Straw poll – who should own Saab?

UPDATED – see below
A week or so ago I sent a few questions around to a number of automotive journalists and some of our respected Saab mates.
This is meant to be a light look at Saab’s current situation and the questions were as follows:

  1. Who do you think SHOULD end up owning Saab?
  2. Who do you think WILL end up owning Saab?

Bear in mind that these were sent out over a week ago, and we knew less then that what we know now.
So here they are….
Robert Collin, Aftonbladet
Question 1 – Well, There are no obviously good buyers. I think Fiat would be good, and – Magna. But which is to prefer? Well, I say Magna! Because they can concentrate on Opel and Saab.
Both Fiat and Magna will do a lot of cut downs on Opel, close at least two, perhaps three factories and fire some 10,000 employees. But probably they do not need to cut away a lot from Saab.
Question 2 – No idea!
Par Brandt, Auto Motor and Sport
Its a hard question. It feels like someone is missing. I dont believe in Fiat/Geely/GM.
It actually feels like the really good, new owner is missing. Maybe we just dont know, maybe they didn’t turn up? A shame, for new 9-5 is really great and the 9-4X too, I guess. And the new 9-3, and the … 😉
Prominent, important Saab employee who shall not be named
Q1: Ferdinand Piech & Wendelin Wiedeking, If they can be friends – BIG EGOS!
Q2: Not sure about that yet……
The guys at Autoline After Hours
I sent the questions to John McElroy from Autoline and whilst he didn’t answer via mail, he did pass the question as to who should own Saab on to Peter De Lorenzo, from Former Chrysler and Ford PR guru, Jason Vines, asked the question as part of the Rapidfire segment in last week’s show.
DeLorenzo, AutoExtremist: Someone with a Swedish accent should own Saab once again.
David Welsh, BusinessWeek: No-one’s died as a result of this global meltdown. Maybe Saab should be the one.
Eddie Alterman, Car and Driver: I agree with what David said.
John McElroy, the guy who runs Autoline, has now responded via email:

Saab would be best served by staying as autonomous as it possibly can. But it needs to restructure itself to be profitable at its current sales levels, which will be extremely difficult to achieve. Since Saab is so intertwined with Opel right now, the best short-term solution is for it to stay with Opel–no matter who ends up buying the German automaker.

Etienne Morsa – Saabhuy
Answer 1: Renault ..Why…. Renault have great expertise in front whell drive, turbo engines, Car racing and rallying…like Saab…also Renault could be ambitious in terms of Saab in the past!
Answer 2: Fiat …Why …Sergio Marchione is very ambitious and needs the knowledge of making a car suitable for northern markets and climates (American and European)
Golfhunter – Saabhuy
I would say the German bank.
Why? Because they would just give the money and would let a lot of freedom to Saab as a small identity to develop what Saab would think it is good for Saab.
Fiat are too ambitious and make me worried about the viability of their gigantics projects
Geely: My job currently is to sell chinese music instruments ………No comment…..
Lance Cole – Author and motoring writer
I would like a private Sweish consortium to own Saab, empoying thee and me and our mates.
I think the Wallenburg, Agnelli axis will prevail and a Fiat- Opel Saab entity will win the day. And why not?
Robin M – Unofficial Saab Ambassador to the UK
I would like to see someone in Sweden take over. Koenigsegg and maybe a Swedish consortium, even the guys in Norway, maybe all join together and have shared parts.
I don’t want Fiat to take over as I believe they will just close it down. I think they would close Vauxhall and Opel down eventually as its less competitors for them to compete with.
I don’t think I know who I could say would take over but if I have to choose from the three that were short listed (albeit not conclusive) I would go for the German business deal.
Geely – something in the back of my head thinks they would let Saab do as they wish and just take the profit and technology to put in their local cars. It’s a new section for them with out having to work for it.
I’m still 100% confident Saab will survive, just hope GM don’t cock it up by being a spoil sport.
I also sent them to Robert Farago of The Truth About Cars, who proceeded to confirm himself as a complete and utter ass.

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