BAIC Got Saab Technology On The Cheap
December 23rd, 2009 2:35 AM Share
GM netted a paltry $200m for the Saab technology it sold to China’s BAIC. So said BAIC to Reuters today, while desperately trying to keep a straight face. The money bought BAIC the rights to three vehicle platforms, two engine technologies and two transmission systems. A pittance, given the fact that developing a new car typically costs from $1b on upwards these days.
Granted, the IP for the 9-5 and 9-3, and the tooling to make them are not the newest, but you can trust BAIC to make the most of it. Interestingly, BAIC got what they desperately needed:
“The overseas technology takeover by BAIC is not only targeted at simple technology, such as manufacturing blueprints, but also the management systems that will enable BAIC to continuously develop and produce high quality vehicles,” BAIC said today at a Beijing news conference. That alone is probably worth the $200m.
Compared to BAIC’s investment plans, it is chump change. BAIC will invest $4.8bl in vehicle development and production over the next three years, Gasgoo reports.
Published December 23rd, 2009 2:35 AM
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6 of 25 comments
If you think that was a good deal, wait til you see GM's after Christmas door-buster specials!
let's look at the flipside... GM are selling outdated technology from a company that hasn't made a profit since the Reagan administration (correct?) they had one single buyer who put a lowball bid in if it was worth so much why didn't GM get another buyer? why couldn't they ask for more? why does GM even need $200 mil.? isn't that like 2 weeks burn? And the comparison to Rolex... ridiculous... madam, I have an Rolex and you ARE no Rolex... Saab is at best a Cartier or some off brand that doesn't sell in the bargain bin at Kmart in summary... old product not in demand, from a 2nd rate walking zombie company, sold by Government Motors for a pittance... bought by the 21st century superpower who really doesn't need it but it's nice to have anyway... If it was worth something Audi or one of the other FWD based makes would have bought it.
"Take the rest of Christmas off boys, turns out we don't have to reverse engineer this thing after all." Many here are missing the point. Some have clarified that "management systems" don't track which managers are naughty or nice, these are the program guts of how to run a company. Getting a blank copy of the software (such as SAP) isn't hard (purchased or pirated), it's the analysis and customization of the product to actually do what you actually need; that can take years. Was Saab's operations tightly integrated with the rest of GM? Knowing big companies (I work for one) I'd say not likely. Do these systems belie effecient methods of producing/marketing cars? Possibly, but at the same time there's a reason why some products have a secret ingredient because everything else about producing it is dead simple to knock off (like Coke or KFC chicken). Getting an inside look at Saab gives BAIC a benchmark for how a major player does it, to determine what needs to change in their business model in order to penetrate all the rest of the world's markets. It doesn't mean they're going to run Saab the same way GM did.