More hiccups for Saab and Opel

Here are a couple of stories that have come through in comments that I figured were well and truly worth bringing to the front page.
The first concerns one of Saab’s suppliers, Plastal. I covered them in an earlier post already, but it seems their bankruptcy decision will have an immediate effect on both Saab and Volvo.
TTELA state that Saab rely on Plastal to manufacture their front bumpers, and a lack of supply means that Saab may not be able to manufacture cars on Monday. I’m not sure what Plastal make for Volvo, but they’re in the poo as well due to this.
Svenake Bergli, the CEO of the auutomotive association FKG is blaming the Swedish government’s inaction. He says they were quick to legislate for loan guarantees, but not one kronor has been paid to anyone in the automotive sector under this legislation.
Whilst Maud Olofsson is (perhaps quite rightly) waving her clenched fist at General Motors for being corporate jerks, downstream suppliers like Plastal are going to start dropping like flies.
If they don’t display some urgency soon then they won’t have to force Saab into liquidation. Circumstances will do it for them.
The other big worry – and it IS a big worry – is the story out of Germany today stating that GM offered up Opel’s patents as part of the collateral put forward in order to secure loans from the US Government.
GM own Opel and I guess they can do what they want, but how receptive is Angela Merkel and her government going to be towards GME loan requests and viability plans when Opel doesn’t even have control of its own tech anymore?
If GM wanted to get other governments on side, which their press releases say they do want to do, then I’d suggest this wasn’t the way to go about it.

The question about Saab patents has been hanging around for a little while now. I would imagine that if a buyer came forward, that control of patents etc would be part of the negotiations.
That’s just my guess, though, so I’ve dispatched a query to Saab about the issue. I’m not sure they’ll be able to supply an answer with talks going on right now, but all I can do is try.

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