If you’re a Saab fan then this could be the most important week of your motoring life.
It’s that simple.
This week, the usual mission of this site is on hold. There might be the odd post about being a Saab fan, but to put it plainly, the core mission for this site over the next week or so is to focus on the sale of Saab to a suitable buyer.
After a lot of consideration, conversation, and long hard thinking about the BusinessWeek article over the weekend, it has come to be my genuine fear that GM are drawing this process out to give the illusion of good faith whilst really planning to wind Saab down in order to protect technology they can use for Buick and Opel without having to share it with Saab.
I’ll explain all that in a later post, but for now….
We can’t control this, but we can make damned sure we do everything in our power to let the right people know that Saab should be sold.
GM have received bids already, they want them revised and final bids sent in by January 7. The buyers’ job is to get a bid submitted that GM should not refuse.
OUR job between now and then – being outside of the process – is to let as many stakeholders and decision makers as possible know that this sale is important. I’ll try and do whatever I can to point you in the right direction, but what this situation really needs is action, and action in one particular place.
The United States.
Whilst Saab are a Swedish operation, they’re owned by a company based in America and 60% owned by the American people. The decision will be made in America. Our voices need to be heard in America.
I’m sorry, all you European folks, but like me, you’re virtual bystanders in this. It pains me to say that, but it’s true. I’ll get to how you may be able to help in a moment, but right now, the US readers here are the ones we all need to stand up.
US readers, you are the ones who can really do something here. We can all write letters to newspapers and leave comments on websites, but the people with the power to put some pressure on GM are your elected representatives. And only you US citizens can get them to take notice.
They won’t listen to a Tasmanian if he writes to them. They won’t listed to a Swede, an Englishman or a Frenchman. They’ll listen to their constituents.
They won’t care too much about jobs in a town in Western Sweden, but they will care about jobs and lost expenditure in their communities.
They have a hands-off mentality towards their 60% stake in General Motors, but that 60% stake means that GM is effectively controlled by the people so it’s the people who have to make some noise.
Each one of you has two state Senators as well as some Congressmen/women in the houses of government. These people make decisions. They represent you. They represent your community. They control the budgets. One of them had the good sense to lambaste the Big Three when they flew into Detroit, asking if they couldn’t downgrade to First Class instead of taking the corporate jet.
You need to stand up this week. You need to contact these people.
You need to write to these government representatives and let them know that the company that is owned 60% by the American people is quite possibly a 50/50 chance of passing up a viable sale, putting 218 Saab dealerships and all their employees and dependents at risk and scuttling a deal that they told their dealers they’d negotiate in good faith when they changed their contracts earlier this year.
This battle for Saab Automobile is not going to be won or lost in western Sweden. The negativity of the Swedish press is not going to make one iota of difference. This battle is going to be fought and decided in America. None of us like that, but that’s the way it is.
I’m pleading with you – don’t be complacent.
Don’t leave it to someone else to write, or to drive to Detroit if you can join in. Every letter and every person counts. Every news story that you can generate (in a peaceful way, of course) that focuses on Saab being viable and a sale being available will put GM in the spotlight.
The time is now.
For the rest of us……
I’m pleading with you, too. Think about what you may be able to do that can help.
- Letters to editors of US papers.
- Letters to friends in the US who might be able to join in.
- Correct mis-information where you see it.
- Inform your Saab Clubs or bulletin boards.
These are just a few suggestions off the top of my head. There’s got to be more.
We need to rely on US Saabers to pick up the mantle, but we also need to support them in any way we can.
For everyone – please check out the Saab campaigns website and see what you can do.
Email that URL to every Saab owner you know and encourage them to do something as well.
Saab CAN have a future, but the time left to ensure that is very short.