Automotive News’ editor-in-chief Keith Crain published a post today that is worth a read. Here’s a quote:
Something is going on that I don’t understand.
By not approving the deal, GM is more than willing to let Saab close, costing thousands of jobs in Sweden, while letting its own Chinese partner have more technology.
That’s a bad way to make friends and influence people, particularly people in Sweden. If GM were responsible for the death of Saab and the loss of jobs in Saab’s home market, GM could forget about selling cars in Northern Europe anytime soon.
I understand that this may be a cutthroat business. But GM should look at how Ford handled the situation when it sold its Swedish company, Volvo. That seemed like a very civilized transfer, and Ford acted gentlemanly the whole time. That might be something GM should study.
I’m not playing favorites. But if Saab is to die, it should happen in the marketplace, not in some corporate boardroom without even a fair hearing.
There are sales and purchases in the automobile world all the time. But I have never heard of a company withholding permission that could kill somebody else’s deal and somebody else’s product.
This business is tough and downright cruel at times, but no company wants the reputation of being a deal killer and putting people on the street.
This is something I had on my mind already but it is good to hear words like that from another publication that SaabsUnited. It shows that it is not only us thinking that way. Saab deserves a chance to bring their products to market and let the customers decide if this brand is good enough to survive. Some may say that Saab had this over the last two years but the truth is that the crucial 9-5 SC and the 9-4x are still not released in all markets. When those models hit the showrooms and the next 9-3 is revealed and on sale, then it really counts. The we will see what an independent Saab has to offer.