Mrs Swade had a very nice birthday, thanks very much. We can highly recommend Mao’s Last Dancer. Great film.
In case you hadn’t seen it on the birthday posting:
Given that I was taking the evening off, I kept my word to the Mrs and didn’t open things up here until this morning. I’ve now just read all of your birthday wishes out loud as we had breakfast and needless to say my little blog-widow of a wife was deeply touched being the recipient of so much goodwill from all around the world.
You all have made her day, and we are both very thankful for your generosity of spirit and well wishes. It’s still October 7 in Belgium, where she was born, so technically I still read them all to her on her birthday, too!
GM’s marketing maven, Mark La Neve, has decided to leave the company in mid-October.
I’m assured that he was a nice guy, but I’m also convinced he was as helpful to Saab as a cabbage. I’m sure he’ll land on his feet.
For those who are interested in GM’s progress (they’re planning an IPO next year and you might want to buy some shares – this is not advice, just an observation)
DETROIT (Reuters) – General Motors Co provided an update on its restructuring Wednesday, three months after emerging from a government-sponsored bankruptcy.
Details from GM’s progress report follow:
* To release third-quarter financial results in mid-November, preparing for initial public offering next year.
* Business plan being developed on assumption that U.S. auto industry sales will reach 11.5 million vehicles in 2010.
* Preliminary third-quarter global market share 11.9 percent, compared with 12.4 percent in 2008; U.S. market share 19.5 percent, compared with 22.1 percent in 2008.
* Expects to have 41 U.S. plants at the end of 2009, down from 47 at the end of 2008; figures exclude plants reacquired from former parts unit Delphi. GM has acquired Delphi’s global steering business and four other key plants.
* Has 49,200 U.S. hourly workers as of Wednesday, down from 62,000 at the end of 2008 but higher than planned because buyout programs were not as well-subscribed as expected.
* Has 24,300 U.S. salaried workers, down from 29,700 at the end of 2008; expects to have 23,000 to 24,000 salaried workers at the end of 2009.
* Has 5,800 U.S. dealers, down from 6,375 at the end of 2008; plans to have 5,600 at the end of 2009.
* Expects to complete the sale of its Saab and Hummer brands by the end of 2009; also working toward the sale of a controlling stake in its European Opel brand. GM will retain a 35 percent stake in Opel.
Back to some Saabier stuff for a moment:
Kevin Miller at Autosavant has written a great article on the re-emergence of the hatchback called The Shape of Things to Come. Again.
Of course, the Saab 9000 is cited as the beginnings of the high-end, five-door hatchback and Kevin runs through the various players currently introducing this configuration to their lineup.
BRING BACK THE HATCH!!
PS – Kevin owns a nice black/orange C900 and knows his classic Saabs.
Jalopnik have two articles worth checking out today:
A video tour of Rolls Royce by National Geographic’s Ultimate Factories programme.
For the gamers……A full list of vehicles for Forza Motorsport 3. Unfortunately the rumour that we’ve heard about a possible Saab 96 inclusion amongst classic vehicles has turned out to be inaccurate. There’s a Turbo X in there, as well as a 2002 Saab 9-3.
The Forza 3 fail becomes a win! The Saab Turbo X is in the game. Hopefully without the real-life depreciation…
Web humour. Don’t you just love it?
Cheer up, X owners. You’ve still got one of the most advanced and best Saabs ever made and once they’re back on their feet again, that value might even rise again. Or stabilise, at least.