GM: No.

That’s the news in from pretty much everywhere at this point, Swedish Radio, TTela, and directly from Victor. Sorry if this is short as I’m writing this post from a phone.

Here’s what we know:

  • NSC was contacted to see if they would still be part of a share agreement that GM is comfortable with, all indications are that they’re done.
  • Multiple sources tell us that Youngman is trying to set up a deal where they take convertible preference shares and are allowed to inject liquidity into Saab for a period of time until Saab can be GM-IP free. It might look something like the current GM shares.

What happens next is anyone’s guess. This deal went from being manageable to insane, and we’re now in very murky waters. I’m not optimistic, but until Victor gives up trying, Saab lives another day. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.

163 thoughts on “GM: No.”

  1. “■NSC was contacted to see if they would still be part of a share agreement that GM is comfortable with, all indications are that they’re done”
    As in they’re done with trying to help Saab?
    I think the answer to Saab’s survival lies somewhere / somehow in China. Good or bad.

  2. Convertible preferences + Youngman sounds like a reasonable idea that just might work, and that is also an answer to my “can YM invest in Saab without really owning part of it?”-question from the comments in another thread.

    Amazing to see how that famous Spyker/Swan-tenacity managed to leave its trace on Youngman as well 🙂

  3. I would not lose hope yet. The right price to pay for saab is not one that includes all of these debts. Buying the saab name and some of the tooling when they are in the final stages of bankruptcy seems to be the only way that they can survive. As painful as it is, I think the 9-5 should be abandoned as wit would have been (and is) a slow selling vehicle. The 9-3 is the only vehicle they can sell in any volume – and that is where all of the value is in saab – especially during a low point in the global economy.

  4. When I discussed with TimR in the forum regarding Youngmans interest and said:

    “Youngman will probably bend as much as needed to go through with the deal.”

    I didn’t expect that I would have to admit admit that they actually now apparently will go even further than I expected.
    They really want their Saab

  5. Hmm, I’m unclear as to what was in the deal that has been turned down. If it is as reported, I can only imagine that the concern was over the potential future behaviour of the Chinese Bank.

    So what now? Would preference shares require GM approval? If not, and they are just a debt instrument, presumably GM could not object now, but only if they were to be exercised.

    If so, that sounds ideal to me. Can’t they just do it? 🙂

  6. So did GM say anything about why they still say, “No”? I thought the sticking point was shares above 20% by new owners in China. If even that is not good/safe enough for them, is there any ownership change they will accept?

    • gm won’t approve any Chinese ownership period – that’s a fact! They don’t want other palyers so they can sell thier crapy cars in China the biggest car market in the world at the moment.

      • I think u are right. GM hates the Chinese and the Russians. Try another car company that GM and the Swedish govt will not object too. Mahindra may be a better bet.

  7. I live in Detroit and the arrogance, ignorance and overall incompetence of the car companies here is unbelievable. People here (with the odd exception) simply don’t appreciate that there is a big world out there. I don’t find it hard to believe that they would place very little value on their partnership with the “odd” Saab (to quote that old turnip Bob Lutz).

    American cars generally suck (they are big, ugly, not fuel-efficient, can’t corner worth a damn, and seem to value beefy domination as a style aesthetic. There is more fun to be had in a sporty little european hatchback than in any of the big clunkers that the big 3 regularly churn out for the (shrinking) masses. Their interiors are pig ugly and the materials are typically cheap. Go to any major city on the Coasts of the US (i.e. where the trendsetters live and there is a greater likelihood that people are cultured and well-traveled) and you can’t see any American cars on the roads. Everyone drives Japanese and German cars (and increasingly Korean).

    GM is a dying company (propped up by a dying Government) in a dying building in the most decrepit city in America.

    • I was about to write a rebuttal to this, because I am proud to be American and have owned some decent Detroit cars in the past—-then I thought about it—-re-read it—-and you’re mostly right. I hate to say it, but you’re mostly right. I will say this though, the Japanese cars those pseudo-intellectuals on the coasts are driving genrally bore me to tears. They are appliances, with bland, generic EVERYTHING. In that regard, I’d rather some of the Detroit offerings, which at least take a chance every now and then. Also, you are remiss in laying this off a dying company, propped up by a dying government—-and not going into more detail. But alas, I think the details might get too political for this forum (both your point of view and the opposing points of view). Thanks for a very thought provoking post though.

  8. I post this here as well:

    I do not know what to say any longer. Is GM really that afraid of not being competitive that and actually think that they compete with the same customers? What is it that they are protecting, really?.

    The platforms we actually are talking about here is probably 3 years old and started to be developped 3-4 years before that. This is really ages in this type of industry and before things are settled in Saab, production is up running and distrubution up to speed the Epsilon II platform , and Theta (modified) which I think that 9-4X is orginating from (I might be wrong) should be close to be replaced. Still today I think that they are good cars and I think that Saab could benefit from and use as a brigde until the Phoenix platform is ready for the first launch (and then more is to come). I would like to have a 9-4X or a 9-5 SC on our parking lot if we were able to order them and get them delivered.

    I think that the journey from now on will be extremely challanging for Saab from now to come back if all parties manage to find a solution (which I really hope), but with the spirit in the company and between the loyal customer I think they could do it (it will not be easy but up here in the north of Europe, and especially in Trollhättan that is just boosting the extra efforts). We are all aware of the fact that a Saab today is built up with a lot (all) GM components but it is packaged and refined in a way that in most of our minds make them diffrent and appeal to us as a package. They might not have all the cutting edge technology as a BMW, Merc or an Audi but still they have enough and are being different from the rest.

    If the possible soultions are block by GM for reasons like we now hear there will never ever be in my mind to even consider a GM car (what ever they produce) on our parking lot and I know many like me and my wife that are saying the same. This is only creating bad will for GM and I think that it is this type of behavior, not listening to customers (even if Saab not any longer is a part of GM) that actually caused the previous Chapter 11 journey. It might very well be that a lot of the customers for GM today do not know of Saab and most likely do not care, but it is just the way the act that I think will put them to far from the customer again.

    Why do they not sell? Licences of the technology to competitors? Please lift your self above that view. Remember what successful companies always do. Customer in focus, even old once, Deliver the products that the customer wants and sometimes suprise them with doing something that hey did not know that they needed, and be humble. You do not make a product for your self you do it for us as customers out here and I still want to buy a Saab in the future.

      • They won’t sell to the Chinese because of the IP issue. Full stop. The platfroms may have been developed 4 years ago but in reality platforms do get used for a loong time once the investment is made. As an example, the new 3 series from BMW, while all new, is still largely based on the e90 platform. The same goes for the Audi A4. So why would GM, having invested heavily in Epsilon II hand it over to the Chinese for the sake of saving Saab??? You must get your head out of the Saab clouds and think like a rational business person. Keep in mind the Regal was just launched, the Lacrosse is fairly new, these are new vehicles with a lot of life in them!!!

        • Don’t know about the Beemer, but the A4 is based on a new platform compared to the prior generation.
          Eps I was not based on 2900 and eps II is a highly (improved) changed Eps I.
          So despite GM will start the XTS next year based on a 3-4 old platform, the Eps III (or whatever it is) won’t be just an evolution of the Eps I.

          • Yes but you are getting caught up in the marketing lingo….the IP that goes in to these designs and processes are interwoven throughout….the Eps III will very likely borrow significantly from Eps II. Regardless of how it is labelled, GM has a tonee of IP in the platforms from the floor pan to the wiring, to the integration of systems in these vehicles that they would be foolish to throw in to the hands of the Chinese. I think Ford and Volvo was different in that Ford had adopted Volvo platforms and technology wholesale when it started to use them. The Ford 500, for example was the S80. I don’t think Ford had much IP to lose as they were rather stagnant and, frankly, desperately behind in R&D having spent most of their time stmaping out F-150s and SUV derivatives of it.

            • When Volvo was sold to Ford the IP rights at that time was most likely in that deal since AB Volvo did not really have any use of it for the remaining business for trucks, excavators , dumpers, marine engines etc. Then the current plaforms that was actually in production when Volvo Cars was sold to China was actually base on European Ford platforms (same as Mondeo for S80/V70/XC70, S60/V60/XC60 and Focus for the S40/V50/C30). The exception was only the XC90 with is still on the old Volvo P2 platform (if I remember the name correctly). There must have been IP rights in those.

            • Tukan,
              Fords C platform (Focus, C30, S40, V50) was developed by Ford the C/D Platform (Mondeo, V70, S80) was developed by Volvo.
              Volvo is still quite dependent on Ford IP, at least till they develop SPA and ENV.
              Eps III is the name I’ve given to the kid, it may be something completely different if GM decides to go the same way as most of the brands today, and unite their Delta and Epsilon and Theta(ThetaEps) platforms into a more flexible one like the phoenix.

              • The platform used for the Mondeo, Volvo S60, Range Rover Evoque, etc. is EUCD, it is a stretched version of the C1 platform (Focus, etc). It was developed mostly by Ford with some input by Volvo.

                No this is just GM being GM, i.e. GM being “your favorite unpleasant invective here”.
                The IP issue is just a red herring. Ford treated Volvo decently; GM has had nothing but contempt for Saab and its customers.


                When I bought my Saab I was a GM customer, not a Saab fan, looking to have his cake and eat it too (buy a Euro premium brand and support a US company at the same time.)

                What a mistake that was.

                GM can jam it. I will never buy one of their cars again. GM is a loser company, sucking off the taxpayer’s teat, and screwing over their customers who bought Saabs.

        • The platform as such was not developed 4 years ago I am pretty sure. The 9-5 went into production in 2010 (one year delayed) and if I remember correctly the Opel Insignia as launched in 2008, and the work was started probably 3-4 years before that.
          I see what you says as well and in some sence I agree and the platforms last for quite some time eventhough they are more or less revised during the lifecycle It is also true that even at new models some major parts could or are kept and just modified to meet the modified needs. The key to get it working is to keep what can be kept and adjust what is needed and then add the extra of new technology to keep the product competitive.

          When you today look at the A4 from last year it is most likely as you say that some of the platform is carry over but it is heavliy revised. Look at the front part of the car, not the things you see, but the things that you do not see. The complete subframe and suspensions is reworked to get rig of the nose heaviness getting the engine more on top of the front axle to get better drivablilty. Parts of platform kept (most likely yes, but still a lot of engineering hours and cost to get it done)

          I also understand that the IP issue is the blocking point here but I also wonder if GM are not drawing too big consequences for their own sake around this. Until Saab is up running again and really have managed to get to the volumes (regardless who will be the owner Chinese or not) to become a threat to GM (including possible Chinese vehicles) the platform as we know it today will be replaced or hardly recognisable.

          I also think about the totally different appoaches when the other brand with origins from Sweden was sold to Geely by Ford. There must have been IP rights issues in this as well but they were obviously treated with a different view on the business perspective. I do not know what went on behind the scenes there and I do not know what is going on behind the scenes in GM- SAAB but I just want to highlight the different approaches in terms of business and the view on your former customers.

  9. We want to set up more worldwide rallies, this coming Sunday the 11th. We need help organizing the events. They can be any time any place. The theme is “We Support Victor”. No GM bashing but we need to send the message strong and clear, that we’re not going away, and that GM needs to allow Saab to continue on their own terms. We ask that you take photos/videos to post here on Saabs United, and also alert your local media to have the event covered. More details coming soon!

  10. I remember this state of mind I`m in from more or less exactly two years ago. However, I still belive in a positive outcome. Who would have guessed though that we were to fight governments, huge banks, Chinese authorities and the worlds biggest car manufacturer (?) along the way?! When this is over I would not object if Saab called one of their models Goliath.

  11. I live on Cape Cod Massachsetts and in September I hosted a group of 40 from the Detroit area. They were stunned to see how many of our cars were not American brands. i.e. GM, Ford. I didn’t want to say that the foreign cars are better, but my saying it wasn’t necessary. The US manufacturers are so far behind the Japanese, Germans and Swedes. All GM is thinking is CYA. Cover your —. Disgusting and depressing. 2004 9-3 ARC vert.

  12. Perhaps all this mess is only a power-struggle between three ore four men and their ego. Imagine – three or four women – they would have talked, drank their Prosecco and the deal would be perfect. Okay,okay, a bit of topic. 😉

  13. This is all making sense to me now. GM lets Saab die, ends its own final use of Epsilon chassis, then sells the old tech onto China who then do exactly what they did with old 9-5 under a new name! Quids in all round, except for Saab!

    • I just wonder how long the Chinese will accept being a dumping ground for second rate cars and a second rate brand? As they evolve and come into the “first world” (from the “second”) I hope that their tastes will evolve.

      • China is also the No1 or No2 largest market for all luxurary brands like BMW, Audi, MB, Porsche etc.

        Chinese version Buick is way better than those in America, I see them often, they do look great and drive good.

        • I hear what you say about the Buick. I find the new Regal half way attractive. Its ironic, however, that it relies on European Heritage – Opel (and Saab) for its creation and was originally designed for the Saturn brand here in the US. GM chose instead to dump Saturn (just at the point they were making halfway decent cars) and protect “Buick”???

          In the US Buick is the brand for 80 year old retirees who live in Florida and couldn’t afford a Cadillac. They somehow remember it being luxurious in the 1930s on their way to ordering matzoh ball soup at the early bird special at the diner (i.e. cheap dinner for old people).

          China strikes me as a very dynamic and aware place. How has Buick managed to develop cachet when here in the US it is so miserable?

    • They are big and very succesful in China, but Saab/YM would not represent a competition and certainly not eat into their mass market segment. Competition will come from big established carmakers there, VW, Toyota, the Koreans, Ford, whoever. My feeling is there is something else, what they care about, maybe they have an own plan with Saab/ Saab technology whatever.

  14. U.S.A is a protectionist country. GM is a company out of this format. GM does not believe in themselves they believe neither in their own products. Ford had no problem when Volvo was bought by Geely. A company that GM exists only for the Chinese are pumping loan money to the U.S. so that they meet their public expenditure. GM believe in yourself and your products, love the competition that will develop you.

    • That’s a little over the top – the US is a far more open market than most around the world. Certainly more so than both China and Korea, which are heavily protected, especially with respect to the automotive industry.

  15. uuurgh…. We need a hug….
    This is insane.
    To all my dealer friends; stand tall – you’ve done nothing wrong. In fact our skills to operate a difficult franchise will do you wonders in the future.

    I only wish it was what we all knew it should have been.

    Until its official, never give up hope!


  16. Well this blows!

    Give up on GM, shut Saab down until the Phoenix architecture is ready to go into production. who would know the differens?

  17. build the 93 griffin…. and forget the rest…
    get the phoenix done asap
    and start the 91 93 94 95 96 97 thing…
    i will miss the convertible….

    probably the ng 95 will be the most rare saab ever….

    • ah oh i forgot…
      and before that say FUGM
      we don’t need your stuff that you make money with

      and i will miss the current conv. .. well i’ll wait for the next one…

  18. In my opinion GM would never approve another company acquiring Saab, even if it was a European Company. Saab has been producing Automobiles for over 60 years, therefore they will always be in competion with GM because that is their business. The IP thing is a real myth, as was previously stated Saab is using 3-4 year old technology, but constructing a very good product. When some of the car magazine made statements that the Saab products were superior to GM’s, such as the 9-4X compared to the Cadillac, then GM probably did not like the end results.

    My feeling is to start a “BOYCOTT GM” by not buying their products, new cars, used cars, replacement parts, etc. Most replacement parts can be obtained from an aftermarket company and not OEM. Lets hope that VM’s “B PLAN” can be made into a “AAA PLAN” and actually “SAAAVE SAAAB”

  19. GM is a coward business. Continue and place the Chevrolet brand of Daewoo cars. I will never consume your products and will advise all others to do the same.

  20. I love my Swedish Saab 9-5 2,3t tuned by BSR, and i will drive it until the end, (I love my Mitsubishi Evolution V 350hkp to).
    GM cars??

  21. Is it just me or would the simplest thing be for youngman to take a 19,9 % stake, pang da 19,9 % and the chines bank 19,9 %? leaving 40,3 % for SWAN. the claus would not be activated and the production could get on the way.

    • We were told weeks ago that the total Chinese stake had to be under 19.9%. Then we started hearing from competing sources that it was 19.9% per party. Today, we got confirmation that 19.9% total is all they’re willing to accept from another source. Whoever reported that it was 19.9% per party was incorrect, and “plan B” involves working with that condition. We’ll see what happens.

      I will say this whole anti-GM thing really isn’t going to get Saab anywhere. It’s going to come down to a deal. I understand the passion so many here feel, but really there’s not much a social-media movement is going to do to affect this at this point, that’s clear from GM. Even if we somehow got hundreds of thousands of signatures, all we’d get would be a direct statement from GM explaining their position. Just be patient, and hope for the best. GM, Victor, the Chinese– none of them are combing our comments section hoping to find someone with a brilliant idea for a new deal structure. They’re working with whatever they’ve got and will take the path of least resistance.

  22. Everybody, you tell me when it is time for a good world meeting. In THN things are moving for a meeting next saturday…

    We discuss too much about numbers here, numbers we can hardly analyse as business man. We can still behave like customers, like Saab fans, like Saab enthousiasts, like Saab car lovers, like a community and organise a wolrdl meeting, don’t we?

  23. It’s hard to say something political correct without having the right background information. What’s very clear right now:
    It’s very political.
    Therer were no real negotiations in front.
    SWAN and the Administration are not working together.

    To get an answer of GMs need in Saab:
    – Are there still developments at Saab for GM?
    – The preferred Saab shares belongs to the old or new GM?

    In my opinion: GM get only over the Saab case if there’s some urgency/ need for them.

  24. The only way I can describe the whole matter is: madness.
    Just hoping VM and his team not only have Plan B, but till Plan Z.

  25. I thought SAAB AB actually owns the name, had heard that they will not allow anyone else to use it?
    T-shirts for Sundays Rally should be red and read FUGM!

  26. The real plan should be:

    PangDa focus on distributing current Saab cars made in Sweden in China, they can take some 40% upto 49% of the ownership of SWAN, YoungMan stays out of THIS deal. This should get certainly green light from GM.

    Youngman focus on the next generation Saabs (Phoenix etc) (hope the Phoenix is mostly GM independent and GM has no say on it), YM INVEST, and prepares establishing factories in China for the coming 3 years, and YM can make an internal deal with SWAN that after certain years YM can take some big chunk of shares in SWAN (or another name whatever).

  27. I have just got off the phone to most of my large extended family I spoke to around 100 folks-we’ve just had a baby girl. they know I like Saab having 4 on my drive its a topic of conversation-none of those 100 family members will ever buy a GM product ever again, I have asked them to tell all their friends.
    To that end my brother and father in law plus my dad who loves Saab and my best friend John who also likes Saab will next week all go an order a new Saab that we promise to pay for on stacks up to around £150k and puts the Saab order book at 10359 vehicles on back order.

    I am ordering the £37,000 Phoenix Edition Ng9-3 Aero 1.8 turbo e-AAM Hybrid in black with black leather and drive sense.

    Time for some education people=make the GM books shrink to nothing whilst the Saab book grows let folks know out East what GM are up to especially Caddy/Buick customers. its a bad deal for the consumer to be sold this trash whilst Saab is killed of. The Chinese are smart they’ll catch on pretty quickly.

    • Toby K – congratulations and wish a good health and much joy! Besides it is an astonishing achievement, Saab needs true soldiers as you are!!! I only have 2 Saabs in the garage and can’t afford to order a new, but if Saab makes it I swear I won’t have any other makes in my life!!!

    • Congratulations, Toby K!

      We are expecting our baby girl in February 2012! I am wishing so much that in 2012 I will be able to buy a second Saab, this time an 9-3 SportCombi for her and our lab dog!

      There is not much space in our 9-3 Convertible for every one….

  28. Like I said before: stop production in Trollhättan until the new 9-3 is ready. Until then, import the Chinese made Saabs and perhaps have a short assembly line in Trollhättan where Saab fronts are bolted on to them.

    • But if we can keep the production running, the 3200 workers’ jobs can be saved, and they can work on new Saabs in the future. That’s why for the coming years I think Pangda should focus on distribution of current Saab cars and strike a deal with Swan.

  29. Letting youngman invest by proxy throught the swedish government could perhaps be the setup that GM cannot refuse.
    Accusing swegov for IPR hustling would be a non-starter I think.

    Let Swegow take over a part of Saab perhaps 51%. Make a deal with the chinese that they will pay for the costs the next 3-5 years. Production of GM-licensed will only be done in Trollhättan. When no more production of the old models is needed then the ownership can be transfered to china,
    SweGov will guarantee that the GM IPR is not transfered to China.

    When the Phoenix based models arrive they could be produced either in Trollhättan or China. R&D must be kept in Trollhättan until the licenses for the GM-plattforms are no longer needed.

    It is important that a solution is found where the old models can continue to be produced. They are ready now and have taken their big costs and for every car that comes out of the factory there should be a nice profit.
    You must also remember that the dealers must also have something to live on until the Phoenix rises……

    • Well, I suggested something similar some weeks ago (also read CSD_ChineseSaabDriver some posts above).However,the proxy/middle-man solution only overrides one non-valid solution and to be honest I am not sure they are, by law, allow to do it.

      To me,that is the same deal, just different packaging. It really boils down to this: We need GM to say IF a sale is even possible and if yes, how can IPR be protected (if a sale can be done then,like you suggested, we/they can probably come up with many good ideas on how to protect IPR).

      I think this can be solved over a weekend if all parties sat down and talked. But this doesn’t seems to interest all…

      By doing a silent-agreement between SweGov/YM/SWAN and sidestepping GM, YM is also running the risk of not actually getting in after these 3 years and SWAN might be a case for lawsuit by not disclosing such binding contracts to GM.

      But yeah, i agree with you about finding solutions is always a good idea. I just fear the problem is not finding the IPR protection.

  30. Thanks for the info Jeff, really appreciate your knowledge and insight during these weird, weird times 🙂 No words about the promised YM-money to pay wages? I can’t imagine the tension in all affected families in Trollhättan…

  31. GM is not selling to the Chinese.

    I don’t understand why this is news to anyone. The 9-5 is built on existing GM architecture that is underlying extremely important cars for GM. They aren’t just handing that over to the Chinese. GM needs Buick in China more than they need their stock in Saab. Someone needs to turn off the ventilator. This is getting really painful to watch and shutting my eyes doesn’t change anything. It’s time to say our goodbyes. GM wrote off Saab a few years ago (some would say longer) when they first announced that they were going to be shuttering the factories. They never took seriously any sale of the company.

    Everyone knew GM had too many brands that competed with one another and it made no sense to keep them all going. The only reason Saab was different than Pontiac and Saturn to GM is because they were able to recoup some money (from Spyker) while Victor managed the forced dissolution of the business. GM is getting exactly what it wanted all along — for another potential competitor to fade away from the market.

    Here’s the coffee
    Now inhale.
    It’s time to wake up.

    • You may not get it, Saabing is a serious lifestyle for most of us here, so it is in no way about waking up! We couldn’t be awake any stronger as we are!

      • It is about waking up. I’m not questioning your undying allegiance to the brand. I’m questioning some people’s ability to see the forest for the trees. GM has not changed its tune. The writing has, sadly, been on the wall for a long time. It’s been extremely painful to watch but I’m not surprised by any of the turns the news has taken. Am I upset? HELL YEAH! But, listening to excuse after excuse after excuse that is mired in flawed logic coming from people who must have their heads buried in the sand is growing old.

        There was no magic bullet.
        No shooter on the grassy knoll.
        It was a single shooter: GM.

        Yes, wake up.

        • I personally don’t need self styled messiah’s having the Sorcerer’s Stone to tell me what to do or not do in the given situation (a good few of this kind have been pushing the same conception through SU for quite a while now. Fact is that while they were tirelessly trying, they also got very tiresome.

          No, you don’t get a crumb of the whole picture, no matter what superior knowledge you claim is wafting your savvy.
          What do you think anyway – If Saab goes bust and some of us had “waken up” just before – uising your obsession – so how will it help the situation?

          Sorry I didn’t mean to be rude, but that’s my perception.

          • Your comment makes absolutely no sense.

            Where did I claim to know more information than you or anyone else? As I’ve said before, NOBODY here (including me) really knows SQUAT about what’s going on. The tidbits of information we’ve received from the Press are vague and misleading, at best. There are, however, certain common sense realities involved and it is clear that much of what we’re currently being fed is bunch of baloney.

            I want nothing more than for Saab to come through this as a company from which I’d unwaveringly hand over $50K for a new vehicle. Based on where we are today though that just isn’t going to happen.

            Oh, and to me, just because someone may hock a vehicle with a Saab logo on it in 2012 or beyond doesn’t mean there are actually “Saabs” on the market. A badge engineered Pangda doesn’t a Saab make.

    • “They aren’t just handing that over to the Chinese. GM needs Buick in China more than they need their stock in Saab”

      If they speak up,they can even make some money out of this deal i am sure.
      Everything is manageable….even for a company like GM.
      IP protection can be done, sales limits in china (in fear of competition) can be done etc.
      I dont see the REAL point to be honest. Please let me know.

      Also,what if Spyker reached its sales targets in 10/11 and wanted to go into china without chinese ownership, what would the GM reaction be ?

      • Why would GM help a competitor sell cars in China that are based on its crown jewel (i.e., Buick)? Even today, Saabs are still mostly GM modified cars. Without GM technology, there is no Saab. The all new 9-5 is largely built on GM technology. If a Chinese company takes control of Saab, where do you think that technology is going to go? So, as for IP protection in China. Have fun with that.

    • Saab is not a competitor to GM brands. There are other much more powerful mass market producers. A Saab will never be a competitor for a Buick, it is playing in a different league, and will be more so, if Saab would survive and would have to upgrade premium. Those cannot be the real reasons.

      • More head in the sand logic.

        Saab can’t sit in the market alone without competition in today’s market. Saab DOES compete with Buick. They also compete with Cadillac. They also compete with Opel. Hmmm…what do these brands have in common? OH YEAH, they sell cars based on the same platform, technology and architecture as the all new Saab 9-5!!!

        Just because you wouldn’t be caught dead driving a Buick, Cadillac or Opel doesn’t mean Saab doesn’t need conquest buyers from these brands. Buick also isn’t the same company it was in 1985. It’s shed (or at least it’s try to shed) that image and is now offering sportier vehicles; even with (gasp) a manual transmission! Any company on the planet that can steal a sale from a GM brand is a competitor to GM. Don’t fool yourself into thinking otherwise. Regardless of the amount of criticism you heap on the company, they are still one of the worlds’ largest (and fiercest) automakers. They also killed Pontiac, not because it was the poorest selling brand in its arsenal, because it wasn’t as strategic as Buick was to them in China. To the extent they can control it, they aren’t going to allow any brand to stand in their way of dominance…and they still do wield control over Saab as they are evidencing now.

  32. All these ideas going completely new ways are way too late. The problem is money or lack of, time left, and GM’s resistance. In half a year the old and the prospective new owners have not found out, what GM’s objections refer to and how to tackle them. Maybe their own behavior has strengthened fears at GM, maybe the whole thing was just a farce from GM’s side from the beginning, maybe the messy situation with an administrator and owner making opposed proposals, maybe the negotiators were just too ambitious, asked for too much compared to GM’s objections and were too sure to win. Impossible for an outsider to correctly appreciate the situation.
    What is behind GM’s resistance? Do they have an own plan B to exploit Saab again, maybe produce the 9-4x and 9-5 as Opel’s, or are they really that panicky about a Chinese ownership of Saab? Those in the negotiations, with VM, must be able to answer or find out quickly.
    If GM wants Saab to blow up, then – without substantial own non-Chinese money – there is nothing to be done. If, however, GM would like Saab to continue, without damaging its own IP or operation in China, there must be ways to structure a deal. That’s classical investment banker business. In my view, initially lower Chinese participation, rising with the expiry of IP. Additionally, a more neutral, trustable solution with respect to investments from a pure financial intermediary. Doesn’t mean, the Chinese bank should not give the money, but maybe through a more trusted institution.

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