I have no answers to the question that makes up the header for this post. I really don’t know what will happen if Saab are still under GM’s ownership when they file for bankruptcy (which looks inevitable now, by the way).
Saab are courting up to 20 potential buyers, with maybe 5 of those being serious and the rest either just looking or indulging in some wishful thinking.
In my mind, the best course would be for one of these potential owners to purchase Saab in the very near term and transition the ownership in an orderly manner. This would give Saab minimal disruptions and ensure that their loans could be applied for quickly, and their future cars would come out as close to the schedule as possible.
Of course, those potential owners want to get Saab at the cheapest price possible. And that means they might want to sweat GM out rather than purchase Saab quickly.
The latest bankruptcy news from the US isn’t encouraging:
Sources close to the plans say that President Obama’s auto task force has ordered GM to prepare the groundwork for a “surgical” bankruptcy, even as GM executives publicly stand by their out-of-court restructuring plans.
….”If we need to resort to bankruptcy, we have to do it quickly,” Henderson said in an interview with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
One plan the task force is looking into was mentioned last week by GM Chairman Kent Kresa. In that plan, a new company would be created with all of GM’s “good” assets, such as the Chevrolet, Cadillac, GMC and Buick brands, while the old company would be saddled with the “bad” ones, like Saab and Saturn. Eventually, the company with the undesirable assets would be liquidated.
I’ll put my moral outrage at Saab being classed as part of “bad GM” aside for a moment. The real matter at hand is what this would mean for the potential sale of Saab.
It seems that if an orderly transaction isn’t forthcoming before Obama’s 60 days are up (i.e. the end of May) then Saab will be part of this liquidation process. It sounds like an owner could buy them for a lower price, but I also worry that parts of Saab’s operations could be broken up and sold off separately.
I’m just worried that the organisation could become fragmented in this situation, that a smooth transition would be thrown out the window and that a new owner would be picking up desireable pieces of Saab, but not all of it.
I honesty do not know how this situation could play out. It’s completely beyond my frame of reference.
If anyone out there has an insight or some experience with such situations then please feel free to fill us in.
I just want Saab to make it to a new home in one piece. I want them to stay Swedish, not get sold off in pieces with bits moved here, there and everywhere.