Jonsson on Saab buyers, Andersson on the 2010 Saab 9-5, Winterkorn on scrap – interview snippets

So many interviews going around and there’s so little time to cover them all!
How in the world is one blogger supposed to fit in a day job?
Dagens Industri have published an interview with GM’s purchasing chief, Bo Andersson. Yes, he’s Swedish.
I’m having to read-between-the-translation here, but I suspect that Saab’s outstanding creditors bill was so big because there was a lot of 2010 Saab 9-5 tooling included in it. Here’s a rough translation from one section:

The five biggest suppliers/creditors are Lear, IAC, Aisin Warner, Arcelor Mittal and Thyssen Krupp. “we have no problems with the deliveries to Saab now”, says Andersson.
The suppliers may also paid for the tools that have been produced for the new 9-5 model where the development work almost is clear.
“I count with that it new 9-5 the model can be launched during the end of 2009”, says Andersson.

If I’m misinterpreting that, please let me know.
The Wall Street Journal have an article with a few bits from Jan-Ake Jonsson, in Geneva.
Apparently talks are going to ramp up this week with those 7 or 8 interested parties (I wish someone would tell us whether it’s 7 or 8), though this bit is a cause for concern:

Saab is working with Deutsche Bank and has begun discussions with potential investors from both the auto industry and with investors outside the industry. He declined to name any of Saab’s suitors, but said it is possible a deal could be completed by next year.

My emphasis added.
I don’t want to startle anyone – BUT SAAB DON’T HAVE UNTIL NEXT YEAR!!!!!! GM will help out only until December 31st of this year. And that’s if they make it that long themselves.
Hopefully it’s a typo and they meant next weekend 🙂
The WSJ aren’t being glass-half-full types:

With the global auto industry hitting the brakes amid widespread economic downturn, Saab’s chances of finding another investor appears to be an uphill battle.
“A key issue for a buyer is going to be whether they can cut an attractive deal (for both sides) with GM regarding manufacturing capacity, supply base continuity, and access to future platforms that are already in the pipeline,” Michael D. Benson, an investment banker with Stout Risius Ross Advisors in Southfield, Mich., said

And finally, Volkswagen chief, Martin Winterkorn, has been interviewed by Spiegel. When not whining about prospects of the German government bailing Opel – something for which he’s rightly concerned, I guess – he takes time to mention a policy that the Swedish government should be implementing.

SPIEGEL: The German government also wants to help the auto industry. It has already earmarked €1.5 billion ($1.88 billion) for scrapping bonuses. Doesn’t this chiefly promote the purchase of small Italian and French cars?
Winterkorn: We also benefit from it, and that’s why such programs are okay. They do not exclusively help the companies in one country. It is important to ensure that we too will experience a significant boost as a result. And that is the case. Normally, about 2,000 people a day order a Volkswagen in Germany. That number jumped to more than 6,000 in February. Dealerships have been staying open until 10 p.m. on Saturdays. Based on order volume, this will be the best February in many years.

The scrapping bonus is where the government pays you, as the owner of an old, polluting vehicle, to scrap it in favour of buying a nice shiny clean vehicle.
I’m amazed the Swedes, with their enviro-credentials, -aspirations and -foresight haven’t instituted something like this as well. I know the car industry over there has been calling for it and it seems to be a good way to stimulate the sector without favouring one particular brand.
Makes sense, especially in these difficult times.

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