Our Daily Saab: With Plans Expired And Dealers Waiting On Cash, GM Takes The Wheel

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
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Saab’s Memorandum of Understanding with PangDa and Youngman expired today, returning Saab to what must by now be a rather comforting, familiar state of limbo. Of course, the MoU in question was already dead, as GM had publicly nixed it, saying it wouldn’t supply parts or license technology to a 100% Chinese-owned Saab. But now, without an official agreement to rally around, Swedish Automobile, PangDa and Youngman are desperately pitching new ownership structures to GM in hopes of approval. Swedish Auto’s Victor Muller tells the WSJ [sub]

We are submitting an information package to GM and we will have to await the feedback that GM has on that package and then we’ll know.

Muller says the lesson of the failed MoU is that GM won’t accept Chinese control, and as a result the new proposed ownership structure is “very carefully crafted” so that none of the three partners has complete control. But since the previous deal, in which PangDa and Youngman would split a 54% stake in Saab, is also off the table, it’s tough to say what Muller’s “carefully crafted structure” entails. And while Saab and its Chinese suitors wait for GM approval that may never come (but don’t tell Keith Crain [sub] that!), it seems both time and money are getting tight. Again. Still.

Saab is refusing comment on how much cash it has on hand, but apparently the answer is “not much.” Automotive News [sub] reports that Saab’s payments to its US dealers, which includes money for warranty repairs, have been delayed. According to a statement by Saab Cars North America,

While it is our intention to provide funding when it becomes available, you should use your judgment on whether to utilize these programs until SCNA is able to confirm funding is in place

But neither Saabs dealers nor its other creditors need wait too much longer for some resolution of this latest state of limbo. Saab has one week to come up with a plan to pay off its debts, or it could finally be pushed into bankruptcy. Failing that, Saab has salaries to pay again three days later (the 25th). If the company is screwing over its dealers and by extension its customers in one of its largest markets, it’s clearly at the “cutting off limbs to stay alive” stage. And that stage never lasts long.

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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  • Idemmu Idemmu on Nov 16, 2011

    Judging by what saab has done with the subaru platform (the upgrades suspension bits that subaru was jealous of), the 9-7x(is noticeably better than its gm cousins) and the re working of the gm ecotec, i think saab has more of a future as a tuner than as a car manufacturer. Its clear that they have the talent to work engineering magic, heck, they could design awd systems like they did for haldex. I think saabs power is in its engineers..

    • EChid EChid on Nov 16, 2011

      I agree, we're currently trying to find a 9-2x for my mom, she wants one over the Impreza for precisely the reasons you note (plus more sound insulation).

  • Tstag Tstag on Nov 16, 2011

    Realistically Saab need to spend JLR levels of investment to save themselves I for one wish them luck but can't see them surviving.

  • Ernesto Perez There's a line in the movie Armageddon where Bruce Willis says " is this the best idea NASA came up with?". Don't quote me. I'm asking is this the best idea NY came up with? What's next? Charging pedestrians to walk in certain parts of the city? Every year the price for everything gets more expensive and most of the services we pay for gets worse. Obviously more money is not the solution. What we need are better ideas, strategies and inventions. You want to charge drivers in the city - then put tolls on the free bridges like the Brooklyn, Manhattan and Williamsburg bridges. There's always a better way or product. It's just the idiots on top think they know best.
  • Carsofchaos The bike lanes aren't even close to carrying "more than the car lanes replaced". You clearly don't drive in Midtown Manhattan on a daily like I do.
  • Carsofchaos The problem with congestion, dear friends, is not the cars per se. I drive into the city daily and the problem is this:Your average street in the area used to be 4 lanes. Now it is a bus lane, a bike lane (now you're down to two lanes), then you have delivery trucks double parking, along with the Uber and Lyft drivers also double parking. So your 4 lane avenue is now a 1.5 lane avenue. Do you now see the problem? Congestion pricing will fix none of these things....what it WILL do is fund persion plans.
  • FreedMike Many F150s I encounter are autonomously driven...and by that I mean they're driving themselves because the dips**ts at the wheel are paying attention to everything else but the road.
  • Tassos A "small car", TIM????????????This is the GLE. Have you even ever SEEN the huge thing at a dealer's??? NOT even the GLC,and Merc has TWO classes even SMALLER than the C (The A and the B, you guessed it? You must be a GENIUS!).THe E is a "MIDSIZED" crossover, NOT A SMALL ONE BY ANY STRETCH OF THE IMAGINATION, oh CLUELESS one.I AM SICK AND TIRED OF THE NONSENSE you post here every god damned day.And I BET you will never even CORRECT your NONSENSE, much less APOLOGIZE for your cluelessness and unprofessionalism.