Tag Archives: SaabsUnited

Saab Ownership Transfer Delayed and Spyker Sues GM

The deadline for the transfer of Saab to its new owners, National Electric Vehicle Sweden AB (NEVS), was last week, but the transfer did not take place. SaabsUnited is reporting that NEVS press manager Mikael Östlund has stated that the transfer has been delayed by at least one month. NEVS is confident the transfer will be completed by the end of summer.

Taking over a company that has gone through bankruptcy is complicated, especially a company that sells products worldwide. The transfer will take time. I am hopeful that the Saab name will continue.

Meanwhile, former Saab owner Spyker Cars is suing General Motors (GM) for its part in Saab’s bankruptcy. Autoblog reports that Spyker is suing for $3 billion and claims that GM interfered in Saab’s business practices and forced its bankruptcy. One might wonder how GM could have interfered in a company it owned, but Spyker had purchased Saab from GM. The lawsuit revolves around GM’s mishandling of Spyker’s choice to allow Chinese automaker Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile (Youngman) to invest in Saab. Spyker claims that GM killed the deal, and forced bankruptcy, to avoid competing with Saab in the Chinese market.

Does Spyker have a case? Absolutely. But it the GM – Spyker – Saab relationship is complicated. As SaabsUnited explains, Saab and GM had entered into a Automotive Technology License Agreement with Saab, and that agreement continued after Spyker purchased Saab from GM. Because of this agreement, Saab had access to GM’s platforms and technology, but Saab had a habit of making changes to GM’s platforms in its cars. The concern for GM with Youngman investing in Saab was that they would have access to GM’s technology. However, Youngman would not have had access to Saab’s 9-3, 9-4X, and 9-5 because of the details of the agreement. Instead, Youngman would have loaned money to Spyker allowing for the development of Saab’s Phoenix Platform and the eventual phasing out of GM’s platforms.

Saab’s problems began in early 2011, and Spyker was trying to figure out a solution that would serve its interest and preserve Saab. Spyker’s agreement with Youngman, known as the Framework Agreement, would have allowed Spyker to accept loans from Youngman, but Yougman would not become an equity partner into the company until GM’s platforms were completely phased out. In short, Yougman would have NEVER seen GM’s technology. Sounds like a fair deal, but GM stopped it. This forced Youngman to back out, and Saab was forced to declare bankruptcy in December 2011.

I believe Spyker has a strong case. The Framework Agreement did not involve GM, and even protected them from Youngman. Why did GM object? Clearly they were threatened by a Chinese company that would have certainly brought the next generation of Saab vehicles into China to compete with GM’s offerings. There are certainly two sides to every store, but this appears to be a simple case of a poor sport attempting to defeat the competition before it even had a chance. I have been very vocal about GM’s mishandling of Saab (as I expressed in this post), and I hope Spyker can prove its case. As with the Saab transfer to NEVS, I will continue to follow this story as it develops.

UPDATE: SaabsUnited is reporting that Youngman is also considering legal action against General Motors over their interference in the deal between them on Spyker.

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Update on Saab – National Electric Vehicle Sweden?

The Saab bankruptcy saga continues. GM is still unrelenting and Youngman, the Chinese company who had placed a bid on Saab, has pulled out. As of May 7, the bankruptcy administrators are no longer holding weekly press conference, and this seems to suggest the selling of Saab is close at hand. Who will buy it? Will Saab models continue?

Today, it is being reported that a deal may be in the near future. It appears that National Electric Vehicle Sweden is close to buying Saab and that a deal could be announced soon. I am happy that an automotive company might get Saab. But the question still remains, will Saab models continue? Clearly the 9-3, 9-4, and 9-5 cannot because they are all based on GM productes. However, Saab was developing the so-call Phoenix Platform before its bankruptcy. Will this be a platform that National Electric Vehicle Sweden can use to build electric or hybrid cars? Only time will tell.

Another uplifting story in the Saab saga is that earlier this month, the website SaabsUnited raised money to purchase the last 9-3 Griffin. They raised the money and have purchased the car! They intend to donate it to the Saab Museum in Trollhättan, Sweden. This is certainly a shot in the arm for Saab enthusiasts. SaabsUnited is a great website and I invite everyone to follow their blog for all the latest information on the Saab saga.

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Saab Update: 7 Buyers Interested

SaabsUnited reports that during today’s weekly press conference, the bankruptcy administrators reported that 7 serious bidders have lined up to purchase Saab. This is certainly more interest than had been previously reported. Mahindra and Youngman have been widely covered in the news, but this has allowed other companies to quietly place bids.

The press conference suggested that one of the bidders was a European based car company. While that leaves the possibilities wide open. They let slip that the company was based in Munich, Germany. That, of course, only leaves one option…BMW.

The administrators have expressed that the higgest bidder may not necessarily win. In this case, the creditors have to agree and they will only consider a company that could continue Saab using a non-GM platform. This would certainly bode well for BMW.

I really have mixed feelings about BMW taking over Saab. Saab, a Swedish company, has always been viewed as an alternative to the German cars that have taken over the European market. However, this would allow BMW to incorporate their technology into Saab. If the pricing remains as it was for the 2011 models, the future BMW backed Saabs could compete with Lincoln, Lexus, Infiniti, and, most importantly, Buick. GM does not want Saab to survive simply because of the competition. With BMW backing, Saab would only be better equipped to compete with GM and the other mid-level luxury car makers.

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Saab: Good News/Bad News

The Bad: Autoblog revealed that Saab North America will be liquidated as part of the bankruptcy. Although there are bids to save Saab in Sweden, it seems that Saab North America would not be included in the purchase. The dealers will have to decide if they wish to file for bankruptcy as well or wait for Saab’s liquidators to take care of their interests as well.

The Good: SaabsUnited reports that the Saab Museum in Trollhättan, Sweden has been saved! The museum was purchased for 28 million SEK by the city of Trollhättan. The collection will remain in tact. The fear was that individual collectors would pick and choose cars from the collection and break it up. If Saab is not able to continue, at least its history will be preserved.

Source: Autoblog, SaabsUnited

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Hope for Saab?

2011 Saab 9-3

The Chinese company, Youngman, has announced that it is still interested in purchasing Saab for approximately 5 billion SEK, and claims it has a way to get around General Motors. The parts used in Saab vehicles are supplied by GM, but Youngman says that it can find other suppliers for the 9-3 and get the production back up and running in fifteen weeks. It is no completely clear how they plan to get around GM since their technology is at the core of every Saab model. However, if they can get this past GM, it could be a new beginning for Saab.

There is still hope for Saab!

Source: SaabsUnited

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The End for Saab

Trollhättan Saab Gathering

As hard as it is for me to admit, Saab seems to be done. This past weekend, Saab supporters met world wide to show their support, and they turned out in droves. But today was the last day of work for the employees of Saab, and it was announced today that all cars still in the Saab factory in Trollhättan, Sweden will be crushed. Instead of selling the cars, they will just be disposed of.

Saab Museum

It has also been announced that all the cars in the Saab museum, also in Trollhättan, will be sold. Offers are due by January 20. Sadly, Saab is breaking up as is its history. There is still some hope, but the doubt is growing.

I hope Saab’s history is preserved, and I want to highlight the work of one website, SaabsUnited. They have been working hard to spread the word, especially about saving Saab’s museum. Preserving the history of Saab is important to me as well. I just hope someone steps up and purchases the entire museum so that all the cars can stay together.

It is hard to believe that all this is happening because General Motors refused to allow Chinese investors to invest in Saab. Unfortunately, the company needed this investment to survive. Saab filed bankruptcy on December 19, 2011 and there are no plans for a new Saab to emerge. I am disgusted with GM’s handling of the whole Saab issue. Just a few years ago they themselves went through bankruptcy and received millions in bailout money from the United States’ government. How quickly they forget what it was like being in the position Saab is in now. Maybe it isn’t right to blame GM, but when they stopped supporting Saab in 2010, it was clear Saab was going to need an investor to survive, but GM would have to approve of the investment because Saab still used GM products. It seems to me, that GM had to have known they held the key to Saab’s future and felt they would be better off ensuring a competitor’s death. I know one thing, I am proud to drive a Ford!

As always, I will update the blog as the story continues to develop.

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Saab Owners/Supporters to Gather Tomorrow

As the future of Saab hangs in the balance, Saab owners and supporters are holding gatherings worldwide to support the car company. The gatherings, dubbed “We are many, we are Saab,” are being organized in part by the website Outside Saab. According to their website, they explain why they are meeting:

“As a result of the filing for bankruptcy a bunch of Saab enthusiasts joined forces in order to give off a very strong signal, Saab may be in problems as a brand, but for us Saab is very much alive and kicking. Remember a lot of people are in rough waters since the factory stopped producing. They need our support. Together with the people of Trollhättans Kommun the Saab Dealers and Saab specialists are the forgotten victims here.”

Meanwhile, Saab is still going through the trappings of bankruptcy and has announced that the Saab Museum will put up for sale. Should Saab cease to exist, it is even more important that this museum be saved. Saab has had a rich history in both the auto industry and the airplane industry.

I will continue to provide updates as they become available. Sadly, Saab’s official website has not been updated since the announcement of the bankruptcy. The best place to get news is the website SaabsUnited, who supports tomorrow’s gatherings.

I encourage everyone to find a Saab gathering tomorrow or Sunday. You can find a list of meeting places here.

 

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