The whole is more than the parts

Ny Teknik feature an interview with Kent Hagglund, the third administrator appointed to deal with the name rights and trademark issues related to Saab:

The right to use the name Saab and its symbols is governed by a tripartite agreement between the airline company Saab, truck manufacturer Scania and car company Saab Automobile.

– This is a very complex situation with many agreements that regulate trade issue. I represent in this matter Saab Automobile, said Kent Hagglund to new technologies.

Kent Hagglund cooperate with the other two in bankruptcy but has an independent mandate to deal with name rights in bankruptcy estate assets to be divested.

– Our opinion is that the whole of the estate is worth more than the parts. My starting point is that the brand will be transferred to a new owner of Saab Automobile. But as I said, this should be resolved “within the family,” says Kent Hagglund to Ny Teknik.

Funny enough that they ask him if GM has any rights to the name which he of course denied. But listening to him it sounds like it would not be a big problem for a new buyer to get the rights to the name. In an interview that is featured on he is asked if it would be easier for a buyer to get the name rights if production will resume in Trollhättan:

– Yes, I think there is a clear advantage, summarizes Hagglund.

Besides the name rights the encouraging thing is that it sounds like all administrators work towards a solution where Saab is sold as a whole. Their biggest problem still is time and money. Unfortunately they have to sell certain assets that are not crucial for Saab’s core business to obtain funding. They need this funding to continue their work that in the end should lead to the sale of Saab to the party offering the best opportunities.

Unfortunately the museum is one of the things that are not vital for Saab in terms of core business. So this has been the first thing the chose to sell. It is tough and I hate to see that but it looks like we have to deal with that fact if we want Saab to have a chance for survival. While we learned this morning that the City of Trollhättan did not place the highest bid there is still hope that the collection will be solld as a whole to someone who keeps it available to the public, maybe even Saab AB.

To me it is a shame that the Swedish state did not join in to preserve the museum. It is definetely a part if Sweden’s industrial heritage documenting where passionate engineering can lead.

I still think things may have run smoother in the bankrupcy process. Here in Germany a large manufacturer of printing machines (manroland) filed for bankrupcy at the end of November last year and has last week been sold to two investors. This sounds like a reasonable timeframe. In my view not all things are best but the administrators are still focussed on the goal to get Saab into the hands of a new owner. I just hope they are now finally ready to get into talks with the interested parties.

15 thoughts on “The whole is more than the parts”

  1. Is the government of Sweden interested in any of the industrial heritage they had?
    In April 2011 they did not support SWAN and no they are deaf and blind for the Saab Museum.
    Unbelievable how they treat their industrial heritage; perhaps someone should inform them that such thing exist.

    • This government is not interested in industry – full stop.
      The say that they are the new “worker’s party”, as opposed to the social democrats which actually has that background, but who are the workers they care for, and where do they work? The government?

  2. Assuming Saab gets a new owner, will GM have the right to keep using the name Saab on the 94X or will the name owners forbid GM from using it?

      • And why would GM event want to use the Saab name? Just because the 9-4X and Cadillac SRX come from the same factory, GM would not want to make and sell the 9-4X. They would just make more SRX CUVs.

    • As much rights as Valmet in Finland does.

      I don’t see Valmet claiming Saabs and Boxsters as theirs. And GM isn’t either.
      Where did you get the idea that GM has a right to use the name Saab on the 94X?
      Hate GM all you want (there’s more than enough reasons), but this isn’t one of them.

  3. I think the name is very important. The company, purchased, can survive without it—-but it would be a terrible blow if the name doesn’t transfer.

  4. ‘Our opinion is that the whole of the estate is worth more than the parts.’
    What parts? AFAIK apart from the museum anything tangible was placed in hock by the previous management.

  5. I think Saab AB will have most say in where the name goes.
    If anyone just buys the assets and not the name then in reality Saab will be totally finished (to the extent that Saab AB could licence the name to another company altogether).

  6. SAAB auto in the right hands can be a great PR tool for SAAB AB (aeroplanes).

    Scania is not really using the SAAB brand, they are Scania and a trucker would not understand if you told him what a nice SAAB he drives.

    If you ask a person on the street (outisde Sweden) what SAAB is, the vast majority will say the cars. and not the planes.
    So handled correctly the SAAB-name on the cars is a benefit for SAAB AB (aeroplanes)

  7. Good PR?

    Let’s be honest. From a stable business prospect, Saab Automobile has been a PR nightmare for Saab AB. Don’t expect them to be excited that someone new is going to take another crack at making Saab Automobile viable.

    The scant information reported on Saab AB’s position is that they have grown extremely weary of having their business tied to a struggling, now bankrupt, automaker. From what I have read, while some within Saab AB may be sentimental and have fondness for Saab Automobile, as a business entity I don’t get the impression that they are favorable to being associated with them. The most that could be hoped for is that they are neutral (i.e. wouldn’t stand in the way or block) of any new proposition for continuing Saab Automobile to use the name. Their aerospace, technology and defense business simply doesn’t rely or require the ups and downs of the automotive industry to drive their sales.

  8. A new owner might want to produce ‘saab’ trucks, boats or bicycles so most likely there will be a limit in what areas (cars) that the new owner can use the brand name.

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