I saw lately the film Kim Novak badade aldrig i Genesarets sjö, a film adaptation of the novel with the same title from Håkan Nesser, on the TV. It is a Swedish film and is situated in Sweden in the 60’s. The main figure, Erik, and his brother, Henry, kept repeating this sentence: A man’s got to do, what a man’s got to do.
Later I learned that this sentence is usually associated with John Wayne who used it in the John Ford western Stagecoach.
Nonetheless I think it is a good title for the Editorial of our good friend and SU commenter till72.
If you want to know what he thinks a man’s got to do, continue reading after the jump.
What to do for Saab – one man’s thoughts
Honestly I had hoped we could continue to talk about the cars Saab is about to release. It would have been a lot of fun to watch those great models come to market and see sales get up finally.
But then came those financial issues that stopped production. That alone would have been worse enough. But with it came uncertainty and speculation. The army of naysayers that we thought was left behind last year came back and Saab was said to be doomed again. Deja vu.
No need to waste too much words on the press reports – during the sales process in 2009/10 we learned who is just looking for headlines and who is interested in digging deeper. This time it was mostly the same. SU has always been to collect those news and to balance things out. “Government preparing for Saab bankruptcy”? Sure. They have to be prepared for everything. “EIB is not for providing liquidity”? Yeah. Noone asked for that. That list could go on and on.
I stongly believe things would have run smoother if VA had be allowed to be part of the deal from the beginning but that’s useless complaining. I know – to some extent – from personal experience that dealing with officials like government and EIB is not easy, even more if you come up with solutions that are not standard. Officials just can’t take the pace of real life, that’s just a fact. And I believe the main actors like VM and VA have their own special pace only few can keep up with.
But they have their Plan B and that’s good. It may take a few days more but it’s not only about starting up production asap, it’s also about getting a solution that is sustainable and avoids problems like the ones we are facing now. Not only for a few months but for ever. The current events have been a setback regarding customer confidence and (I believe) orders so they have to bridge a few months more until sales will provide liquidity again.
I definitely believe Saab has a great future with new models and advanced technologies just around the corner. With VA and other investors that are ready to put money into Saab we are imho much better off than we were when GM tried to sell Saab. We faced much darker scenarios than now so let’s not loose our heads.
What can we, the enthusiasts, do now? Well, it’s again about showing our support and spreading facts as an opposition to the yellow press. And showing confidence. If we stop believing the who else should? I don’t believe collecting money among the community will have any effect unless we get together $50 million or so. One million sounds a lot to most of us but even in Saab’s scale it won’t last longer than a few minutes.
So we’re back at another way to help: if you can afford it, buy or order a Saab. What are you worried about? Even if the worst case should happen warranty and spare parts supply are covered by appropriate laws. Resale value? If you could not buy a new Saab any more wouldn’t you want to keep yours a bit longer? In either way you get a great car that will make you smile on a regular basis.
I will order a new 9-4x on the day it is possible here in Germany, regardless the circumstances. The only worry I have is if mine can be the first customer order in my market. Imagine Saab starting production again with an overfilled order book. That would be a sign for the company and the investors. And worth a press release…
If you can’t afford to buy a new Saab, take your car to the dealer for a service, buy spare parts or buy a CPO. The dealers need support, too. I’m the last who won’t understand if you simply don’t have the money but even buying something small like an oil filter adds some bucks to the big pot.