To fill the gaps while Swade’s on vacation, I’ve compiled a short list of reading for you that may add to our conversation here at SaabUnited. It’s certainly been a long, cold Saturday here in Nashville already (rain and 35 deg F/2 deg C), and I can’t imagine how cold and how long the Saturday has been in Trollhattan. The emptiness must be immense. My heart goes out to those people.
First, an excellent write-up over at The Independent entitled Were Saab and GM doomed to fail? I like what Mr. Wilkins has put into words there.
This quote will give you a flavor of what he’s on about:
It’s certainly true that the models produced by Saab under GM’s ownership were, to varying degrees, disappointing, failing either to satisfy established fans of the marque or to win over large numbers of new customers. It’s easy too, to blame that on the need for Saabs to borrow parts and platforms from GM’s European mass-market Vauxhall/Opel operation.
But this is far too simple an explanation.
I think that he has some very valid points. I’m interested to know your take on it as well.
I also absolutely love this send-up of General Motors and their management style with respect to “failed” brands like Saab, Pontiac, Saturn, etc. in the Examiner written by Jim Cherry.
Check this scathing treatment of the GM management:
The bean counters failed the Saab brand. Just as they failed with GM as a whole. GM’s cult of MBA’s are the Charles Manson Family of auto execs, killing brands with wanton stupidity.
As former GM superstar executive John Delorean said, “A man trained and skilled only in financial control, who has no direct operational experience, simply lacks the understanding necessary to run the business.”
I’m hard pressed to find much wisdom in Mr. DeLorean’s legacy, but that quote is spot on. Well done, Mr. Cherry!
According to this release from Reuters, Sweden’s own Prime Minister was “unsurprised by the collapse of GM’s efforts to sell Saab“.
The short statement indicates that Mr. Reinfeldt feels that GM never made Saab a viable business and that made splitting it off to run alone was always going to be difficult. He also says that “hope and nostalgia had sometimes clouded Swedish views on the predicament of one of their most beloved carmakers“, and that “the company [Saab Automobile] was bleeding.”
Worth a read.
Finally, from Saab’s own press outlet, Saab Newsroom, we have this pithy comment:
Sad. We believed in this.
No more comments from Saab for now. We have to wait for directions from GM.