Thursday Snippets – I’d rather be at Saab than at Volvo edition

After looooooooooooooooooooooooooong negotiations, talks and interest from various groups in the US and Sweden, Ford have finally picked a suitor for Volvo.
The winning bidder is Geely.

Ford Motor Co., the number-two US automaker, said Wednesday it had tapped Chinese peer Geely as preferred bidder for Volvo Cars, its premium Swedish nameplate.
Ford, which announced last December it wanted to sell the loss-making unit, said that it would step up negotiations with a consortium led by Zheijang Geely Group Holding, but stressed “no final decisions have been made.”
The possible sale to Geely, one of the largest privately owned Chinese carmakers, comes as Ford struggles to restructure amid an ailing US auto sector that was eclipsed as the world’s largest by China in January…..
….The Hangzhou-based Geely said that under its bid, supported by Chinese banks, Volvo’s existing production and research and development facilities, union agreements and dealer networks would be maintained.
“Should a final agreement be reached, Geely will safeguard and strengthen Volvo’s world-renowned brand heritage, ensuring its continued leadership as a premium car company with a global reputation for safety and environmental technologies,” said Li Shufu, Geely chairman, in a separate statement.
“This is an important strategic step for Geely, signaling our commitment to Volvo’s presence in more than 100 markets around the world and building on our strengths in the Chinese car industry.”

As you may know, Geely were interested in Saab when they were up for sale, too. There may have been more interest from China, but the only two I definitely heard about were BAIC and Geely.
Let’s just say one group were listening a lot and one group were talking a lot. You can figure out which was which and you can decide for yourself which one you’d rather have as a corporate parent.
Maud Olofsson must be a Volvo woman as she said nothing about windmills in response to the news.

Swedish Enterprise and Energy Minister Maud Olofsson said the news was “good, because the uncertainty has not been good for Volvo.”
“And we have told Geely and everyone else that we have been in talks with that we want production to stay in Sweden,” she added.

More power to ya, Maud. Literally.
Saab seats are renowned as some of the best in the car industry, so you can imagine my surprise when I read this morning that a Saab had killed an ass (or a near relative of one, at least).

A celebrity mule which starred in a Hollywood film with Keira Knightley has been killed in a car crash.
Napoleon was with three donkeys that had escaped from their farm field in Mursley, Buckinghamshire in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

Darn skylarking donkeys. Probably out looking for trouble, or a poker game at the very least.

The mule and two of the donkeys were injured when a car collided with them on Whaddon Road at around 6am.

Maybe the car was a test mule and got excited to see one of it’s own?

A spokesman for Thames Valley Police said the driver of the grey Saab convertible that collided with the donkeys was not injured in the crash

A convertible? Lucky Saab do lots of moose testing as well as mule testing.
Rumours that Napoleon’s last utterance was “not tonight, Josephine – hee-haw” are yet to be confirmed.
Former Saab factory driver and soon-to-be Saab 99T driver (again) – Stig Blomqvist – is currently south of the border driving in the 2009 La Carrera Panamericana.
Unfortunately he’s not driving a Saab, but a Studebaker. He’s driving it well, too. From what I can tell, Stig and his Venezualen navigator were placed in fourth position after 5 days of driving, and he was previously in first position after two of those days.
StigsStudebakerPanamerica.jpg They only have small shots of the cars on the website, but I found this small one on the Mexsports website.

There are a few other interesting cars there as well. I’ve procured a few photos from the event’s own website.
According to the results table, there IS one solitary Saab in the field though it doesn’t say what model it is and I haven’t been able to find a photo of it as yet. My guess would be a V4 Saab 96.
La Carrera Panamericana
La Carrera Panamericana
La Carrera Panamericana
There are also competitor photos at the site, though if I were this guy I’d opt for a more casual photo instead of sending in what looks like a police mugshot 🙂
La Carrera Panamericana

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