Todays developments

December 21, 2011 in News

The first thing that happened today was that all employees were let go, this is a natural step in order for the governmental salary-fund to be able to work. However none of the employees have been paid yet, and the deadline for the banks to be able to issue the money to the employees before x-mas is at 17:00 today.

Rachel Pang and Johan Nylén arrived in Trollhättan today and are as I write this meeting with the administrators and Victor Muller. They have a very though job ahead of them and several different solutions will be discussed. The largest obstacle in their efforts to Save Saab is clearly GM, BUT, since all the employees were let go, there is also a time-constraint that is extremely important. Several key people are needed if the production is every to be able to restart. These people are now actively looking for new jobs, who can blame them right? And if Saab is to survive and be able to produce cars in the future, these people are absolutely essential. One of them is my own father and the dedication he and his colleagues are showing towards Saab is just unbelievable, for now, most of them are just riding out the storm and keep observing how things develop. All they want in the end is to build cars in Trollhättan again!

There were rumors that Turkish interests wanted to buy pieces of Saab’s technology. This has now been denied by Turkish Ministers. I personally have lived and worked in Turkey for about a year back in 2008 and I feel that the Turkish thoughts about buying technology and such is a nice one, but this type of technology is extremely advanced and I’m not sure if those companies interested would just be wasting their time buying technology and not the means to implement it, which is the factory itself.

The biggest issue for us fans right now is no doubt what will happen with the Saab Museum. We have received lots of e-mails concerning this matter and I spent most of the night trying to answer as many of them as possible, I’m sorry that not everyone got an answer. All I can tell you so far is that Victor Muller is, as we stated yesterday in an article, trying to sell Saab as a complete package, and the Museum is included in that package. If he would be able to do so, I can promise you that we would be one of the first to know and we have over the last 6 months looked over several possibilities on how we as fans could actually buy some or perhaps all of the cars in the museum. Because of the bankruptcy all debts with Saab has been cleared and the museum is no longer forced to sell its inventory to the highest bidder, but the administrators can choose to sell it to the most suitable candidate. We in the SU Crew have had good contact with Peter Bäckström, the custodian of the Museum as well as with lawyers, clubs and other parties in order to find the best way to actually safeguard the cars for the future. We have a plan that we know works! It will be a considerable effort, the biggest one in my life and it will require great sacrifice in terms of money for the fans, but there is a plan B!

As a last note I want everyone to make sure that you keep the 14th and the 15th of January cleared in your calendar! BIG things are about to happen!

112 responses to Todays developments

  1. Well, I’m sure that saving the museum is a big issue for us, but “the biggest”? Cars rolling off the line, and spares availability are the biggest for me!

    • I agree. While I like having a rare car, I really don’t want our 9-4x to be an orphan. I want our wonderful dealer to survive. I want to buy new Saabs in the future. I want warranty!!!!!!

      • I agree, too. While the museum is nice and preserves a great heritage, it is honestly the least of my concerns. I bought a 2011 9-3 three months ago, so my concerns relate to parts, warranty, and the fact that I owe a lot of money (on a car that I love, btw). Today I went to the dealer and bought an extended warranty/service contract through Ally/GMAC, which was more money and less coverage than I’d have gotten if I bought it when I bought the car, but at least it’s something….

    • Agree. History is important but I choose a running Saab in front of museum. But the museum has to been converted in to a foundation to be outside of any trouble.

      • Sorry but there is no time to start a foundation =(

        • Than it must be bought and converted into a foundation with sponsors behind.

          • It is a very difficult thing to administrate, It would take a huge amount of time and effort that right now nobody has.

            Most likely we will try to raise money and use our company SaabsUnited LTD to buy the cars. This is the fastest and easiest way to do it both legally and regarding administration. We can use SU as a source to see which cars should be bought, polls etc. Once its time for it we’ll give more details.

            Like I said, we have been investigating this for many months now, which ever solution we choose it needs to be very smooth and easy if it is to work…

            • OK. Go ahead. I think you’re in contact with the right people which still have some nice collections. So history should be saved.

  2. That being said, the museum is important and it should be saved intact. Peter is an impressive curator and the collection is so complete and amazing.

  3. Tim
    let us know… I guess many of us would contribute to purchase the “museum” to preserve it as a unique entity.

  4. I’ll move the family to Sweden and work for Yougman and Victor! Not kidding.
    Thanks Tim!

    • Well, I doubt they could ever find a more passionate and experienced dealer channel manager. If they hire you, gimme an email, I’ll do your dealer channel campaigning and loyalty stuff.


      • Thanks Ivo. I would love the oppurtunity! It would be just plain awesome!

        • Too bad I live and drive on the other side of the ocean. Otherwise your shop would be the one for me to go to with my 9000 2.3 FPT. I like guys with both brand passion and tech expertise.


  5. Well, Victor isn’t selling anything Tim, right? Anyway; Awww the cliffhanger regarding the14-15 of Jan… :-)

    VM – thanks for your efforts party?

    • Victor is still very hard at work trying to Save Saab! He is functioning as a consultant to the administrators. He could have just packed his bag and gone home, but he didn’t!

      • The man never rests, amazing.

      • Although I am not a fan of him, but I do respect what he did for Saab, really appreciate…

      • I’d love to see VM help put together the mother of all consortiums that would have the financial muscles of a 80’s Arnold Schwarzenegger.

      • First: From a JURIDICAL point of view he is not selling anything
        Second: Wow, that guy is just amazing. It is not enough to make a statue out of him. He should be cloned!!

        VM up forever!!! / TL

  6. The best solution for the museum is that the city of Trollhättan buys it as Victor stated in the interview. This is what Saabsunited should lobby for.

    • I don’t think the city have the money to keep it…especially consider the situation right now…

    • Isn’t there some kind of a regional structure that could help? Or some national cultural heritage fund? Or a ‘Visit western Sweden’ board? The museum is, after all, of more than local importance and attracts tourism for the whole western part of the country. If you travel to see the Saab museum then you will surely visit other points of interest around there? And spend money in the process?


  7. “The largest obstacle in their efforts to Save Saab is clearly GM”, Should we still have issue with GM?
    Damn, I thought GM was done. When anything is related to GM, then it is not that promising, I am worry….

    • Well Rachel wants to build cars, Saab cars!… =)

      • Saw somewhere there was a possibility of building the 9-3 with Italian engines. Any idea why Italian was specifically mentioned? Perhaps Alfa is looking for something to do? I would think a Turbo 4 from the likes of Audi, VW, BMW would work just as well. Probably have more common suppliers of electronics too.

        • Turbo engine from Audi is not that good, it always burns the engine oil…Lot of A4 2.0T have the problem…

          • Agreed, but Audi is strong in the US and having their engines in the car, even as a stop gap could help generate some press and some brand confidence.

            Cannibalization of their sales could also be a reason that Audi would never do this. Audi does seem like a natural fallback brand for some Saab customers.

          • quickbird.
            I didn’t know the problem with Audi’s turbo engines. Thanks for the tip.

            SAAB must survive for many reasons. Please, don’t make me buy in the future a common and boring car.

        • Fiat and VM Motori?

        • I believe the 1.9 diesel is a Fiat design already. Presumably it would be easier to install the Fiat petrol engines in the 9-3 as the layout is probably similar to the diesels.

        • The new 2.0T in the BMW 328i would be an excellent choice.

      • Thus the current version 93, we still need GM’s permission?

        • All IPs belongs to GM also if developed by Saab, Opel or whatever (ex)part of GM. All have to pay fees to Great Mother to use the stuff they developed. The IP is the value of GM not being good/ innovative itself.

          • Then I wouldn’t put much hope in YM. GM never ever allow them to produce the current model, just my opinion, really hope I am wrong…

          • I really would like to know what makes Youngman believe that GM would be willing to go along with their resuming the production of the current 9-3 models. Their ‘no way’ was, they stated unequivocally, meant for any and all Chinese involvement with Saab. And now they would suddenly be open to nod to Youngman to build the 9-3 again? Were they only against Chinese owners who wanted to build the NG 9-5 as well? If so then it shoud have been possible to negociate something less catastrophic with GM then a bankruptcy. Unless, of course, that was the plan all along. Which actually makes good sense from the Chinese point of view: more Saab for less money.


            • I am also skeptical GM would say YES this time. GM already made it very clear. Just don’t understand why they still want to try, it is a waste time…
              Magna just want the factory and Technology, they don’t care whether they can build Saab car any more.

              Not hope, it is done, really done…

              • I’m not as sceptical as you seem to be. This can’t be just a publicity stunt to make themselves more popular in Sweden. The Pangs are not stupid, there must be at least some indication of feasibility if they go public with their intentions to resume building the 9-3.


                • I hope you are right. But the first two try get clear NOT from GM, which made me scare of GM…

                  I thought why YM still interested in is because it just get part of Phoenix, it need people to get it done. China doesn’t have this kind of engineers. Second, the factory is also a good thing, to build a modern and new factory is China need time and money. Third, if they still focus on global market, they have to keep some production in Sweden.

                  They are not the god, neither the saver, but I do hope they can restart Saab at Sweden…

    • It’s stated in an other thread: drop 95 and 94x to build the 93 in all versions up to Phoenix is finished and ramping.

      • exactly what I said and should be done…. i wonder if i should play euromillions in the hope of wining and helping some way!!

      • There must be better solutions. For most of the dealer network this would be a killer.

        • Right, and exactly who at this point would take a chance on a 9-3 and why?

          The only reason to produce the 9-3 until the NG arrives would be to sell them in China. That’s it…

  8. I like Rachel ! maybe a FB fanpage for Rachel Pang :-)

    • Me too. I get a good feeling for her, she´s feel real.

    • She is certainly not hard to look at. She can be cast as herself when the movie comes out.

    • Ms. Pang is a businesswoman. Her interests are for Youngman, not Saab. There are some common interests, which is good.

      Nice that SU has a picture of her. I see pictures of VM and even his son but had no idea how Ms. Pang looked like. I wonder if the Pang is part of Pang Da or if it is just coincidence.

      My expectations keep getting smaller. First, I was interested in an independent Saab. Then I was ok with Saab being taken over, but by non-Russian, Indian, or mainland Chinese companies. Later, any company was ok. Now I am only hoping for spare parts and the museum. Some day, I may be hoping for a horse and hay, forget about the car.

      • Pand da and Youngman are two different company, the first one are the biggest dealer in China, while the latter one is a bus and truck manufacturer in China, Youngman also has car business name lotus car tho.

        Youngman is the english translation of Qingnian, which is the first name of chairman of Youngman, The full name of the chairman is Qingnian Pang. Rachel Pang is the daughter of the chairman.

        The chairman of Pandda is Qinghua Pang. Both chairman of these two companies share the same last name.

        It is a coincident. In Chinese, we call them Double Pang…

      • Nothing wrong with horses. One horse will give you the emotional kick and subjective speed perception of at least 200 hp. At least if it’s a stallion 😉

  9. From what I read on other reports Pang Da wants their money back and is calling off efforts to acquire SAAB (can’t blame them for either). Me, I just want some assurance my 3 month old 2011 9-5 won’t be a $50K lawn ornament if something keeps it from starting or running and nobody has given that as of yet.

    “In view of Saab being declared bankrupt, Pang Da Automobile Trade has decided to stop the acquisition transaction of Saab,” Pang Da said in a statement to the Shanghai stock exchange.

    “Pang Da said in the statement that it would follow relevant procedures to try and retrieve the 45 million euro ($59 million) advance it had given to Saab, but warned that it may not be successful.”

  10. Official production restart of SAAB 93 on 14th-15th of January…

    I hope please!!!!!! I refuse to believe SAAB is/will be dead. :)

    • Nope but something else BIG will happen then!

      • TimR you really are killing me here!!! im literally losing my hair and I cant work/sleep/eat without the knowledge of SAAB is safe!! I think my misses is going to ban SU on pc… i keep checking it! haha

      • They will reinstate my warranty? :-)

        I hate cliffhangers!!! Hints?

      • Yeah, the black hole produced in the new cyclotron at CERN will eventually have reached a size that it is recognisable.

      • Nope but something else BIG will happen then!

        Riiight. That chant has been going on for months now, and didn’t you get the memo? SAAB is dead, despite many attempts that would have been viable being shot down by Government Motors. Their objections make no sense whatsoever given:

        – limited IP anyone could gain from the 9-3*
        – absolutely NO IP anyone can get by distributing the 9-5 and 9-4 that can’t be had by simply buying one off the lot and dissecting it
        – Opel production shortfall equates to just about the number of units SAAB would have needed to be supplied from Opel

        * “limited” as in “none” since China has all the tooling and IP from pre-facelift 9-3. What IP would they get – how to relocate the SID to the gauge cluster? In other words, GM already sold China all of the IP for the 9-3 (and OG 9-5) and created their own competitor themselves.

        GM wanted SAAB dead, and will not approve anything which would allow SAAB to be resurrected even at this stage. They wanted SAAB dead and buried and that’s what they got, and it seems they also managed to take out parts availability as well, so we are all going to be facing the problem of having worthless paperweights with little more than scrap value as a trade in. Fuck GM.

  11. as a exclusive SAAB dealer for more then 35 years I can tell you that it is hurting us a lot. We have been waiting and waiting for a solution but ….
    we have to move on and look for another make
    if SAAB is about to be saved anyway, it need to be quick because there will be no dealers left to sell them
    i love SAAB a lot but nevertheless , we have to move on, how difficult it may be
    i wish you all a Mery Christmas and a very Happy New year

    • Sad to see you have to change the brand. Are you from germany?

      • My dealer here in Belgium did take another brand but will keep Saab as well.
        If there are no new cars to sell then they will at least service the Saab cars as long as they are able to.

        • My dealer had Saab and Mitsubishi and now took Seat and Skoda beside also to protect it’s operation.

      • from Belgium, our importer just sent us a note that they cancel the contract of distribution of SAAB cars with us due to the fact that SAAB has been declaired bankrupt. They are very sorry,
        thank you for the cooperation in the past and …..thats it , deal with it.

    • The local Saab dealer closest to where I live (in northern Sweden) have chosen to be dealer for a few different brands of cars (just like the ones mentioned above), So when there has been a lack of new Saab to sell, they have just sold more of other brands, and if Saab gets back in business, they go on selling Saab just like before.

      Is anything stopping you from selling more than one brand? Saab and something more mainstrean and usual? :)

    • My dealer will cancel Saab, will change dealership into another brand, but promises to continue service for Saab’s. Sad, was one of the countries largest and certainly the best dealers.

  12. I´m absolutely speachless. Youngman goes and invests millions into Saab, orders cars, knowing or gambling that GM can say no. VM say all along that GM is the gorilla in the cage and will not accept any takeover and all of a sudden we have a bankrupcy(foreseen?). Youngman appears again…….and wants to reinvest???
    Guys am I missing something???

  13. I hope and pray that this unfolds like a Christmas story, where Rachel Pang saves Trollhotten from the evil GM grinch. If a credible plan is presented I am very certain that Scania and SAAB will license the name, as they (unlike GM) have community spirit for their fellow Swedes and humans. I really hope I will have a chance to own a 2014 9-3!!!

    • Scania belongs to VW!
      You’re talking about Saab AB to licence the name to Saab Automobile AB?

      • My understanding is Scania also has some say, that may be incorrect.

        • I believe Scania can decide over the screaming chicken (griffin) that has its origin from the coat of arms of the Scania (Skane) province.

          The Saab name itself is licensed by Saab AB.

  14. The part with 14th / 15th January is a killer! Best wishes to VM and let’s hope all this drama will have a happy ending sooner rather than later. Most important is to keep production in Trolls’ land …

  15. Keep in mind the Griffin logo has not been around that long. It was the Scania emblem (the regional symbol of Skane) which was reworked initially with the two rings as the Saab-Scania logo to show the connection as a Saab-Scania corporate logo. It has only been on the cars since 1985. The logotype was used before that for many years (my first Saab, an 83 900T only had the logotype.) The airplane logo preceded that through the late 60s. I am happy with the logotype, the Griffin emblem is great, but it can go away if need be. As long as there is a Saab I am happy, I don’t care what logo it has on the hood, if any at all. (Personally, I would love to see the airplane or the Trollhattan water falls with the sneaky troll.)

  16. My first thought. Is 14th -15th some kind of Saab meeting again?

  17. Please do not reuse the mis-information from the newspapers. We have not been given any notice: We have not yet been layed off. In fact we are still required to be present at work.

    • Good, my only Christmas wish is to have you continue in your job! Saabs have taken care of me throughout all of my adult life, Trollhattan is my favorite place in the world, and I want you, your fellow workers and Trollhattan to prosper. I owe my life to the crash performance of a Saab when I was much younger, and I desperately want to bring my wife to Trollhattan to show her this very special place, but without Saab it would not be the same. Best wishes from America-I hope to see you soon!

    • Good to hear! My best regards and respect to all you working at Saab!!

  18. If indeed a BIG thing will happen then it is indeed so that one was waiting till the bankruptcy is filed for.
    I just hope that a good solution comes out that gives again work to the Saab employees at Trollhätan, give cars to the dealers and the drivers and if that all can be materialized the company that does this will certainly keep the museum there as well.
    As VM stated; that asset is small beer compared to the investment needed to take over he factory.

  19. If that beautiful 9000 Aero needs a safe garage, I have one, I promise I won’t drive it! All joking aside,How about Jay Leno as a backer? I have met him and I know he would or know someone who could help with the museum.
    What I really want is SAAB to be SAAB and not saab. I know deep down only good can come from the bottom!

  20. My thought now also go to Swade. Will he around the Saab community anymore? Swade! Are you out there somewhere in cyberspace?! Please stay!

  21. Come on Tim,
    be a good boy and spill the beans.

  22. Does anyone here know the Swedish bancrutcy laws? I’ve understood that the adminsitrators’ first priority is to sell the whole company to a new buyer, but if they have several to choose between, are they obliged to sell to whoever pays the most or can they choose whoever they think is best for a long time survival and bright future for Saab in Trollhättan?

    For example, say that buyer A wants to buy everything for a relatively low price but signs a contract to spend, say, 1 billion Euro on developing new cars and keepping all production for Europe and USA in Trollhättan, whereas buyer B offers to pay much more for the company, but only for keeping the R&D staff, moving the factory to some other country and using the factory, technology and R&D only for the benefits of some other car company in some other country.

    Would the administritator then choose buyer B to pay off as much debts and possible even if it kills off all hopes for any kind of future for Saab and the workers in Trollhättan, or choose buyer B, which gives less money for paying old debts but offers a kickstart for contined development and production of new Saabs in Trollhättan?

    • > or choose buyer B, which gives less money for paying
      Correction: I meant “…or choose buyer A”, of course. :)

  23. As for the museum,if everything else fails, do a rational move. They haven’t taken the VIN/chassi-number (if there even exist one). Just replace the 92001 and the sticker with a black 92 and move the real deal to a barn or any safe harbor nearby.

    They dont know what they are selling anyway, they wont notice.They know nuffin about these stuff.The creditors wont mind such move as well…i am sure..
    .And what about us ? We know nothing about such an move neither 😉

    OT. on a personal note i have accepted an job-offer from Volvo.I will join up with some Saab fellows in this adventure as well to form an new company.

    GM. that could have had just about anything they wanted from this deal;money,limited the YM/saab sales,stakes in many innovations etc.

    NOW they will for sure feel and fear the competition in just about any corner of the world when people are let lose. People can either go to Volvo or take part of a new adventure with a future “Saab” stakeholder.

    Someone here said GM had done their math on this matter..well.. time will tell….

    I really hope a new “buyer” can keep the dealer network alive while the NG93/95 is being developed. This by somehow get a new deal with GM on current vehicles …but it seems hard next to impossible.

    I would love to return to THE brand =)

  24. Rachel Pang seems to be very nice looking. Always a plus.

  25. What language are all these events conducted? Swedish? But VM doesn’t speak Swedish and I suspect Ms. Pang doesn’t either.

    English? Or English, except the court proceedings, which is in Swedish?

  26. So if there are no employees what is stopping Yougmam buying Saab and just keeping it till the new 9-3 is ready? With no wages to pay it wouldn’t be that expensive

    • Actually a very good point.

      Even if the factory is empty for 2 years, no big deal, compared to the last Final Plan of taking over some 400 millions euro debt.

  27. Let me guess; 14/15 janauri 2012: productionstart of the new 900 (replacement for the 9-3)
    Anymore speculations?

  28. Rachel is very attractive.

  29. Back in 2008, Koenigsegg sent this letter to a Turkish Consortium. on making a bid for together. he had talked about these conclusions in Saab operations..

    • This sounds like it was much more recent than 2008. Perhaps, just weeks or months ago.

  30. I think the biggest question is, is Rachel single?