The Saabstermath: The Picking Of The Carcass Begins

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt

After delegations of Pangda and Youngman had travelled to Trollhättan to inspect the factory, one returning Chinese traveler mentioned to a contact of mine that the factory is great, but it’s in the wrong place. In Sweden, workers would earn way too much and go home early, contrary to the Chinese worker, who would have a much higher work ethic for less money, the traveler opined. If all goes well (for the Chinese,) the Trollhättan factory will come to China. Usually well informed Sveriges Radio reports that Youngman is interested in buying the Saab assets in a bankruptcy sale.

Updated with Victor Muller’s press conference.

This interest has been confirmed by Hans Bergqvist, one of the bankruptcy administrators assigned to the case. What Youngman would be buying is a factory, free of obligations, but also free of any technology licenses and without the Saab name. According to Sveriges Radio, Youngman thinks that the current 9-3 does not need a nod from GM.

A Turkish company also appears to be interested. The Turkish embassy in Stockholm has established contact.

UPDATE: Victor Muller’s press conference can be seen below (courtesy: Saabs United)

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5 of 16 comments
  • Bertel Schmitt Bertel Schmitt on Dec 20, 2011

    Actually, please don't embed anything at all. Thank you.

  • Daveainchina Daveainchina on Dec 20, 2011

    Better work ethic? hah.. more like less government regulation. To me a work ethic is about doing quality work, not about working long hours and doing as little as possible, while making sure the boss is happy with your non-performance. I was talking to an industrial engineer consultant here, he was telling me about a manager who wanted to fire this one worker on a factory assembly line because the worker wasn't working hard enough. The worker was relaxed, doing from what I understand, the fastest and highest quality assembly work. But the Chinese manager didn't see that all he saw was the worker talking and looking relaxed and happy. The engineer turned to the manager and told him he was an idiot, because he was about to fire his best worker. This worker was producing 3x's the amount of any other worker in the factory, the engineer actually used a stop watch instead of an impression. Chinese managers want to see people looking like they are working hard, so all the other workers had their heads down making all kinds of extra movements with their shoulders etc, but really getting little done. So work ethic? I laugh at that Chinese manager, and let's instead look at productivity. From that aspect I'm sure that the Swedish are further ahead of the Chinese than that manager realizes. In a factory, "face" matters little and results are what count, I'm just happy so many Chinese don't realize this.

  • MrWhopee MrWhopee on Dec 21, 2011

    What are they gonna built with Saab tooling? Since GM wouldn't let them use the IP for current Saab products, for which these toolings were designed to make... Don't know if you can use toolings for one car model to make other car model.

    • Jeff_vader Jeff_vader on Dec 22, 2011

      Court case. "Muller sold us the PhoeniX platform," "Wasn't his to sell," "But we have a piece of paper. He sold it us when we paid off the tax bill," "Wasn't his to sell," "But we own PhoeniX platform!" "OK Sparky, heres the deal. You forget all about the PhoeniX platform and you can have the tooling and rights to the current 9-3 which no one wants in Europe anymore, on the house. It will take you at least a year to get up and running by which time the IP will be close to running out anyway. Therefore you've got a car to slap a stupid new nose on and sell to whoever you please FOC. If you want to run this through the courts, fine. It will take about three years when you could have been building cars and making profit to sort the mess out. Muller screwed you, you screwed Muller, live with it, move on. If not, get a good lawyer,"

  • Jeff_vader Jeff_vader on Dec 22, 2011

    The gorgeous, pouting & seemingly back from the dead, Rachal Pang of Youngman flew into Sweden yesterday. As she continues to recover from the life threatening illness that ensured that she couldn't come in for the hearing only at the start of this week (which basically left Mullers cheese out in the wind.), she has issued a statement in which she confirms a lot of what we all suspected. Youngman believe that they now own either the complete rights or at least a substanial share of the PhoeniX platform and she is in town to collect. She'd also quite like to buy what remains what's left of the company off the administrators before the workforce disperse to the four winds. I bet she would. Looks like someone thinks that they've got what they really wanted for Christmas. I wonder what GMs lawyers will have to say about this? I also wonder if maybe she passed Muller in the terminal as he went off to personally check his Curaco bank account. Remind me, who are the bad guys in all of this again? In other news all the workforce have been let go. But the result of this means the government have paid the missing wages as the company enters bankruptcy, so at least there will be some turkey and presents for the people of Trollhatten. It remains to be seen if Ms Pang finds what she has really wanted all year under the tree..