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The Press Conference *live updates*

December 19, 2011 in News

We will be writing short notices here live from the press conference! (also available on www.SaabsUnited.com)

  1. blackest day in Saabs History
  2. No way to work with GM
  3. Even though GM would not be part of Saab Automobile, all new products developed by Phoenix, GM still not interested…
  4. Only 200 million needed to get back on track, is because bulk of the investment would be done in future models.
  5. 400 million Euro in the 50/50 joint venture, 200 million euro into Saab Automobile
  6. Around 5 AM, statement from GM, no mater how the deal was done, GM would not agree
  7. Youngman thought it was too risky to invest in Saab since GM would terminate the license of 9-3, 9-5 and 9-4x…
  8. Youngman would have “bought” an empty factory for at least two years…
  9. Having no funding in place, only way out is to file for bankruptcy
  10. Sweden has very good rules, much better than chapter 11… A company in sweden in bankruptcy, can actually go out of bankruptcy, if a party comes and invests money into the company
  11. Parties have showed interests, license agreements with GM must be re-negociated.
  12. New name agreement needed to be negotiated with SAAB AB, but if its a strong argument, this might work as well
  13. This is not necessarily the end…
  14. Could be a new beginning, where Saab could rise again, like a phoenix out of the ashes
  15. SWAN’s involvement is over though
  16. VM will help the administrators
  17. VM’s objective was to create beautiful cars and employ 3500 happy people in Trollhättan, this has now failed… makes him very sad…

58 responses to The Press Conference *live updates*

  1. BMW to the rescue, please.

    • That would be AMAZING!!! But probably not happening… :(

      • Pure speculation on my part but this seems up VW’s ally: They are in acquisition mode, Saab would be cheaper than Alfa at this point, Saab has a good distribution network in the US (Alfa has none), there appears to be strong Chinese desire for the cars (see Pang Da with a distribution network). My only issue with this thought is how Saab could be positioned in a lineup with Audi.

        That all said, I would prefer BMW if anyone comes to the rescue.

        Another thought, could the brand sell cars under a different name if Saab AB doesn’t allow the re-licensing of the Saab name? Perhaps Phoenix would make a good brand name?!?! I am not sure how this would translate globally though.

        • If ‘Saab’ can’t be re-licensed, just use ‘S.A.A.B.’ ;-)
          The idea that the story isn’t over is certainly appealing. This morning was the first time I imagined a world without Saab…and it felt pretty bad.

        • I vote for “BAAS” which is Saab spelled backwards—-and would be pronounced “BOSS.” A “BAAS” sport utility vehicle—-that would sell in the U.S.! Aren’t there little off road/sport utes selling in the East Bloc countries and places like India, that could be the new BAAS?

        • What about Hirsch? Perhaps they could persuade a few Swiss millionaires that the “Hirsch Motor Company” could be a wise investment. Perhaps we may even see a few of the gorgeous 9-3 SportCoupes on the road. Just a thought.

        • Same here: pure speculation, VW unlikely will fire in their own territory, they have an Audi as premium brand, same applies to BMW and Merc. Most realistic bet seems to be France, PSA ( Peugeot-Citroen )and Renault, they both have no presence in North America, so could use Saab’s network, they both want to enter premium market but creating premium brand from scratch ( like Toyota did with Lexus or Nissan created Infiniti ) is extremely expensive and near impossible as of today, while Saab still has worldwide recognition and value, both PSA and Renault have resources and technology which combined with Saab’s know-how and fine tuning could create very competitive vehicles fairly quickly even if they would have to be GM technology free. Both french companies would gain on becoming world player in premium market. And i would be first in line to buy Saab Aero based on Saab’s 4×4 and turbo knowledge combined with Renaults expertise gained from making Formula 1 engines:))) just a dream.

          • PSA, maybe, Renault definitely not.
            Renault has Nissan as partner, and now they are working with Merc, so I can’t believe that they have interest in spending money at Saab.

            • Renault working with Mercedes on next gen twingo/Smart platform and small van platform while alliance between Renault and Nissan is focused on zero-emmission vehicle so maybe there is a little room for Renault to expand towards premium market?

    • Better yet, Koenigsegg

  2. Keep fighting Victor!

  3. Now it can be said. F— GM. Never buy from them!!!

  4. What a waste of an asset. Ford could do it with Volvo – why not GM? Could have been a win-win. Not sure what they are thinking. I feel for the employees, dealers, consumers and VM. If Saab fails to go on, this is another step toward appliances for transportation.

  5. If this is the end, I need a book published for closure

  6. Saab owes GM a LOT of money. But GM does not want Saab to pay them back???
    The last time GM did something this stupid was when they themselves were facing bancrupcy. Is this perhaps happening again?
    It is allright with me in that case.

  7. Let’s hope that the group of investors who apparently have expressed their interest, can move quickly. I am not an expert in Swedish bankruptcy law, but you need to act quickly so that the organization will remain intact. As soon as people are starting to move and assets are sold, the value of the organization will start leaking away.

  8. Words Cannot Express how much this sucks! Hopefully something will happen in the future.

  9. Subaru? They have no factory in Sweden and already do natural gas conversions in Trollhattan. They are also a brand I kinda fancy, since they go their own way, AND they are not Chinese. Let the Griffin fly up among the six stars!

  10. More bandwidth, please…!

  11. Very sad day… Besides the money issue, points 11 and 12 are critical; I don’t think SAAB will make it although it can eventually be resurrected…

  12. Hi

    I love saab and i’m very saddened to hear that it has filed for bankrupcy.

    I know it sounds desperate, but wouldn’t it be possible to open a “rescue Saab” bank account, were everyone interested in saving saab could deposit 100 euro. I’m poor but i would gladly go without food for a weak and give 100 euro to an emergency fund. There must be a least a million saab fans out there that wish they could do something now, Or is to late to do anything now That Saab has filed for bankrupcy.

    GM you are scum!

  13. Ah, soooo sad… So many lost opportunities, so much lost potential, so many failures. Where to start?

    Swedgov:
    The overwhelming failure here, for yesterday, today, and all of the tomorrows to come is the Swedish Government’s. A government’s job is to protect and promote their people, and in letting a major component of their industrial capability be irrevocably lost, Sweden has let its people down. No eastern Asian nation would let this happen, Germany would not let this happen, France would not let this happen, even the “we’re happy to shoot outselves in the foot daily” US government would not let this happen. There were dozens, perhaps hundreds, of points of time at which Swedgov could have intervened to positive effect with minimal investment, but they never did. *Every* Swedish citizen should feel like a failure this morning.

    VM:
    While I admire the tenacity and never-say-die attitude, that attitude was necessary because of what I see as colassal mismanagement around every corner that necessitated a constant “crisis management” mode. From the patchwork quilt of questionable funders, to the revolving door of partners, to the many folks hired who ran for exits before starting, to the constant promises of big deals really really right around the corner, to the headscratching decisions that generated more questions than answers (why was GM involved in this process so late? Why fund the factory so long if we knew there was no money to build cars?). I know he’s an amazing man I would probably love in person, but from where I sit, his tenure was a disaster…

    Youngman:
    Too little, too late. Their deep and true desire to get Saab was only apparent at the end by which time their earlier efforts to get Saab on the cheap had spooked GL and GM. Guys, if you wanted it that badly earlier, you should have stepped up to the plate with a homerun effort rather than the bush-league early deal. I hope the bus business is good because I’d bet the Chinese government is never going to let them build cars now (at the expense of government owned businesses).

    GM:
    I actually understand completely why GM did what they did… Except for the end. I really believed that they didn’t want to kill Saab, just protect IP. But it appeared to me that in the last few days to weeks (again, why so late?) a plan to protect that IP was in place, but it now appears that NO deal would have ever satisfied them. If so, why wouldn’t they say this months, weeks, or even days ago? Cowards…

    GL:
    Every failure above and below was distilled and crystalized in this man’s actions. The wrong ideas, wrongly implemented, at the wrong times, to disasterous effects. Literally the poster child for Swedgov incompetence…

    EIB:
    They knew in the beginning they’d never approve VA and thus doomed Saab from Day 1. Long live the Euro Zone…

    The Press:
    The fact that the “pundits” were right and Saab died doesn’t excuse the mind-boggling level of professional incompetence and laziness displayed by the world (and especially Swedish) press that got things wrong more than right up until the very end.

    Me:
    I feel like the biggest fool of them all. I followed my heart and not my head as in Oct of 2010 I bought my dream car (Turbo-X SC) as friends and family laughed saying Saab was doomed. They bought their Lexi, Fords, Audis, and BMW’s and chuckled. Well, I’ll certainly hear it now. I still have almost 3 and 1/2 years on a loan left on a worthless car I can’t sell, can’t trade in, can’t service, and which makes me look like an automotive idiot. It’s still the best car I’ve ever owned, but it’s today a rolling monument to failure…

    People I feel really sorry for:
    - Swade: Gets the dream job, but it then clubbed in the knees by all of the above and never gets to talk about the cars he loves… I at least hope he writes the definative book on all of this which gets optioned to a screenplay and then he makes a fortune…

    - Tim Colbeck: Seems like the right guy for the right job who left a successful company to take it, but then gets clubbed like Swade… Too sad…

    Happy Holidays all…

    • Nobody here is laughing at you. Keep the car. Enjoy it. There will be parts. And I agree with every bit of that very funny and well-written post, except you are too hard on VM and way too easy on GM!

    • Very good summary! :-)

    • Know how you feel about the car choice which is why I leased my 2011 9-5. But I have five other Saabs as well and will worry about parts.

      Frankly, I am not that upset that the Chinese didn’t get Saab. I would have had a very hard time buying a Chinese owned Saab made in Trollhatten.

      I think the Swedes will soon regret Volvo being Chinese. I was glad Mueller got Saab, at least for a little while. The NG 9-5 is a great car. Too bad the NG 9-5 and Mueller never had much of a chance. Mueller did a lot with no money.

  14. This is what I posted on Facebook—and I strongly urge all of you who love your Saab or who loved the company to do the same, in your own words—or feel free to cut and paste mine: “It’s up to all of us to now discourage everyone we know—and for that matter, scores of people we’ve never met (on the web)—discourage all people from buying a General Motors car. General Motors was/is the primary reason Saab is all but gone. I’ve owned at least eight GM products over the last 30-plus years—-and I still have three of them (including my ’04 Saab, which now loses considerable resale value). General Motors is responsible. I’m done with GM and I hope all of you are done with them too. They’re losers.” Make no mistake about it: General Motors is the primary reason the current Saab failed. It’s really upsetting that GM has this arrogance—-after they begged for money two years ago and received it from taxpayers, including me. They are a nasty bunch in my opinion—-not deserving of my money. I plan to trade my Buick in as soon as possible.

    • We need to spread the word how nasty GM is. Throw their products back in their faces. We all need to do this as a group. And keep supporting Saab!

    • I’m in, but what other options for those that don’t use facebook et al?

    • I won’t. I will probably buy GM for my next car as I have never liked Fords and don’t want any of the other European brands (including Fiat owned Chrysler) or Japanese brands.

      I don’t blame GM for this. They have to be tired of this. After having gone through a huge ordeal about selling Saab two years ago, now they have to do it again? I wouldn’t want to do that if I were them. And now this time GM has to worry about a small deal affecting their ongoing Chinese operations as well? Enough is enough.

      Mueller should have tried to sell Saab to the Indians and take GM entirely out of the picture if he wanted to be sure that GM didn’t have Asian conflicts. Maybe he tried and the Indians were not interested.

      But at any rate I don’t blame GM for this. I blame Europeans (with real money) who who would not step up and buy a European brand and who forced Mueller to look to Asia for money.

  15. The world literally seems like a much less exciting and inspirational place today. While driving home from work I still felt so very proud of my Saab and the community we Saab-fans have, but in the same time I felt exhausted and empty. It’s a hard and sad day for many, but I hope there is a tiny chance of survival left — it’s hard to imagine that no one would like to see that new 9-3…

  16. Maybe was this a way for GM to get rid of Victor?
    The future will show…

    • This was most certainly the way of Swegov to get rid of Victor… And now allready Annie is cheering happily that people are interested… Another thing i don’t understand is that Swegov is prepaired to invest EUR 60000000,- in paying bankrupcy salaries and was not willing to bail out SWAN/Saab for the time being…

      Verry concerning to me is that the whole happening is a cornerstone of why we will loose all wealth as we know it to the new world orders, if we don’t change our ways fast.
      In order to obtain 2 months of Salary people are willing to take the risk to destroy the economy of a entire region and blaim thier unions for not taking action earlyer. But you can’t blaim them they live in the world we created together and have to pay mortgages buy presents etc. In the new World orders people work for months without payment see their kids twice a year just to get a glimps of the lives we have now..

      Either way i feel sorry for Victor he could have been the creative brain with loads of automotive pasion to make Saab Saab again.

  17. This is what I wrote on GM’s Facebook wall some time ago. I think its message still has resonance. This doesn’t have to be the end; GM could still change their mind. Does Sweden have any nukes to point at the USA? :)

    To those at GM, first, thank you for keeping the Saab flame alive for so many years, for investing in such splendid facilities in Sweden, for employing so many talented Swedish engineers, for permitting a post-GM Saab to have a chance with Spyker.

    As you’ve learned, as so many of us have learned, involvement with Saab is seldom simple or straightforward, but it is the community around it which makes it so much more than a simple brand.

    I don’t know enough about ‘the deal’ to be able to say that it meets all of the objectives of all of the participants. What I do know is that it is possible to construct deals in general which protect the interests of all parties, and which achieve goals wider than simple economics: social benefit, CSR, maintenance of employment, preservation of history, enhancement of reputation, and so on.

    Saab is a beacon as much as anything else. With the right deal, I believe you, GM, can profit from your stake and historical investment, embracing the emerging trends of looser associations and supply deals which seem in some areas to be eclipsing, or at least rivalling, more traditional models of mass manufacture on a grand scale.

    If BMW can supply engines and not feel threatened by the competition, I feel confident that you, GM, can find a way to reconcile the desire of so many to keep the Saab flame burning a while longer with the need to protect your own interests.

    For all of those reasons, and more, I ask you, simply, to allow Saab this opportunity – this last opportunity, it seems – to survive and inspire new generations of loyal devotees, people who can look back upon GM kindly for their contributions rather than critically for their administration of the coup de grace.

    To quote Yeats: “Tread softly because you tread on my dreams”. Please tread softly and choose the path you tread kindly. Let Saab live to fly another day.

  18. SAAB: Unable to execute their business plan,
    Swedish Government: Appeared unsupportive at best.
    Chinese: A reputation for ignoring IP rights preceded them.
    GM: Put their interests ahead of SAAB.

    A difficult situation to overcome. Nonetheless, it is not the time to give up all hope for a new beginning as expressed in item 14 of the original post.

  19. As I drove my beautiful 2010 95 Aero to work today, I thought about all this. This is a wonderful machine, and given a little more “Saabness” would be nigh on to perfect for me. A great long distance cruiser that also goes around corners very nicely.
    After reflecting on all this, I decided that it will be a cold, cold day in Hell before I will buy anything from GM. That’s really the only ammunition I have. I’m done with them.
    I’m going to drive this beauty as long as I can. And keep my fingers crossed for good news in the future.

    • I join you; did drive totay more than 800 KM is Germany and even passed in Ruesselsheim, centre for Opel.
      I at least did drive a nice car and enjoyed looking at all these boring faces standing in front of the Opel factory.

  20. Saab should reborn under name Phoenix…. Imagine Phoenix 9-3 X ;-)

  21. GM has known from the very beginning that this would be the result; they are not just an automotive company anymore but run by a group of pure finance people with no ethics at all.
    Just hope they will again get to the point that they need tax payers money and that the tax payers will say; go elswhere for that cash.
    Wir Leben Autos; yes but only theirs.

  22. “Sweden has very good rules, much better than chapter 11… A company in sweden in bankruptcy, can actually go out of bankruptcy, if a party comes and invests money into the company.”

    Huh? The purpose of a Chapter 11 bankruptcy is reorganization — not straight liquidation.

    While I am not a bankruptcy expert it is my understanding that a company in bankruptcy under Swedish laws generally cannot access its assets. That means Saab cannot continue to build cars. Under Chapter 11, on the other hand, Saab would retain ownership and control of its assets while it worked with the court and trustee to develop an reorganization plan. Regardless, Saab’s cup is neither half empty nor half full. It’s empty. Bone dry. That’s not negativity, folks. It’s harsh reality. I don’t want to see a “Phoenix 9-3″ or a “Pangda 9-5″ in my garage. None of these things are representative of “SAAB.” She will be sorely missed.

    • Pretty sure they meant Chapter 7 and not Chapter 11… Although IIRC GM went into a Chapter 7 pre-packaged deal which slip the good bits under New GM, so it wasn’t a straightforward liquidation either…

      • GM most definitely went through Chapter 11 although the reorganization plan called for the creation of a NewCo and the dissolution of Old GM. GM never stopped production during its bankruptcy. I’m not a bankruptcy expert but Chapter 7 for a company (as opposed to an individual) is pretty much a straight dissolution of the business, cessation of operations and sale of the assets. Businesses don’t come out of Chapter 7 — they go away and the assets are sold off in bits and pieces.

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