Keep calm… – yeah, you know.

Yesterday saw a short moment of hooray as it was reported that Youngman placed a bid on Saab. Later on it came through that the administrators were, to say the least, indifferent towards the bid and that hooray died again. Tough, but it was maybe just another lesson not to get too excited about news unless they announce a definete deal.

As the receivers said there are five parties in the game who want to take over Saab as a whole. To me this is the best news and my hope is fed from that statement. I’d expect many more to be around who are, just like Semcon, interested in bits. Despite that, the last statement from the receivers said that they try to sell Saab as a whole. And as far as they don’t state something else this is still valid. I may not agree with all of their moves but they know that a complete sale to someone who offers a future to the Saab brand in Trollhättan would be the most desired outcome.

Regarding those rumors that they are already on the way to split Saab – take them as what they are: rumors. There are so many floating around right now. Some come from “people with insight” who like to be heared, some may be conclusions by the press. Everybody colors those rumors in a way they support their position or view of course. We and you have to be pretty careful about this and that’s why I already told you in my last post that those conclusions are based on rumors.

The receivers and the interested parties are at work, discussions are ongoing on various levels. Lots of white noise are surrounding this and it is a challenge to find those pieces that have substance. Some people have asked us why we do not run one or another story. This is exactly the reason for it. We are working hard to bring the essence to you.

I did not want to use that term anymore but keep calm and carry on all we can do at the moment.

111 thoughts on “Keep calm… – yeah, you know.”

  1. I think that the ‘indifference’, which was referred to may be that, when the bid was received, the Receivers didn’t leap in the air, scream for joy and give Rachel and Mr Pang a big hug. They probably just said ‘thank you, we’ve received it and in due course we’ll let you know’ and smiled enigmatically (or something like that).

    They will, of course, be unable to show or leak anything at all until a proper amount of time has elapsed for the submission of all bids and for them to scrutinize all of them in detail and (possibly) to ask for some clarification from some of the interested parties. Then they will make a decision, inform the bidders and then announce it.

    Until that time everything anyone hears is just gossip and speculation and worthless. Of course, with so much at stake for the region and for individuals, one can understand why speculation might happen.

  2. I agree, but maybe you should not be careful what information is presented on one and only trusted source of information, Saabs United.

    It’s alright to present rumours, but better to be clear that what has been said is just rumours after all: Not to chose the heading: “The bid from Youngman has been rejected!” like you just did for your previous post.

    Better to clarify “stay calm information” in your post from the start. I do miss Swade´s thoughtful posts back in the days. It’s no use spending all days pushing the F5 button on the major newssites and just make copy-paste onto Saabs United. If that´s going to be the case, I’ll rather spend my days over at…

    We don’t need you guys to be first to post all the latest rumours. Just the ones to set the record straight!

      • new media has a large influence (negative and positive) on just about everything, this bidding process is just like playing poker, am surprised that the accountants and bankers have kept the identities of the other two bidders under wraps, then again i am still waiting for brightwell holdings announcement…

  3. If Saab doesen’t get sold whole and production doesen’t resume, I vote for giving the receivers the first swedish death penalty in civilised times. Yep, time to get the pitchforks and torches.
    I hope that this means that there’s an even wealthier party whom wants to buy Saab with an absolute certainty.

    • That death penalty comment is outrageous.

      The receivers are not evil. They don’t have any hidden agenda. They are not part of some conspiracy. They simply work in accordance to Swedish bankruptcy law, securing the best possible deal for creditors.

      That may put them on a slightly different course compared to what enthusiastic Saab fans would like to see, but hey, that’s the rules of the game at this stage. Nothing we can do about it.

      This is bankruptcy. Bankruptcies can get messy and have to be dealt with according to the legal framework. The receivers are the ones in the drivers seat now whether we like it or not.

      Good post by Till btw. Rumours are just that – rumours.

      • They may not be evil or they might not have an hidden agenda.

        But their work is not to save Saab. And even though it might be a better affair for the government for Saab to survive (it costs to pay unemployment compensation). I think I’m not alone in thinking that the receivers are not experts in painting the full picture. Their job is to run a short term errand for the creditors and they are not here to make a decision from a socio-economic perspective (and even less so, for nostalgic reasons).

        The only thing that points in the correct direction for the survival of Saab is the creditors has so far expressed a will to find a buyer for the whole of Saab. And in some ways, the fact that the Saab museum was kept intact. Despite the fact that the initial bid from Trollhättan was not the highest..

        • Rask – I agree completely. This is exactly my point. They are there to do their job from their perspective, nothing else, which may or may not eventually provide a solution we will be happy with.

          And as you say both some major creditors and the receivers have made public noises in the direction of a “whole package” sale, while the latest rumours contradict this. GM, as a major creditor, probably prefers a break-up. Anyway, I think we should put more trust into the receivers’ own words than unconfirmed rumours. But we won’t know anything until the deal is done.

          All of which makes the original “death penalty” comment in this thread being completely out of order, in my opinion. No point being rude and issue ugly threats against people doing their job.

      • The death penalty comment was probably tongue in cheek—a joke. But I’d like to know—-why are you so confident that there is no possible way that these receivers can’t possibly have any hidden agenda that is not necessarily in the best interest of all involved? Is Sweden without any corruption? If this were occurring here in the U.S., I’d say there would be about a 1 in 3 chance that something corrupt was happening—-money changing hands, pressure being brought from outside influences, etc. If Sweden is much more pure and it’s true that the recievers really can’t be involved in anything like that, I guess all is safe and the best outcome will be the one we get.

      • Also—-I will anticipate your response: You will say that sure, corruption is possible, but we have no evidence of that, so why are we jumping to that conclusion. No—-we don’t have “evidence.” But I’d like to know how/why they are swinging from statements that talk about the desire to keep Saab together and sell it as a whole—-swinging to “selling it in pieces” less than a week later? That’s a red flag for me—-erratic/inconsistent sometimes mean strings are being pulled on puppets.

        • The receivers haven’t said anything of the kind. Some Swedish media did and got parroted by the rest of the world. I know it’s tough to do in the current situation but we all really need to absorb and comment on that type of non-information while still trying to keep seeing things in perspective. Presenting rumors based on unnamed and unconfirmed sources as the truth is, actually, not even close to journalism, it’s just scoop hunting and sensationalism. Please keep that in mind when reacting on SU.


      • I thought that the “pitchfork and torch” part of my post made it clear that I wasn’t that serious.
        I do think it’s a quite bone headed move, although I believe that Youngman’s offer didn’t exceed Saabs debts, which is sort of the point of bancrupcy.

        I hope that this is an indication that there’s an even better party interrested in taking over Saab.

  4. Thanks Till.

    Nevertheless, is going to be a very cold weekend in most part of Europe, we could use some good news to warm up 😉

  5. Aargh, waiting , not again. Unbelieveble how long this drama is going to take and already has taken. Is it realy that hard? Man, i need à drink. How easy would it be when you’re driving just a Volkswagen or simular.

  6. Even if we all want nothing more that Saab to be back in business, even though we are happy at every positive thing, remember that chasing rumours (as that is what they are most of the time) may just give off a wrong signal.

    Those in the know are informed on a need-to-know basis. Remember the pre sale to Spyker days? When journalists made it into an international sport to “do a bit of Internet journalism”? Headlessly repeating or even worse, wrongly combining stuff? I personally had to sit on my hands during that period, as trying to get nonsense rectified would have been more than a day job to say the least.

    From the original statements made by the receivers, one could distill that Saab as a going concern would be more valuable than split up in small parts. Smaller sums of money may not make up to the amount that is perhaps received when selling as a whole.
    These rumours will not serve any purpose. It is basically having to sit and wait to see what the final outcome will be. I personally hope that Trollhattan will again see production, perhaps on a smaller scale. I do hope that any interested party actualy comes to the table, not just with a large wallet (something certain parties state they have be it on paper) but more important with a vision and a business plan that holds water.

    In the meantime, let us all support our dealers and specialists, so that when the restart happens, those are still alive and kicking.

  7. Why is it that has a story saying that “Saab museum not saved after all.”? I checked The Detroit News and the article didn’t list any new information to my knowledge so I’m thinking the museum is just fine. I just don’t get it. Why does everyone hate our beloved company so much?

    I wonder if Youngman low-balled the bid or if there is something else going on.

  8. What if YM is not serius enough? Who knows? I am getting fed up with the view that they are the saviors, Rachel Pang is a nice person and one can be sure that her intensions are the best. Then why are they failing constantly? And be careful with criminalizing the administrators, they are making their job. Someone has to take the garbage out which has been left by Victor Muller. I admire him as a fan of Saab but I am sure he made serious mistakes.
    This is my opinion, and may not be the truth.

  9. If the carbrand SAAB could talk then it would say in the way Arnold Schwarzenegger it said as “The Terminator” in the film, ofcourse, “The Terminator”:

    “I’ll be back!!”

  10. And the deadline for the bids to buy the whole company is? Or are they going to drag on with this auction until everything fall apart.
    Ok, 4 billion SEK anyone? BW, Mahindra, yes, no?

    • So Brightwell might have to make a deal with the devil? Well, I guess that’s better than nothing.

      But I still seem to have the feeling that the bankruptcy trustees are going to try and screw this deal up as well.

    • What a mess of conflicting messages from different parties. GM saying that they won’t co-operate with ANY bidder, Brightwell claiming to be in discussions with GM AND relying on support (not financial I hope) from the Swedish government etc etc…

  11. What is “the whole of Saab” anyway? The previous year saw a turmoil of activities. Does the share in the plant properties now owned by Hemfosa form part of “Saab”, i.e. morally? What about Saab’s stake in eAAM? will it automatically be part of a deal, or could a potential buyer also bid excluding this stake (and selling it to the other partner)? Saab Parts? Saab UK?

    The whole situation is a mess, and this need to be accounted for when digesting any statements/rumors.

  12. Is this whole “bid for parts” thing a misunderstanding? I read an article recently (forgot where) where the NDO said that a bidder cannot just provide a lump sum bid. They must stipulate how much is being bid for each component, e.g., how much is for Saab Parts so the NDO can be sure their stake is being covered. I don’t think it means Saab is being split up, just that a bidder must provide specified amounts for each component, and maybe YM diidn’t do this.

    • Sounds more reasonable. Let’s hope so. (Many newspapers would probably choose other interpretations only because they give more dramatic headlines.)

  13. While the news of Youngman’s bid not being accepted at this time doesn’t mean they are out of the picture, this bad news offers an opportunity to pass on a comment from Swade’s January 30 post at that Mahindra is the local favorite of his colleagues in Trollhattan.

    My last few days in Sweden were full of good times catching up with friends and colleagues. From my mate Mats to all the Saab marketing and PR types. We broke bread and talked about the way things were, the way they could have been and the way we think they might turn out (for the record, Mahindra seems to be the consensus opinion when it comes to potential new owners people feel they can trust).

  14. So if brightwell is the ” winner” , we’re getting an electrical 9.4 and9.5? Like priusses? That ‘s for asholes! Mahindra please help us out here. And send someone to give the saboteurs in this proces a survival training under the artic ice. Maybe that’ll freshn them up. Realy starting to get angry now.

  15. Hi Till, think your comment is actually the right reaction. What we have to discuss is how we deal with GM. GM has actually very bad sales figures (no wonder, as I replaced 2 Opel with 2 VW in my fleet). If GM could be a part of a solution (actually GM is part of the problem) we could maybe become a WinWin-Situation

    • Seriously no offense, but GM doesn’t care about Saab and they certainly don’t care that you traded two cars for another brand. They are an untouchable US company that will be around long after all of us are dead. They want Saab dead and will help no one, not the Indians or the Turks and certainly not the Chinese. If any of this Saab recovery hinders on GM in any small way, then all hope is gone. Period. The end. I for one am holding out hope that a solution w/out them is possibe however if anyone on here knows that to be false, please let me know so I can keep calm and carry on and stop caring…

      • All appearances are that GM will not cooperate, not even a little bit, with the effort to find a new owner. We could go round and round in circles about whether they’re justified or not—-I consider them a huge failure that I involuntarily propped up when my tax dollars were forfeited to them. But anyway—–it’s become clear that they are doing everything possible to obstruct this effort, not help it. I’m making the decision to not remain calm and carry on. I guess I’m carrying on, but not staying calm! By the way, don’t be so sure that they’ll be around forever. If a smarter administration takes power in the U.S. and if/when GM fails again, maybe next time the right thing will happen—-they will be where Saab is now. Someone will pick at the pieces—-or at least they will emerge stronger through a normal bankruptcy proceeding instead of a gift from taxpayers.

        • I agree, but things are going so bad for GM right now (Opel, Volt), they may consider to step in with Brightwell to get business they probably need. I don’t trust them either that’s is for sure, but there is allways a maybe.

  16. Till. Thanks for the post.

    I think the whole situation is so unclear and not touch on/ feel it. From my outsider position:
    The receivers haven’t given a measurement for first selection. So no one could make a “good” bid.
    Youngman: They ‘ve a feeling of the value of Saab and I think as they first made the bid (in front of the others) they haven’t given max. price tag.
    Brightwell: I’ve no idea if they’re serious and can handle this deal in the long run. They’re kind of disturber in the bid “championship”.
    Mahindra & Mahindra: With Youngman first in line as serious partner
    The other 1-2 (as the receivers are not shure about 😉 ) is speculation.

    We’ve to wait and see what the next week will show.

  17. Where is Victor at this moment where we need him?

    I feel so helpless and uncertain about that three (competent?) lawyers who decide what is going to happen with SAAB.
    Victor has done a good job to inform them at the beginning, maybe he must be brought in again to keep up the spirit by these people.

  18. Maybe the lawyers are doing the right thing.
    – getting bids on the bits and pieces, they can then see the market value as a lumpsum or divided in smaller posts.
    Depending how the bidders value for instance the ‘production’ the lawyers get an indication on the importance of starting up Saab again.

    Maybe there is a point system where:
    – getting GM approval on 9-5sc & 9-4x gives +++++ points
    – Starting production of Electric cars +++ points
    – Starting production on old 9-3 ++ points
    – starting production of other brand +++points
    – investing 5 billion in R&D for new models +++
    – investing 10 billion in R&D for new models ++++++
    – Size of domestic market, China ++++, India +++, turkey ++
    – Non gov. Interferance
    – financial history

    – Hiring 1000 engineers and

  19. In my opinion, YM’s bid being rejected doesn’t nesessarily mean receivers don’t want to sell SAAB as a whole. I will be guessing of course, but it can simply mean:
    1 there are better bids.
    2 they are expecting better bids
    3 YM’s business plan is not quite good
    4 there is a threat of YM just taking tech to CHINA even if they state the opposite, Chineese are known for not respecting any agreements and violating intellectual property rights.
    5 keep in mind that unfortunately saving SAAB is not recievers job as well as saving jobs in Sweden.
    Their job is to get the most cash for creditors. and if selling in whole is going to bring more cash right now(let’s hope it will)
    then I think they will go this way. So lets hope somebody bids enough cash for the whole SAAB very soon.

  20. I think the biggest problem for all the ‘suitors’ is still GM as many have said. Unless any potential bidder can get around GM’s intransigence they will fail – or only be allowed to acquire useless assets that will not be attractive,
    We should also remember that the only real function of receivers is to obtain the maimum back for the creditors, I am surprised that the Swedish Govt isnt doing more here as they, at least, ought to have some interest in saving jobs at Trollhattan. However, every day that passes means more skilled workers will be drifting into other jobs so soon there will be a real problem of restoring any production. I hear the head of the Phoenix development team has already gone to Volvo! I’m afraid I’m not optimistic and think that in the end the assets of SAAB will be stripped and that production will never resume.

  21. The news at Swedish TV4 just had an interview with Brightwell, who claimed to be in discussions with GM and that GM has not said anything negative to them, then immediatelly after that a short telephone interview with James Cain at GM who insisted that he had just checked within the organization and could confirm that they were not discussing the matter with anyone. Then the reporter had some words about what kind of game the different bidders are playing and told that the short answer on the question whether Brightwell have deep enough pockets was no, but tat they are working together with a “secret partner” and as long as that financial partner is secret, it is impossible to estimate what chances they have.

  22. – Youngman
    – Brightwell + Secret Partner ( Victor Muller ?)
    – Mahindra
    – Baic + Panasonic
    – Volvo-Geely
    – Semcon

    Let the game begin!

  23. Folks,

    A couple of points . . This is a bankruptcy proceeding. The job of the receivers is to maximize the value of the remaining assets of the company. If after their analysis they determine that the best value of the company is selling it as an entity, then they will first try to do that. If they can’t they will sell it in any way they can to recover as much equity as possible, and they appear to be pursuing that course trying to keep Saab intact. Now, that said . . the last time you sold something, or applied for a job. Did you take the first offer or did you negotiate or wait until you had several in hand? Right, exactly. . . now have another beer and relax .

    On a totally different tack, as an American who grew up in the land of GM, I am sure that most other Americans on this board have the same impressions of GM as I do, which go something like this:

    Selling Saab to GM was a horrible betrayal. That is when the death spiral started. GM is a company that made some legendary cars (think of the 1967 Corvette Sting Ray, or the 1955 Chevy, or the Cadillacs of the late 50’s) until about 1968, and then coasted on their overpowering market presence and bloated beaurocracy. By the 1980’s they were producing legendary crap, like the Chevy Chevette. This is a company that bought the Los Angeles tram system, on a promise to maintain it, then closed it and tore up the tracks. This is also a company, that if I recall correctly, about 10 or 15 years ago produced a fleet of about 10,000 electric cars for lease. They were too successful. The program was quietly hushed up and closed. The cars were called back and crushed. This is the company that produced Saturn, which, when they started were brilliant, before they too fell victim to the same insular, blind, deaf and dumb corporate culture that starved Saab. Mandatory viewing for this group should be Micheal Moore’s “Roger and Me” which is a portrait of how GM’s business decision to begin manufacturing in Mexico started the the slow motion destruction of Flint, Michigan, and greater Detroit.

    I guess they thought they could get an instant European luxury brand since they proved themselves no longer capable of making one themselves. In the 50’s and 60’s Cadillac was THE luxury brand worldwide. By the 80’s GM had done to the Cadillac brand exactly what they did to Saab. Starved it of innovation and vision, and Cadillac became a joke – a big bloated floating land ship that only really old people drove . badly. So I guess they thought that Saab could become what Cadillac used to be.

    Things have moved on. GM is much smaller now and because of Americans’ aversion to anything that looks like European socialism and social services, a large percentage of the price of any GM car goes to pay for employee’s health care and pensions. Some call them a “health care company that produces cars”.

    It is decades since GM was anything resembling an innovative concern. Like every other American Saab owner I know, we all scratched our heads and wondered “What could these companies possibly have in common?” By and large, the answer was nothing, and many of us rushed out and bought the last remaining original 900’s before GM could get their hands on them. We all know what a joke the “new” 900 (Vauxhall) was.

    GM starved Saab of capital because they lacked the vision (they lack all vision, actually) of what Saab could have accomplished. There were a few small benefits to Saab – I have to admit that the GM radio/climate controls are better than what they replaced, but this was eclipsed by much greater debacles – e.g. the aborted 9-5 replacement, killing off the 5-door hatchbacks and on and on. Saab had no choice other than to share component engineering with GM, and like heroin, it became an addiction that is now killing them.

    Are GM merciless b*st*rds? Not really. They are a business. They are looking out for what they think is the best interests of their shareholders. They are guilty of lack of vision more than anything else. But keep in mind – they did not steal Saab cars. Saab cars was sold to them by someone who had to have known what to expect, and took the money and ran without striking a deal that would have prevented the starvation. I happen to share GM’s reluctance to see any more American or Swedish IP in Chinese hands, but I have to believe there could have been and could still be a more imaginative answer than just “no” . But that is what you expect from people who lack vision.

    Lastly on a brighter note of fantasy: Saab was at its most wildly successful when there was just the 900. You could get 3 doors, 4 doors, 5 doors and a convertible. So, why not just do the same on the new 9-3? Call it the 900-2 or something and add in n estate. Offer 2 engines: the evolved 2.3 and a diesel – both of which must be high performance. It was the original turbo blast (remember??) that brought them streaming to the showrooms. Kiss 9-4 and 9-5 goodbye as bad memories of GM and make a real Saab again.

    Saab: You could drive something else, but why?

    • A really nice write-up, it was a pleasure to read, and even if it’s simplifying, it tends to be right on most accounts. I wholeheartedly disagree, however, with the description of the 900 NG as a “joke”. It was a brilliant car that brought many happy miles to Saab owners worldwide, a bestseller, and a profitable project proving Saab’s viability. I consider it one of the most advanced cars of its time, save for navigation and some other gizmos you can put in aftermarket anyway, it has all you would expect from a modern car, and still holds its own.

    • I really hope Saab can do this, and at the moment they don’t have any choice than that. I thank you for sharing your side of the story, and I totaly agree. GM was also saved by Obama-goverment, by buying 60% and have main ownership. Same thing but not that harsh was with Ford. Your goverment did everything to keep your carindustry alive, but ours didn’t. That’s the difference.

      I know that GM had no choice than sell Saab or just get rid off it. But why did they stop the sale to Youngman in december? I mean who cares about technology in 9-5 and 9-4X, those cars were doomed anyway (sad but true) no matter how cool they looked. If they were fair buisnessmen, they would placed a counteroffer/suggestion (like remove 9-5 and 9-4X totaly, THEN You can be sold to Youngman) or something like that. We would not be in this possition as we are now…! That is why many are pissed off here in Trollhättan.

      Now Wistrand have betrayed us, as that b-stard Guy Lofalk, so we really don’t have any clue what so ever. And the funny is that Wistrand as not clue at all TOO! It is sad that some are comming with false info here and at Sveriges Radio P4 Väst that someone cancled something (nothing happend!), which also brings wrong missunderstandings. Why Wistrand betrayed us is because they created some sort of “Auction” where all companies could bid, some sort of crazy eBay but with big money. And so they also ment that companies can buy Saab whole or in pieces.

      However, many former Saab-employees have moved on. Some are now working for Volvo in Torslanda, some like my neighbour will work at Saab AB instead. But it’s hurting us that our company from Trollhättan, Sweden, maybe will never get well. And that fantastic carmanufacturor who brought us Saab 900 Turbo and other Turbo-pioneers, will possibly die – or chop into pieces.

      If I was in charge (not by million years but IF), I wouldn’t let Wistrand to have this case, I would have others and I would also put a demand that the company IS going to be sold as WHOLE, otherwise no-go. But as I say, it’s easy now to speak about this afterwards. I even put some of my money on the stocks last year (110 EUR) to give some support and I probably will buy a Saab next time I buy a car, but not a new one, just a 900 Turbo from 1990. A classic that I will have for decades and decades to come and talk everyone everything about it, my kids and grandkids. And I will say “That was a car where logo was from a mighty red dragon with wings called “Griffin” who protected our knights from Västra Götaland, a symbol for Sweden”.

      • Hm, my HTML isn’t very great for time bering 😛 I will quote next time “” Would be more than happy if it comes in the nearest future some “Edit”-function so that above can be editet…

    • Nice writeup David.
      On a detail level I agree that the controls of the climate/ radio are better in my 2010 9-5 than it was on my 2000 9-5. BUT the stereo and climate units themselves are far worse than the ones in the 10 year older car. Options of programming is very limited. BUR this is all VERY OFF TOPIC…

    • I really enjoyed reading your post, David L.

      You only need to watch the episode of Mad Men set in 1960/1 when Don Draper buys the Coupe De Ville to understand the magic that GM could create in its heyday.

      (The episode is also a commentary on the evils of such materialist idolatory, but that’s another story…)

      The Scots-American David Dunbar Buick, cornerstone of what became GM, was a real pioneer in his day, but that’s ancient history.

      Strictly speaking I believe there was never a point in time during which Saab made only the 900. The 99 carried on until 85, the 90 was made between 85 and 87, and in the meantime the 9000 came in in 85. Perhaps you are referring to Saabs sold in the US market only?

      It would be a shame to think of the ng9-5 as a ‘bad memory’ – having driven one, I would say it is a fine example of what could be achieved when Saab and Opel engineers worked together on the underlying architecture and Saab were free to create the rest of the car their own way. Had it not been for the crisis of 2008-9, yes I believe it even would have had its own steering-wheel stalks and a better fascia! The story of triumph in adversity is even more true for the ng9-3 saloon/combi. I’ve got one and after seven years and almost 150,000 miles I can tell you it is a damn fine Saab through and through.

      People make a mistake when they fail to see that in the first few years under GM, things went horribly wrong, but in later years things actually went right and could have gone on getting better. But like you say David, it’s a vision thing, and GM screwed it up.

      Yep, despite all my caveats, GM are still a major fail.

    • Thanks for the good reading David!
      Only just a small rectification – name “900-2” is more or less occupied, not the factory called the ng900 this way, but a great part of the auto industry refer to it as “900-II”. So maybe they should bring on “900-3” and I guess that would be a great choice anyway!

    • Good writing.
      I myself drive a Cadillac Catera, or as we say in Europe – Opel Omega, when I’m not driving any of my Saabs. 🙂
      Quite a long way from the Cadillacs of the 30’s, when not even Rolls-Royce came near.

      GM is amazingly bad.

    • David, I think you are missing a crucial element of GM’s collapse. Yes, they had developed some seriously crippling bureaucracy and a small amount of complacency, but two of the largest contributing factors to the destruction of GM (and all American car brands) were the oil crisis and invention of the EPA. Deciding that GM’s bureaucracy wasn’t big enough, we added the mother of all bureaucracy — the federal government — to the load on American manufacturers’ shoulders.

      Why do you think Saab is looking for bids from Indian and Chinese companies? The Chinese version of pollution control is to dump chemicals in the air to force it to rain.

      Disclaimer: I love clean air as much as the next guy, but we must come to a compromise which allows economic activity to occur (which will, in turn, supply funding to research for renewable/clean energy!) If we continue to destroy first-world economies for green purposes we are just making the ecologically rich “richer” and the ecologically poor “poorer.” As an “advanced” society we are merely shifting industrial production from our “advanced” nations to “primitive, pollution-filled” nations so they can be more pollution-filled! We lose jobs and economic progress and the “primitive” nation takes a stronger hold of the means of production while destroying their ecology far beyond the degree to which the ecology of the “advanced” nation is protected (for a net-loss.)

  24. Here’s a thought for the SU crew to keep us occupied while the ever changing Saab Saga continues to be written.

    Develop a SU fantasy Saab Company. Complete with Top Down Management and a product portfolio inclusive of drawings, revisions and final 3d viewing. include a simple business plan and advertising campaign.

    We have so much talent and education here at SU with a need to fill a void as of now, perhaps a SU sponsored Fantasy Saab Coorporation could preempt some constructive enthusiastic fun Saab conversation and work. In the end its merely one example of what the future of Saab could look like. Remember the books where you can choose the ending by altering the path? Well the SU Saab Crew and readership could exemplify the use and purpose of electronic communications and business development.

    I think it would be quite interesting and fun if the ground work is layed correctly and not made to be so complex as we are not really opening Saab back up……or are we?

    Something to think about.


  25. I instantly hope that a GM-free era can be achieved. I don´t need a future owner acting in favour of GM. Brightwell seems to be that one ?
    The saving of the Saab museum was a great demonstration of Swedish self-reliance. Come on and show the same in keeping Saab GM-free and Swedish ! There are great people working in THN – give them support and show them: we will care for you.

    • I am willing to loan Saab SEK20,000 as take, as collateral, one Saab 9-3 key and some brake pads. If they go bankrupt again, I keep the key. If they are successful, they pay me back SEK20,000 and I keep the key. Idea?! The only trouble is if only 10,000 people participate, then that is only SEK200 million

      • So, a $3,000 loan for a key (blank I assume) and brake pads? I think the faster way out of this mess would be people stepping up to the plate with cash to buy new cars $10,000 over sticker. That being said, I don’t have that cash.

        Oh Victor, why did you have to blow all your money on your silly racing team? (Just kidding, I completely understand why/how that happened.)

  26. The lawyers are just trying to get the most money. With the museum, they said that they are not a culture preserving board. They accepted the highest bid.

    With the factory, they will compare the amount of money that Youngman, Brightwell, and Mahindra are offering versus selling the rolls of steel and parts in the factory, the tooling, the signs, the building, etc.

    There is a possibility they will compare the bid of one of the 3 car companies + the amount the suppliers will get with continued production of the 9-3 versus selling the factory and the furniture.

    There is no possibility that they will compare the bid of the 3 car companies + the unemployment cost to the government versus selling the factory and the furniture piecemeal.

    There is no possibility that they will compare the bid of the 3 car companies + shareholders’ interest to selling the furniture in the factory.

    The Swedish government should determine as objectively as possible the cost of unemployment benefits and lost taxes from viable businesses and maybe pay 20% of that cost to add to the winning bid if the bidder makes real Saabs and not just a few electric cars.

  27. You can bash GM all day and nothing positive will come for Saab. GM currently exists solely because of the US Government. It was too big to fail.

      • LOL! So true! Love that NHTSA went on an all-out attack on the Volt after it was driven by the administration!
        Also, no company is too big to fail. By the end of the decade, Greece will fail. I’m sure the people of Trollhattan think Saab was “too big to fail.” “Too big to fail” is subjective and, frankly, stupid. Long live Capitalism.

  28. I was conflicted about Obama’s GM rescue. On strictly business grounds, there was no reason to rescue an outfit that has been for decades a symbol of motoring mediocrity. I thought the world would have been better off without GM.

    But then I got to thinking of the hundreds of thousands of working class jobs, and all those families and all those kids whose lives would be destroyed, and my heart softened. I could never conceive of buying a GM car. I hate what GM has done to Saab and to American motoring and American life. But I have to admit . .. they did get Saab an extra 20 years they may not have had. And I also agree that in the later years it did start to work, My 2008 9-5 SC is a much better car than my 2003 9-5.

    The ones who should have lost their jobs were the senior managers and executives who steered the company into mediocrity while screwing the hourly workers out of more and more benefits, and spending less and less on engineering and more and more on marketing. Unfortunately, most of those complacent idiots coasted through their 35 years doing nothing but saying yes to their bosses, and are now retired on a full pension, playing golf while thousands of hourly workers in the midwest are losing houses, families and the life they were promised. Obama acted for them, and there are thousands more of them than there are incompetent executives.

    In the end, I was glad for all those hourly jobs that were saved. It wasn’t the guys on the assembly line who were responsible for the crap cars and crap corporate mentality, but they were the ones who were paying for the mistakes of their incompetent and undeserving management. There are, in theory, finally some smarter guys in management, so maybe GM will start making reasonable cars some day. I would not bet on it, though.

    Oh and the “new 900” I was referring to is not the new/ng 9-3. I was referring to the first “new 900” that was made starting in about 1990 until about 2000 or so. It felt about as much like a Saab as a skate-board feels like a bicycle. I skipped it and went to the 9-5 instead.

    Again my question is . . who was it that made the deal to sell Saab to GM in the first place? I hate them alot more. They could have done more to protect Saab’s value, but they just took the money and walked away.

    Saab: You could drive something else, but why?

    • David … perhaps I’m wrong but I’m getting the Woody Guthrie / Bruce Springsteen vibe from your posts. The only answer to this mess, in my opinion, is a refurbishment of proper social democracy. Sweden has certainly slipped a lot in the past 15 years in that regard, but I believe you still get workers’ representation from the shop floor on company boards to help keep the greed and elitism in check.

    • David: Actually, I was conflicted too. I have certainly posted my share of negative thoughts about the rescue of GM (to the chagrin of the hosts here, so I’m toning it down now). But I did recognize the same thing you do—-the thousands of jobs saved—-not only GM, but suppliers, etc. But think about it—–that bailout was like McDonalds burgers—-“Billions and billions served!” Billions and billions of dollars? Why, because GM was “too big to fail?” At the same time the world financial crisis brought GM down, it also brought down thousands of small American businesses (by small, I mean shops that employ maybe a few hundred people). The failure of these small business certainly created big unemployment numbers—–and it wasn’t concentrated to Detroit and a few other cities where GM had factories and suppliers. These small businesses failed all over the U.S.A., impacting small towns everywhere. When a factory that employs a couple hundred people fails—-it takes down small diners that serve lunch to these people and other places in the vicinity. My point is, why not spend the “billions and billions” on an effort to give the small businesses a way to survive, instead of a massive company like GM? And in fact, a case could be made that if GM went into bankruptcy without the help—–some of their assets would have been bought by competitors, saving SOME of the jobs—-and they could have emerged stronger and leaner—-saving a lot of GM jobs too—-and all of those small businesses could have had low interest loans to get them through a very bad period, lifting up cities and towns all over the U.S., not just a few places where GM was. Just a thought—-and really, none of us can say for sure what would have happened without the bailout. It might have been a bigger doomsday than I’m thinking.

  29. Think of this as the draft season of your favorite sport… just a lot longer. There will be bids, and contracts that fall through, unexpected trades, victory, and disappointment. As far as I know, none of us have control over what contracts are accepted or denied. So if we need another rally then let there be another rally. Until then, sit back and enjoy the show. This charade has been going on nearly three years already, expect another one at least.

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