More on Fiat/Opel and what it means for Saab

I’m still trying to get through to Sweden, but until then….
A vehicle analyst with the Gothenburg Management Institute has told E24 that he thinks it’ll be good for Saab if they are included in the proposed Fiat/Chrysler/GME super-merger.
No disrespect, but I think it’s nuts.
The Googletrans:

– My assessment is that Saab is not threatened, but on the contrary it is reasonable to assume that a Fiatägt Saab would like to expand and strengthen the brand Saab….
…. Opel, Vauxhall and Saab are fairly well integrated with each other. They have a lot of common components and platforms. There is no direct competition between Opel and Saab brand. I can see that there is some competition between Saab and Alfa Romeo, but it is very small volumes….
….Fiat group may in fact be the fresh start that Saab needs, according to Matts Carlsson.
– The reason is that there is no strategic gain to close down production in Trollhättan. It is necessary to have production and development there, I say not of nostalgic reasons.
– The platforms of the various brands is common is one thing, but the culture, development, and must stay where it is, stresses Matts Carlsson.

Maybe it’s just a bad taste in my mouth from previous experience, but I just don’t see his logic.
Saab haven’t benefitted – other than survival – from ownership by another large, multi-branded automotive company. Why would it work under this proposal? Saab and Opel don’t like working with each other much. Why would they under this proposal? How would these clashing cultures be resolved? By Marchionne’s say-so?
Sure, Saab and Fiat have worked together successfully in the past, but I’m not sure I see the synergies for the future. If Marchoinne has his way, Fiat are going to be a huge global conglomerate with so much work to do in order to realise any of the benefits that he forecasts from the merger.
How is Saab going to develop and nurture an identity in those circustances?
Unless Fiat are extraordinarily dedicated to making sure Saab develop, I really don’t see how Saab will be anything more than a slightly more luxurious subsidiary of the Opel operation.
The Local also have a report on this subject.
They’ve tried to speak to Eric Geers from Saab, who’s basically invited them to ‘speak to the hand’.

“I can not comment these details,” Fiat spokesperson Eric Geers told news agency TT.

And yes, that’s a Freudian slip of the highest order, eh?
I get the feeling that Saab have basically been blind-sided by this development. Annette Hellgren from the local union was a bit more forthcoming and illustrates the confusion pretty well:

“This line of reasoning is new to us. We have not heard this before, I have to say. We have however heard that Fiat is interested in Opel,” Hellgren said implying that there may have been some misunderstanding in the media, or at Fiat.

In the end, I think this is what it will boil down to. A misunderstanding between Fiat and the media as to the extent of this proposed deal.
That’s what I hope, at least.

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