Muller Gives Up, Files For Saab Bankruptcy

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt

Sweden’s Aftonbladet reports that Victor Muller filed for bankruptcy of Saab this morning at the court in Vänersborg.

Dagens Industri writes that with Saab having declared bankruptcy itself, the matter will be resolved quickly. A bankruptcy order is expected during the day.

The actual verdict had been handed down by GM over the weekend. GM refused to agree to any of the deals presented.

Today, the court in Vänersborg was scheduled to decide whether to lift creditors protection, which would have opened the doors to much messier bankruptcy proceedings. Over the weekend, Muller was in closed session with Rachel Pang of Youngman to hammer out yat another last minute deal. At one point, Rachel Pang became gravely ill, and unable to attend the court proceedings. After a little while and more talk, she regained her health. Now, any court appearances are no longer necessary.

Youngman had no other choice than to realize that without the cooperation of GM, the matter was way beyond salvage. This morning, Victor Muller reached into his hat, found it devoid of bunny-rabbits, and did what he should have done much earlier.

Both dealer group Pang Da and Youngman have sunk considerable amounts of money into keeping zombie Saab at least clinically alive. Wasting your own money is seen as a grave sin in China, and the disastrous end of the Saab adventure most likely will negatively influence foreign asset purchases by Chinese entities for a while.

Muller, his out-on-bail friend Antonov, and any Chinese suitors should have realized much earlier that GM had no interest in Saab’s survival if it would be at the expense of GM’s sizable activities in China. GM agreed to sell Saab to Muller because that spared GM the messy and expensive business to shut down Saab themselves.

As expected, Saabinistas vent their anger on GM’s Facebook page. Many vow to never buy a GM product. A hollow threat: Most of them are used-car drivers anyway. Case in point: Saab’s über-flagwaver Steven Wade. Before he sold Saabsunited to take on a (shortlived) PR job at Saab, he drove a 1999 Saab 9-3, canary-yellow. Wade is already bac k in Australia, looking for a job.

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  • Romanjetfighter Romanjetfighter on Dec 19, 2011

    Are they still going to make the 9 4x CUV?

  • Jeff_vader Jeff_vader on Dec 20, 2011

    Well in news that ranks right up there with "Rain falls in winter, shock! horror! probe!" sweet little Rachal Pang has announced that Youngman would like to buy what remains of Saab from the administrator tonight. Well no dung Sherlock as most commentators accept that this was probably been their game plan along. But I would have thought that she might be able to earn a fortune selling her body to medical science because for girl who was critically ill earlier in the week she seems to be making a huge contribution to her companies plans to feast on the bones. As ever, the true disciples over at The Church Of The One True Saab continue to believe in the sainted Mr Muller and his statement yesterday that five other parties are interested in buying the remains of the company. (Quick question, Victor? Why weren't you talking to them instead of the Chinese if they were that keen?) But I have to say I am impressed with the number of believers who are scrawling their anger over the GM FB page and the article over at the Church about how this will sadly affect the people of Trollhatten especially during the holiday season. The passion for such a 'normal' brand is remarkable to see. Unfortuntley I think it is probably miss placed. I would have thought that SAAB AB will now be asking for the brandname back thank you very much and any new buyer for what has been Saab will end up with a production line and a few cars but there will be no actual 'Saab' brand anymore. All of it will be then packed up to China to become the Youngman Excelsior or something similar. As we all suspected in the UK, just like Rover. The question is now will Muller turn out to have employed the same 'interesting' accounts procedures as Mr Towers? & speaking of the UK, Renault have announced that they are axing 70% of their UK range; no more Espace, Kangoo, Modus or Laguna. They will only be selling Megane, Clio and Twingo. Renault have realised the basic truth about the car industry not only in the UK or Europe but worldwide and it is the basic truth that has killed Saab. There are too many cars chasing too few customers. There will be more brands to follow into that dark night with Saab, although most of them will not be ruined by an egotist like Muller. Now big manufacturing groups can see that its not the end of the world for them if a brand goes, who's next? If I worked for Seat or Vauxhall/Opel I would be a very worried man this morning...

  • Keith Maybe my market's different. but 4.5k whack. Plus mods like his are just donations for the next owner. I'd consider driving it as a fun but practical yet disposable work/airport car if it was priced right. Some VAG's (yep, even Audis) are capable, long lasting reliable cars despite what the haters preach. I can't lie I've done the same as this guy: I had a decently clean 4 Runner V8 with about the same miles- I put it up for sale around the same price as the lower mile examples. I heard crickets chirp until I dropped the price. Folks just don't want NYC cab miles.
  • Max So GM will be making TESLAS in the future. YEA They really shouldn’t be taking cues from Elon musk. Tesla is just about to be over.
  • Malcolm It's not that commenters attack Tesla, musk has brought it on the company. The delivery of the first semi was half loaded in 70 degree weather hauling potato chips for frito lay. No company underutilizes their loads like this. Musk shouted at the world "look at us". Freightliners e-cascads has been delivering loads for 6-8 months before Tesla delivered one semi. What commenters are asking "What's the actual usable range when in say Leadville when its blowing snow and -20F outside with a full trailer?
  • Funky D I despise Google for a whole host of reasons. So why on earth would I willing spend a large amount of $ on a car that will force Google spyware on me.The only connectivity to the world I will put up with is through my phone, which at least gives me the option of turning it off or disconnecting it from the car should I choose to.No CarPlay, no sale.
  • William I think it's important to understand the factors that made GM as big as it once was and would like to be today. Let's roll back to 1965, or even before that. GM was the biggest of the Big Three. It's main competition was Ford and Chrysler, as well as it's own 5 brands competing with themselves. The import competition was all but non existent. Volkswagen was the most popular imported cars at the time. So GM had its successful 5 brands, and very little competition compared to today's market. GM was big, huge in fact. It was diversified into many other lines of business, from trains to information data processing (EDS). Again GM was huge. But being huge didn't make it better. There are many examples of GM not building the best cars they could, it's no surprise that they were building cars to maximize their profits, not to be the best built cars on the road, the closest brand to achieve that status was Cadillac. Anyone who owned a Cadillac knew it could have been a much higher level of quality than it was. It had a higher level of engineering and design features compared to it's competition. But as my Godfather used to say "how good is good?" Being as good as your competitors, isn't being as good as you could be. So, today GM does not hold 50% of the automotive market as it once did, and because of a multitude of reasons it never will again. No matter how much it improves it's quality, market value and dealer network, based on competition alone it can't have a 50% market share again. It has only 3 of its original 5 brands, and there are too many strong competitors taking pieces of the market share. So that says it's playing in a different game, therfore there's a whole new normal to use as a baseline than before. GM has to continue downsizing to fit into today's market. It can still be big, but in a different game and scale. The new normal will never be the same scale it once was as compared to the now "worlds" automotive industry. Just like how the US railroad industry had to reinvent its self to meet the changing transportation industry, and IBM has had to reinvent its self to play in the ever changing Information Technology industry it finds it's self in. IBM was once the industry leader, now it has to scale it's self down to remain in the industry it created. GM is in the same place that the railroads, IBM and other big companies like AT&T and Standard Oil have found themselves in. It seems like being the industry leader is always followed by having to reinvent it's self to just remain viable. It's part of the business cycle. GM, it's time you accept your fate, not dead, but not huge either.