Our Daily Saab: The Detroit Court Says No

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt

Tomorrow is he day when the court in Vänersborg will decide whether to lift creditors’ protection, thereby throwing Saab to the circling wolves. Even a bankrupt Saab wold have a slim chance of survival. However, there is a higher court that holds Saab’s fate in its hands. That court sits in Detroit and is called GM. That court has spoken. The verdict is:


GM has the rights to the technology in its hands, and without that technology, Saab is just a name. A name which Saab AB, the defense company, would like to get back as quickly as possible anyway. GM had said no to several proposals so far. The latest deal that had been cooked-up involves selling a subsidiary to China’s Youngman. Rather naively, Muller seems to think that this way, a cooperation of GM is not necessary.

GM is rather miffed by ”the various new investment/sale/loan proposals that have been floated by Saab in recent days, including statements that inaccurately suggest that the consent of GM is not required for them to move forward.”

Through is spokesman James R. Cain, GM made the following statement today, deliberately ”in advance of the hearing” on Monday:

“Saab’s various new alternative proposals are not meaningfully different from what was originally proposed to General Motors and rejected. Each proposal results either directly or indirectly in the transfer of control and/or ownership of the company in a manner that would be detrimental to GM and its shareholders. As such, GM cannot support any of these proposed alternatives.”

Something else will happen on Monday: The unions representing Saab workers will check the bank accounts whether the unpaid salaries have come in. No money, no support by the unions for a continuation of the reconstruction process, union representatives told the Göteborgs Posten. That money would have to come from Youngman. With the verdict from GM, Youngman would be crazy to pay.

Bertel Schmitt
Bertel Schmitt

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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  • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on Dec 18, 2011

    Several makes sell more cars in one hour than Saab sells in a month. Enough, already. There is no business case here.

  • Bimmer Bimmer on Dec 18, 2011

    IKEA should buy SAAB. Then one would buy it at the store, assemble it as a hatchback or a wagon and come back to the IKEA to pickup boxes of furniture!

    • Dvp cars Dvp cars on Dec 18, 2011

      .......IKEA/SAAB....a great idea, and IKEA has the money to do it. They would quickly design a car that needs only 1 or 2 hex wrenches to replace modular systems with cute Scandinavian nicknames........need a new, all-in-one ignition pack ("SPARKUS"?), try aisle 15, right beside the in-store restaurant ($1.99 Swedish meatball specials are an additional plus). Forget about aluminum, steel, and carbon fiber, give us a modern Cedar unibody with a choice of veneers, and comfy reindeer-hide interiors. Build it and they will come......as if IKEA's airport-size parking lots aren't full enough already!