A brief thought, courtesy of GM

I read this in the Wall Street Journal this morning:

STOCKHOLM (Dow Jones)–The former owner of troubled Swedish car maker Saab Automobile AB, General Motors Co. (GM), said Friday it would have a difficult time supporting a change in ownership of the company based on the information at hand.

“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 spokesman Jim Cain.

My brief thought as a Saab fan who’s followed this journey closely for nearly two years straight now:

Ford found a way to let Volvo keep going and protect its interests. So can you.

My hope for all the people on our side of the table….. Keep talking. Find a way. Never, ever give up.


Something I just added in comments that I figured was appropriate to state here, as well:

GM have legitimate interests to protect. No-one’s arguing with that. But that doesn’t mean that those interests can’t be protected. Things can always be worked out where there’s an interest in doing so. I just hope GM have same view as the rest of us – the world is not a better place with Saab gone, and there’s no threat from Saab to their business.

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  1. Hey Swade, never commented before, buy I read your updates two or three times a day!! We would be lost with out you! Why Oh Why do these GM guys keep putting the boot in? If all these negative actions get you down as much as they do me, my heart goes right out to ya, my Saab friend!!!

    1. What is it with GM?  Hans, an answer to that would fill volumes…hundreds of volumes, chapter after chapter.  In short, they were once the largest and most successful company in the world.  In the grand scheme of things, it really wasn’t that long ago either.  Over the last four decades, they’ve gotten so many things wrong, it almost seems impossible.  It seems like every ridiculous decision they make leads to an even more ridiculous new decision to try to work their way out of the jam.  In any event, their preliminary posture/response to the sale of Saab to Pang Da and Youngman is unacceptable and it must be challenged.  Saab and the new owners, as well as governments of several nations must work with GM to come to an agreement that preserves this sale and in turn, preserves a future for the Saab brand.  If GM gets too wacky on this, thousands of Saab enthusiasts and owners MUST answer in kind.  We will have options to convince GM that the best outcome for them will be to allow this sale.

  2. Hi gents,

    GM have legitimate interests to protect.  No-one’s arguing with that.  But that doesn’t mean that those interests can’t be protected.  Things can always be worked out where there’s an interest in doing so.  I just hope they have same view as the rest of us – the world is not a better place with Saab gone, and there’s no threat from Saab to their business.

    1. Dear Steven, 

      just wondering whether GM is concerned with their business risks i.e. producing and selling cars (which I believe is not impacted by the latest SAAB movements at all), or intellectual property? I would assume that the current 9-5 and 9-4x SAAB vehicles do share a lot with existing GM platforms, so IP rights protection here might be affected by ownership handover… That was the very first thing I thought about reading the PR regarding MoU with PangDa & Youngman, and sadly this aspect seems being in GM’s agenda either. Tough question is whether investors from China are still committed to SAAB brand with no or restricted IP rights or whether it is IP that attracts them most…

  3. The problem with GM is that it’s run by people who generally are not car people. GM denied BAIC access to going in with Koenigsegg back in 2009 due to worries over IP. Sadly I have zero respect for GM these days due to various factors and not just how they handled the sale of SAAB, nothing surprises me as to how GM stamps its feet and expect people to comply.
    A few years ago a certain amount of managers at GM didn’t know they owned SAAB. Once informed they then thought that the cars must be produced in Detroit.
    Of course we talking about a minority but I believe this kind of narrow mindedness runs deep with the company.
    Back to the sale of saab. Many have raised an eyebrow as to how the Chinese were going to buy Saab Automobile with GM still floating around in the background. This statement from Jim Cain just underlines that GM cannot work with partners. There would be no trouble in licensing the use of the IP but GM will just see a sale of a 9-5 in China as one less Buick they should have had. It’s why the SRX was launched before the 9-4x Although the SAAB should have come first. it’s why the Insignia came before the 9-5. It’s why out of all the GM cars in North America that could run on e85, SAAB didn’t have an offering; even though Saab engineered the engines for GM.
    If this is how GM treated SAAB when they owned them, then they sure as hell are not going to pull the stops out to help them now.

  4. G.M. has nothing I need , and they don’t own the market , I decide what I buy . I’m sure thats true for the rest of the world .  Earn your market share , just like the rest of the products in the world .

  5. The only reason GM sold SAAB to V. Muller was that they believed hè never woud succeed in rescueing SAAB. They wanted SAAB dead, and this is still so now. Very, very sad!

  6. Here is a cut and paste of something I posted Friday night on another thread:  “This is urgent.  It was reported earlier today (Friday, November 3) that General Motors might plan to block the sale of Saab to new owners.  I think it is time for the Saab Nation to mobilize and flood the GM Website “Contact Us, Other” with e-mails.  As well, for those inclined, phone calls and letters should be made to GM.  In short, I’ve owned many GM vehicles in my life as I’m from a GM family.  Currently, I own 3 GMs, including a Saab.  If GM moves to block this sale and if they succeed, I will never under any circumstances buy another GM product.  Further, I will use the internet—-Facebook, other websites and personal contact—to urge everyone I can reach to join me in boycotting GM and getting the message out to as many people as possible to do the same.  Finally, I will explore the possibility of a class action suit—-to recover lost resale value from the demise of Saab and to address the inaccessibility of Saab parts and service.  GM sold me my Saab.  They were hapless Managers of the brand and sold it.  Now, they will move to make sure it is shut down forever, betraying my trust in them when I bought my car.  Much stranger class action suits have been filed.  If nothing else, thousands of Saab owners should individuallay take GM to small claims court just to tie them up all over the place.  This is outrageous and it must be met rapidly and strongly with a huge response from us Saab enthusiasts.  We can try reasoning with them to start—but move to internet guerilla tactics later to lampoon them and discourage everyone from buying from General Motors, ever.”  I will add that depending on the politcal clout the guys who run Pang Da and Youngman have with high ranking Chinese government officials—-perhaps the Chinese leadership can be perusded to turn the screws to GM so to speak.  Pang Da/Youngman aquiring Saab is a very good thing for China in the long run.  And let’s face it, right now, GM needs China more than China needs GM.  Perhaps the Chinese can TELL GM to cool it—-or they’ll make life tough on GM business practices in China.  If GM wants to go to war with us fans of Saab, they might be in for a surprise.  This is worth fighting for—keeping Saab viable.