dedication? We are a family like no other. I could… Read more »
CSD_ChineseSaabDriver
Member
4 years 9 months ago

Great post. Thanks a lot.

davidgmills
Member
4 years 9 months ago
Since I have owned 15 Saabs, I too have seen a lot of Saabness. But I have got to say that I have deep regrets that the public did not get to experience the NG 9-5. Of course I worry now with mine whether I will be able to get it fixed. But GM influence or not, it is a damn great car. Maybe Saab’s real forte is taking the brands of other manufacturers and improving them and adding real value. I am sure that an Opel that is similar to a Saab is not nearly as good. I am… Read more »
mallthus
Member
4 years 9 months ago

I guess it’s your good fortune that it’s built, by and large, from the GM parts bin!!!

Truthfully, my guess it that the spares group will be sold in the bankruptcy process and will continue to be a viable business, regardless of what happens to the rest of Saab.

Further, with the 9-5 having been ramped up for a bigger production run that actually resulted, you’ll probably wind up with better spares availability than would be the case for many other cars.

davidgmills
Member
4 years 9 months ago

When mine was in an accident recently, we couldn’t get the parts to fix the airbags. Took three months. I don’t know if Buick airbags would have worked or not, but we could not get Saab parts.

I am glad we got the parts before the bankruptcy filing or who knows how long I would be waiting.

Saabman
Member
4 years 9 months ago

I am afraid I think GM new that VM did not have enough money and at some time we would need cash and they could veto it. Saab goes they don’t get the heat as VM takes the heat…..

montahue
Member
4 years 9 months ago

According to the Swedish television (SVT) news show “Rapport” there is much interest in buying the whole bankruptcy estate. Youngman is after it and so is apparently the Turkish Government (??!).

davidgmills
Member
4 years 9 months ago

The Turks are bankrupt too aren’t they? But that would be a whole lot more interesting than the Chinese.

montahue
Member
4 years 9 months ago

Have no idea about their economy but they are not a part of the EU.

montahue
Member
4 years 9 months ago

But yes, interesting to say the least 🙂

Wittendorff
Member
4 years 9 months ago

The Turks have stated that they only want the technology. No production in Sweden. In my point od view the Turks would be a worst case solution.

mallthus
Member
4 years 9 months ago
I think the real issue here with GM is the bizarre actions Guy Lofalk took. VM always knew GM was going to be an issue when it came to the Chinese. That’s why he took steps in the early negotiations with Youngman and Pang Da to ensure that they were in the loop. When Lofalk flew the coop and started trying to make deals with Geely and then the 100% deal with the Chinese, GM made it clear that they held the veto and would use it if these shenanigans continued. They continued nonetheless and by the time the last… Read more »
OliverH
Member
4 years 9 months ago
That’s the story we heard (bizarre action of GL). I think it’s the whole story itself and GMs thinking on the Go China strategy from Saab (get fast higher volumes). The 94x could have been a real competitor to the GM product. The 95, especially the 95sc, could have been a good selling car in the US, China and so on. If negoations had been driven on a professional level Saab had been a MOU with GM or some kind of contract. The bankruptcy situation couldn’t never been reached which such a “surprise”. We had acting GL as an administrator… Read more »
Angelo V.
Member
4 years 9 months ago
GM’s argument that “This sale will negatively affect shareholders” is laughable on the face of it. Here’s a question: Aside from VM selling Saab back to GM, how would ANY sale not negatively affect GM shareholders? In other words, wouldn’t the survival of any car brand, including Saab—-sold to someone OTHER than GM, be competition? And competition for any business, even if they only steal a few sales, negatively impacts shareholders. So if Saab was packaged for BMW, or Volkswagen, or Ford, or Mazda, or Suzuki, or Kia, or Mahindra or Wal-Mart or Hilton Hotels or Elton John—-if ANYBODY bought… Read more »
davidgmills
Member
4 years 9 months ago
Did you even read the article by the economist in the UK? If you did, you would understand exactly why this would impact shareholders much more than a sale to anyone else. GM is apparently doing great in China. China apparently loves Buicks that look a lot like Saabs and are being made and sold in China by GM’s partner in China. GM really needs one partner in China making cars that look like Buicks and Saabs. One partner. Not two. Not three. One. It is selling a huge volume of cars there and it certainly does not need to… Read more »
Angelo V.
Member
4 years 9 months ago
Did you even read my post? There are varying degrees of “being impacted.” As I said, a sale to any competitor (i.e. anyone who sells cars) would have the capacity to negatively affect shareholders. Period. The end. Would a sale to a Chinese company be more harmful to those shareholders? Probably. Maybe. A case could be made. But on the other hand, how long would it take for this venture to start seriously cutting into GM’s sales in China? Answer: A long time. How much volume would be needed? Answer: More than Saab’s plant in Sweden could handle. How long… Read more »
davidgmills
Member
4 years 9 months ago

Such bullshit doesn’t deserve a response.

Angelo V.
Member
4 years 9 months ago

Doesn’t deserve a resopnse or you don’t have one?

rune
Member
4 years 9 months ago

Manners.

Angelo V makes a good point. How long time would it take to start producing the 9-5 in China? At that point, GM will hopefully moved on and launched a new technology platform. It should not be much of a threat.

The real threat would be Phoenix, which is next generation technology at a cheaper price. And that is a threat that is still potentially there in case Youngman pushes on with their current plans.

montahue
Member
4 years 9 months ago

It’s a shame that the Chinese likes Buick’s better then Saab’s . But that does not explain why Ford sold 100% of Volvo and other IP-stuff to the greedy Chinese. One could ask why Ford makes deals with complete strangers while GM is to scared to sit down having a beer with the guy next doors

3cyl
Member
4 years 9 months ago

I’ve heard that in many ways Buicks are better than SAABs, I just haven’t been able to think of any.

davidgmills
Member
4 years 9 months ago

You can get parts for Buicks.

3cyl
Member
4 years 9 months ago

Yes, but then you have to drive it.

Baver
Member
4 years 9 months ago

Ha!

montahue
Member
4 years 9 months ago

You know a Sissy when you see him, that’s GM. Ford – Volvo – Chinese overlords – no fuzz -That’s the spirit!

emil
Member
4 years 9 months ago
Thanks, till. Nice post. I’ll add that I’m one of the engineers still officially employed by Saab Automobile (although I’m expecting to get the notice any one of the coming days), and last night I slept better than I have in a long time. I guess because the bankruptcy effectively put an end to the many months of uncertainty we’ve all endured. Another thing it did was ensure that any news and developments from now on must, by necessity, be positive; if you’re already lying face down on rock bottom it’s hard to imagine that things could possibly get any… Read more »
3cyl
Member
4 years 9 months ago

Emil, your a better man than most. And thanks for the great cars. After reading your post, I hope more than ever that there are more SAABs to come.

kochje
Member
4 years 9 months ago

We support your feelings, Emil, and hope that your wish will come through.
While we all look forward to the Griffin coming up again.

saabdealer
Member
4 years 9 months ago
My hope is someone with a voice makes it known that GM was given a life-line by the US taxpayers. Those same tax payers were slapped in the face yesterday by the very company we bailed out. ~190 US dealers and staff will suffer. US based suppliers will suffer. Saab owners will suffer. US, one of the biggest markets for Saab was spit on by GM after taking our tax money to continue their business. And there excuse, “we have to do what’s best for our shareholders.” Why not do what’s best for the people that allowed you to start… Read more »
3cyl
Member
4 years 9 months ago

If SAAB is to go forward it will take backers with very deep pockets. If such backers materialize, they may be willing to pick up those warranties in a gesture of goodwill to SAAB’s most loyal customers. They will need those customers.

BMW Rider
Member
4 years 9 months ago

I’d be content at least if GM would step in with warranty on the post GM Saabs, they are essentially GM cars anyway and the liability wouldn’t be that huge or even that long term. I’d even consider a reasonably priced bumper to bumper warranty offered by GM for my new 9-5. It’s some goodwill that would go a long way to with the owners of these cars.

Angelo V.
Member
4 years 9 months ago

I’m spreading the word on Facebook and everywhere I can. Agree totally with you.

Baver
Member
4 years 9 months ago

+1

74StingSaab
Member
4 years 9 months ago

MY10 and 11 should be covered by Saab, not GM… why does the blame lay with GM?

davidgmills
Member
4 years 9 months ago
Well legally it may not have any liability. But many of us bought these cars knowing full well they were GM cars. And in fact GM just announced to the world that it would not sell to the Chinese because these cars supposedly have so much GM technology in them that GM’s technology needs to be protected. GM just blocked a sale that would have given these owners their warranties. But most important of all, GM seller financed Saab to Spyker with the right to take Saab back if Spyker failed. If GM retains the right to take Spyker back,… Read more »
Irish Badger
Member
4 years 9 months ago

Don’t forget that GM was also given a bailout by European Governments – I am surprised that they haven’t made more a stink about it to be honest.

Baver
Member
4 years 9 months ago

They seem to be a bit preoccupied at the moment with the Euro zone nearing collapse, unfortunately.

Deborah VC Ronsani
Member
4 years 9 months ago

I’ve read through all the posts.. I have 3 saabs (two with over 200.000 and another with 125, 000 miles Totally love my saabs)and my daughter has a check in hand and is picking her 2009 95 tomorrow.. I’m worried about Parts.. for all four cars.. anyone have any clue as to what will happen with that.. ????.. Should she close the deal or walk away?? The dealer said right now..”No Parts”.. I just don’t know what to do this kid took out a 4 year loan , will she be ok to get it..

Baver
Member
4 years 9 months ago

Deborah,
Personally as an owner of a NO-Warranty 2011 9-5 Aero, and I really hate to say this, I would say walk away and see what happens in the next few weeks, if at all possible. If you are in the US and she does decide to go through with it, make sure she puts zero money down and buys GAP insurance (minimal expense) that will cover the difference in the value of the car vs. balance of loan in the event of a loss and it needs to be written off. I got the GAP, but put too much down.

Deborah VC Ronsani
Member
4 years 9 months ago

Baver..Thank You so much for the advice.. and I will take it.. I hate to see her paying a four year loan on a car that may not be able to be fixed after a year,, it’s taken her so long to save for the down payment and at 22 I hate to have her learn the hard way.. as for me and my three Saabs..grrrr.. and I love my saabs..

kochje
Member
4 years 9 months ago

For your Saab cars there will still be parts available.
The Saab Parts group is not affected by this bankruptcy.

3cyl
Member
4 years 9 months ago

If SAAB is to go forward it will take backers with very deep pockets. If such backers materialize, they may be willing to pick up those warranties in a gesture of goodwill to SAAB’s most loyal customers. They will need those customers.

Kahl
Member
4 years 9 months ago

I agree most of what you said here.

But, no one was to ACTIVELY drag Saab into bankruptcy.

Meaningless to blame anyone at this stage.

If anyone bring SAAB out of bankruptcy successfully,and that is a big ‘IF’, SAAB would be a different entity that may have different products and spirits to the ones we loved before. So it is meaningless to hope for something we don’t even know, either.

Let’s just hope employees get paid ASAP and creditors are compensated properly.

Angelo V.
Member
4 years 9 months ago

I love the brand. I love some of the dealers. I want to see more cars wearing the Saab emblem/name in the future. I choose to blame GM (my perogative) because they’re clowns and they are the most responsible for Saab’s failure. In my view, what I hope for isn’t meaningless.

Kahl
Member
4 years 9 months ago

GM is not responsible for Saab’s failure, blame GM as you wish, but I say it’s meaningless.

And you don’t know if potential buyers can and will put the Saab badge on the car they produce. This is the end for the Saab you’ve loved, accept it.

And you don’t know what it’s going to be…

rune
Member
4 years 9 months ago

Kahl, GM has had plenty of chances to treat Saab fairly.

Already two years ago GM’s selection process seemed a bit odd…

And now… Saab managed to put in place an agreement with Youngman that doesn’t alter the owner structure at all, yet GM puts the foot down knowing full well that Saab is not fit to take this fight into the courts.

Pull the other one, it has bells on.

Kahl
Member
4 years 9 months ago

I know what you are talking about here.

So after all the blame work, any good has been done?

Speaking of responsibility for bankruptcy, you blame a former parent rather than current management? Your logic says we should blame owners who sold Saab to GM 20 years ago…But still, this is meaningless.

It’s ok you hate GM, that doesn’t work for me.

rune
Member
4 years 9 months ago

Again: “Saab managed to put in place an agreement with Youngman that doesn’t alter the owner structure at all, yet GM puts the foot down knowing full well that Saab is not fit to take this fight into the courts.”

I am not blaming the former parent. I am blaming the company who pulled a technology license for no good reason.

Kahl
Member
4 years 9 months ago

Do you know when YM is entitled to convert that loan into ordinary shares?

Do you know how long GM is going to rely on its current technology?

Do you know how long SAIC will use the current GM IP to develop and produce their own cars in China?

Please give me some numbers otherwise you can’t say there is no good reason.

rune
Member
4 years 9 months ago

Last week’s deal was that Youngman would be able to convert that loan after Saab had engineered away all the GM technology.

That was the entire point of the deal. That is why VM was upset when GM flatly refused. That is why we are all a bit edgy now.

davidgmills
Member
4 years 9 months ago

Saab lost $780 million in the year after GM bought half of Saab. Was that GM’s fault as well? Saab was in serious shape when GM first put its money down on Saab. The owners of Saab at the time were looking to unload it and GM took the bait.

3cyl
Member
4 years 9 months ago
I don’t know if there were other serious buyers that would have done a better job managing the SAAB brand when GM bought in. If not, SAAB probably would have failed years ago and we can thank GM for keeping SAAB going all these years, even if we think GM could have done better. It is somewhat like the Harley Davidson AMF period. AMF is considered to have managed the brand poorly, but even AMF’s critics concede that HD would not have survived if AMF had not stepped in. Of course, the subsequent buyout of HD from AMF went a… Read more »
goofy
Member
4 years 9 months ago

I see Saab reemerging as a smaller automotive engineering consulting firm / automaker that makes creative use of off-the-shelf components to build its own unique & innovative niche-market car, while providing manufacturing & engineering services to other companies – not unlike Lotus.

Long live Saab!! Saab och Trollhättan ska segra!!

davidgmills
Member
4 years 9 months ago

Saab should just buy other manufacturer’s cars and fix them to Saab standards. Probably Saab’s best chance. A Saab BMW. A Saab Audi. A Saab Mercedes. A Saab Jaguar. Etc.

michaelb
Member
4 years 9 months ago
I think you are right, that a slim hope is still there. At this stage, there is nothing to be done about it. Potential buyers probably will be prepared and have their initial thougths sorted out. It is important, that things happen very fast, because the Saab factory, people, network will now fall apart rapidly. But I am sure the administrators are aware of that. The best solution would be a large European manufacturer with multi-brand culture. They don’t need GM IP and will be able to turn around the operation in a much broader sense. The next best solution… Read more »
Thylmuc
Member
4 years 9 months ago

Which one do you refer to? Volkswagen or Fiat?

Neither Daimler nor BMW would qualify as “large”. PSA has not shown any ambitions, Renault is still trying to merge with Samsung, though I had suggested them, since they also once tried to buy Volvo.

michaelb
Member
4 years 9 months ago
Resourcewise, VW would be the strongest backing, both financially and technically, with large experience in moving ailing and existing brands upmarket. I do not know if it would be the best solution for Saab’s engineering department, though, as certain overlaps would exist. For Fiat, Saab under certain conditions could become the center of global premium car research and development. The current solution with rebadging Chrysler and selling them as Lancias is an offense to that brand’s heritage. Alfa is on own feets and sees a revival, but primarily in small cars as the Mito and the Giulia. Larger cars such… Read more »
Jarkko
Member
4 years 9 months ago

Why was Ford willing to sell Volvo to the Chinese but GM did not accept this? Was Ford so desperate a couple of years ago – or did Ford receive good money by selling but here GM did not get a penny (not from the sale – only royalties from cars produced)?

TurboLamko
Member
4 years 9 months ago

No, because Ford cares about it’s image and their customers so much better then GM!

Pedro
Member
4 years 9 months ago

Ford does not have a huge partner/presence in China, like GM does, and thus does not have to balance those “odd sensibilities” on the negotiating table the same way GM does.

meccano
Member
4 years 9 months ago

Victor Muller is a hero for trying to save Saab for two years while GM is the enemy after trying for two decades. It is so boring and useless to beat up GM but I guess it is nice for some to have a common enemy during dark times of desperation. I do hope you realize it is neither helpful or insightful.

highlatitude
Member
4 years 9 months ago
If a new owner is to appear, it must happen quickly. The assembly line equipment – conveyors, overhead cranes, work slides, tool and die, moulding machines, robotic welders, etc – will soon be sold as scrap or to industrial wholesalers. A new factory would need to be outfitted. The cost is astronomical, almost unfathomable, and is the reason why even the largest automakers use as many interchangeable parts as possible and schedule refreshes on even the most popular vehicles only once every three to five years. Very few investors were willing to invest large sums on an ailing SAAB with… Read more »
ArchDandy
Member
4 years 9 months ago

Well. Now we all have to look forward. There is hopefully some investor who want´s to build up Saab again. This bankrupsy can be a fresh start, something new.

I felt last week that everything was so infected, just more and more problems, with just everything. Like Saab falling slowly falling apart. Now Saab is sleeping and recovering, and nobody knows when Saab is waking up again and in which condition. It will take time to recovery, but it will unfortunately be better day by day. Better to start somwhere than not start at all.

OliverH
Member
4 years 9 months ago

I think Magna is more likely in a position to find a solution with GM to rescue Saab in a hole. They can make contracts with the chinese let’s say to only sell the 93 in china to get around the issue with GM. Youngman can do their development with new products in the joint venture. Magna can later profit from a better entry to the chinese market and do a cooperation.

bpsorrel
Member
4 years 9 months ago

That sounds like a great solution! Fingers crossed!!

biritter
Member
4 years 9 months ago
Everyone is blaming GM… but there is one side no one is hearing from, or blaming (although there is no evidence on which to lay blame)… and that is GM’s Chinese partners. GM has a very big business in China, has a lot at stake, and very likely wants to keep its Chinese partners happy…or at least not anger them. For all we know GM is saying no, because their Chinese partners don’t want the deal done, or perhaps there are contractual obligations between GM & their partners that make such a Saab deal a no go… and GM for… Read more »
GerritN
Member
4 years 9 months ago

See my interpretation of the Victor Muller interview below.

GerritN
Member
4 years 9 months ago
I just had time to listen to the interview that the Dutch AutoVisie (of Telegraaf news paper) had with Victor Muller. Unfortunately the title of the interview is “Victor Muller chooses Audi” because of an honest reply from Victor. The interview is a very honest one (from both Victor and the guy interviewing him), unfortunately De Telegraaf didn’t disappoint me by screwing up the title in their quest for sensationalism. Still, I recommend this interview for those who can understand it, lots of interesting information. I don’t have enough time to do a direct translation (I’m actually ‘participating’ in a… Read more »
saabserb
Member
4 years 9 months ago

I really respect VM but this about SAAB/Pang Da/Youngman flying under GM’s radar is just BS. I don’t believe for a moment that the original setup would have been approved by GM/SAIC! For Gods sake the Chinese had more then 50% ownership, why would SAIC/GM let them go with that plan and not with 0%?

hilmar
Member
4 years 9 months ago

Thanks for the information/translation.Therewith the whole issue is a bit more understandable. But I think VM actually must have expected that GM could/would block for what reason ever – saving their IP ? – the Chinese or any other deal. I instantly hope there exists a strategy to avoid GM.

kochje
Member
4 years 9 months ago

Agree with you Gerrit; this is a typical Dutch reaction; the guy is not beloved in his own country.
Just pure jealousy. “Zij kunnen de zon gewoon niet in het water zien schijnen”

Pedro
Member
4 years 9 months ago

North Street Capital does not want to buy Spyker anymore? Interesting…

mnztr
Member
4 years 9 months ago
I agree with the point of this article. But my question is, how involved was GM in the negotiations. There came a point though, where they should have been much more forthright. What I think they were doing was hoping the deal would die on it’s own without them killing it. Now that GM has killed it, they become liable for the hundreds of millions in losses attached to it’s failure. If it had died on it’s own they would have not been liable. I suspect Victor knew 100% how it would go down MUCH earlier then he let on,… Read more »
hughw
Member
4 years 9 months ago
Just a thought and I may not fully understand the situation. But it would seem to me that all the debt that Saab has incurred is now gone, debt to GM, debt to the EIB, debt to NSC, or whoever. YM felt it made economic sense to buy Saab for 100M euro knowing that they had to take on all that debt. They also of course were in a sense buying GM IP. If YM, or Magna, or some other entity, comes in now and buys the whole ball of wax for 100M or 200M or whatever, free of debt,… Read more »
lundin
Member
4 years 9 months ago

You would think that would make sense, even a very good idea,dont you? I agree. Actually,I think most people, on a board there to make money, would agree.

BUT no hugh, we are not just talking about any board here, we are talkig about the board of GM here so forget it.

CSD_ChineseSaabDriver
Member
4 years 9 months ago

I am not sure if GM will now soften their stand, for example to let the current 93 to be built.

RS
Member
4 years 9 months ago
Lundin, I think the factory/current production should be bought by someone GM trusts and the Phoenix development kept totally separate in the JV which is still owned by both YM and SWAN? If the new 9-1, 9-3, 9-5, 9-7 etc. have nothing in common with the GM based cars that roll out of the factory there shouldn’t be any IP issues either. It could work especially if Detroit makes good money on the 9-3, 9-4X, 9-5 licenses? The JV in return could license factory time ones the new models are ready for production. The company that owns the plant would… Read more »
RS
Member
4 years 9 months ago

*even if the new model’s sales would starts off slow. (where has the edit button gone?)

lundin
Member
4 years 9 months ago
RS, yeah i agree with the sandboxed concept. That was more or less where the deal was progressing towards but you extended and tweaked it a bit and i like it. =) Also,the plant buyer not only gets the ability to produce vehicles,they can do a deal with Parts on doing body-parts production (becuase they got the tools). I am not sure GM is willing to put more time into it, they have already taken the loss in their books and written it all off…that’s what counts for them. Iron out the GM IP..well might work, after all there is… Read more »
Selle
Member
4 years 9 months ago
First of all: WOW! I didn’t knew that Saab was really, really, really popular outside Trollhättan and Sweden! Thank YOU ALL for the support! :-))) It makes us here in Trollhättan very warm inside! I myself have followed this mess from General Motors even since the first start between Saab and that little sportcar company from Ängelholm who now makes Ferrari-killers was at SVT (Swedens Televison) and in papers like Aftonbladet. I was realistic back then and I knew that they (Koenigsegg Automotive AB) couldn’t take care of it mostly because their recources was limited. It’s like if Ferrari was… Read more »
hilmar
Member
4 years 9 months ago

Thumbs up ! All the best for you in THN ! But first – Merry Christmas / God Jul – to you.

kochje
Member
4 years 9 months ago

We support you all in Trollhättan and I promise that I will come over to visit the Saab museum.
So make sure it stays there, complete.

CSD_ChineseSaabDriver
Member
4 years 9 months ago

If Saab is saved this time, I with my family will drive to Sweden to see the Saab museum 🙂

Allan B
Member
4 years 9 months ago

God Jul!

orion
Member
4 years 9 months ago

@selle, thank you for your story. There will (must) be a way out .This bankruptcy is a “bottom” to start something new for Saab, i’m sure. Beste whishes for Christmas overthere in Trollhättan, God Jul!

spacy
Guest
4 years 9 months ago

Selle

Re; ”General Motors, who are afriad of that mighty red dragon in distant east”

On this I think you are wrong, they [GM] are afraid of the Red griffin on ALL Saab cars…….

My sincere good wishes to everyone that has helped our amazing Car Co, and as is said here: ”never, ever Give up!!……..” [>VM,]

mnztr
Member
4 years 9 months ago
Selle, yes there are many, many people around the world thinking of Trollhatten. So many brands have come and gone, but very few have had such strong emotional support. Perhaps Youngman or VW will save SAAB, I dearly hope they do. But the heart of SAAB is in Trollhattan, many good things about Sweden are represented in SAAB. A bit serious, quality without being too flashy. Good design without being impractical. A sense of solidity. It’s all there. I wish everyone in Trollhattan the very best in spite of the GM Grinch. Merry Christmas and may there be more SAABs… Read more »
3cyl
Member
4 years 9 months ago

Since we are doing some fantasizing here, I’ll propose Bugatti as a buyer. They could use a somewhat more entry car, and if they bring back a modern version of the SAAB horseshoe grill there will be a family resemblance.

OliverH
Member
4 years 9 months ago

Bugatti? Isn’t it a daughter from VW?

3cyl
Member
4 years 9 months ago

In that case, forget about my proposal..

dcpattie
Member
4 years 9 months ago

I’ll play along. How about Mazda? They could move up market on the cheap and slowly switch the tech over. Ford’s share in Mazda is only around 10% so I can’t see any issues there. Also Subaru (Fuji Heavy Motors).

paul
Member
4 years 9 months ago

I have often thought that Subaru might be a good buyer for Saab (not sure if the Saabaru has anything to do with that thought or not) for the same reasons you mention that Saab would be good for Mazda. I hadn’t thought of Mazda before, but they would make sense too. Both seem like solid car companies, both seem to have an individual approach that might be a nice fit. (Both happen to be on my short list of cars I’d look into if I had to).

spacy
Guest
4 years 9 months ago
Baver
Member
4 years 9 months ago

Sad 🙁

CSD_ChineseSaabDriver
Member
4 years 9 months ago

Sad, too sad. Wish him good luck ………..

TurboLover
Member
4 years 9 months ago

Were are you heddin’ Swade?

TurboLamko
Member
4 years 9 months ago

He said that he signs off for now only, which means that he might be back pretty soon if everything goes well! So keep calm and carry on everybody 😉

EuroDriver
Member
4 years 9 months ago

Any news on who the ten players are that are interested in Saab? I’ve heard some big shots are among the ten. All in all I think Saab has a chance to be revived.

spacy
Guest
4 years 9 months ago


Oh, how I HATE GM……..Shame on you!!!!

Angelo V.
Member
4 years 9 months ago
What goes around, comes around. Call it Karma—-but Government Moochers is destined to fail. Right now, they are backed with tens of millions of taxpayer dollars to cover their butts. In time, their arrogance and poor management will doom them. It’s not a matter of if, but a matter of when. Their competitors build better cars and are smarter in running their companies. In the marketplace, that still matters. I really don’t see GM getting bailed out again, regardless of who’s in charge in Washington, DC. And make no mistake about it—-there will come a time when they are on… Read more »
Angelo V.
Member
4 years 9 months ago

Oh, and to clarify—–I’m referring to their U.S. sales and operations. The whole notion of a “product based recovery” for GM is nonsense. A year and a half ago, we were hearing about how the Chevy Volt would lead GM to “greener pastures” (puns intended for ecology and money making). So far, no-go. I live in the Washington, DC area—-heavily populated, many affluent people—-and I can count on one hand how many Volts I’ve seen on the road—-ever.

3cyl
Member
4 years 9 months ago

Angelo, would it be correct to assume that you are not a fan of GM?

Angelo V.
Member
4 years 9 months ago
3cyl: I have owned more GM products than any other, including: 2 Chevrolets, 3 Cadillacs, 2 Buicks, 1 Pontiac, 1 Saab. That’s 10, count them, TEN GM products, in the last 22 years. My family has owned countless GMs, including many Oldsmobiles, Buicks, Cadillacs—-a Pontiac and Chevy for good measure. Is it correct to assume that I am not a fan of GM? Yes, NOW it is, as of Monday. Quite frankly, their irrational behavior in this episode has eroded my confidence in them to an all time low and prior to General Motors blocking the recently proposed sale of… Read more »
3cyl
Member
4 years 9 months ago

Angelo, as hard as it is, we should forget about GM for now and have a Merry Christmas. I’ll be driving on Christmas Eve in my SAAB, which will help put me in the Holiday Spirit.

Angelo V.
Member
4 years 9 months ago

You’re right about having a Merry Christmas! But can’t we send a pile of coal to GM headquarters?

3cyl
Member
4 years 9 months ago

Too bad someone didn’t think of that sooner. Everyone on this site could have sent GM a lump for Christmas.

talladegan
Member
4 years 9 months ago

Does anyone know if there’s video footage anywhere of Victor addressing the employees to announce the bankruptcy and receiving the applause? I would live to see that.

Daniel B
Member
4 years 9 months ago

There seams to be reason for a modest optimism according to SR P4 West:

http://sverigesradio.se/sida/artikel.aspx?programid=125&artikel=4870614

In Swedish by anyway..

900_S
Member
4 years 9 months ago

Inspiring words, Till 🙂 I hold onto that hope as well, but I won’t be surprised if nothing comes of it.

TurboLamko
Member
4 years 9 months ago
TurboLamko
Member
4 years 9 months ago

No one has confirmed anything yet so keep calm and carry on!

Paul
Member
4 years 9 months ago

I’m in with Till72, and I’m stil buying a New SAAB with or without warranty..

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