There’s some great stuff in the press today. Most of it has already been mentioned in comments, but it’s all definitely stuff that needs to be on the front page here.
Articles are starting to pop up all over the place in Europe and the press release should go live in the US at midnight tonight. Hopefully it’ll get picked up by some of the news services there.
The goal along was to keep the spotlight on GM and their dealings with Saab. Ford managed a deal for Volvo. Can the new GM manage just one deal?
Go David. And Griffin Up!!
A writer named Jonas Malmborg has finally(!) started asking the questions about why Sweden seems so indifferent towards Saab’s fate.
A Googletrans won’t quite do this article justice, I fear, so I won’t post a full one here. You can check it out yourself, though, and nod your head with every point he makes.
Here’s a taste:
It is one thing in the ongoing debate about Saab that bewilders me. Swedes in general, and when financial journalists and other professionals think in particular, seem to agree on whether there is a logic to close the western Swedish car brand. We produce, although the world’s smartest and safest cars, but still. Put it down. It is too expensive.
Saab cannot be let go without a whimper. It’s great to see this level of support from the Swedish press emerging. I hope others can follow suit.
The next biggest article is one from Svenska Dagbladet, who have had a chat with Victor Muller from Spyker.
A selective Googletrans:
On Christmas Eve, leaving the last Saab speculator, sports car manufacturer Spyker Cars CEO Victor Muller, Sweden, Trollhättan, and returned to Holland. It was just before Christmas he last spoke with representatives from GM. Since then there has been silence from across the Atlantic.
– We expect a response from GM this week. Since the deadline is December 31 so I expect very much that they are of themselves very soon, “said Victor Muller, but he believes that it ärväldigt difficult to predict whether the deal will go through.
– I’m very hopeful, I have been since its inception. We have done everything we possibly can just.
What reactions did you get in Sweden by Saab representatives?
– To date the response has been very encouraging. Everyone wants to of course make sure that Saab will survive and if it can happen thanks to Spyker, I believe that people can be very happy.
Have you been in contact with former speculator Koenigsegg Group?
– Yes, I know Christian very well, “said Victor Muller and admits that he and Christian von Koenigsegg has talked a lot with each other on the Saab.
– We have definitely, he has been very helpful. He did not give me the business plan but it’s the same business now as they worked on with Saab. So our business plan is basically the same……
……But New Year’s frontier Victor Muller seems to be focused on is no longer as important, according to Hakan Danielsson.
– New Year’s limit was whether it would sell Saab from GM’s side. But then you came to this decision to close down well before year end. And then they said, while that in the closing phase was willing to look at the interesting quotes. So I do not think that the date 31/12 is as sacred anymore.
So what do we make of G. Clotaire Rapaille?
This guy is a marketer with a reasonable reputation (from what I’ve heard) and he’s sitting by the phone right now, waiting for GM to call him about saving Saab.
“I want Saab. Give me Saab and I will save it and make it prosper again,” writes G. Clotaire Rapaille……”This is a fantastic brand and we should not let it die.”
When contacted by The Local, Rapaille said he was “very serious” about his offer, and explained that while he hadn’t made direct contact with Saab, General Motors (GM), or the Swedish government about his proposal, he expected to hear from them at some point.
“They will try to contact me, I’m sure,”
When I first read his newsletter spiel yesterday, I slowly nodded my head as he talked about brand values, etc, but then I got to this part:
“The time of management by engineers is over,”
…and I knew we had a potential nutter. The time for total beancounter control is over, but don’t ever count out the engineers. The marketer’s job is fit the marketing to the engineering excellence. Not the other way ’round.
I think one of the commenters there at The Local summarised it perfectly, though you’ll have to guess for yourself which one.
Another day closer.