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The Future of Saab?

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  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,792
    Yeah, I know. Saabs are so quirky.

    Still, for some reason I've always liked them.

    The convertable top mechanics are usually troublesome too.
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,391
    I just got back from an NJ to NH ride in my brother's 01 9-3 convertible. That is right about at the end of the run where they were all Saab. It was so hot (over 100) going up that we had teh top up but the top went down the whole trip back, What a nice ride!
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,196
    Well, there was also the Dodge Dart Phoenix:

    image
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Clearly, GM brought SAAB into the 21st Century, before that, they were a joke. However, I don't care if they survive. I'm fine either way, as long as they don't get a government bailout in order to make it.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,353
    Why exactly do you care what foreign governments do regarding a bailout?

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  • fezofezo Posts: 9,391
    From Automotive News:

    DETROIT -- Saab Cars North America President Tim Colbeck said he remains optimistic about the automaker's future even after its parent company filed for protection from creditors in a Swedish court earlier today.

    Communication with dealers, owners and consumers is a priority today and in the future, Colbeck said in a telephone interview with Automotive News.

    Saab's owner, Swedish Automobile NV, said in a statement that Saab Automobile AB is seeking court approval for a voluntary reorganization to secure short-term stability while it waits for funding from Chinese investors Pang Da Automobile Trade Co. and Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile Co.

    "It is business as usual," Colbeck said. "We want to communicate this especially to the public because I think there is a misperception that this is a bankruptcy proceeding and that the company is bankrupt.

    "In essence it is a transitionary stage for us to really get us in a solid footing to relaunch the brand with new equity partners and recapitalize business," he said.

    Talking to dealers

    Colbeck said dealers were contacted this morning via e-mail to alert them about the filing in Sweden. Saab management held a conference call with dealers this afternoon.

    Lynn Thompson, a Springfield, Mo., dealer who sells Saabs, Cadillacs, Buicks and GMCs, said today's announcement "was inevitable. Something had to be done. Is it reorganization? Is it bankruptcy. What exactly is it?"

    Over the past year, "too many times people were saying, 'we got it done. We got this done and then it would fall apart,'" said Thompson. "There is a reason it kept falling apart. That leads me to believe there is more to it than reorganizing."

    Bernie Moreno, president of Collection Auto Group in the Cleveland area, and a member of the Saab dealer council, said he remains optimistic about the brand. The group also sells Acura, Buick, GMC, Lotus, Infiniti, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and Smart.

    "You have to remember that two years ago everybody wrote off Chrysler and now they almost outsold Toyota last month," Moreno said.

    “If this was a situation that was happening in '06 or '07," before the economy tanked and General Motors and Chrysler went through bankruptcy, "then I would be really concerned. But I think at the end of the day (Saab CEO Victor Muller) will pull it out, and Saab will be right on track and move forward."

    More communication

    Colbeck also said Saab opened a central call center today to answer owners' questions about parts availability, warranties, and other topics. The vehicle warranty is unchanged, for example.

    A statement directed to consumers explaining the reorganization also was posted this morning at saabusa.com.

    "We believe that communication is critical in this time frame so that everybody knows exactly what is gong on," Colbeck said.

    Regarding floorplanning, Colbeck said its lender, Ally Financial Inc., formerly GMAC, is supporting Saab and its dealers.

    "They see no financial impact of this reorganization. They continue to lend for retail and wholesale to dealers that are creditworthy. They are supportive of the Saab business," Colbeck said.

    While it is unclear when vehicle production will restart in Sweden, it is also unclear when production of the 9-4X crossover will resume. Production of the 2012 model had been scheduled to begin later this month. The 9-4X was developed when Saab was a division of General Motors. Crossover sales began this spring, as a 2011 model.

    "GM is a supplier and now all suppliers are being treated equal," Colbeck said. "Can't be sure what is going to happen for the next model year. That will be determined during the scope of this reorganization."

    No reorganization in North America

    Colbeck said the North American organization is a separate subsidiary and it will not be reorganized. It employs 64 and there have been no layoffs since production in Sweden was halted in June. North American salaries have not been affected by the reorganization in Sweden, he said.

    "I think the future of this company is very strong," Colbeck said. "We just got to get there and this is what this is all about."

    Victor Muller, CEO of both Saab and Swedish Automobile, said in the statement: "We have concluded that a voluntary reorganization process will provide us with the necessary time, protection and stabilization of the business, allowing salary payments to be made, short-term funding to be obtained and an orderly restart of production to be prepared."

    Like Colbeck, Muller said he remains optimistic about Saab's future. "While the voluntary reorganization process will no doubt present us with a number of tough issues and decisions, I believe that Saab Automobile will emerge stronger from this process," he said.

    Muller added that "the potential for Saab Automobile as a viable, independent premium car manufacturer is there, as shown by the rejuvenation of our product portfolio, approximately 11,000 orders and the conditional long-term funding already in place through the binding agreements with Pang Da and Youngman that will give us access to the Chinese market."

    Terms of investments

    Muller has agreed to sell a combined 53.9 percent stake in Saab to Chinese auto distributor Pang Da and automaker Zhejiang Youngman for 245 million euros ($351 million). The deal is awaiting approval from the Chinese authorities.

    Saab's subsidiaries Saab Automobile Powertrain AB and Saab Automobile Tools AB are part of the reorganization filing submitted to the Vanersborg court at 9 am local time. But other units, including Saab Great Britain, Saab Cars North America and Saab Parts AB, were excluded.

    Muller said Pang Da and Youngman both support the reorganization.

    "Swan and Saab Automobile are of the opinion that, considering Saab Automobile's current limited financial resources, a voluntary reorganization will entail the best preconditions for using existing resources in the most efficient way," a Swedish Automobile statement said.

    Self managed reorganization

    If the court approves, the reorganization will be a self-managed, legal process under Swedish law headed by an independent administrator appointed by the court who will work closely with the Saab Automobile management team, the statement added.

    If the court approves Saab's filing, the reorganization will be for three months, although the court may later extend this period to a maximum of twelve months.

    "Swan and Saab Automobile are confident that they will secure additional short-term funding for the reorganization period and are currently in negotiations with several parties about obtaining such funding," the statement said.

    As part of the process, Saab has formulated a reorganization plan aimed at lowering its cost-base and creating a viable, competitive and independent organization. The plan will be presented to creditors in more detail within three weeks, although this period c
  • martianmartian Posts: 220
    It looks like SAAB is a member of the walking dead-this looks like the grave is being dug.
    Frankly, I doubt that the Chinese are interested in buying a corpse-exactly how do you sell cars like this? Do prospective buyers relish the idea of buying an instant orphan? :sick:
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 7,920
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111904836104576558284181464182.html?m- od=WSJ_hp_LEFTWhatsNewsCollection

    Cliff's - Swedish court feels their reorg plan won't work based on their history (including reorg from 2 years ago) and the Chinese bailout isn't guaranteed.
  • With the impending bankruptcy of Saab has anyone done anything to the price they expect, or hope, to get on a personal car sale? I've written down the sale price I'd expect to get because it will reduce the market for Saabs and make service more expensive as spare parts become scarcer.

    What do other people think?
  • martianmartian Posts: 220
    IMO, if SAAB goes under, spare parts will become a big problem-except for the parts that were common with GM cars. Many of the engine parts from the Saturn L-100/200/300 cars were shared with SAAB, so they oght to be obatinable for years to come.
    Does it make sense to by an orphan? If the price gets low enough-maybe a good deal.
    However, let's all take a moment of silence to mourn SAAB!
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,318
    2011 hasn't been completely filled in yet.

    If Saab Finally Done, End Began 20 Years Ago (AutoObserver)

    image

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  • cannon3cannon3 Posts: 296
    about SAAB loan/issues consumers will look to other brands and sales will go even lower for SAAB. This is the end folks for SAAB. Who would even think about buying a car from SAAB? or even putting a deposit down on one not knowing if you are even going to get your car or even your deposit back??
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,318
    edited October 2011
    What a saga - "In yet another eleventh-hour twist, Saab Automobile on Thursday said it expects to receive an immediate cash infusion of $70 million from an unexpected source — North Street Capital, the Connecticut-based private-equity firm which in late September announced a deal to acquire Spyker Cars from Saab's corporate parent, Swedish Automobile."

    Saab Finds Another Cash Source - in the U.S. (Inside Line)

    Two Chinese companies are still interested but they've "changed" their deal (i.e., they want to pay less). Meanwhile the bankruptcy court administrator has essentially told the Swedish court that "it's over" and the company should be declared bankrupt. (WSJ)

    Saab keeps fighting back, but next Friday, 10/28, may be it.

    Saab Calls Out Youngman and Pang Da, Reorganization Termination Filed (Straightline)

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  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,258
    From today's Automotive News:

    "China's Pang Da, Youngman agree to buy Saab
    David Jolley
    and Paul McVeigh October 28, 2011 - 4:09 am

    Chinese firms Pang Da Automobile Trade Co. and Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile Co. have agreed to buy Saab for 100 million euros ($142 million).

    Saab owner, Swedish Automobile, said on Friday that it has entered into a memorandum of understanding to sell 100 percent of the shares of Saab to the Chinese companies.

    Swedish Automobile said an important part of the deal 'is the commitment of Pang Da and Youngman to provide long-term funding to Saab Automobile.'

    The memorandum of understanding is valid until Nov. 15, provided Saab stays in reorganization. Swedish Automobile said Saab's administrator, Guy Lofalk, has withdrawn his application to a Swedish court for Saab to exit reorganization.

    Pang Da and Youngman will provide sufficient financing so that a court-backed reconstruction process under creditor protection can continue, a court document showed. The court had been due later on Friday to decide on Lofalk's application.

    Swedish Automobile Chairman Victor Muller said the deal has 'secured the future of Saab.' He told Sweden's Sverige Radio that Saab would now be able to pay its creditors, restart production, launch new models and expand in China.

    Muller said the Chinese companies are committed to investing 500 million euros in Saab. He told the radio station that he will stay on as Saab CEO until a new CEO is found and he will remain involved in Saab in the future."
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,318
    This soap opera has lasted longer than Game Six of the Texas/St. Louis World Series. :P

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  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,318
    "GM would not be able to support a change in the ownership of Saab which could negatively impact GM's existing relationships in China or otherwise adversely affect GM's interests worldwide," said GM spokeswoman Renee Rashid-Merem.

    GM is Saab's former parent company, and it was one of four brands GM opted to get rid of during its 2009 bankruptcy restructuring. GM owns the technology Saab uses to produce two key models, which gives GM the upper hand.

    The deal must win approval from the European Investment Bank, the Swedish and Chinese governments and GM. "

    GM could oppose sale of Saab to Chinese investors (Detroit News)

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  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 7,920
    I was wondering when GM was going to pop up. They are licensing technology to SAAB. I presume they don't want their own technology being used to compete against them in the lucrative Chinese market.

    Somewhere deep in the sale documents of SAAB to the Dutch was the restriction on future sale of SAAB. GM really does have the upper hand here.
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,391
    Leave it to GM to put a car maker it doesn't even own into bankruptcy. Takes a special kind of talent.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,318
    Quote of the day. :D

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  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,258
    edited November 2011
    Don't have any insight on Saab's future, but according to today's Automotive News Saab sold 337 vehicles in the U.S. in October, and 4,949 so far in 2011.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,318
    GM to block sale of Saab (Detroit News)

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  • fezofezo Posts: 9,391
    No. No. That was the OLD GM that had a say in Saab's dealings. The GM that won't honor Impala warranties.

    Just wait for the Chinese to be ticked off enough at this to just seize GM's portion of their joint venture in China - the one that sells more cars than GM does here.....

    NOw, in more actual reality I suppose this means the death of Saab has arrived.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,318
    edited December 2011
    Saab finally files for bankruptcy. They already were under court administration but this likely means liquidation. With Saab though, you never know.

    "The company has been on life support the past nine months, and in the third quarter the company manufactured only 130 and sold 1,235 cars.

    So why have media kept reporting about Saab Auto, one may rightfully ask? The reason is that somehow, this quirky little car brand with its few, but fiercely loyal enthusiasts, has been a source of great affection, nostalgia and Swedish nationalism."

    Watch for the name to survive though; someone will bid for the brand and whatever assets get sold.

    Saab Bankruptcy: What Does It Really Mean? (WSJ)

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  • Does this mean if I were to buy a Saab, I would get a good price on one? Will they be willing to deal?
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,391
    One thing it means it that I may join the list of not even looking at GM vehicles anymore. It's one thing for them to nearly kill themselves. It's an entirely different matter for them to kill another car company because they have the power to do so. To hell with them.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,318
    Well, the Chinese wanted to buy the assets of Saab, and those assets include GM technology that GM licensed to Saab. So now the Chinese will have to reverse engineering cars instead of simply following a set of blueprints, so to speak.

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  • fezofezo Posts: 9,391
    Maybe I'm wrong but I'm betting most of that technology the Chinese already have from their joint venture with GM. It's not like GM had unique technology for Saab. It's all over the Epsilon platform.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,318
    Well, it does make a convenient excuse not to have Chinese Saabs competing for market share with Chinese Buicks.

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  • ccappaccappa Posts: 29
    I suspect the "Chinese Saab" issue is the real reason, a lot more than the supposed "IP" issue.

    One more for the no-GM-ever-again brigade. And my family were GM people going back aways
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