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Saab administrator: 'the patient is dead'

TT/The Local/pvs · 22 Jan 2012, 09:04

Published: 22 Jan 2012 09:04 GMT+01:00

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"Saab is a patient who has long bled to death and the brutal truth is that the patient is dead."

"But the patient has not stopped bleeding," Hans Bergqvist, one of Saab's bankruptcy administrators, said on Saturday in a first public statement following the long-embattled firm's bankruptcy in December.

Bergqvist continued to underline the importance of maintaining the residual value within the firm in order to increase the chances of staying afloat.

He also said that the administrators had chosen to bide their time to wait for the right moment to approach former owner US firm General Motors to discuss Saab's future.

Although GM beat them to it with a new statement in which they underlined that they were unwilling to release licences for their technology to any new buyers.

"GM got there before us and we now have to take this into consideration before we continue."

Bergqvist underlined that the administrators are conducting an ongoing dialogue with stakeholders.

"Over the next two to three weeks it will emerge which are serious."

He noted that interest has been shown in both the business as a whole and in part.

The inventory of Saab's bankruptcy has not yet been completed and according to Hans Bergqvist, the delay is understandable.

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"There is an enormous task," he said, expressing hope that it would be completed by March.

Bergqvist's colleague Anne-Marie Pouteaux revealed that there are several interested parties keen on taking over the Saab museum but no decision has been taken.

"We have received a large number of bids and we shall now evaluate them," she said.

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

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Your comments about this article

15:03 January 22, 2012 by BillyB
If its still bleeding then it cant be dead.
15:28 January 22, 2012 by ceo
great article, share similar views here at :

15:33 January 22, 2012 by tom chicago
Whats amaizing is that everyone blames GM. Well now GM is gone. How come no one in the guverment cares to save such an icon of the industry. Let alone few hundreds of jobs. Looks like nobody cares if the brand will disapear. There are tousands of dealers and owners of Saab cars in the world. They CAN save Saab and maybe thats the ONLY alternative left when nobody else care.
19:14 January 22, 2012 by swedejane
Saab is dead and Volvo is chinese. Sweden no longer has a car industry, only chinese plants operating in Sweden...for the time being anyway.
20:33 January 22, 2012 by volvoman9
I have long been a fan of Swedish and European cars in general. However the automobile is changing and has become less of a personal statement and more of a necessary accessory.

Though I will lament the passing of the romantic era of the auto it is going to happen. It's all about market share and only the mega companies will survive.

The Chinese are already taking Volvo in a direction that I feel will destroy the company. They seem to desire to create a luxury European themed brand in China and have chosen Volvo as the vehicle. This is contrary to everything that Volvo has stood for throughout it's history and will, I feel, be it's undoing.

If one looks at automotive history it is full of fascinating and wonderful cars that were not viable for the masses.This is sad and I for one feel fortunate to have lived in an era of romance with the car.
21:16 January 22, 2012 by Ballcocks
Yes definatley dead. Funeral TBA No Flowers.....
08:15 January 23, 2012 by Mats Nilsson
Continue to make 2 fikas per day, leave work at 15:00 to pick up kids. Swedish worker has no place in today's competitive world. Ericsson is next !
09:10 January 23, 2012 by RobinHood
Saab died about 20 years ago (well before GM bought it). It has been a zombie company since then, unable to exist on its own without massive transfusions of aid (money) from an owner that could afford to pay it (GM - but not Spyker).

The harsh truth is there was only just enough room in little Sweden for one car company, a tiny outfit like Saab did not fit into a hyper-competitive global car industry where economies of scale and shared development costs are essential. Management, unions, politicians, and even GM, for a while, lived in a state of denial. But the harsh realities of capitalism finally caught up with Saab and did it in. Saab is dead; good! It didn't deserve to live. The Euro is next, that doesn't deserve to live either.

Politicians and dreamers have to up their game. We can't afford to keep paying for this sort of nonsense. It's bankrupting the world.
18:26 January 23, 2012 by skumdum
GM killed it!
00:36 January 24, 2012 by Reason abd Realism
Harley Davidson was on the ropes and turned itself around. Are there enough baby boomers in Sweden who can be encouraged to fall in love with SAAB cars again?

Other options:

1. Open a Casino at the SAAB factory until all the debts are paid off + a huge cash reserve.

2. Sell SAAB to apple so that they can make an iCar. Apple never had a problem chargin a premium for a beautiful and intuitive product.

3. Get into F-1 racing just long enough to accuse another auto maker of stealing your car plans, and so get a 250 million dollar settlement.

OK I guess the patient really is dead .... not a very serious comment I guess but I am actually sad to see SAAB drive off into the sunset for good.
02:05 January 24, 2012 by Escort
Harsh as it may seem, RobinHood is essentially correct. Saab has been in terminal decline for 20 years, and its products are only of interest to a dwindling number of enthusiasts. As the theory of natural selection tells us, the uncompetitive fall by the wayside.
08:11 January 24, 2012 by Reason abd Realism
Like all forms of manufacturing in the West, the only option in the face of increased commoditization from manufacturing in India and China (which artificially lowers its currency to gain manufacturing market share) is to move up the value and technology scale, if one cannot make it in the high luxury end like Ferrari or Lambourghini.

Accordingly a slightly more serious option #4 to my previous post would be to make high tech police cars, ambulances, or military vehicles (in partnership with Bofors for example) with added instrumentation from the relatively large Swedish defence industry, if there is any room in that market.

SAAB airospace has a niche market that allows it to sell military jets and strike manufacturing sharing arrangements where the Americans are relectant to sell their or assemble their F-16's, F-18's, F-35's etc.., such as to India and possibly Brazil. One wonders if SAAB automobiles could make a high speed and highly equipped military vehicle that would be of interest to places that are not traditional American allies, or even to places that are.

Half of the employees would refuse to return to the production line on moral grounds (refusing to make military vehicles), but this would trim down the workforce to make the new venture slightly easier to start. And half or more of SAAB's auto fans would maybe be very angry or feel betrayed, but anyway this might keep the factory going, unless the re-tooling to make police cars, ambulances, or light weight military vehicles is too expensive, and/or if the market for these is too competitive already.

Or maybe the only market left is for the type of vechilce that SAAB itself make require, namely, a hearse. Hope not, but the vital signs (other than bleeding) indeed look grim.
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