Fiat buys 50% of VM Motori

Swades friend Pär Brandt asks in automotorsport.se if the the acquisition of 50% of VM Motori by Fiat could help Saab.

In the past VM Motori was owned by Penske. On 2007 Penske sold half of its shares to GM. On Monday February 14 Fiat Powertrain announced that they had bought the remaining shares from Penske.

The new owner structure of VM Motori is 50% Fiat 50% GM.

GM stooped the development of the V6 Diesel at the end of 2008 because of their money problems, and after Cadillac left the European market and Saab was put for sale, GM had no use for that engine.

Could the new ownership structure of VM Motori help Saab to gain access to a much needed big diesel for the European market?

On the one hand, Fiat needs such a big diesel engine for cars like the new Thema/300c, thus Fiat should develop a production version of that engine. Saab developed the 9-5 and the 9-4x with this engine in mind, thus the cost of the integration of this engine should be minimal.

On the other hand, Mr. Marchionne and Mr. Muller don’t seem to be best friends, so it could be difficult to convince Fiat to sell some engines to Saab at a reasonable price.

My personal thought is: If Fiat buys the GM shares, then Saab won’t get access to that engine. If GM keeps its shares, it could be possible for Saab to regain access to that engine thanks to GM.

And one last note; many people think that Saab gets its Diesel engines from Fiat, but this is not the case. The original 1.9L Diesel engine single Turbo found in the 9-3 was co-developed between Fiat and GM, since then GM-Powertrain Italy, owned 100% by GM, is in charge to develop the Diesel engines.

Tuesday Night Snippets

Another piece of small market sales data…..

I’ve just heard there were 11 Saabs sold in Singapore in January 2011. Small numbers, sure, but considering they only sold 13 all year in 2010, it’s a very encouraging start.

The Saab 9-5 was launched in Singapore on January 5 (and check out the interior panel!)

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RedJ has made contact and is working on a story about this….. which should be quite interesting

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Speaking of engineering, TTELA report that Saab’s engineering reorganisation continues. This was first reported via press release last month.

According to TTELA, around two thirds of the 200 employees have been re-deployed to other areas within Saab. There are negotiations with employees for supported severance packages, which are mainly being taken up by those closer to retirement age.

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It was nice to see the Playsam Saab model included in a WSJ toys article over the weekend…..

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A red Saab 9-3x – otherwise known as my current dreamSaab.

Owned by Stefan, who’s loving the XWD system in the Swedish winter.

click.

GM and VM Motori 2.9 V6 diesel no longer on hold – now cancelled

I reported last night that the 2.9l V6 diesel being developed by VM Motori and to be used in the Saab 9-4x and 2010 Saab 9-5 had been paced on hold due to issues at the coalface in Italy.
I’ve had a note passed on to me by my mates at Auto Motor and Sport, saying that the engine program is now cancelled. This was confirmed to them via email from Saab Sweden.

GM has taken the decision to cancel the 2.9 V6 Diesel engine program which is a result of current market conditions and the consequent financial concerns. In December 2008, GM confirmed the engine would be delayed approximately 12 months. However, the final decision has been made to cancel the engine program.

Saab also emphasised that they have other diesel options for the Saab 9-4x and Saab 9-5, without stating what those options were.
Saab’s current diesel engines are great performers and when tweaked a little by Saab’s official tuners, Hirsch, they get even better. The loss of the V6 may be felt at the upper end of the new Saab 9-5’s market, however.
Do Saab have another diesel option up their sleeve? We’ll have to wait and see, I guess.

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