Maud on Saab’s Failure

The growing criticism towards SweGov made Maud “Windmill” Olofsson defend the stace she and the government took in the Saab affair (from

– We never said no to Vladimir Antonov, it was GM and the EIB. The power was with the EIB, which lent the money, this knew Victor Muller says Olofsson to Svenska Dagbladet.

I don’t want to be picky here, but as far as GM is concerned James Cain told a different story about Vladimir. But after all, annoyed me about SweGov was not what they did, it was what they did not do. A positive public statement could have been helpful, instead the politicians in charge at best took a duck and cover attitude. Quite often they even talked down Saab.

Of course Maud is right when she states that the reason for Saabs failure are to be found within the company. But when it comes to the obstacles Saab had to face on the quest for survival she was one of those adding a few more, even if just through doing nothing. Not surprising to see her point at everybody else now.

This is again something that makes me worry about that Japanese electric consortium involved in the bidding process. It will be hard enough to keep all members of the consortium on board over the long period until their plan could generate profit, but with govermental involvement – I don’t even want to think about that.

27 thoughts on “Maud on Saab’s Failure”

    • It’s a pity that her version is now considered the truth.
      Checking TTELA i found the usual hate towards Saab, VM, Saab-huggers and Saab-workers.
      Someone with a clear head (not me, I’m too angry) should respond in some way.

      By the way – I read that there is a new Opel Omega coming. A front wheel drive car slightly larger than the Insignia. What are the odds that this is Saab 9-5 in a new shell, and the reason for GM:s bull&/&¤*/§# ?

  1. Methink that the main qustion that should be asked is why GM twice selected about the smallest and finanically weakest bidders they could possibly find to dumb Saab to. All else developed from this.

    It also appears that to do nothing is a Swedish habbit. Look at the time frame of the bancruptcy. It now looks as if a new buyer for Saab will be found as soon as the last building in Trollhättan collpased under its age, and when the grandchildren of the Saab workers tell stories of old, of better times in Trolllhättan that used to be when they were kids or not born yet.

  2. So many aspects of this process have been botched over the last 3 years—-sometimes deliberately, sometimes through incompetence, sometimes maybe bad luck—-it’s hard to know where to begin. Right now, time is the enemy. There was a legitimate chance for some sort of Saab car company to emerge from this bankruptcy successfully—-a Youngman, Mahindra—-perhaps a European maker—-a chance to sell cars as Saabs. It’s slipping away as this drags on.

    • Depending on the available portfolio it will take 12 to 24 months to restart the factory. So I don’t get that eternal whining that a few days are crucial now. They are not. The main thing is who will buy Saab, not if the contracts are signed in April or May.

      • I am one of those that prefers things to go easy and carefully though…as long as the future won’t be entirely electric and not even the brand name is saved.

      • You’re right—a few more days won’t matter. A few more months might. This should have already been settled and the groundwork should have begun to rebuild the company. It’s been an inefficient and ridiculous process. I’d hate to be in the middle of a stroke or heart attack with you as the doctor—-literally evaluating things to death. It’s called paralysis by analysis and these receivers have it as bad as I’ve ever seen in business. Also, one of the reasons why time matters is perception and image—-being dragged through the mud isn’t a good place to be. Faster decisions mean faster healing. I’ll maintain that an intelligent middle school student could have figured out in short order who the best bidder was/is and gotten the show on the road 1-2 months ago. They’re beating a dead horse to another death.

    • Rush towards what? I really don’t know what they have to sell right now. Restart the factory and produce what? There is no product. There is time. There are assets and IP that need a safe harbor to sit in. Hopefully there wil be capital for R&D and then-at some point-Saab cars.

  3. How smart was it to let EIB loan the money but give full guarantees for the loan? The Government took all the risk while EIB got all the interest payments and had full control of the loan terms. I have asked this question before without answer. What was the benefit for the SweGov with this solution???

  4. Absolutely right. GM and the EIB would have been much more likely to support SAAB’s cause if the government of the country in which SAAB’s production was based had expressed strong support for the Company. The Swedish Government chose not to be a proponent for SAAB. For them to now say that other parties (GM and EIB) with less to gain from the situation than the country of Sweden are the villians is the epitome of political buck passing. The fact that they are pointing at GM and the AIB rather than explaining their reasons for turning their back on SAAB may indicate that they know they made a mistake and want the blame to land elsewhere.

    • This is exactly right. There is a very incestuous relationship between European governments and the EIC. The EU member states dump money into the EIC and the EIC basically hands it back to the member states through loans for innovative companies. At the time that the Saab/EIB/VA things played I think there was a Swedish chairman of the EIB. The Swedish government had big leverage in the EIC, but in public they didn’t do a damn things and I wouldn’t be surprised that in private they did everything they could to deprive Saab from get any leniency from the EIB.
      Water on the bridge of course, but that doesn’t mean that the main culprits cannot still nailed to the cross.

  5. Maud can do no more damage.
    Best to forget her and her son who tried and failed to get a job with SAAB.

  6. And the EIB lack of approval side of the story:Antonov on crime and Saab

    For people not familiar with local conditions, a lot of the intellegentia in the baltic states have lived and worked in Sweden during the soviet era. To the extent that it is unlikely that the Swedish governement was unaware of the Lithuan goverments thoughts on Antonov.

  7. It seems to me the whole Swedish government should have stepped in and done more. I know politics are different in Europe but SAAB, is a Swedish ICON! In my eyes it makes Sweden look bad. They don’t care about their “WORKING PEOPLE” having jobs.

    I know SAAB will ascend soon! Really it makes me very pizzed to see a concept like SAAB turned into a mess. The passion and brains that went into the original SAAB, is what keeps me believing in SAAB.

    VM, GM and Maud can get in a Cadillac and drive it in to the atlantic ocean.

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