Saab's Last Gasp: A Garage Sale?
Bloomberg seems to be down to two informants. More and more Bloomberg stories are attributed to their “two people familiar with the plan.” Again, the familiar duo is the source for Bloomberg’s latest report from death row in Trollhättan, where Saab is quickly running through its last reprieves. Bloomberg’s usually unreliable sources say that GM “may sell parts of its Saab unit to Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Co. and shutter the brand.”
Assets would be tooling, production machinery and the like. There is a GM board meeting today, and we may know more in the evening. If they would ask me (but they won’t) I would tell them that BAIC needs used production machinery like the proverbial hole in the head.
Stefan Bratzel, director of the Center of Automotive at the University of Applied Sciences in Bergisch Gladbach, is right when he says that BAIC is “looking for a foothold in Europe and needs the distribution network, the technology and the brand.”
They need a brand that doesn’t scream “I’m Chinese,” and they need cars that already have passed European and US homologation. If they could get their hands on the new 9-5, BAIC wouldn’t say “bu hao” (no) to that. Hand-me-down machinery? The answer will be “bu yao” (don’t want.)
Bertel Schmitt comes back to journalism after taking a 35 year break in advertising and marketing. He ran and owned advertising agencies in Duesseldorf, Germany, and New York City. Volkswagen A.G. was Bertel's most important corporate account. Schmitt's advertising and marketing career touched many corners of the industry with a special focus on automotive products and services. Since 2004, he lives in Japan and China with his wife <a href="http://www.tomokoandbertel.com"> Tomoko </a>. Bertel Schmitt is a founding board member of the <a href="http://www.offshoresuperseries.com"> Offshore Super Series </a>, an American offshore powerboat racing organization. He is co-owner of the racing team Typhoon.
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