By on December 20, 2011

After delegations of Pangda and Youngman had travelled to Trollhättan to inspect the factory, one returning Chinese traveler mentioned to a contact of mine that the factory is great, but it’s in the wrong place. In Sweden, workers would earn way too much and go home early, contrary to the Chinese worker, who would have a much higher work ethic for less money, the traveler opined. If all goes well (for the Chinese,) the Trollhättan factory will come to China. Usually well informed Sveriges Radio reports that Youngman is interested in buying the Saab assets in a bankruptcy sale.

Updated with Victor Muller’s press conference.

This interest has been confirmed by Hans Bergqvist, one of the bankruptcy administrators assigned to the case. What Youngman would be buying is a factory, free of obligations, but also free of any technology licenses and without the Saab name. According to Sveriges Radio, Youngman thinks that the current 9-3 does not need a nod from GM.

A Turkish company also appears to be interested. The Turkish embassy in Stockholm has established contact.

UPDATE: Victor Muller’s press conference can be seen below (courtesy: Saabs United)

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16 Comments on “The Saabstermath: The Picking Of The Carcass Begins...”


  • avatar
    Pig_Iron

    This is me… holding my breath. Will the plant move?-No. The equipment?-Maybe, depends on how hard (product specific) it is. The tooling?-It “belongs” to GM. (Who is renowned for abandoning it *outdoors* at suppliers for years.) The designs?-No way, that’s GM’s jealously guarded IP. Engines?-Transmissions?-All are now GM’s. All the other parts, assemblies and systems come from outside suppliers, and most of those are already made in China. All that’s left is a famous marque and a product who’s production is forbidden by GM.

    In a similar vain to Shere Khan above, here is LadyDiWolfe singing Chaplin’s (et al) Smile:

    • 0 avatar

      If you’re going to embed videos and photos, please remember to use the size tags to keep them 500 pixels wide or less. A standard photo aspect ratio (eg. 3076 x 2304) works out to 500×375. The YouTube embedding code has an option for size.

      eg:

      [img src=\"image.jpg\" width=\"500\" height=\"375\"/]

      substitute > for ] and < for [

  • avatar
    Feds

    Alright Guys, I’ve got a plan:

    Let’s pool our money together, and get a bid in on this auction. Once we own the factory and the branding, we’ll design and develop a tear-drop shaped small car inspired by the original 92. With that one retro-inspired small car, we’ll relaunch the brand in North America. 18 months from today.

    3 years later, we’ll launch a mid-sizer based on the original 900. And by based on, I mean original tooling for the body, but with a diesel. And a manual. And a through-the-road hybrid option, but only on the convertible.

    With annual sales of 500,000 units per model line, we’ll be able to finance our coup de grace on the North American market: A Compact Luxury CUV with styling inspired by the Sonnet III. For this one, we’ll leverage all of our brand strengths: Keys in the floor, 2-stroke engines, front wheel drive, turbochargers, and jets!

    Those 3 lines will do 6,000,000 annual sales in the US alone. Nevermind china… Man, we’ve totally got a guy in China, and once the Chinese see how much the US loves us, then we won’t be able to keep stock.

    Labour issues? Nah, we’ve got that covered too. There are literally tonnes of Saab enthusiasts who’d jump at the chance to come to the factory and pay us to assemble Saabs. We’ll sell it like a luxury experience camp. Labour is a revenue stream under this plan. Besides, robots do all the work anyway.

    Who’s with me? Reply below with your email address, and I’ll let you know where you can send payment. Just note that if we’re not successful at the auction, I probably won’t be able to refund your contribution.

    • 0 avatar
      Flybrian

      Don’t repost this on GM’s Facebook; you may actually start getting PayPals from these hopeless folks…

      • 0 avatar
        dejal1

        Someone should post that GM’s Facebook. Because they would send money. Saabs (if selling at list) are priced above the average price of a car in the US. I would assume the same in the rest of the world.

        How did these enthusiasts earn enough money to afford these things? It can’t be because of their brain power.

      • 0 avatar
        Feds

        You’ll notice that my plan cleverly borrows from both the original SAAB revival plan and from the Fiat launch. Both of those plans got all kinds of financing from people who should know better.

        By combining them, I’m basically printing money. And I might end up owning Chrysler by the time it’s all said and done.

  • avatar
    dejal1

    Griffin up!!!

    +1

    My email address is SaabFanBoy@clueless.com

    I’d suggest calling North Street Capital and see if they want in. They have a snazzy web page.

  • avatar
    dejal1

    It ain’t over

    • 0 avatar

      When you embed videos, make sure that the width is less than 500 (well, actually 540) pixels. Otherwise it screws up the page formatting.

      The YouTube embedding code has a custom size option:

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      ] and [ substituted for > and <

  • avatar
    brettc

    I like Feds idea. I think it just might work! I’ll let others send money though.

    I’m very sad that this really means that no more new Trollblazers will ever be assembled. What a horrible blow especially at Christmas-time.

  • avatar

    Actually, please don’t embed anything at all. Thank you.

  • avatar
    daveainchina

    Better work ethic? hah.. more like less government regulation. To me a work ethic is about doing quality work, not about working long hours and doing as little as possible, while making sure the boss is happy with your non-performance.

    I was talking to an industrial engineer consultant here, he was telling me about a manager who wanted to fire this one worker on a factory assembly line because the worker wasn’t working hard enough.

    The worker was relaxed, doing from what I understand, the fastest and highest quality assembly work. But the Chinese manager didn’t see that all he saw was the worker talking and looking relaxed and happy.

    The engineer turned to the manager and told him he was an idiot, because he was about to fire his best worker. This worker was producing 3x’s the amount of any other worker in the factory, the engineer actually used a stop watch instead of an impression.

    Chinese managers want to see people looking like they are working hard, so all the other workers had their heads down making all kinds of extra movements with their shoulders etc, but really getting little done.

    So work ethic? I laugh at that Chinese manager, and let’s instead look at productivity. From that aspect I’m sure that the Swedish are further ahead of the Chinese than that manager realizes.

    In a factory, “face” matters little and results are what count, I’m just happy so many Chinese don’t realize this.

  • avatar
    MrWhopee

    What are they gonna built with Saab tooling? Since GM wouldn’t let them use the IP for current Saab products, for which these toolings were designed to make… Don’t know if you can use toolings for one car model to make other car model.

    • 0 avatar
      jeff_vader

      Court case.
      “Muller sold us the PhoeniX platform,”
      “Wasn’t his to sell,”
      “But we have a piece of paper. He sold it us when we paid off the tax bill,”
      “Wasn’t his to sell,”
      “But we own PhoeniX platform!”
      “OK Sparky, heres the deal.
      You forget all about the PhoeniX platform and you can have the tooling and rights to the current 9-3 which no one wants in Europe anymore, on the house. It will take you at least a year to get up and running by which time the IP will be close to running out anyway. Therefore you’ve got a car to slap a stupid new nose on and sell to whoever you please FOC.
      If you want to run this through the courts, fine. It will take about three years when you could have been building cars and making profit to sort the mess out. Muller screwed you, you screwed Muller, live with it, move on. If not, get a good lawyer,”

  • avatar
    jeff_vader

    The gorgeous, pouting & seemingly back from the dead, Rachal Pang of Youngman flew into Sweden yesterday. As she continues to recover from the life threatening illness that ensured that she couldn’t come in for the hearing only at the start of this week (which basically left Mullers cheese out in the wind.), she has issued a statement in which she confirms a lot of what we all suspected.
    Youngman believe that they now own either the complete rights or at least a substanial share of the PhoeniX platform and she is in town to collect. She’d also quite like to buy what remains what’s left of the company off the administrators before the workforce disperse to the four winds. I bet she would.
    Looks like someone thinks that they’ve got what they really wanted for Christmas. I wonder what GMs lawyers will have to say about this? I also wonder if maybe she passed Muller in the terminal as he went off to personally check his Curaco bank account.
    Remind me, who are the bad guys in all of this again?

    In other news all the workforce have been let go. But the result of this means the government have paid the missing wages as the company enters bankruptcy, so at least there will be some turkey and presents for the people of Trollhatten.

    It remains to be seen if Ms Pang finds what she has really wanted all year under the tree..


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