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GM extends deadline for Saab sale: report

TT/AFP/The Local · 30 Dec 2009, 18:11

Published: 30 Dec 2009 13:32 GMT+01:00
Updated: 30 Dec 2009 18:11 GMT+01:00

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"The 31st of December deadline is not valid any more because GM announced that it will start the wind-down but at the same time that the bids that are coming in they will also evaluate," Saab spokesperson Eric Geers told AFP.

General Motors is currently in negotiations to sell Saab to Spyker, a Dutch

sportscar maker. Spyker's chief executive Victor Muller said earlier on Wednesday that he expects an answer from GM this week on his company's offer.

He added that other potential buyers than Spyker, which made a second offer for Saab last week, may have entered into the mix.

Asked about reports that a new deadline for the deal of January 7 had been set, Geers declined to comment but added that Saab would resume production on January 11 after a four-week shutdown as part of plans to close the plant.

"We will build all the customer orders," he said.

News of the deadline extension comes at the same time as various unions at Swedish car maker Saab have approached the US Department of the Treasury regarding GM's announced wind-down of its Swedish unit.

tefan Löfven, head of the influential Swedish union IF Metall, told the TT news agency that the union has a contact at the US finance ministry who will guide them through the American bureaucracy.

"We have also received positive signals that a solution for GM and Saab is being worked out. The American Department of the Treasury wants a positive outcome for GM and for American tax payers. In the long-term, this should also mean a good outcome for Swedish taxpayers and for Saab," said Löfven, who has also voiced criticism that the Swedish government had not stepped in to negotiate with its American counterpart.

"The world is not run by politicians calling each other. You don't solve problems like that. There must be a buyer that GM wants to sell to," TT quoted Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt as saying previously.

Last week, the unions urged GM to consider Spyker's second bid for Saab.

Story continues below…

Spyker renewed its offer on December 20th, two days after GM said it wanted to shut down the Swedish car maker.

On Tuesday, Swedish media reported that GM agreed to re-open negotiations on the sale of Saab to Spyker after the withdrawal of two of Spyker's Russian investors.

Saab, which has barely turned a profit in two decades under GM management, employs about 3,400 people in Sweden. Media reports suggest a Saab closure could lead to more than 8,000 job losses, including subcontractors.

TT/AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

14:52 December 30, 2009 by 2394040
As an American, all I can say is that I hope this works out for the SAAB employees. They have been kept in an agony of suspense for far too long. Big business can be cruel beyond belieft, so let's hope that there is still some compassion left in big business.
15:22 December 30, 2009 by anthonyx26
As an American, all I can say is that I hope GM does the smart thing for US taxpayers...sell Saab to Spyker (or another buyer who has interest in keeping it going)! Don't shut it down...it will needlessly cost US taxpayers dearly who graciously extended loan money for your survival!

- ax
15:46 December 30, 2009 by ntlayne
Saab is such a quality vehicle, hopefully it will be sold to a quality buyer. My husband walked away with just a sore neck after being hit by a semi...

They are stylish, fun and built to last.
16:56 December 30, 2009 by Rick Methven
"...it will needlessly cost US taxpayers dearly who graciously extended loan money for your survival!"

Bush gave away the US tax payers money to bail out his greedy auto industry pals. SAAB has not had any of it!
17:55 December 30, 2009 by Bensonradar
Great news. Let's hope Spyker Cars clinch the deal. 3,400 Saab workers and affiliate suppliers hope so too.

It's a great brand and a nice car to drive. I've owned two so far, 900S and 900 and they are great in all weather, including snow.

Just sign on the dotted line...
18:54 December 30, 2009 by Scotsaab
Is this the overdue Christmas miracle we were hoping for? Let's hope so. When you measure the high level of support for Saab it's only right that this sale should proceed.
19:11 December 30, 2009 by zeulf
Lets get it straight, Bush Bailed out the Banking System. GM bailed out SAAB for the last Twenty Years. Lost Money for all but Two Qtrs. Obama bailed out the US ( He is their President) Auto Industry. It is not enough to build a Safe Vehicle, You must get buyers to purchase it as well. GM subsidized SAAB and their Employees , therfore Sweden Still its Sad
20:08 December 30, 2009 by pallas
"Lets get it straight, Bush Bailed out the Banking System. GM bailed out SAAB for the last Twenty Years. Lost Money for all but Two Qtrs. Obama bailed out the US ( He is their President) Auto Industry. It is not enough to build a Safe Vehicle, You must get buyers to purchase it as well. GM subsidized SAAB and their Employees , therfore Sweden Still its Sad"

Let's try that again, shall we? (Please note removal of inappropriate capitalisation): Bush bailed out the failing banking system (failing due to years of corporate greed). Obama bailed out the US auto industry (we know he is "their" president) Greed Machine bailed out SAAB for the last twenty years, that's odd - it owned it for those twenty years- prior to that it was profitable. Why else would GM buy it in the first place? Your super-patriotism should reinforce the fact that even the frequently stupid GM wouldn't buy something that was going to lose it money. What GM did do however was cheapen the cars considerably, invest little or no money in it, and try to make it fit in a corporation that was flabby, greedy and that produced badly designed and built cars. It is not enough to build a Crap Car - you must get buyers to believe it's a good one before they will buy it. And that, my misguided friend is what GM has excelled at for the last 35 years. Good-Bye Greed Machine, your days are thankfully numbered. Oh and "Sweden Still its Sad" makes no sense. America Still its Not Getting It.
21:08 December 30, 2009 by zeulf
Someone needs to read a bit of History, SAAB LOST Money, that is why the Auto Division was sold off, Check it out, I mean why? would SAAB sell off a perfectly good Division, Maybee You are not old enough to remember when it had a Money loosing Exhaust system Group. Why would GM want a small unprofitable Auto company? Well I guess they thought its Image was appealing and that they could be made profitable. Its a Myth that SAAB was a great little profit generating Co. GM only owned 50% the first ten Years but Wallenberg Group sold the rest , Smart of Wallenberg Group Eh?

Lets try that again, shall we . Duh? ????
21:59 December 30, 2009 by Scotsaab
zeuf - silence! Read pallas and learn. History as presented by zeuf is a typically scewed American view - ill-informed but back by unbelievable self confidence.

It is a fact that most major car manufacturers have, at one time or another, lost vast sums of money. It is in the nature of the business as it was in shipbuilding and aviation.

Accounting can be creative and destructive but, pass quite rightly points out Saab's major marketing problem over the past two decades was that it ceased producting the imaginative and fundamentally sound car designs of its past and, thanks to GM, took its lead instead from the American model - minimal investment in technology and research, poor engineering design and execution and short-termism.

Just look at the average American produced car today if you want a direct comparison.
22:49 December 30, 2009 by zeulf
Oh My! to be banished to "Silence" by Scotsaab and Pallas

Lets let the British Auto Industry teach us a few lessions on Business planning.

Imaginative and fundamentally sound ideas, Um, Are You saying the Vehicles lacked Styling, Power, Technology??? all were Designed in Europe, not US

Just what is it You want to Say? That "someone else" screwed- up ?

Please tell me what Tech was lacking? I'd love to know . I'd say you are correct about Short term Profits

Quality went up after GM purchased SAAB. and ALL US Cars are much better Quality than 10 or 15 years ago. Get off the Play ground and back to School , Boys
23:18 December 30, 2009 by repat_xpat

I was pleased to see you didn't include your America bashing in your first post. Unfortunately your streak was short. I didn't like some of Zeulf's comments, especially the last line, but it never occurred to me that he must be an American, he didn't claim to be. I find it interesting that you simultaneously tell people to keep it civil or to be silenced while you slam America and its people - without provocation. Such negativity doesn't help.

I wish the best for SAAB, Trollhattan, and its people, many of whom are my personal friends. I pray that their jobs will be preserved one way or another.

ScotSAAB, are you a SAAB employee (if so, what do you do there?). I pray for your too.

Peace to America and to its great friend Sweden. May the future see better days and a closer relationship for both.
23:48 December 30, 2009 by spy

You need to take a reality check. GM did not 'bail out' Saab, they bought Saab to get hold of technology and to turn a profit. But as usual GM couldn't realise their dreams and they woefully mismanaged Saab through under-investment and constant attempts to turn Saab into a generic brand. During 20 years GM only funded a couple of new cars which was stupid, most manufacturers completely revamp a car model every 6 years but under GM's management the current Saab 9-5 is 13 years old and the product line up is still narrow. GM have starved poor Saab nearly to death, they should be forced to sell it because to shut it down will cost GM's shareholders (including US taxpayers) a fortune as they will be sued by 1100 dealers globally.
00:36 December 31, 2009 by Scotsaab
@ zeulf and repat_expat

Both of you should re-read pallas and study spy - both hit the nail on the head. This blog is about Saab, not paranoia. I find your attitudes offensive in an otherwise orderly debate.

Yes, British motor industry management was latterly poor, but that country turned out excellent engineering design and advanced technology and today some of the world's finest research and development organisations are based in the UK.

Your strain of collective negativity will kill Saab - but perhaps that's what you want? Schadenfreude helps no one.

I have been a motor and aviation industry analyst for more thahn 30 years on both sides of the Atlantic - I have a good grasp of where good and bad lie.

The global motor industry is going through yet another bad period, but many of us in the industry believe there is a market for Saab - but free of the undeniably financiall weakened GM who are better suited to more mainstream, mass production vehicles.
01:53 December 31, 2009 by zeulf
Please For all the comments posted, Not even the

Great Analyst with even 30 years experience has told us which great

Technology was grabbed, stolen or taken.

I too worked in the motor industry, but on the practical side ,

an experienced analyst should be able to add up what GM paid and the investments and say that is a bail out. it kept the Doors open. I am not a fan of GM

Its paranoid to attack people and throw out phrases like "collective negativity will kill SAAB" What will kill SAAB and others is the inability to compete in the Market Place.

Check out SAABs market area. it was most of the world, I'm not sure how you can fund such an operation and sell only 100K Vehicles I too grieve for SAAB and Esp Trollhatten, but wishing for a Christmas miracle is not help enough.

It will take a concerted effort by a group of knowlegeable people to pull this bunny out of the Fire. now IS the time for Maude to step in with a plan and lots of Skr.
07:05 December 31, 2009 by tennent
Pallas & others:

About Saab losses - how much was due to high transfer pricing? Few people know.

Saab's alleged losses have, I believe, been tax-deductible for GM, saving the corporation X billion dollars. Creative bookkeeping should be kept in mind in matters like this. And no multinational declares profits in a high-tax foreign country.

Apparently, Saab is losing too much now to be a good tax dodge.

We should be patient waiting for a decision by the GM Board. Its members are very old, most know nothing about cars, and they may think we should keep yodeling and take another mug of brandy from the casks around the necks of our big dogs.
12:13 December 31, 2009 by pallas

Very well put, and absolutely correct.

My company dealt with GM in the 80s over a sports coupé-convertible.

An experience never to be repeated.

They did indeed know nothing about cars, cared nothing about any company or territory outside their own and were only concerned with cheapening and cost cutting the designs, at the drawing-board stage and throughout production.

SAABs initial products under GM were the 78-94 900 and the 9000. Both suffered similar cost cutting measures, but still remained sound due to an initially over-engineered and exceptionally well produced design. Reducing the amount of carpet in the 9000 and fitting a GM gearbox cheapened it but didn't alter a fundmentally good car too much. Only the 900/9-3 that followed really suffered at the hands of the bean counters and number crunchers. Cracking bulkheads shouldn't happen...

On a larger scale GM has cheapened and damaged SAAB considerably, but the foundations of what made the company great in it's independent years still remain, and under the right ownership, could be made great again.

Here's hoping. (and yodeling and swigging brandy from my big dogs cask)
12:36 December 31, 2009 by Mr B
Well,their seem to be a lot of well informed people on here (or not, as the case may be) Lets not for get,8000 jobs on the line.Im sure the sale of Saab would be good for eveyone,including the US tax payer.Lets hope the New Year is better than this one.I, for one, will still be driving Saab's even if it goes to the wall.Its true that GM has been run badly,no one can argue with that (60+ billion in dept,unbelievable)I work for the largest of the Japanese motor manufacturers and if GM ran their business in the same fasion they would'nt be in a mess.As for the arguments about American cars and European cars,I don't see to many American cars in Europe,I woder why?
13:18 December 31, 2009 by berserker
To quote Mr B "I don't see to many American cars in Europe,I woder why? "

I know for a fact when I was working in the auto industry in Germany , where to be quite honest all most major car manufacturers have their testing grounds due to the Autobahn. The American cars did not have the quality to survive in extreme driving conditions. Transmissions or differentials would usually be the first to go in such extreme conditions and only after about 100k km for Americans here that not 100k miles. The reparation costs and upkeep along with insurance and gas prices / mileage for most vehicles just were not worth it. Lets not even talk about handling at around 220 kmh the american rides (if they reach those speeds would ride like a boat) Back then a consumer could by a bmw m3 for e.g. for about the same price as a mustang with all options, and have a better car in extreme driving conditions, better gas mileage, more top end, and cheaper insurance.

To get back on topic, I really hope for all the Saab employees, distributors, and other workers involved that Saab will find buyer hopefully competent enough to bring back an innovative Saab car a restore Saab the quality product it once was.

- A very happy 9-5 Troll R Saloon Driver
13:25 December 31, 2009 by Mr B
berserker,nice to see someone talking sense.I'm on the lookout for a nice 9-5 Aero to replace the classic converible I sold in the summer,so ,survive or not,I'll have a car that will serve me well for at least 10 years.Long live Saab.
17:08 December 31, 2009 by Scotsaab
It's thanks to people like tennent, Mr B and berserker that Saab has a chance. Keep it up boys. The badge has a proud history and many of us will continue to enjoy previous models - I drive a 96 two-stroke. Irrespective of the negativity of some, there is a future for Saab. Believe me, it can survive as a business and develop its market and a low-volume producer.

And for the benefit of zeulf: no, I would not care, in an open blog, to explain that point further or what technology has been "stolen" because that was his (or her) words.

Zeulf's disappointing dismissivness seems typical of his/her stance. Obviously the opinions of others are valueless as far as zeulf is concerned. Let's stick to supporting Saab.
01:42 January 1, 2010 by zeulf
Personal attacks are the stock in trade of some People. To Denigrate "Everything American" is Childish. JAGUAR and Rolls used GM Hydrmatic transmissions for Years.

Rear diff failure is almost unheard of. I did drive a 90 Vette at just ove 200 Kph, Rock Solid .I would think One could easily buy Two Mustangs for the Price of one M3, course that depends on where You buy them and what level of Engine. If You cannot reveal these "Stolen Secrets" on the Blog, why mention it in the first place? So GM " did indeed know nothing about Cars" Eh? Mr Pallas, would that Vehicle be the Cadillac built in Italy ?

So Paint me with a broad Brush and say I'm dismissive because I don't deal in Pipe Dreams, Why don't You SAAB Employees come up with some Money and buy it?

Some Employee pride could make it run more efficiently. But who would You denigrate then? we don't even see so many Euro cars here in Europe, Just more and more Japanese and soon Chinese

Wish I had the" Magic Answer" for SAAB
05:54 January 1, 2010 by spy

Whatever twaddle you write you can not realistically say that GM's ownership and management of Saab has been anything other than a disaster. I say again, GM did not 'bail out' Saab, they bought Saab to get hold of technology and to turn a profit. But as usual GM couldn't realise their dreams and they woefully mismanaged Saab through under-investment and constant attempts to turn Saab into a generic brand. During 20 years GM only funded a couple of new cars which was stupid, most manufacturers completely revamp a car model every 6 years but under GM's management the current Saab 9-5 is 13 years old and the product line up is still narrow. GM have starved poor Saab nearly to death, they should be forced to sell it because to shut it down will cost GM's shareholders (including US taxpayers) a fortune as they will be sued by 1100 dealers globally.

I feel you are alienating yourself as an American on this forum, I personally have nothing against you but I would point out the FACT that European cars were ,and continue to be, far superior than their American equivalents and that US companies generally do not understand the subtleties of the global market place. This is why GM and Ford are now refocussing efforts on their domestic affairs.
12:58 January 1, 2010 by willpf
Americans are twats, lets face it...
13:10 January 1, 2010 by michalino
It's so simple with ami's: Mr Obama is ready sent the trupps to Afghanistan due he does get the Nobel Price for Peace. It's like a comics and It's so the same by GM. They don't like save the SAAB! The Swedish government should get the SAAB back, I think.
15:53 January 1, 2010 by Rick Methven
GM is typical of US corporate thinking. Mass produce something at the cheapest possible price and try a sell it as a quality product.

GM was interested in SAAB because it was innovative and produced a quality product. GM thought that they could ride on the back of the reputation of SAAB and make money. But they wanted to ramp up production and reduce costs so first the so called 'New 900' and then the 9-3/9-5. The prices of these cars increased while little by little GM reduced the quality. The traditional SAAB driver was not fooled. For us SAAB died in 1994 with the introduction of the New 900 which is NOT a SAAB. Just look at the second hand price of a Classic 900 against a New 900 You will pay more for an older 900 classic than the re badged Opel.

What GM has done to SAAB cars , another US company nearly did for SAAB Civil Aerospace. In 1980 SAAB went into partnership with Fairchild to design and build a turbo-prop commuter plane ( I was the first Non-Swede to be hired by SAAB for the program).

SAAB wanted to build an aircraft that had the SAAB tradition of quality in it and a long life from derivatives. Fairchild wanted the cheapest product that could be made with the highest profit margin. Instead of the 40 seater a-breast plane that SAAB proposed, The SAAB Fairchild 340 became a 3 abreast 34 seater. Being 3 abreast it was very difficult to stretch, the stretched version proposed by Fairchild was not good. AND before the aircraft was fully into production, Fairchild pulled out as they did not want to pay for the cost of the development of an aircraft that they had foisted on SAAB.

SAAB Cars or Aerospace have not been helped by US involvement but destroyed by useless greedy American 'Entrepreneurs'
16:38 January 1, 2010 by gavas
Guys, get over it. GM has little to do with Saab's demise. They are too small, too money-losing, so RIP.

By the way, very few european cars (mostly high end MB and BMWs and a small number of VWs) are sold in the US and their reliability is nothing special. VW consistently ranks lower than american cars in short/long-term reliability in JD Power/consumer reports surveys, so I don't know where you guys get the "greatness" of european cars. They are fun to drive and that's about it. Sort of like dating a high-maintenance model :) If you are talking about american cars of the 90s, sure they were crap, but we are in 2010 :) In case you have not been following the news, american fords topped Toyota in reliability and are tied with Honda. Chevrolet is right behind. Buick has been at the top of reliability rankings along with Lexus for the better part of the decade. Chrysler is a different story, but we won't talk about those guys :)

As far as american cars not being sold very much in europe, it has more to do with the taxation than anything else. Plainly put, you'd have to be a sucker to buy a BMW M5 (or really in need of something to overinflate your ego), when you can get a Cadillac CTS-V for something like $30K less. Same goes for a Mustang, which sells new in the US starting at $22-23K. Of course, once you slap on a bunch of taxes once it arrives in EU, the price doesn't make any sense any more. Would you not consider a 300 hp Mustang costing approx. 20K euros (at current exchange rates) competitive with everything else on sale in EU?
18:03 January 1, 2010 by repat_xpat
@gavas I'm glad that you included data in your posting, referencing JD powers and specific models. Data beats blather every time.

The America bashing continues in this blog. Too bad.

Spy, not sure if you if you realize that the plant in Trollhattan was the least efficient GM plant globally. GM tried for years to improve quality and efficiency at the plant, but the Swedish labor Union and SAAB leadership refused. While I was living in Trollhattan one of SAABs senior exec's told me of a GM manufacturing leader who identified over 20 items that SAAB needed to address to make Trollhattan a competitive plant. The exec told me SAAB sent him home and refused to implement the required changes. I suspect this is one of the major reasons GM decided to dump SAAB. GM also invested in engineering at SAAB, but the Engineering leadership continued to spit in GM's face, refusing to follow global practices and work with non-swedes. GM tried very hard to make SAAB a successful brand, but SAAB refused. It wasn't bad management at GM, it was uncooperative management at SAAB.

I'm surprised to hear so much talk from so many "experts" about how bad American cars are and why American cars don't sell in Europe. While I lived in Sweden I saw many Volvo's, SAAB's, Opel's and other American car company products. In fact, the American owned Opel Insignia was named the EU car of the year in 2009 and the Ford Fiesta came in second. American car companies took the top two spots! You see, the strategy is to develop cars for their target markets, not force one market's cars onto another market. It's an incongruent argument to say that American cars suck because they are not sold in Europe, such experts should know better. Toyota uses this strategy too; American Toyota's are not the same as what Toyota sells in Japan or Europe.

The technical discussions in this form seem fair, but the anti-American bias should be kept to your selves. This bias suggests that your position is based on ethnocentrism, rather than an understanding of the issue. Perhaps this is the case anyway.
18:04 January 1, 2010 by Rick Methven
The reason why not so many US cars get sold in Europe is that they do not meet EU safety standards. They rust and fall apart to easlly
18:22 January 1, 2010 by lingonberrie
Just get the Saab, and the Volvo, out of the hands of the abysmal American Automotive Industry.

Quality will return immediately.
20:04 January 1, 2010 by zeulf
Ms lingonberrie. From Your lips to Gods Ear. but Don't look for him to answer your prayers, he might say that You have to do the work first.

Come on Swedes; Please purchase back SAAB and Volvo; I'm tired of talk. Lets see some action. Mr SPY, with his intimate knowlege of the Auto industry should head up

all the Lineshooters and show us how it is done.

Is there enough of an Engineering Department left at SAAB to do the work? or has it all been moved to Russelsheim?
21:57 January 1, 2010 by ingvar

investments, improvments, trying to make competitive... bla bla bla

Americans are just TOO greedy. Period. That is the origin of so called anti-American bias. While cutting production expenses American managers just forgot to cut prices on European market for better margins sake.
04:50 January 2, 2010 by repat_xpat
The baseless America bashing continues. "Americans are just TOO greedy". This is a broad stroke against 350 million people. Fortunately, it's not based in reality. It is well documented that American's give more per capita than any other people on earth. Swedish people came in 18th. There is good news for Sweden though; Sweden comes in second in individual volunteerism (behind the Netherlands). The Swedish beat the Americans on that one, but Americans are close at third. America as a nation also gives more than any other country on earth (both per capita and in raw currency). America is the first to lend aid in any national disaster and the Americans come with the deepest pockets. America would be there for Sweden tomorrow if the need should arise. None of this lines up with the claim that American's are greedy.

My data is easy to validate on the web; here is my source (Johns Hopkins University Philanthropy study):


The generic America bashing is not helpful in this forum. I am sorry there is so much blind hate out there. Fortunately, I don't think this blog characterizes most of the Swedish people.
06:51 January 2, 2010 by spy

You are talking balls. Trollhattan is one of the most efficient plants in Europe and the cost of wages are 30% cheaper in Sweden than for example Germany. Also it is a fact that GM used Swedish employees to spearhead Turbo, 4wd, Flex-fuel, and more recently hybrid R&D. . . Why? Well because they are innovative and have a history of developing useful technology. You also drivelled on about the unions being obstructive when in reality the Swedish unions are far more progressive than most others in Europe, just look at the German equivalent. . .

I am not America bashing but it is a little irritating when you try to insinuate that GM is a competent, responsible company when it has had weak management and unclear direction for years. GM's ownership and management of Saab has been a disaster. I say again, GM did not 'bail out' Saab, they bought Saab to get hold of technology and to turn a profit. But as usual GM couldn't realise their dreams and they woefully mismanaged Saab through under-investment and constant attempts to turn Saab into a generic brand. During 20 years GM only funded a couple of new cars which was stupid, most manufacturers completely revamp a car model every 6 years but under GM's management the current Saab 9-5 is 13 years old and the product line up is still narrow. GM have starved poor Saab nearly to death, they should be forced to sell it because to shut it down will cost GM's shareholders (including US taxpayers) a fortune as they will be sued by 1100 dealers globally.

Also I can not think of one US produced car that has sold globally in the same way as for example BMW, Audi or even Saab in its heyday. Let's face it America just doesn't make good cars at the moment and with the dinosaurs in control of the Auto industry and the 'yes men' working for them they probably wont for quite a while.
13:20 January 2, 2010 by Scotsaab
@ spy

Excellent points, well put. Saab was an expedient loss maker for GM that allowed the parent company to claim back large abouts of money over the years. The result of that position and the subsequent lack on meaningful investment has delivered the situation we have today. That's accounting fact.

I have never worked for Saab as an analyst but know many who have and still do. GM ownership was not all bad, but the one recurring theme is lack of investment and an inability to believe in the brand they owned as something worth developing. Investment was dreadful. One of their finest chassis engineers, a Swede from Ourst with whom I am friendly, was so disgusted that he left Saab and now works in the European aviation industry. His insight is remarkably similar to that posted by @spy.

This blog reflects understandable frustration with the American global motor industry -and for good reason. There is little point in trying to respond to the like of zeulf or expat_repat. I salute their US loyalty, but their claims are nonsense.

If, let's say, VAG had bought Saab, as they had at one stage planned, the picture would be significantly better.

There is a place for Saab in the market. It just needs good management and commitment.
13:43 January 2, 2010 by berserker
It is really nice to see some people talking some sense here. My examples earlier were in late 90's early 2000 when the $ was significantly stronger to the German Mark or early €. Buying and maintaining a foreign car is always more expensive in said country but anyone with common sense knows this.

As far as maintenance goes anyone who drives their cars in extreme conditions , daily Autobahn for e.g. knows you take it in regularly for "preventative maintenance" instead of letting things just break.

Imho GM has just had bad management and business practices here in Europe. They gutted Saab , e.g. using the platform for their German GM Vectra. They also ruined Saab image , building parts in Opel plants (diesel line) "Buy a Saab get an Opel" is what they said after 2002 after GM bought all Saab shares. Correct me if I am wrong, wasn't the 9-5 and the high end 9-3 Viggen the only cars being produced in Trollhättan, after GM bought all shares? GM never invested anything in new technology except a few concept cars that were just there as Saab image holders, cmon GM just let Saab go so Saab can be Saab even if it's under new management and we can all move on .
14:00 January 2, 2010 by Rick Methven
"There is a place for Saab in the market. It just needs good management and commitment"

Re-building relations with SAAB Aerospace would be a good way to go.

The interaction between Aerospace and Automotive divisions in the old SAAB-Scania reaped dividends for the whole group.

There is one SAAB Car that most probably most people have never heard of. The SAAB Friction tester. This innovative car designed by cooperation between the divisions was originally a 900 turbo ( now on a 9-5 platform) with a fifth wheel. The car goes bombing down the runway flat out and then drops the fifth wheel located between the Back wheels. This simulates an aircraft touching down. The runway friction is measured by software and results printed out and transmitted to the airport.

This device has been instrumental in ensuring safe landing for aircraft for the past 25 years.

It is also used in a large number of US airports
23:20 January 3, 2010 by zeulf
SAAB was used to spearhead Turbo, Flex fuel ,4wd and Hybrid tech, Well at least the Turbo part is True, but what the Yanks dom't know about 4wd with all their trucks and Crossovers is not woth knowing, Which SAAB 4wd were You talking about ? Secret ? , so maybe You cannot mention it on an "open Blog"? Alt fuel and Elec, tech was being done in Germany, You also have no experience in that , but as a Dreaming LINESHOOTER , You are excellent.

A Buddy in Trollhatten always complained that it was the Germans who acted as BigBrother. The Friction tester sounds like a Great Idea.

And SAAB still needs a buyer, when will the Swedes rise up and help. if the Tooling goes, there goes the Ability to produce.
23:59 January 3, 2010 by muda
I am not Swedish. I believe Swedish Government should bail out SAAB rather than let it go to foreigners. Obama spent trillion USD for bailing out failing companies in the US. Why should Swedish government do the same for SAAB.
10:25 January 6, 2010 by spy

It seems like you have an axe to grind against Saab perhaps you would enlighten us as to why. Also it sounds very much like you have only a little of the information on this topic. If your 'buddy' still works there then why not verify some facts with him . .
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