Some good thoughts on Saab

The Swedish government have turned their backs on Saab for the moment, though I don’t believe the end-game has been played yet, not by any means.
Amongst all the doom and gloom in today’s reportage, there’s also a hopeful story in today’s Dagens Industri newspaper.
Mailr provided the link. I’ll provide the summary (it’s in Swedish)
General Motors does not want to carry Saab. Nor does the Swedish government, either. Who will keep Saab is highly uncertain. But that GM has let go does not mean the death knell for Saab. So says Matts Carlsson, an automotive analyst at the Gothenburg Management Institute, GMI.
“It is not certain. GM are creating a gap that other competitors are interested to play in. If a company has ambitions and resources, this could be an interesting time,” says Matts Carlsson.
He is convinced that Asian automakers could count on a purchase of Saab to get access to a brand in the premium segment.
And it may actually be a “cheap” deal compared with what it costs to build their own new brands, “says Carlsson.
“It is GM’s tactics to put Saab on their own feet to bring up the price tag. But it will nevertheless not be very high, perhaps around 5 billion SEK.”
Matts Carlsson indicate that several attempts to settle into the premium market has been slow, for example, Nissan’s Infiniti and Honda Acura.
“Are you going to build a premium brand? All ambitions from VW and Opel has not worked particularly well.”
But many argue that Saab is too integrated into GM?
“It is true, and, of course, there are problems and lots of intricate issues to resolve.”
“The company must first obtain a financial settlement in a few months, from either GM or from the state. Since the company needs to roll out new products and withdraw the production and development at Trollhättan.” [not sure if this means withdraw – SW]
In a transition phase envisages Matts Carlsson Saab borrows the engine and gearbox from GM. For the actual production in Sweden is attractive “he says.
“Saab has one of the world’s most efficient production facilities. When the European factories in the GM played off against each other, only Gliwice in Poland and Eisenach in Germany who was tougher.”
Matts Carlsson do not think the state should go in as the owner but as loan guarantor.
“It is true that the Saab lost money in 20 years. But if the government is afraid of our tax money, this is an exciting investment. The alternative is that the money goes straight into the lake.”
What happens if Saab is closed?
“Suppliers in Sweden would move and skills disappear. It would affect the University, Swedish research and, by extension, Volvo PV, AB Volvo and Scania.”

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