By on December 18, 2011

Tomorrow is he day when the court in Vänersborg will decide whether to lift creditors’ protection, thereby throwing Saab to the circling wolves. Even a bankrupt Saab wold have a slim chance of survival. However, there is a higher court that holds Saab’s fate in its hands. That court sits in Detroit and is called GM. That court has spoken. The verdict is:

No.

GM has the rights to the technology in its hands, and without that technology, Saab is just a name. A name which Saab AB, the defense company, would like to get back as quickly as possible anyway. GM had said no to several proposals so far. The latest deal that had been cooked-up involves selling a subsidiary to China’s Youngman. Rather naively, Muller seems to think that this way, a cooperation of GM is not necessary.

GM is rather miffed by ”the various new investment/sale/loan proposals that have been floated by Saab in recent days, including statements that inaccurately suggest that the consent of GM is not required for them to move forward.”

Through is spokesman James R. Cain, GM made the following statement today, deliberately ”in advance of the hearing” on Monday:

“Saab’s various new alternative proposals are not meaningfully different from what was originally proposed to General Motors and rejected. Each proposal results either directly or indirectly in the transfer of control and/or ownership of the company in a manner that would be detrimental to GM and its shareholders. As such, GM cannot support any of these proposed alternatives.”

Something else will happen on Monday: The unions representing Saab workers will check the bank accounts whether the unpaid salaries have come in. No money, no support by the unions for a continuation of the reconstruction process, union representatives told the Göteborgs Posten. That money would have to come from Youngman. With the verdict from GM, Youngman would be crazy to pay.

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20 Comments on “Our Daily Saab: The Detroit Court Says No...”


  • avatar
    jeff_vader

    According to di.se a few hours ago, they have seen an email that says that Youngman are not returning Victors calls today.

    I wonder why?

  • avatar
    Tstag

    Let’s wait and see if Muller manages to engineer a miracle and someone ‘buys’ Saab then those buyers won’t be doing so without taking sound legal advice….

  • avatar
    seanx37

    I hope they can keep this up until at least mid January. All the TV shows are in reruns for the holidays. We need our entertainment

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      What? All the Christmas specials and college football bowls aren’t enough? Don’t worry, the bankruptcy finding doesn’t prevent further court action. Liquidation can be a very messy process, with creditors vying for their piece of the action. There’s a lot of lawyering left to be done.

      • 0 avatar
        Seán Moloney

        A liquidation? Please. What would there be to liquidate? Most of the technology belongs to GM, as far as I can remember Saab entered into an agreement with Youngman that would see them get the PhoeniX technology. The property has a clause written in that should Saab fail, Hemfosa will gain the remaining 50% of the property, the brand name belongs to Saab AB, and the parts division is being held by the government as collateral for the EIB loan. What else is there for any other suppliers? The Saab museum? I don’t think that will bring in the money. The employees will be covered by government benefits. But I’m afraid that the only supplier to gain anything out of a bankruptcy and liquidation would be GM. The big guy wins again.

      • 0 avatar
        Robert.Walter

        I’m not sure how GM benefits under the scenario you’ve painted.

      • 0 avatar
        Seán Moloney

        I didn’t say GM would benefit. I’m saying that GM would be the only supplier to gain anything out of a Saab liquidation. Ie, it’s own technology back.

      • 0 avatar
        th009

        GM doesn’t actually “get anything back.” The licensing agreements that SAAB had will simply expire.

  • avatar

    Maybe one of these days I’ll go down to the National Automotive History Collection and read contemporary accounts of Studebaker’s last days. In the case of Studebaker, the BOD wanted to get out of the car biz and pretty much made the brand’s death a foregone conclusion.

  • avatar
    PaulVincent

    Well, I can understand why an upstanding company like G.M. wouldn’t go for something as squalid as bankruptcy. Good to see that G.M. hasn’t lowered its standards.

  • avatar
    jeff_vader

    Announced tonight that Rachel Pang of Youngman, who was due to be at the hearing tomorrow, has now been taken ‘seriously ill’ and will not be attending….

    Of course this is a real illness and has nothing whatsoever to do with the recent statements of GM.

  • avatar
    saabista63

    In whatever way the SAAB-story ends, it will not be one of the things GM can be proud of.
    However, I don’t want to join the “Blame-GM!”-chorus here – enough has been said, sung and sworn.

    Just this: A took a little ride in a 2002 SAAB 9-5 the other day – just long enough to remember what some people hate and others love about those cars. After all, it doesn’t have much to do with GM, but a lot with their Swedishness.

    There’s no doubt the world will move on without SAAB. On the other hand, there has always been space enough for TWO Swedish car brands – and that is not going to change from one day to the other!

    • 0 avatar
      Robert.Walter

      The world moved-on from SAAB long ago. The only thing GM need be embarrassed about w.r.t. SAAB is that they didn’t recognize this in time to buy such a capital-burning management-distraction in the first-place, and that they still hadn’t the balls to euthanize it before they drifted into Ch.11.

      • 0 avatar
        Hildy Johnson

        I don’t know why GM decided to buy SAAB, but when they did, SAAB was very well regarded in Europe. Its brand appeal then was at least on par with Volvo and stronger than Audi.

        If SAAB had been bought by a sensible company, say, one of the big Germans or Japanese, it would have prospered. It was GM’s own reverse Midas touch that ruined it.

      • 0 avatar
        th009

        In 1990? I don’t think so. By then SAAB’s bread-and-butter 900 was already 12 years old (and based on a 22-year-old platform).

        Meanwhile, Audi was selling some 300,000 80/90 models (the A4 predecessor) a year. In comparison, the 900 only sold about 1M cars over its 20-year lifespan. And the Volvo 700 series was outselling the SAAB 9000 by something like a 3:1 ratio as well.

        GM didn’t help any but SAAB was already walking wounded by that time.

  • avatar
    jeff_vader

    Swedish TV is reporting tonight that Youngman are now out. Which possibly explains Rachel Pang’s sudden illness.

    Going.

    Going.

    Gone?

  • avatar
    gslippy

    Several makes sell more cars in one hour than Saab sells in a month. Enough, already. There is no business case here.

  • avatar
    Bimmer

    IKEA should buy SAAB. Then one would buy it at the store, assemble it as a hatchback or a wagon and come back to the IKEA to pickup boxes of furniture!

    • 0 avatar
      dvp cars

      …….IKEA/SAAB….a great idea, and IKEA has the money to do it. They would quickly design a car that needs only 1 or 2 hex wrenches to replace modular systems with cute Scandinavian nicknames……..need a new, all-in-one ignition pack (“SPARKUS”?), try aisle 15, right beside the in-store restaurant ($1.99 Swedish meatball specials are an additional plus). Forget about aluminum, steel, and carbon fiber, give us a modern Cedar unibody with a choice of veneers, and comfy reindeer-hide interiors. Build it and they will come……as if IKEA’s airport-size parking lots aren’t full enough already!


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