Saab Independence Day in THN – who’s going?

Saab have announced a celebration event happening in Trollhattan to commemorate one year since being bought by Spyker Cars.

The Saab media page…..

Exactly one year after the sale of Saab Automobile was completed, employees will celebrate Saab’s first year of independence with an afternoon of presentations, awards and entertainment.

….and the Facebook page both give the smallest insight as to what’s happening:

On the 23rd of February we celebrate Saab’s one year anniversary as an independent car manufacturer. Want to join in on the virtual celebration? Just click attend the event, and stay posted here on the Page. Exciting things to come.

Click here to stay updated on the Facebook page.

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Exactly what this event will entail is still shrouded in mystery, however we have received some clues already.

Saab’s Geneva preview site indicates that there will be two premieres on the 23rd of February:

  • The Independence Edition Saab 9-3 Convertible
  • The Saab 9-3 Griffin range

So that’s something to look forward to. I’m not sure where those premieres will take place, but the Saab Museum might be a good bet.

Which leads us to ask the question – who’s going to be there?

I’ll bet all the Trollhattan locals who tune in here will be on site and I’ve got at least one mate from England who’s going to make his annual pilgrimage for this event. Anyone else heading along?

I wish I could make it there myself, but I’ve been commandeered by Saab Oz to do a presentation for their new dealer body as to what happened a year ago and the role that you all played in it 🙂

Additional reconstuction reading from the press

More fodder for those or you looking for a different angle on things….
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From Forbes: Saab Bids GM Farewell
Defining quote:
“Today is the beginning of a new chapter in Saab’s history,” says Jan Ake Jonsson, managing director of Saab. “We are now recreating Saab Automobile as an independent unit. The road ahead will not be easy.”
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From CNNMoney: GM Units In Europe, Korea, Appeal For Aid To Stay Open
Defining quote:
“[Let’s picture] Saab as an independent car company with … low sales volumes,” said state secretary Joran Hagglund at the Swedish Ministry of Enterprise, Energy and Communication. “If you listen to analysts, then they say there’s not a chance such a company can survive. So what I’m really saying is that you should keep your expectations very low.”
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From Bloomberg: Saab Seeks Protection From Creditors as GM Pulls Out
Defining quote:
“Unless the Swedish government is prepared to put a lot of money into Saab, I think that this is just another step down the road to the graveyard,” said Stephen Pope, chief global strategist at Cantor Fitzgerald in London.
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From Reuters: Saab Story
Defining quote:
“Saab said it would seek funding from public and private sources through the reorganization, and that GM would provide liquidity.”
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From Sky News, UK: Safe, Strong And Not Here For Long
Defining quote:
“The question is who’s going to want to put up that sort of money for a for a company that can’t stand on its own two feet? “
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From the Sydney Morning News: Sweden ready to let Saab drive off cliff
Defining quote:
“Saab employs 4100 workers in Sweden, and another 10,000 jobs are linked to subcontractors, making it an industrial powerhouse in a country of just 9 million. Unemployment in Sweden reached 7.3 per cent in January.”

Could GM sell Saab – even if they wanted to?

Sorry, but this financial crisis stuff is just too big to let go for too long. It’s taken another twist today with GM’s boss Rick Wagoner doing an interview with Automotive News:

General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner says GM’s financial distress is so dire that it must line up financial assistance from Washington before President-elect Barack Obama takes office in January.
“This is an issue that needs to be addressed urgently,” Wagoner said during an exclusive interview today with Automotive News. Now is the time to “overshoot, not undershoot” when it comes to assistance for the auto industry, he added.

The problems with this scenario are numerous.
First, you’ve got the fact that President Bush still holds the reins until January 20, and he’s already said “no” once. GM are eligible for a share of $25billion that’s aimed at getting more fuel efficient cars on the road, but what they want is access to another $25billion just to keep the lights on.
There are a number of commentators now saying that maybe GM should get a payout, that the consequences of letting them go bankrupt would be too dire to contemplate:

“If GM goes down, it will take down companies like Lear and Johnson Controls,” Wolkonowicz says. “That will shut Ford down, and it would shut down production at Toyota and Honda. They would go down like dominoes.”
One supplier CEO agreed. “Any occurrence of bad debt would be a death blow to the industry,” said the executive, who asked not to be identified because he does business with the Detroit 3.
“If GM filed for bankruptcy, … the impact would be so catastrophic that it would make the current industrial downturn look like a walk in the park.”

But many are also saying that if they do get a payout, there should be some pretty serious strings attached. Strings that look like nooses, perhaps. Around the collective necks of the current powers that be. This from the Wall Street Journal:

Read moreCould GM sell Saab – even if they wanted to?

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