It’s crunch time for General Motors and Saab.
The deadline, as much as I’d like to ignore it, will come and go tomorrow, though it may not be until the end of March before a final decision arrives as to the Final Plan that will determine GM’s path.
The mainstream media has proven itself once again to be quite capable when it comes to speculation and the race to get a headline.
From SVT, a Swedish source, as mentioned by Dippen and Trued in comments:
“Both sides blaming the other to take responsibility….. total breakdown
GM offers 600 million dollars and no more strings attached with SAAB!
Swedish gov. does not want responsibility for the company.”
OK, that’s Trued’s summary and not a direct quote.
And then there’s this from Reuters:
STOCKHOLM, Feb 15 (Reuters) – Sweden’s government on Sunday dismissed a Swedish television report that negotiations between struggling U.S. car maker General Motors Corp (GM.N) (GM) and Sweden over GM’s loss-making car maker Saab have broken down.
GM and the Swedish government were not able to agree on the terms of 5 billion Swedish crowns ($599 million) in loan guarantees to create an independent company of Saab, public service broadcaster SVT said, citing sources.
Lisa Warn, spokeswoman for Swedish Industry Minister Maud Olofsson, denied talks with GM had been halted.
“Discussions are ongoing. This (report) is something we don’t recognise at all,” Warn said.
As Jack Nicholson said as The Joker said back in 1989 – “hubba hubba hubba, who do you trust?”
We have three possible outcomes:
1) The government come to Saab’s aid and they go the quasi-independent route. This is the most desireable proposition as it means minimal disruptions.
2) GM file for bankruptcy in the US with government support (which is being reported more and more as a possibility) and they either sell Saab, or close them down.
More from Dagens Nhyeter, with thanks to ctm:
Reinfeldt lukewarm to the plan for Saab
Negotiations between the government and General Motors about the future of Saab Automobile is not going too well, according to sources within Saab. The company is more and more frustrated at the lack of policy certainty.
Meanwhile the government believes that it is the responsibility of General Motors and that the basis data so far has not been enough. The conclusion is close at hand that the government reject GM’s business plan for Saab.
– “There are many who call for help during these difficult times. We have to keep a cool head,” said Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt to DN at a debate in the public television Sunday evening.
– “It’s about the taxpayers’ money,” he said.
GM operates on several levels to fulfill their commitments [for US government aid]. The strategy for Saab is perceived by government as pure blackmailing, that the ultimately responsibility is passed on to the Swedish taxpayers.
Saab is a brand within the GM and has been there for a long time. This is primarily for GM’s responsibility, according to the government.
Maybe we get decision on Tuesday night. According to the Wall Street Journal, GM is working two scenarios: more support for the operation in anticipation of a turnaround, or a breakup of GM in two parts – one that is continued forward, and one that is liquidated or sold. Saab is then expected to fall into the latter half.