There’s a very good story in the Detroit Free Press. The writer, Mark Phelan, is a bit of Saab fan and sympathiser, so I was expecting interesting things when I saw this story on my RSS feed. I wasn’t disappointed.
I’ll start at the finish. Jan-Ake Jonsson:
“There will be a lot of people cheering the day we become independent,” he said of Swedish sentiment for Saab.
Absolutely! Let it be.
But there’s much more than that.
Jonsson on how Saab might work in the future:
“In today’s auto industry, there are many more cooperative projects between manufacturers without ownership,” he said. “I trust that going forward, we’ll have a lot of different relationships with many different automakers.”
And on who might benefit from owning Saab:
Saab’s technology and global distribution network could make a good fit for an Indian, Chinese or Russian buyer, he said. A European automaker that does not already have a premium brand might also want Saab, he said. French automaker Peugeot-Citroen is the only company that seems to fit that description.
They also spoke to an analyst. There’s always an analyst, isn’t there?
Despite its troubles, Saab has value, said Rebecca Lindland of analyst IHS Global Insight. “They’ve got great, loyal customers. Unfortunately GM didn’t cultivate them or understand their value.”
…..”We could be looking at a Chinese automaker looking for a global dealer network” as Saab’s next owner, Lindland said.
I pray she’s wrong.
But once again, I’m encouraged by Jan-Ake Jonsson’s words on Saab. A future full of leveraging automotive partnerships, using the expertise of others to put together truly unique vehicles in a Saab tradition is something I’d really like to see.