UPDATE VII: Rick Wagoner just signed the death certificate – asked by Mark Phelan of the Detroit Free Press whether there was a third option for Saab (other than sale or closing) and he said he can’t envision a scenario where GM would continue support (words to that effect).
Effectively: someone buys Saab or GM drop them. According to the plan, that could happen this month.
UPDATE VI: It’s quite clear from the The Plan that GM plan to divest themselves of Saab, sooner rather than later.
In short, they are hanging Saab out to dry. Their capping of financial support for the reorganisation of Saab looks a lot like forcing Saab into the reluctant hands of the Swedish government.
Every reference to Saab in The Plan is a reference to them being gone. There’s no language that indicates that GM will support Saab in a reorganisation effort.
From the Plan:
Sweden/Saab–The Company has conducted a strategic review of its global Saab business and has offered it for sale. Given the urgency of stemming sizeable outflows associated with Saab operations, GM is requesting Swedish Government support prior to any sale. The Company has developed a specific proposal that would have the effect of capping GM’s financial support, with Saab’s operations effectively becoming an independent business entity effective January 1, 2010. While GM is hopeful that an agreement can be reached with the Swedish Government to support this direction, the Saab Automobile AB subsidiary could file for Reorganization as early as this month.
Saturn, HUMMER and Saab have generated an average annual EBIT loss of $1.1 billion
UPDATE V – Am waiting to ask a question. Fingers crossed. Am downloading plan right now.
UPDATE IV – They have asked for support from several other governments, including Sweden. If Maud was in the audience, I think she would have thrown a shoe at him!!
UPDATE III – They have offered Saab for sale and capped the finance they can offer. If the issue can’t be settled then Saab would likely have file for reorganisation.
UPDATE II – It’s a “bold” plan!!
UPDATE – they’re running a few minutes late, apparently. I’m on the conference call.
General Motors have scheduled a press conference for 6.30pm EST (in the US) which is just under two hours from now.
If the bandwidth gods are kind to us all, you should be able to watch it here.
For those of you who speak Swedish, there is an interview with Sweden’s minister in charge of saying negative things about Saab, Maud Olofsson.
I don’t speak Swedish but I heard at least one “bolaget” in there, a “December”, a lot of “Saab” and “Gee-Emm” reference, plenty of head shaking and at least one speak-to-the-hand.
There’s footage from Trollhattan, too. I’d love to live there. Seriously.
A quick summary from ctm:
What she says is that the government has offered GM all the available loans and guarantees since December, but that GM has refused. Now, she says, Saab contacted the government “this evening” and told them they will themselves hand in a loan application to EIB. It’s really weird. And she says she has no idea what GMs plan will contain when it’s presented. And she claims that GM is still owner of Saab and they are obviously responsible. If Saab is cut loose, then Saab will be treated as any one and offered guarantees and loans.