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Tim & Victor Muller interview

December 19, 2011 in News

50 responses to Tim & Victor Muller interview

  1. Not the face of a beaten man! I feel there is still something under the blanket!

  2. Perhaps he just felt release. He fought, he failed, and then release…

  3. Thanks to all the saabsunited crew for that, really it just looked like victor is done and feeling helpless. One cannot live like this, especially for the past two plus years. He has been under constant stress trying to save a corporation and its thousands of jobs, there’s nothing more he could do.

  4. It must be hard for VM- Having worked so much to find solutions, new solutions over and over again… – and then this outcome…
    My deepest respect for the dignity he shows, even in this depressing situation – and my deepest respect for his amazing efforts through the latest two years.
    Thank you Victor – and best wishes for the future!

  5. Well, I hope he gets to write that book! He has my utmost respect either way.

  6. big up to all that he has done / trying to do for SAAB !!!

  7. That Citroen thing is a good idea.
    What if Saabs United, Saab dealers and Saab employees try to gather money to start the company up? Making a book about the last two years, where all profits go to rebuying Saab?

  8. nice interview and I am glad you offered him your thanks on behalf of all of us … I wish I could have been there to shake his hand as well.

    • Yes, thank you TimR for thanking him on behalf of the Saab community.

      I don’t think the story is over. Let’s see what happens next. How does that saying go, “…the night is darkest before the dawn”.

  9. Thanks for that short and sweet interview VM, Tim and Crew.

  10. I just hope:

    A little while ago, on SU, there was a post regarding GL, which he said, to GM something like ‘if they didn’t approve a deal, he would give the Saab PC with the tech on IP to them, so they would get GM IP anyway…..

    I just hope NOW, that someone listened copied & it all on a flash drive or similar & has already FEDEXed it to China.

    Those that laugh last, laugh the longest. Up you GM….!!

    • Well, I don’t think that the Tech itself is that secret. It is the production and quality control of the parts that probably make it worth the money. And that information is mostly with the suppliers.

      And it would also be tough for the Chinese to implement that in the near future due to the time it takes to analyze and implement. And once the tech is implemented it is outdated and GM will knock on their door with a big lawsuit in their hands.

      • Re; ”once the tech is implemented it is outdated and GM will knock on their door with a big lawsuit in their hands”

        Then why ‘o’ why has GM destroyed any future Saab may have had because of ‘it’s’ outdated IP…. Pray tell.!!

      • I disagree – GM would have a rough road enforcing any IP or lawsuit in China. Which is probably why we are in this situation (apart from the fact that GM is an inept unholy bunch of dickheads!).

    • Rachel Pang today confirmed to Chinese reporter that the New Tech is already in YM’s hands:

  11. Hi, everybody! This is from chinese media:

    ( )

    “Youngman car: Investment unscathed development platform based on Saab

    Pangcai Ping said the funds invested part of the development is for the establishment of the Swedish Saab company, other investment funds in exchange for the technology. Young people have successfully purchased the Swedish car brand new Saab platform technology developed by Phoenix, the data have been back in China, this technology is very high-end, the absolute value for money.

    NetEase automobile comprehensive report on 19 December 2011 acquisition of the global auto industry’s annual drama was undoubtedly the case, “the acquisition of Saab Automobile”, and never betray the young lotus beginning to end with Saab reached the final, months not days No night of suffering, has been hidden in the story behind the young chief negotiator on behalf of Lotus Pang Pang Caiping young daughter (Rachel Pang) slowly emerge. Today reporter that Saab filed for bankruptcy in the news, interviewed the first time Pangcai Ping, is a huge youth lotus out of the deal after the first Saab positive response.

    Reporter: Swedish media reported that Saab has filed for bankruptcy, the news is true does it?

    Pangcai Ping: Yes, in fact, we have been insisting to the last, a little more this morning, the two sides also discussed solutions through long-distance telephone. As the common position, today at 9:15 am Swedish time points, the Swedish Saab offered to bankruptcy, this Court scheduled for today’s Saab reorganization hearing is not required.

    Reporter: After the young people out of large cars with Saab has been investigating alternative options that can reveal what kind of program structure?

    Pangcai Ping: October memorandum signed with the Swedish car, the young lotus and a large automobile trade 60:40 joint acquisition of the Swedish car company Saab program, general opposition. After the young lotus lotus made by the young Swedish joint venture with Saab Saab Automobile Development Corporation, in the new Phoenix platform development 91,92,93,94,95,96,97 models, Saab purchase R & D center, Saab Powertrain.”

    Is it true?

    • It is true, so Saab lives on no matter what.

      • Hmmm…it all sounds very strange. YM seems to be under the impression that they’ve acquired something. What?

        CSD, could you give us a better translation?

    • I don’t give a cent on that kind of media reports.
      I’ve already read many reports from Pang Da saying that they own Saab.

      YM has only a non-exclusive right to use the Phoenix platform, and VM said that those rights are not from the whole platform but from bits, so YM can’t build a car out of those bits, and at the end of the day it depends on who buys the IP of the phoenix platform, and if this corporation still wan’t to grant YM that licence.

  12. The man deserves some sleep now…

    One thing that is very interesting with the court decision is that they did not appoint the receiver that Saab was pushing very hard to get (a bit too hard I believe – they obviously had something arranged there). Instead the court appointed two other receivers from two different firms, while they also rejected the firm Lindahl at Saab’s request, i.e. the firm that provided an administrator for half a day last week.

    The court probably did the right thing. They need to do all they can to make sure they get neutral receivers and avoid conflicts of interest.

    All the court documentation is available here for those who wish to practice their Swedish:

  13. We all owe VM a great deal of gratitude, if it wasn’t for him Saab would have been dead 2 years ago. He may not have gotten the brand up and profitable but he got it out from under GM’s total control. Perhaps someone responsible will be able to pick up the pieces and create a new Saab down the road now, at the very least there is now hope and without VM Saab would be dead and buried and GM would never have let it be resurrected.

  14. Thanks Victor, you are real Saab hero. I think that you were only one to take a risk to bought Saab with undercapitalized business plan from GM and also only one to get the deal done with GM. I guess that conditions were not too good for Spyker/saab. Victor that make possible that there is still possibilty to purchase NG9-5. Hope that there is still way or another to make come back and turn around of century from bancrypty. Thanks Victor! I still wonder why it can be possible that there is not a couple of hundred millions to keep Saab still running. I think so that there is done much worser investments in the world. Strange things happens. Griffin up!!

  15. Well done Tim, I really wanted Victor to have that handshake and those thank yous!

  16. Great to see VM still able to walk, talk and think after whats happened today!

    I for one second do not believe this is over my friends, yes I woke up to some ‘shocking news about bankruptcy’ but like others, I do think that VM has ‘played’ this out to something or someone. He is too intelligent to let SAAB go completely… does he really look like a man thats gives up? Hes put every waking minute into SAAB, do you really think hes going to say, ah heck I cant be bothered anymore?? I dont.

    We all know GM has to go, yes the current cars my disappear in boxes, maybe the pens and paper too, but the SAAB knowledge, SAAB engineering, SAAB safety, even the THE SAAB PEOPLE WHO MAKE THE CARS cant be packed in boxes and sent away! There’re still in Sweden! Everything that SAAB has made or innovated or developed is the real valuable asset.

    Guys like VM make/have new contacts everyday, I mean you don’t get that knowledgeable from not doing/working with anyone! I know its a cruel time to do this, but it could be the right time since there’s the distraction of Christmas that tends to occupy everyone else’s mind. I bet you VM will be working on a plan as we speak, he just needs a bit of breathing space from the media, colleagues and those constantly in contact with him.

    I still support SAAB, I still support VM and until the day I don’t see a SAAB on the road again is the day I will call SAAB dead. Until then cut the moaning and think of the SAAB employees this Christmas…. I am sure they will be back to work in the New Year just like everybody else.

  17. Nice work, Tim. VM is a pretty cool dude, it has to be said. Let’s see what comes next . . .

  18. The money thing doesn’t add up to me. VM said it would take 500 million Euros just to re-start. I guess they must have rug up some huge deficits which are acting like an anchor. IIRC, Volvo was sold (line, hook, and sinker) for about 1.3 billion Euros. At best Saab would be worth about one quarter that price ($325 million Euros).

    How much was Youngman willing to pay GM?

    • It has been a long day, but I am pretty sure the figure VM mentioned at the press conference was ~200 – 250 million euros to get the production running again. In addition, Youngman had agreed to invest another ~400 million euros for developing new models.

      Of course, if you have to factor in costs for replacing GM technology, then the figures will look different I guess.

      • Let’s face this; it is NOT the money but just the stuborness of GM that seems to think they have the power to keep Saab alive.
        In a couple of years we all drive in awfull commom cars developped by the same designers/ingeneers.
        Just hope that GM is also not arround anymore while otherwise I will continue to try to keep our 3 Saab cars running.

  19. I will always respect VM. While he was not perfect, he showed the passion and determination that each of us is capbable of. If enough little guys like VM (and the rest of us) ever decided to max out our capabilities we would not be run over by a few large big guys.

    VM – I hope that you keep fighting in all that you do for the rest of your life.

  20. I am not sure if VM really has a future. His interest has been completely wiped out and the administrator is now the CEO.

    The only way for VM to have a future is if he finds a funding source who can purchase the assets – given his track record, I am not sure he will.

    An idea I find interesting, is if BAIC were to purchase the assets. How long would it take to retool THN to bring out an intermediate 9-5 or 9-3 on the old platform? Could you make it look like the current models? That could serve as a stopgap for the dealers for 18 months until Phoenix was online and BAIC had set up an assembly line in China. It would also REALLY piss off GM.

    Could this happen?

    • BAIC just released the Powertrain based on the tech they bought 2 years ago.

      BAIC has already built a couple of models based on old 93/95, serie production next year.

      • CSD, still none of those cars have been seen on the streets, and believe me, no one would buy them in Europe.

  21. @ dcpattie, you opted for the right word, anchor! Like my boat it was becoming a hole in the water into which you just throw money. And nothing ever added up.

    Really I hope Saab can somehow continue on but without the old cast of characters. No more Carlstrom just tossing lawsuits and threats, no more pleading and begging to China.

    I hope Sweden can come up with a proper solution for the Swedish people in which the money stays in the country and is not bled out to some foreign economy to balance their trade deficit. Don’t make the mistakes the US made.

  22. VM mentioned in the press conference that everyone will remember Swan as the company that failed, and while that may be true I will still and always see Victor as a true hero and a fantastic combination of an entrepreneur, entertainer and magician :) Hat off for you, sir!

  23. Great respect to VM

    I wish VM can move to China and become a Vice CEO of some Chinese car company he is a great figure in business, great PR man too. I wish VM a lot of success in future.

  24. VM at least did try; however he was faced with a group that does not and will not share his same entousiasm for the automotive industry;
    GM staff is just rough finance people that does not give a damm about te pleasure of driving.
    I just hope that VM will fight back and “kill” at he end these US basterds;in the form of a book or movie of course, but the effect will be the same.

  25. SAAB will rise again… rid of the IP that GM is so eager to protect.
    The truth is that calling the technology that GM has been forcing onto SAAB for the last ten years INTELLECTUAL property is a joke.
    I am in the thick of it, and believe me when I say that pretty much ALL of the technical problems with SAAB’s are due to the useless rubbish GM churn out.
    A reborn SAAB 900 free of GM junk will be here in the future…..

    VM is an awesome charactar in the Hollywood thriller, he will pop up again and again… like Keyser Soze and thrill us while scaring the giblets out of the competition.

    Flight of the PheoniX might not be that far away….

    Merry PheoniXmas!

  26. Thank you, Mr Muller.
    I wish you the best of luck in the future. Your fighting spirit has and will continue to be a great source of inspiration to many.

  27. If I can during the rest of my life ensure that I will never buy any product that is part or related to GM this will be my final wish. Sending all these people out of work and killing all the efforts made by VM is simply criminal. GM should go to hell forever and every. Sad day for all of us in particular all the people at the factory, I feel for all of you.

  28. A totally GM-free Saab:
    IF you can still find a good one DO buy it; No GM-Saab even came close…

  29. Thanks for the video and all the coverage you have provided, this is a terrible situation and GM have not lifted a finger to help Saab.

  30. Victor, Swade and SU crew,

    So many times I have F5’d my computer that the F5 button is a bit dirty. So many times have I sought information about a current situation with no where else to turn. So many times I have written and expressed opinions and suggestions. So many times I have tried to do the right thing; dealer communications, pricing, advertising, financing, Saab festivals, NA muti dealer Sales event, etc. So many times I was told no, that can’t be done, you will fail, that won’t work, are you crazy, Why are you doing this, Thats not a wise investment, your injecting life into a cadaver. You can’t imagine the no-no birds. Yet I pressed on and worked every angle until the total depleation of options. Near the end you’re choosing from a list of negitives, yet in your heart and for your team you’ll stop at nothing to maintain survival. I wish I could have sat next to Victor when that relization of the impending bankruptcy filing occured. I assure you it was the darkest, sickening, angering & mental disruptive moment in a lifetime; it’s nearly impossible to explain nor understand unless you’ve been there. What would I have said? “Vic, you did everything in your power to find a positive ending. You made the right choices; your valore is strong. This is not the end yet it is a new beginning. Spend your new time continuing to plan for a future with Saab” I think I understand in the slightest way exactly how Victor feels. I am only a few months ahead of him in our story. Although my story is a meger scale to that of the entire Saab network, I’ve learned many things in the last couple years that will serve me well in the future. Lessons that most others will not experience and by no means want to, are an exceptional new pieces to our arsonal of education and experience. There is much to learn and much to do still. In Proces & Post BKRPT has some interesting twists and turns.

    In the US this clears all contracts and agreements. Assuming its similiar in Sweden the brand & its assets still exsist and could be or will be available for sale. Without strings. The future of Saab doesnt need GM’s “stuff” Saab needs to create a new mold for its network and rely on what we own, what we know and what we can develope or have developed and own now. I think it can be done. I don’t think Victor is done and neither was New Salem Saab or I.

    An offspring rebirth, in my opinion, is a possibility. I don’t think the Chinese are done either. I think you should get ready to start volumn 2 – Saab; In Griffen flight.

    Swade & the SU crew,
    Your nights are grueling and your days are overfull with life, work and this volunteer work. On behalf of the entire Saab commnity – Thank You and Happy Holidays. Your information and insight and opinion keep us together, keep hope and keep us accurately informed. These items play a huge role. Continue doing what your doing. It’s historical and invaluable.

    Best, Darryl

  31. I am sad and angry! but it does not help now! I hope and believe that we will see SAAB in any shape in the future ………
    But I thank Victor for this time that we had and hope we get to see him in new businesses in the future and he is heartily welcome to trollhättan again ……

  32. As an American I would like to apologize for the embarrassing behavior of GM as an American company. Greed will get you nowhere. Victor I have been watching this from the beginning and my heart hurts for you and all the employee’s of SAAB . You best beleave if and when….this ever turns for the better I will breathe a sigh for everyone in Trollhatten. Stay strong fellow SAAB . As you have to go through darkness to get to light. To leave with my favorite African-American sayings…IT’S ALL GOOD!!!!!
    Michael Anderson
    Lees Summit Mo. USA

  33. It is clear that GM is a company run by Dinosaurs that can get on with the fact that China as a country/nation is leading the way in the world form the economic, technological and influential point of view. If the rest of the US is so scared about China taking over their reins, wake up to reality as this is already a fact. The ending of Saab and the manner in which this unfolded will hunt GM and many US citizens for many decades to come.