More on Youngman meeting the receivers

As we reported below Youngman’s delegation has met the receivers today for further negotiations based on their indicative bid. A short quote from the report at di.se shows that they seem to be one of the parties who are very eager to get a deal done:

“They’d rather not go home without getting the green light that they can buy,” says a source familiar with the process.

I know, di’s sources are infamous but let’s just go with them here.

Pang Qingnian told P4 West on Friday that the company has a plan and is hopeful to get the chance to buy Saab.

“We will do our best anyway. If Sweden gives us the opportunity to buy Saab, we will certainly do our best to revive Saab.”

But the administrators have multiple bids to consider. Next week, they meet with more stakeholders. Among other things, stated Indian Mahindra that they made an indicative bid.

Youngman’s indicative bid shall be around two billion crowns. One source describes the first offer is consciously laid low. Youngman has not counted in the profitable parts company Saab Parts, in which the state has assets of 2.2 billion crowns. A final bid will therefore be significantly higher.

From the last paragraph one could assume that the bid to buy Saab as a whole should at least be around 4.2 billion crowns plus additional funds to run the company and develop new models. In Youngman’s case those additional funds were said to be 12 billion Swedish crowns. I wonder how long that amount would have to last for the task of developing a complete model range is anything but cheap and additionally those first years until sales numbers reach a certain point will burn quite a bit of cash.

12 billion crowns translate to about $ 1.8 billion or 1.36 billion Euro. While being a huge sum when lying on a table it is burnt quickly when running a car company. So I bet the receivers want to hear how every bidder can handle those initial losses as noone wants to find Saab in a deja vu in two years again. Even more as with most likely three remaining bidders there is a choice.

The receivers are doing a good job so far. Things are quietly running. It can surely be frustrating for us who want news but it is good for the process itself. Zamir Ahmed also told us he was very satisfied with their work. After the Lofalk sitcom we experienced last year this is pretty encouraging.

Youngman want a quick decision. Whilst this is understandable I don’t think the receivers are willing to take any pressure from that. Everybody in there, the administration as well as the bidders are aware that time is crucial. I’d hope that this will lead to straight talks without playing games. And in the very end to the best possible outcome for Saab.

171 thoughts on “More on Youngman meeting the receivers”

    • Come on, guys. Until right now, YM is the most serious buyer. It is better than nothing. Or you guys want to see Volvo get the bid and also ship the tools to China too?

      • Some people are blinded by prejudice.
        For every Foxconn (Taiwainese btw), there are also a Lenovo in China, doing sound business.

        • I am not sure it is prejudice as much as we are actually seeing are livelihoods being shipped to China more and more each year. This isn’t Youngman’s fault or the Chinese people’s fault. It’s Western businesses who are out to make maximum short term profits, not realizing with EVERYTHING being made in China, there won’t be enough people with decent jobs in the West to buy their somewhat less expensive goods.

        • Is it just me, or I’ve always found the Foxxconn controversies rather ironic given their corporate name …… FOX + CON(-N) 😀

    • Well, I’m sure the Receivers will take into consideration, future plans of these bidders. In the end, if the bid for any one party is head and shoulders above the others—-putting the most money on the table might count for more than committing to keeping jobs (or headquarters) in Sweden. Frankly, if a foreign company buys Saab, they’ll probably have the right to move production elsewhere in time. 5 years? Maybe. Like it or not, China is in an enviable position at this point in time—-and this point in time is when Saab happens to be bankrupt and for sale. As an American, I hope we get our own fiscal house in order and stop the outrageous spending—-pay down our debt—-and start competing for economic leadership again. For now, billions and billions of dollars seem to be available in China—-people, companies and governments with a nose for money are looking at China right now. China haters: Get used to it. It might change—-but not for a while.

  1. This is great news. I see this as the next step moving forward. The administrators will no doubt meet with all bidders over the coming weeks and hopefully make the decision soon. Do you think it likely by the end of March?

  2. There’s a lot of apprehension about China, but one thing I will say about the situation, if you’ve got China backing you there’s a good chance you could dump massive amounts of money into Saab. We’re afraid they’re going to move production to China, so let’s just hope they make a local model in a copycat plant and leave the Trollhattan plant for international sales AND development. We know China has no intentions of opening its doors to international car companies anyways, or at least if we go by their word. So back to the good bit, while the whole world economy is circling the drain we continue to keep upping production in China, so who has all the money? They do. With over 10% growth (typically considered unsustainable) for the past TWENTY YEARS I’m sure they’d be willing to take some losses for a few years if they get a bigger reward out of it in the end, especially if the Pangs ask nicely. This is probably Youngman’s biggest pro at this time, at least in my mind.

  3. The one thing that leaves me leary of youngman is how they tried to change the deal with vm at the last minute to get 100% of saab. So I am still really hoping BMW is more then a rumour.

    • This type of tactic isn’t exclusive to China—-but I have heard that it does run rampant there. I’m a big defender of doing business with China if that is the best or only option to keep Saab in business—-but it’s true that their business practices are considered unethical at times by our standards. I do think the people who run Youngman seem to be sincere about how badly they’d like to buy Saab—-and keep making Saab cars. In my world, that beats the heck out of Volvo buying factory equipment at a fire sale and Saab going bye-bye.

        • Shared platform? I wonder if they make him shave his head and then give him several hairpiecs to wear in different colors, a few different types of glasses/frames—-blue jeans for one personna and a suit for the other? This is GM we’re talking about—you might just be onto something.

    • Electric car sales just are not happening. Volt sales are bad, but they are actually selling at twice the rate as the Nissan Leaf. I could imagine owning one – but not for 40k.

      • Keith: Where did you get your sales numbers, Leaf vs. Volt? I’ve heard just the opposite.
        http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2011/09/15/chevy-volt-vs-nissan-leaf-whos-winning/
        Also, if anything, since this article was written, things have gotten worse for the Volt. They have stopped production (plan is for 5 weeks, but this will extend if they don’t move off the lots faster—-and I don’t see that happening). The only saving grace for Volt sales is that GE (who doesn’t pay corporate taxes to the U.S. Treasury) has committed to buying 12,000 Volts to replace their fleet vehicles. They are of course buying from GM, who also doesn’t pay corporate taxes to the U.S. Treasury (10 year waiver requested and granted—-by the current President). So I guess taxpayers will cycle some more money to move 12000 of these homely things from GM to GE, plus another handful that we’ll reimburse buyers $7500.00 for—-but the sales are still south of lousy. The Leaf isn’t breaking any sales records itself—-but Nissan isn’t too worried about it as it was a much smaller investment than the Volt and it’s not causing a “firestorm” no pun intended.

  4. If YM can do a Tata & then in time,also start ‘another’ factory in China, so be it…

    Personally, I don’t see BM anywhere in this mix. except to maybe build their own cars in THN.

    Maybe a YM + M&M would look good if they could talk to each other.
    That certainly would have GM running round in circles, seeing all their hardness come to nothing, beyond a strong ‘independent’ competitor……

  5. Mr. Pang did say his intent was to keep production in Sweden for 5 years or so. If that is true and that happens, then a lot can change in 5 years; not just the location but the ownership could change again too. The other idea is that Saab AB can not renew the licensing of the name if they try to pull out of Trollhaten and that could keep them in Sweden. With the name they will have wasted billions and now have a product with no marketing cache. Saab AB could even put “remaining in Sweden” as a condition for licensing the name. Just a thought. Right now the most important thing is CASH and who has it. Once this phase is over we can worry about the next one. But 5 years from now doesn’t mean anything if we don’t get through the “here and now”. We need to keep our eyes on the prize folks and prioritize:

    1) Where is production in 5 years time?
    2) Will SAAB be alive in 5 months time?

    Oh…right…that doesn’t make much sense, let’s reverse those…

    We need to clear one hurdle at a time.

    I’m not thrilled with Youngman potentially owning SAAB but that’s only because there is that future unknown. But there is no denying that, in the short term, I don’t think anyone will have the financial backing that Youngman does. To get to the “5 years from now” question we need someone with MAJOR cash, liquidity and assets; all of which Youngman has. So, IF Youngman walks away with the complete package, and SAAB is able to restart on some level, then there isn’t much more we can ask for. It benefits the employees, the city and the region. The more this drags on and the more we want a different suitor the harder it is on the people and city that are currently in disarray over there. I’m sure they would say that they don’t care who bring the money as long as they bring it and they can get back to work.

    So in the end, it’s really about “show me the money” and who can do that and have a plan to operate SAAB in a manner that will positively impact all the areas that the bankruptcy has negatively impacted and then go from there.

    Get SAAB as a whole into the hands of an owner that wants to revive it, hire the employees back and try to lure back all those that have found other jobs, get R&D going on finalizing PhoeniX, get a MASSIVE marketing campaign going that SAAB is back, “wine & dine” what’s left of the dealer and supplier network and then let’s all take a collective sigh of relief.

    After that, we can question the future.

    • Saab4Life

      I found the bit about YM wanting Saab parts as well, as a good sign they wanted to hold on to the Saab business in the West. It at least shows a commitments to service old customers.

      As you say, 5 years is a long time & as Clarkson said on TG special 2-3 weeks ago on their china special, comparing where they were 5 years ago, china will be within 5 years a major exporter of cars to the west.

      • I totally agree on Clarkson’s point about how quickly China’s capacity and technology have advanced in just five years – particularly in the automotive market. The Chinese are learning very quickly that they have a big opportunity during this global economic downturn to get their ducks in order and be ready for when their automotive products are good enough for export.

    • Who in a right mind would build up Saab in Trollhättan investing lots of money and then shut it down and move it to China? They have to decide now.

    • Youngman’s financial backing is piddling compared with Mahindra and even moreso compared to BMW.

      Wiki stats:
      Youngman — 4,000 employees
      Mahindra Group — 144,000 employees
      BMW — 95,000 employees

      Revenue
      BMW — 60 billion Euro in 2010
      Mahindra — $14.5 billion revenue in 2011
      Youngman — not reported

      Concerned about Youngman yet?

      GM is which is why GM won’t license to them.

      • Dave: Do you happen to have figures on Spyker’s revenue and employee count when GM licensed to them? Just curious. Did they have Youngman’s 4000 employees? What’s your best guess as to Youngman’s financials vs. Spyker’s?

        • In a rare alignment of the planets, Angelo and I will agree on this part. It has nothing to do with Youngman’s financials.

          GM has a fantastic current business in China, with agreements in place. They are not going to risk any of that by playing with Youngman.

        • No Angelo. I have no idea of Spyker’s value at the time, but supposedly the real money was from VA who had considerable wealth. Of course he was never let in the deal. I am sure that Spyker had nowhere near 4,000 employees.

          But it was also a different situation in that Saab was not yet in full bankruptcy and where court officials were involved in the decision to the extent they are now. What involvement there was last time by court officials seemed perfunctory. Youngman could have been in Spyker’s situation and had more clout, had they not let things go this far.

          But as things are now, these officials/administrators must make their decisions based on the available evidence. And the available financial evidence that I see does not favor Youngman at all. Youngman appears to be very weak in financial comparison to Mahindra and BMW.

          • If VA was never let in the deal, there was no real money then. My point is that I don’t think GM cares about the size of the company who buys Saab. In fact, contrary to what you wrote, I think if anything, GM would love Saab to go to the smallest, least capable company in the sweepstakes. They do not want to see Saab rise again. I think even verbally challenged Spokesman Jimmy Cain’t was clear enough about where they stand when he parroted, “Saab has had several chances.”

            • But they don’t get the right to decide in bankruptcy whether Saab lives or dies. They can make living harder, but if someone else wants Saab to live there is little GM can do about it.

              So if someone else has made the decision that Saab will live, then GM has to decide what is in it for them.

      • But YM is not a Western company and so these figures don’t quite tell the whole story. AFAIK YM is run by a semi-political figure, probably with close connections with ChiGov through the NDRC, who clearly has a lot of local respect. ChiGov have almost endless dollar reserves for overseas investment in Western technologies and it seems quite plausible that Saab has been selected and Mr Pang chosen as the vehicle (sorry!) through whom ChiGov will acquire this technology. In short you’re not talking about a small company called YM but maybe actually the Chinese Government who will be doing the investment. That would beat M&M and even BMW hands down.

        Also, I really don’t understand why anyone could think that YM would simply ship everything out to China. They are trying to buy an iconic Swedish brand. The only point of doing that would be to grow it with a strong Swedish presence. They would actually be following the by now well-established Tata/JLR and BMW model.

        • That is, of course, lots of speculation. Would any of this information be disclosed to an administrator? If not, how could an administrator consider any of it?

          But if it does exist, then the decision becomes a political one more so than a business one. And China and the US government are not seeing eye to eye on many things right now. So GM, being owned partly by the US government, will likely say do what the US government says it must do. It is not a good time to be asking the US government for permission to do business with China.

          • David, please. What a hilarious, ironic circle: GM said in December that they wouldn’t license IP to Youngman because it might damage their business in China—-which is growing in leaps and bounds, far faster than GM is growing anywhere in the world. Stop the sale of Saab to Youngman for fear of their own IP coming back to compete against them (yes, we know that’s laughable, but it’s what GM said they were concerned about.). Now you are saying that the U.S. government won’t allow GM to license IP to tiny Youngman and bankrupt Saab, because of shakey relations with China???? What about the huge chunk of manufacturing and business GM is already doing in China? Did you know they plan to move Volt manufacturing there too? The savior, the Volt, made in China? Not a good time to ask the U.S. government for permission to do business with China? Are you kidding me? Our oil companies are exporting so much refined gasoline to China, even though U.S. consumption is down, our gas prices are shooting up. GM is building Volts in China and increasing sales there faster than in the U.S. Have you heard of Apple? It’s a freakin’ GREAT TIME for U.S. companies to “ask” to do business in China. Free passes are being issued by the billions.

              • Businesses may want it but the public is fed up with it. Most technical education is on the job training. Every technical job moved to a non-western country means that one more young westerner who will not get a technical education and will be resigned to some low pay service job.

                The backlash cometh. The youth of the west will not tolerate this situation for much longer. And their parents are pissed as well that their kids can’t get good jobs with a future.

                • It’s not stopping these parents from buying cheap, plentiful imports that they are happy to own—clothing, sneakers, computer equipment, home furnishings. The parents and kids might be pissed, but they aren’t spending a king’s ransom for Made In USA products when they could buy adequate or in some cases better imports for 1/2 the price. Often, these people don’t make as much money as the factory workers who are telling them to support local trade. I don’t have the answer, but the greed is all over the place. I have first hand experience with some good “technical” jobs going away and I can assure you in this case, it wasn’t factory owner greed.

                  • But it is stopping those who want to buy American and can afford to because there are none of these goods to buy. An electrical engineer surprised me not long ago when he told me that the US has never made a flat screen.

                    That is how bad things have gotten. I could not buy one American made for five times the cost.

      • Interesting comparison.
        At the same time, bigger is not necessarily better. (Remember GM? 😉 )
        But deep enough pockets is a must, of course.

  6. “…we will certainly do our best to revive Saab.”

    This concerns me. “Do our best” does not sound like a cohesive business plan, it sounds like hopes and dreams. Either you will or you won’t revive it. Of course I know all this depends on sales once they actually have some Saabs in production, but for me this kind of language casts a bit of doubt on their approach.

    • I think you’d have to look at a totally new 9-5 on the Phoenix platform for 2015. It wouldn’t be cost effective to move the 9-5 from Epsilon II to Phoenix and then try and totally de-GM it. Better off starting with a clean slate. Maybe they there could even be a big hatch too!

  7. Till you are dead on accurate. No company or business man would ever spend millions of dollars to accomplish a goal (producing SAABs in Trollhattan) which the hidden agenda of moving production to China only weeks later. And if that was the plan behind the scenes then they have a hell of a lot more disposable cash than we are giving them credit for.

    But restarting SAAB production is going to be a hard enough task, now add to it that they will be producing cars sans GM IP – this makes it even harder still – they will NEED all the help they can get from both organic (people that know the brand the processes) and inorganic (the tools, materials, location et al) make a go of it. That all translates to staying put in Sweden for the foreseeable future.

    If they are going to be burning through money as we all know they will be doing at the outset, any sound business minded person is going to see that they need to start making that money back POST HASTE. I ask you, how will transferring production, tools, engineers, hiring new staff, training said new staff and still marketing SAAB as SAAB for SAAB and to SAAB loyalists, tie that all up into a pretty little bow and end up making them money quicker or at the very least slow down the hemorrhaging of money any quicker than having stayed put in Sweden? Simple answer: it can’t. It won’t.

    In a business scenario such as this you “dance with the one that brought chya” – simply put: you use what is already available while you explore options. So, at least for the near term, SAAB will stay put. There is no other sound business move.

  8. Getting past the boring notion that prejudice has anything to do with this whole scenario I still think Youngman has a hidden agenda and I personally dont think they are the right firm. Im behind Mahindra but having said that if BMW were interested in the whole company then its a no-brainer.

    • Zippy: I think you are sincere and I am by no means accusing you of racism/prejudice—-but to hold an opinion that Youngman has a “hidden agenda” and saying you “don’t think they are the right firm” is so vague—-I could see how someone predisposed to claiming racism at the drop of a hat would see that in your argument. It is one of those things where someone could fairly ask, what has Youngman done, other than being from China, that makes you think they have a hidden agenda? Again, they are not the highest on my list (my infactuation with Rachel Pang not withstanding). I’d love to see BMW or even Mahindra gain control. But I do think Youngman would also have the drive to make Saab good again—-I don’t know about a hidden agenda—-I’m not convinced.

      • IMO I dont think they want to keep production in Sweden at all. They are after what is left of the technology and there is no way Saab AB will let them use the name.

        • I guess I’ll take them at their word until there is some damning evidence that they are lying and deceiving us (and the Receivers). I thought they said they want to continue production in Sweden. I also think part of their objective is a credible history to use to sell cars—-that gets lost if they cut bait and leave Sweden and take the technology and don’t build Saabs. I just don’t see that—-can’t make that leap unless there is something that actually points to that other than them being from China.

          • Angelo, I must say I almost always agree with you and I do value your insight on these situations, but I would like to add I’m pretty leery of a Chinese deal, too. It’s kind of like pitbulls. You hear hundreds of people saying “Oh pitbulls are fine dogs they aren’t violent! You just need to try and not provoke them and know their boundaries!” You hear people who love the breed say that all the time, and yet you hear about a pitbull biting a child in the face at the park or something. Basically it boils down to something/someone’s nature, and I really do think it’s in China’s nature to boost their own financial situation and continue to widen the gap between them and the rest of the world in wealth and power. Also as far as “keeping a clean name”, why would you need to keep a clean name with the rest of the world selling 100,000 cars a year when you could sell 200,000 cars a year inside China and not worry about international diplomacy and standards etc. I still think there’s a possibility they want to move Saab.

            • The other problem is that no large Chinese company that I am aware of is moving its production to western countries. Some have bought western companies (like Volvo) that had production in their country of origin and kept the production in the country of origin, but I can’t think of any that have moved production to the west.

              Until I see a trend of Chinese companies beginning production in the west, call me skeptical.

              • Great Wall just (Feb. 12) opened a car assembly plant in Bulgaria. That’s in Europe and in a member state of the European Union.

                Ivo

                  • Oh, not a big deal, really. They are only China’s biggest builder of SUV’s and stuff. Built about 435.000 of them in 2010 and also build their own (not screwed-together kits by other manufacturers) passenger cars and pickup trucks. Run assembly plants all over the globe, including Europe.

                    Are well-known for the likeness of quite a few of their models to certain foreign cars.

                    Have a nice read here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Wall_Motors

                    Ivo

              • Daveidgmills are sure you are not part time comedian??? Unless the Chinese wanted to shoot themseleves in the head, why would any Chinese company with half decent mind would move production out of China while almost every compnay in the world wants to have production facilities there?
                FYI, no company in the US was forced to move to China. They took thier production there so they can make more money – super cheap labour/no benfits/no labour laws/ no enviromental obligations!

                • Comedy is my daytime job. I moonlight as a lawyer.

                  But you made my point. This is a one way street. Production goes to China and never the other way around.

                  And production being sucked to Asia is killing the “real” economies of the west.

                  The real economy is in making things of value, not in pushing paper around or serving each other hamburgers, which is a “pseudo” economy.

                  As a lawyer, I moonlight in the pseudo economy, pushing lots of paper, and not making shit.

              • No large Chinese company that I am aware of is moving its production to western countries YET.

                China is now where Japan and Korea was earlier. It is probably just a matter of time before Chinese auto manufacturers start up factories outside China.

            • Jesse: Yes, pitbulls CAN be a good family dog. Would I ever own one? Probably not. There are so many choices, and I have a young child—you’re right that I’d rather not take the chance with a pit bull, even though I know there are good ones. In this case, the question will become how many choices there really are. I’m not sure I like your analogy, but I’ll follow it anyway. If China is the pit bull and they are the only game in town—-or they are clearly the best game in town with very limited options—-if I want a dog badly enough, I’ll go for the pit bull and hope for the best. Regarding manufacturing of cars: I don’t believe for a minute that the plants from Japanese, European or Korean corporations are built in other countries because of goodwill. It’s always profit driven and it took decades for this to happen. Imports to the U.S.A. were going on for years and years—-as I said, decades—-before any of these companies started building plants in the U.S. I think in time, China will do the same thing. If there are Chinese companies developing Chinese cars—-they will move production to the U.S. or other places if it makes good business sense. Their labor rate is low, so this is going to take a long while I’d assume—-plus their industry for cars is in its infancy. I agree with you… I also think there is a possibility they will move Saab. One way to prevent that is for a Swedish company/group to step up and buy. That would be the pure outcome. If you talk to people from Chrysler about the Daimler days—-they will tell you what happens when your company is sold to another company from a different country. This isn’t unique to China.

                • I don’t know because the arrangement is so new. It was good in the early days of Daimler too. Some of the platform sharing really helped Chrysler in the Mercedes days—-and I believe some of the interior and styling ideas are really helping them with the FIAT aquisition. I have not heard about any heavy handed management yet in Italy. I guess time will tell.

                • Well, at least all Chrysler models are still being built, although with Lancia badges. I guess Lancia and Alfa Romeo ar much less happy with how the Chrysler buy turned out for them. You know, I’ll miss them a LOT more then I would miss any Chrysler model. Bar the Jeeps, of course.

                  Ivo

  9. Saab looks now as a human being who passes really critical stage of the serious illness. The illness is so serious that lethal outcome seems as one of the option. Although the chance for the recovery is very high (due to bidders intentions and efforts). As soon as Saab overcomes all its difficulties (we all believe in it, of course) it should become much better and healthier. “That which does not kill us makes us stronger” – F.Nietzsche.

  10. So Youngman want Saab despite not getting 3-5 or 9-4X?
    I must be honest with you guys: when I saw the first pics of the new 9-5, I was very underwhelmed. I first thought it was someone stretching a pic of the facelifted OG9-5. So: YEAH. I can’t wait to see what new models the new buyers have thought out.

    • Gotta admit the first press photos werent that impressive. They should have shown the car in silver or Arctic White in press releases. Have you seen the car in the flesh, Hogge? It makes any other car in its class look positively boring. One day I will own one. 🙂

        • Yes, I’ve seen it, and it does look better in real lift.
          The car has a very low, almost supercar-ish stature, which is really cool. But the headlights feel very conservative, I actually prefer the ones on the 9-3 and OG 9-5. The NG 9-5 just looks too similar to the 12 year old model which was so often blamed for Saabs poor sales figures.
          Saab could have done something completely different, new and far ahead of its time, like they used to do.

          • I disagree about it being too similar to OG9-5. The are some common themes (as you would expect with/want in a SAAB) between the OG9-5 exterior and the NG, but aside from those cues, IMHO it looks nothing like the 12 year old model. The vehicle is fantastic to be in, be seen in. and drive. @zippy you will really enjoy it one day.

    • IMHO, NG 9-5 would have been a great next step,had it come in 2004 or 2005, with a Combi, a hatchback and a standard sunroof. It was classic too little, too late.

      It does look very nice in person, and the interior quality is a leap above the OG for sure. Too bad hardly anyone will get a chance to see that first hand.

      Brands have recovered from worse. Seems to me that most of the bad press for Saab is related to the GM relationship. People still love Saab as an idea. Not too late to implement that idea again, as long as it is someone who sees the potential, and has the ability, the cash, and who cares. VM had all but the cash.

  11. I would rather Youngman get Saab only if they are the last ones(last resort buyer) that would keep Saab together & produce Saabs.

    IF BMW is indeed the Munich automaker interested in Saab, I think they will be the best choice for Saabs future of all of the interested parties that are known to want to keep Saab together & see Saab make a new generations of Saab cars well into the future. 🙂

    GRIFFIN UP!!
    GO SAAB!! 😀

  12. If it is not possible to produce any Saab under GM license but the development of the new 9-3 will continue in Trollhättan I assume that it in the beginning is not needed full employee strength in the factory since it dwells 1 to 2 years before the production can begin. It should of course mean that labor cost during this time should become importantly lower than during the last two years, but it also means there will be no income during this time. It also means that any buyer must have the economic muscle to survive 3-5 years before they get black figures.

    • I think all potential buyers interrested in buying the whole of Saab have thought up some kind of interim solution to give Saab a wider model range.
      It’s even worse than what you’re saying: When the next gen 9-3 comes out, Saab will still have just one model. Which probably still can’t make a profit.

  13. The dynamic is changed now. There are at least 2 serious bidders. This puts the administrators, and Saab Cars in a powerful position. Their job now is to sit back, let the bids start flooding in, then pick the best one.

    The really good news is that there are 2 entities who now state their intention to restart production of Saab Cars. Either scenario is better than selling it off and shipping the tooling to China, which would be the default worst case outcome.

    In either scenario there is a chance for there to be Saab Cars again. That will make life good.

    • Wasn’t the deadline for bid submittals end of February? If so, they can only review what they have received. Hopefully something good is in there. Of course, in standard municipal bid situations, there is usually a “best and final offer” stage among those who have made the deadline. I’m not sure how Swedish law is and further, bankruptcy court—-but a “Best and Final” stage means that the stakes will be raised by the interested parties. I hope BMW is in this mix.

        • David, BMW was contacted by a Swedish reporter (I believe from TTela) about their supposed interest in Saab, and there spokesperson simply stated that “we (BMW) do not comment on rumours”.

          • Barry, that seems to be a standard response from most of the bigger companies out there. I reached out to Magna to see if their name was in the hat of names and was given the same quote word for word. I truly don’t think we will know anything about BMW or Magna for that matter unless they end up winning the bankruptcy lottery. I hate to say it, but unfortunately as always, we have to sit and wait and I hate waiting.

          • But even Mahindra, big as it is and tight lipped as it is, at least admitted to being interested and then to making a bid.

            BMW apparently isn’t past the no comment stage even after the bidding stopped.

  14. IMHO, the OG 9-5 Estate, post 2007 model year is looking better and better, the older it gets. Despite the excessive GM content, nothing can change the beautiful lines. Only Saab could have produced such beauty.

  15. In watching Top Gear’s tribute to Saab yesterday, it occurred to me that maybe the essence of Saab is that it is the ideal vehicle for bad environments. Maybe subconsciously, that is why I have always liked them. If the bad environment happens to be an accident, a blizzard, a downpour, poor visibility, or high altitude, Saab is the car to be in.

    I have never wanted a fair weather car. Sweden is not a fair weather country and its people understand bad environments.

    Maybe that is why I think Mahindra would also be a good fit from a philosophical point of view. India has some extremely bad environments of its own, the highest mountains, extreme cold in them, extreme rains and some serious heat elsewhere, and questionable roads.

    Cars are the products of the people who build them and their everyday experiences. And I think the Indians would have many of the same concerns and appreciations as do the Swedes in terms of facing everyday challenges of environments.

    • I don’t think that bad weather is what Saab is about. Saab is about a car that better thought out than the other cars, and this includes better preparedness for poor weather and adverse conditions. But Saab is no Land Rover Defender, it won’t climb a 45-degree hill, and no Toyota Hilux, you can’t drop it off a cliff and expect to just drive away. It’s a reasonable daily driver.

      I think that TopGear captured the overall Saab spirit really well in that segment. Do notice it was not about bad weather or poor roads.

      • Off road is one thing. On road another. There are bad driving environments to both and more lives are lost on road than off road by a wide margin.

        • David is absolutely right. Why else would rallying have become so important to the Saab story in the 60s and 70s were it not for the fact that the cars could really cut it in the rough? Keeping the driver and passengers safe and on the move in a really bad driving environment is exactly what Saab is about, and doing so without compromise regarding style and performance.

          My 9-3ss performed amazingly well during the winters of 2009-10 and 2010-11, both of which were horrendous in my country and which saw me make progress where many others were stranded by the wayside. Were it not for the fact that the 9-3ss has low ground clearance I feel I could take this car really anywhere.

          Once upon a time, Saabs had a narrow gauge of tyre, weight distribution, high ground clearance, robust engineering, all-round visibility, structural safety, to give them above-average softroad abilities in nasty snow, tough gradients, horrible surfaces and deep water. They still have most of those qualities and better, of course, but some refurbishing of them is in order I believe.

          Where Saab as a company was fallen by the wayside is with regard to cars, and I mean proper cars rather than big SUVs, with significant offroad capability in the 21st century.

          As has been discussed here, the 9-3x was more than 10 years too late and it came without 4wd when bought with the economical but powerful diesel engine in Europe, which is unbelievably stupid.

          The company is going to re-emerge one way or the other, and when it does I really hope they get back to their roots in offering vehicles that embody the Swedish harsh-driving environment qualities to which David is referring.

          • I certainly think that kind of image works from a marketing point of view as well. Born from jets really didn’t work, and Top Gear made fun of it — legitimately. When a car tries to compare itself with an airplane or jet, it is just asking for ridicule.

            But consider instead:

            1. “A Saab is in its element
            When the environment is bad.”

            2. “Honey, take the Saab.”

            Just makes more sense from a marketing point of view. It defines an identity. You could work with these two lines from a marketing point of view and the directions you could take off from each one are endless.

            You could market bad environments — running the gamut of high speed motoring, to accidents, to harsh weather of all types, to bad terrain, to bad roads, and bad driving, the possibilities are exploiting bad environments are endless.

            You could have parents concerned about their kids and their kids secretly duping their parents into taking the Saab because Saabs are fun to drive and cool (and both being happy). It crosses generations.

            That is the direction I would go if I were in charge of Saab’s marketing. Because it really is Saab’s roots and is honest. There is something about honest marketing that avoids ridicule.

            • The first thing I would do it I were in charge of marketing would be to see if I could get a Saab to run the Iditarod.

              That would get some attention if it could.

              • Saab: You can drive something else,but what is the point?

                In fact, just as this past winter started, I looked up the driveway at the 9-5 and the Passat in driveway, thought of my wife’s 50 km commute over back roads, and came to a decision.

                I put new snow tires on the 9-5, and said, “I will feel better if you drive the Saab to work from now on, and handed her they key. 1 month later, we sold the Passat and found another 9-5 (2008 model) . Bought it the day before Saab declared bankrupty.

                No regrets. I would do it again. I don’t have to worry about my wife’s commute.

            • I completely agree and like your ideas on this. Esoteric “Born From Jets” deserved ridicule for several reasons which I won’t even go into. Suffice to say, it didn’t set the world on fire. I like the idea of touting the PRACTICAL side of Saab—-fuel economy, safety and especially the path you are on, which is what I view in a consumer world as rugged durability/reliability. In the U.S., products from Sweden are viewed fondly as being simple/uncluttered/cleverand whether it’s cars, furniture or a pocket knife—we view Swedish design as being “effective”—-something that “works.” That has to be the thrust of getting new buyers into Saabs. I love their old 1950s and 60s commercials on You Tube that show that the Saab is small on the outside, bigger than it looks on the inside, good traction in the snow—-these are things that people want in a car—-not a “jet legacy” which is utterly ridiculous. Yes, the brochures can and should talk about Saabs aviation roots and how that makes the car safer and better—-and makes the driving environment one that a driver and passenger will love. But “Born From Jets” didn’t connect the dots—-it made the aviation roots the reason someone should want the car but didn’t explain why. The ads need to show the car—interior, dash, exterior—show it driving in bad conditions—-just like the ads that established Saab in the first place. It’s very simple—Honda and VW built empires with simple ads that stressed practicality over all else.

      • I rarely (if ever) get passed by other cars as conditions worsen.

        The closest was actually a BMW one evening when it was raining cats and dogs. I was surprised to see him keep up with my 9000 and as we approached a segment of the road that added a spare lane, I kept my speed to see if he was really going to pass (my speed was not… uhm… conservative at the time). As he started the climb next to me, I disengaged my cruise control to bleed off some of my speed and aid his progress.

        What happened next was a puddle of water on his side of the road (probably on my side as well, can’t remember). That puddle really slowed him down and suddenly he dropped waaaay back. I re-engaged my cruise control and observed as his headlights faded in my mirror.

        There is no way I’d expect anything less from a Saab. I am not a good driver, so I need a decent car to compensate. The 9-3, 9000 and lastly my 9-5 have all exceeded my expectations.

        Oh, then there was this time when I met my twin. Another guy in a 9000 CS/CSE. Maybe even the same colour, but definitively the same style of driving. Together we passed two dozens of cars. His acceleration indicated the same engine size as mine (somewhere north of 200 bhp — exact number unknown but I suspect a previous owner has hidden away a few extra horsies not found in the registration papers). Uhm, but I digress. Our Saabs are not ordinary cars.

  16. IF Youngman wins, and buys SAAB. What dealernetwork will they use? Even if it only takes a couple of months to replace the GM-tecnology from the old generation 9-3 and start up produciton, the dealernetwork will mostly be closed down around the world. Mahindra, on the other hand, already HAS a dealernetwork through the SsangYong-dealers…..that can be used. I mean, what about the important markets in USA and UK? It will take some time to re-organize things……

    • Not sure about the rest of the world but I’m hoping most of the dealers here in the US that were Saab just sell used cars and whatever else they were licensed to sell. I know where I bought my last Saab also sold Porsches, so hopefully when the cars start rolling again they’ll just jump back on with Saab. The dealers who only work on Saab, I’m not sure…

    • There is no way its going to take a few months to replace GM tech. It will take a few years with all the testing and type approval required by law.

    • It will/or should take more than a couple of months to replace the GM technology. That is the least of the problems.

      Re-establishing a dealer network, parts distribution will take time, and no one will invest in restarting a dealership until they are convinced they have a reliable supply of product from a reliable supplier.

      At this point it will probably take 12 to 18 months to restart design and engineering and another 12 to 24 months of design and prototyping, then another 12 months to restart manufacturing and build up a supply.

      Let us hope that whoever is bidding is aware of all this and has the plans and the cash to carry through.

  17. IMO there was an oversaturation of SAAB dealers, especially in the USA. That expansion of the dealer network was part of GM thinking that SAAB should be a mainstream car brand. Shocking, they were wrong.

    To have a SAAB dealer for every Chevy dealer does not make sense mathematically. If a reasonable goal for SAAB Is to sell 100,000 cars per year then there is no way that a dealer network of its most recent size can be supported. When you factor in maintaining inventory on the lots to provide a good offering to the customers, sales staff, service & parts departments and all the other overhead, having close to 200 dealers in the USA does not financially work; a dealership selling 75 cars per year won’t be able to survive.

    IMO, the better idea is to calculate a per capita ration for residents to dealers for each state or metropolitan region. (example: 1 dealer per 1,000,000 residents – example numbers not serious math) or perhaps 1 dear per “x” number of statewide residents, etc.

    We know that the SAAB loyalists (most if not all of us here) would drive 30 – 60 extra minutes to a dealership in order to get the cars we love and in that vein I would guess that the crowd that SAAB appeals to would, for the most part, do the same.

    The drawback is for anyone that prefers to take their SAAB back to the dealer for service. Perhaps a solution is a new “Officially Licensed SAAB Service Station” network….I digress.

    But on the whole I think that we actually need to shrink the network a bit. That is just my two cents.

    • I really shouldn’t talk about dealerships or service stations, I live in such a rural area I have no idea what the saturation of Saab dealerships is… The closest dealer to me is literally 2 hours away so I never thought there were too many, but I live an hour from the closest mall, too… Also my Saab tech is an indie, he lives about 50 minutes away. Car had a leaking fuel line last summer, let me tell you, a 50 minute drive with gas spurting allover your car? Scary experience. (I know, I should have had it towed, but my income is literally 12,000 usd a year, a 200 dollar tow was sort of exceeding my monthly budget).

    • No, no, no—-there was no saturation of Saab dealerships in the U.S.A. I don’t know if GM increased the dealerships number by a large percentage—-but whatever they did, it wasn’t enough. Saab dealers are few and far between, even in metro areas. One of my biggest concerns taking my Saab on a long trip has always been the likelihood that if I break down somewhere, the nearest dealer will be hours away. This is simply not true that GM or anyone else oversaturated the U.S. with Saab dealers. There were never enough of them.

      • I agree. Too few. Not too many. However, Saab4Life has a point. The stand alone Saab dealer probably does not sell enough Saabs annually to make a stand alone dealer work, which is why they usually were paired with other brands.

    • There was no oversaturation of dealers in my area. However, an excellent long-time SAAB dealer told me that GM pressured him to build an expensive new facility. When he refused, his dealership was ultimately transferred to a GM automall. A short time later. another independent SAAB dealer (one of the oldest in the country) transferred their dealership to a GM automall store. From my perspective, this did not serve SAAB well, as the experience at one of these automalls is nothing like what I experienced at the older family run SAAB dealerships. I bought my latest SAAB out of state from another long time SAAB dealer rather than go the automall route. I may be unrealistic as the multiple franchise stores seem to be the way the industry has gone. Fortunately, some independent (or at least non-GM automall) SAAB dealers were able to survive. Hopefully, those that have continued to hang on will benefit from whatever arises from the bankruptcy.

      • Not sure how all of this works. I know that near where I grew up, there was only one Saab dealer in the general vicinity—-and it was in a somewhat isolated location, probably 40 minutes or more from where most of the potential customers were concentrated. There was another one in the opposite direction, again, maybe 40 minutes from the most populated area. Anyway, the one I was familiar with didn’t even have a showroom. Just a garage and a parking lot. Eventually, there was a showroom with enough space for one car—-they didn’t even have current brochures the last time I was there. They had a terrific reputation—-very easy going and low pressure when you were there to buy a car and very competent and fair with prices when you needed maintenance and repair. A real Mom and Pop shop if ever there was one. From what I heard—-this is the part I’m not sure about—-Saab had a lifetime exclusive agreement with them not to put another dealership within a certain radius—-including that populated area where the automall and a bunch of larger dealerships was located. This actually hurt Saab sales because people with the money to buy Saabs in the 80s, who might have considered one—-didn’t want to make that trip for purchase or return for service. They ended up in other cars. But from what I understand, the agreement was binding and even when Saab was more popular—-no new Saab dealers closer to town ever appeared. I wonder now—-with the bankruptcy—-if that agreement will be void?

    • I don’t believe GM increased the numbers in the US at all, I believe they DECREASED the numbers, especially in New England. There were quite a few small Saab dealers that were wonderful, and they went by the wayside as GM consolidated dealerships into GM/Cadillac dealerships that were not a great fit for the brand. In Vermont I can think of several small dealerships that went away, and this hurt the brand because it eliminated Saab from many of the markets that were at its core historically. GM wanted Saab dealers to be BMW/Lexus flashy and it eliminated many of the mom and pop Saab dealers that had been around since the 1950s and concentrated Saab dealers in the urban areas. This is a bad idea, dealers need to be close to customers or you lose the people who may love Saabs but are unwilling to travel hours for routine service. While I am sure there are exceptions, many of these GM dealerships, with their GM ways (Salesmen with too much Bryl Cream and too little knowledge practicing the hard sell) do not fit the Saab personality well. When we bought our 9-4 I looked at a Saab Cadillac dealership and had to forcefully explain to the salesman that I did not want a Cadillac, and would not drive a Cadillac even if it were the last car in the world, I am not old and/or deal drugs or play professional sports, why would I want one of those??? Another example of GM not getting it. Remember that Saab did not build its reputation in the US as an urban yuppie fighter. It moved into this area and was successful, but the rural market in educated areas was and is important, just like Volvo. Thank goodness we still have our small Saab/Volvo dealership in Western Mass. or we most likely would not have continued to purchase Saabs. I hate most traditional car salesmen who know little about their product and only practice the hard sell.

  18. The comments from US members about China being the big bad wolf scratching at the door of the Western world are amusing. Is this incontrovertible proof that Americans do in fact have a sense of irony? I am reminded that Saab is in fact a Swedish company, and the majority of Swedish people I know are at least as wary of American economic and military imperialism as they are about the Chinese variety.

    • I know the U.S. is percieved as being pompous and extremely mandating, and for the most part I agree, but I think most Saab drivers in the U.S. don’t feel that way. I can only speak for myself of course, and while I have no issue with China being the “most economically sound nation in the world” I do have a problem with everyone working fast food because China is the only country in the world developing and building products. It’s not about any country being the most powerful to me, it’s about a sense of local pride. The quality of products coming out of Sweden is mind boggling to me, and I absolutely adore all Swede made things I see. That being the case I would hate for the car brand I can’t see myself living without being whisked away to a country that doesn’t follow the same rules as the rest of the world and turned into sub-par plastic rubbish. It’s not about power, it’s about quality, pride, keeping people around the world employed, not just the Chinese because they make it for 30% less cost.

      • I don’t mind the west sharing technology with the east. But I stop at draining technology. The east should not be draining the west’s technology and leaving the west to be a dried up technology lake.

        It seems like the only country in the west that has been able to successfully fight this onslaught to date is Germany. The rest seem to be real targets of western technology drain. It could be that Germany’s time is coming as well.

      • Jesse Crandle

        I agree wholeheartedly.

        Sadly this is the way of the Corporate West. Design in the West, Manufacture in the East & charge ‘high’ profit margin to consumers.

        What always amazes me is the thought, that we are superior to the East in Design etc, when in fact they catch on & up very quickly.

        The only way we in the West even stay in the game is to protect our IP. I am sure the chinese makers of western phones [apple, etc] have taken the technology apart, but it is only IP that stops a cheaper versions.

        The West has to start manufacturing again & sooner not later.

      • Jesse: I’m sure you’ve heard of Apple Computer? The quality of their Made In China components is rated exceptionally high. I’m not sure, but isn’t Lenovo making the old IBM tablets/components in China and with very high performance/reliability? I’ve also read (Warren Brown/Washington Post auto writer) that Made in China Buicks have been clearly superior to Made In USA Buicks for many years and we’re just now catching up. He said he was actually angry when he first saw the Chinese made Buicks a few years ago—-materials, fit and finish to rival anything Lexus has ever made—-and we weren’t getting anything near that good in the U.S. My point is that yes, there is garbage from China all over the big box stores—-shoddy crap—-but with the right standards, there is no reason why a very high quality product, including a car, can’t be made in China. Jesse: What “rules of the world” are you referring to? If you mean trade and patent laws, I’m on board with you. They need to play on the same field as everyone else. If you’re talking about environmental laws, we part ways. The American EPA has been responsible for the destruction of more American jobs than anyone/anything else I can think of. Overreaching, oppressive rules and regulations have literally choked the life out of U.S. factories and businesses, sending them scurrying to Mexico, China and other places. I don’t want to export this frenzy of paranoia anywhere else. China can decide what is best for China’s environment. Maybe we can start to compete with them if we lighten up a little in this area.

        • I don’t know how old you are Angelo but I am old enough to remember the US having many environmental problems. I would not want to go back to those days. I saw some pretty nasty cities when I was young and smog was in every major city. China has that problem now. Same with Mexico. And pollution doesn’t know it is supposed to stop at the border.

          And again, Germany is able to compete with extensive regulation, so why can’t we? I don’t blame it on regulators as nearly as much as I blame it on Wall Street demanding a certain performance from management and management having to acquiesce to Wall Street.

          BMW spends about $14 per hour on its workers plus benefits and then about $60 per hour in Germany. Why? Because there is something in the German constitution that forbids management to abuse workers and there is nothing comparable in our constitution.

          American workers can hardly make a livable wage now in manufacturing and regulation compliance becomes the excuse to keep wages low. But in Germany, they manage to make the best products in the world with high wages and high regulations. The two are not mutually exclusive.

          • David: I’m old enough to remember that you could set Lake Erie on fire because of the amount of chemicals in it. I don’t want to go back to those days either. In it’s early years, the EPA was effective at writing practical legislation to correct environmental problems—and making sure there was enforcement. But like most things government, it grew out of control like a wild fire—-the department’s growth became the goal—not controlling pollution. David—-they are involved in things they have no business being involved in, sharing information with other government agencies, terrorizing land owners who want to build a house—do some research. I agree with Gingrich—-the EPA needs to be replaced by the ESA (Environmental SOLUTIONS Agency). There are farmers, ranchers and loggers who have lost everything because of a frog species or tiny fish no one else has even heard of, “found” on their land. There are reports of activists “planting” bog turtles so that construction projects are halted and cancelled. It’s out of hand. You mention Germany and I have a feeling they approach it in a far more balanced and sensible way, even if I might think they are overreaching too. Protecging a snail darter shouldn’t close down thousands of acres of farming (or anything else for that matter). I have first hand experience with American jobs going to Taiwan because of crushing EPA regulations about waste disposal (by-products of acid etching). Most of us know that there are other motives inside the EPA why these businesses are being closed down. China, India, Mexico—yes, I agree with you, they do have pollution problems (air and water). But they will never, ever go along with the litany of rules/regulations/penalties American industry is forced to comply with—nor should they.

            • Unfortunately what the regulatory process has become is a system where the government agencies have become the captives of the industry the agency is supposed to regulate. And what big business does is get its hand- picked people to control the management of the agencies and then big business uses the agency to drive out small business with regulations that impose huge burdens on small business and really do not regulate the industry at all.

              Most agencies do not actually regulate anymore, they just perpetuate monopoly.

        • Angelo, I actually bought a Thinkpad in 2007, and the quality is terrific. I also agree Apple products have a high level of quality as well, so that’s not my real concern, I just don’t want them to try and make Saabs 20,000 USD by cutting corners, making chintzy body panels that rust out in 5 years etc.

          Part of me wanting production to stay in Sweden has to do with the “big box store”. I feel like china is the big box store, and something about putting all my eggs in one basket (the Chinese basket) just doesn’t sit well with me. It’s like the saying, variety is the spice of life… I just want my vehicular spice to be Swede 🙂

          The rules I’m talking about are inflationary control mostly. Chinese government controlling their inflationary rate to keep foreign industry out of their country isn’t playing fair. Besides, something about a government intentionally repressing their people, even going so far as to censor the internet doesn’t sit well with me. I know all countries have their own problems, but I won’t support them if I don’t have to. I know, you could say the same about gasoline, but I actually go out of my way to buy gas from U.S. sources. Like I said, I don’t like all my eggs in one basket.
          We’re on the same page about regulations too, Angelo, don’t worry. Recently at my workplace they replaced the metal napkin holders in the lunch room with plastic ones because they were “made of recycled plastic”. Here’s a novel idea, keep using the old napkin holders and we’d save even more plastic because the old napkin holders worked JUST FINE! It’s all a publicity scam. I’m not saying we don’t have global impact, but sometimes it’s taken too far. It’s like p*ssing in the ocean and thinking you’ve killed all the fish, a bit of a god complex. The planet is powerful, and if we made the planet uninhabitable for ourselves we would die and the planet would rebuild itself.

          • There is a terrific excerpt from a stand-up routine by the late George Carlin, on You Tube. If you google or Bing “George Carlin environment” or words like that, it’ll pop up. He talks about how the planet will bury humans a lot faster than we’ll bury the planet. It’s extremely funny.

  19. I would like to add that I think Youngman will keep production in Sweden – there are so many advantages to European production which I don’t thing will change. Chinese production costs are rising (I know because I buy from Chinese factories at the moment!) and therefore it is likely that it won’t be much cheaper to produce in China in the future for the European market when all costs are taken into consideration.

  20. The Chinese do not buy Chinese made cars as reported by CNBC as part of a GM report.
    Computers are different than cars.
    Has anyone heard about the quality of Chinese made tires? Complete rubbish…

    http://www.smartmoney.com/spend/autos/are-chinese-car-parts-safe/
    I am all Saab having a life line..I believe if YM is Saab’s new owner, they will likely move the company over to China in the next few 5-10 years. Will I buy a Saab if Made in China? Will you?

    • Paul, I don’t know how intelligent YM is, but it would make sense to use Saab (engineering, technology) to create a chinese brand with western quality, and not move a factory to China loosing, maybe the name and the engineering quality.

    • I will buy my next car based on how much I like the car, how I perceive the quality to be, how I like driving it—-possibly how I expect resale value to be (though I keep my cars long enough that this isn’t usually a big factor). and if I could afford it. If it’s made in China, so be it. I have owned cars Made in the U.S., France, Korea, Sweden and my company car (though I didn’t buy it) is the one I drive the most, for work, and it was made in Japan. I’m game for any country of origin. It’s the car that matters to me.

    • Paul,
      You should know that the alloy wheels on SAAB 9-3s are made in China. Most electronic equipment sold in the UK, e.g. mobile phones, computers etc, is made in China. It`s my experience that the quality is good. But M&M is still my favourite buyer. (I believe BMW is wishful thinking).

      • My 07 9-3 has wheels are made in Poland.
        Virtually all electronics are made in China.
        It is difficult to buy anything for your home that is not made in China.
        The difference is that you do drive your coffee maker 70 mile per hour on the freeway.

      • Totally agree with you guys.

        Some are really jumping the gun over here.

        If I’d think the survival of SAAB, I’d first worry whether there would be any interested parties/companies to buy the whole thing and restart the car production without any GM licenses. I really don’t care who that party/company is, I just want my beloved car brand to survive.

        After that there’s plenty of time to worry whether the production will/won’t be moved to China.

        So in a nutshell:

        Point #1: is there a party/company who/which is willing to revice the production of SAAB cars?
        Point #2: is the production gonna go to China for example?

        If we think about the possible combinations, they are:
        1. Point #1: yes, Point #2: no,
        2. Point #1: yes, Point #2: yes,
        3. Point #1: no, Point #2:no

        Ideal situation would be combination 1, but I’d also stand combination 2, if the quality of the products won’t be sacrificed. Just for the sake of keeping the brand alive.

        • I’d still settle for #2 over #3, even if the quality is compromised. Why? Because as long as there is a living Saab, things can change and improve. If the initial quality is poor or if they rebrand models as Saabs that don’t meet our expectations, that is a bad thing. Some would say it is so bad—-they’d rather see the brand fade into history so that the name isn’t dragged down and we have memories of “lousy” Saabs. I disagree with that. I think the goal should be the survival of this brand by any means necessary—-as I said, improvement can come in leaps and bounds after a sluggish start. If there is NO start, there won’t be anything.

          • Yes, I’d also stand that if the quality is not dropped to “P.O.S. level”. As long SAAB cars are produced and they’re somehow loyal to their roots, I really don’t care whether they’re produced in Sweden or elsewhere if the brand can survive. But of course I’d prefer the manufacturing plant located in Trollhättan.

            And all Swedish guys, don’t get me wrong: I’d like to see the jobs guaranteed in Trollhättan but if I’d have to choose between SAABs manufactured, for example in China or no SAABs at all, I’d rather choose the first alternative.

        • This is what concerns me. When a product is not made in Sweden, even though it is designed there, will it still have the Swedish concerns built into it? I don’t think a Saab built in Alabama would be made to the same standards as a Saab built in Trollhatten. If something is not working right on the assembly line, the assembly line might be stopped in Trollhatten and not in Alabama. To an Alabama manager, the problem might not be significant because the odds of this problem being material in and Alabama environment might be near zero. But the same problem in Sweden might cause a frequent problem in a Swedish environment. I think there is much to be said concerning what kind of environment the workers live in. The harsher the environment, the more the workers realize that mistakes or imperfections matter.

  21. Has the deadline to submit a bid for Saab now passed? If so, isn’t it public information who the bidders were? Isn’t this now considered a public matter? I can’t say for sure, but I think in the U.S., a similar situation would be a matter of public record if anyone wanted details. There is obviously some information that might be treated as confidential (for the protection of the bidders and their possible shareholders) but I think here, the public would have a right to at least know who had made bids and was being considered—-because aren’t the Receivers appointed by elected officials? Isn’t the Swedish government financially involved, making taxpayers there financially involved? The secrecy of this is fanning the flames of rumors. “Sunshine Laws” or disclosures do a wonderful job of killing rumors. Also—-I understand that bidders might not want the public to know that are in the process because it’s viewed as a “loss” if they aren’t chosen. Tough. Business is business and if the public interest is at stake, the public has a right to know who is being considered. Am I way off on this?

    • I am a US lawyer, but not a bankruptcy lawyer, so I am not absolutely certain what would happen if this were a US bankruptcy proceeding. But I would think if this were a US bankruptcy proceeding, that any potential purchaser of Saab or its assets, would have to formally file any offer for purchase with the clerk of the bankruptcy court, which would make all offers publicly accessible.

      To do otherwise would go against the “open courts” doctrine. There are situations where documents can be “filed under seal” meaning they are not for public disclosure, but usually such a filing requires court approval.

      But maybe someone in Sweden could find out what filings are public and what filings are not in this situation.

  22. TV4 had an exclusive interview with Youngman today. They say that they will build Lotus cars in the plant in Trollhättan untill the new Saab is ready for production.

    • Wonder how long it would take to start up Lotus, it’s not done with a snap of your fingers.
      It certainly depends on how they thought.
      Only drive there finished bodywork and running through the painting and assembly, then it should go relatively quickly, but cost a lot of freight to and from China.
      But to make them from sheet metal parts, this will probably require a lot of work in the body.
      They probably have a plan for this but I do not think it would be possible to produce something at least in half a year.
      They didn’t say anything about the current 9-3, maybe they don’t bother to try to produce it either.

      Well, the time will tell.
      The bidder who can take back most people (not only engineers) and have a good plan, wins me back (if I don’t get another job before).

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