Tag Archives: GM

Why I Love the Fisker Karma

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Occasionally I visit Fisker Automotive’s website to see if there is any news on the possible return of one of my favorite car companies. Usually I am greeted by a website advertising the Karma, Fisker’s first model. The headlines are for something. Today, I visited the site and what I found saddened me. Instead of being greeted by a picture of the Karma and the Fisker logo, I received the error: “Safari can’t open the page.” The site is no longer active.

Since the company stopped production in late 2012, there are a stream of negative comments about the company’s struggles and the flaws in the car every time an article is published about Fisker. The Karma is often compared to the Tesla Model S and Tesla’s relative success. While Tesla does offer a good product, the two companies have very different philosophies and different leadership. Tesla developed its car from the ground up, including the all-electric drive train. Fisker meanwhile partnered with General Motors and used a modified version of the hybrid powertrain found in the Chevrolet Volt. This allowed then CEO Henrik Fisker to focus on the design of the car and further develop the technology provided by GM.

Fisker-LogoHenrik Fisker is an automotive designer, and a damn good one. Besides the Karma, Fisker also designed the BMW Z8, Aston Martin DB9, and the Aston Martin V8 Vantage. He also had a hand in the design of the Tesla Model S, but Fisker began his own company in 2004. He then partnered with Quantum Technologies to create what became Fisker Automotive. The Fisker Karma debuted at the North American International Auto Show in January 2008. Fisker secured a $528.7 million loan from the Department of Energy in 2009, and everything appeared to be running smoothly. However, the financial situation of Fisker was still not stable and the Karma was delayed a number of times. The car was finally released in late 2011. Fisker stepped down as CEO in 2012 but remained as executive chairman.  Things seemed to improve for Fisker in late 2012 when Tony Posawatz, former head of the Chevrolet Volt team, was named CEO, and the company secured $392 million in additional funding. But all went south in early 2013 when Fisker left the company, lawyers were hired to explore the possibility of bankruptcy, and 75% of Fisker’s workforce was laid off. The company filed for bankruptcy in November 2013.

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While the Karma has been criticized since the company’s bankruptcy, when the car was released in 2011, it was well received by the automotive press. The Karma offered a lot to like. The exterior design is beautiful with its low sweeping profile. The interior is equally impressive with its high quality materials and a massive touch screen that allows the driver to control every aspect of the car. The drivetrain consists of a 2.0 litre turbocharged I4 and two 120 kW motors. Each of the electric motors produce 161 horsepower and a massive 479 lb. ft. of torque. While the car weighs around 5,300 pounds, the torque of the electric motor pushed the Karma to 60 mph in around 5 seconds. Not bad for a heavy electric car. The Karma did sell fairly well initially, but the company was plagued by money concerns. The Karma has had a few recalls and there was a fire concern, but new models often have issues and electric cars seem to have an issue with fire – ask Tesla.

Since filing for bankruptcy, Fisker has been acquired by Hybrid Technology LLC, who now holds Fisker’s initial loan. The loan was sold to Hybrid at a huge loss to US taxpayers. The resolution of the bankruptcy is eerily similar to the end of the DeLorean Motor Company in the 1980s. The sell of Fisker is expected to be complete on January 3, 2014. Hopefully, the company can return with a viable business plan and begin to produce new Karmas and some of the other models that Fisker was planning.

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I believe that the Karma could have been a successful luxury hybrid car with the convenience of the EVer powertrain (extended range). Personally, I do not think the electric car is the future of automobiles. Batteries are heavy, difficult to produce, expensive to replace, and are difficult to recycle. The technology may eventually catch up, but for now, hybrid powertrains are the more useful because you have a conventional gasoline powered engine as a backup power source. Cars like the Model S and Nissan Leaf, are full electric and make long road trip nearly impossible. Even with 250 miles of range, it takes several hours to fully charge the batteries. There are quick charge stations, but quick charging the batteries on a regular basis degrade the batteries more quickly. I can easily drive 1,000 miles per day in a gasoline-powered car. This would be impossible in an all-electric car, but it is not impossible for a Karma or Volt because I can stop and refuel them. Extended range powertrains are the (near) future (along with diesel, but that is another discussion!).

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Another factor that attracts me to the Karma is that I have great respect for those who take the risk of starting a new car company. Preston Tucker, John DeLorean, and Henrik Fisker all created product they believed in, and failed. All three of them failed due to financial issue. Tesla has had it share of problems as it developed the Model S, but its owner, Elon Musk, is a billionaire. He can afford to dump cash into Tesla when it was struggling. Tucker, DeLorean, and Fisker did not have that option.

Following the completion of Fisker’s bankruptcy, I would like to see Henrik Fisker return to his company and the Karma go back into production. I believe the car could be success as there is a dealer base and Fisker’s products are only going to improve as the technology improves. Moving forward, a technical alliance between GM and Fisker could be mutually beneficial. Fisker modified GM’s platform and GM is currently developing the next generation Volt. The companies could work together to develop the EVer powertrain and future batteries. In fact, one has to wonder why GM did not step in and offer some assistance when Fisker was struggling.

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The Fisker Karma is one of my favorite cars because it was one man’s dream. A concept car that made it to production virtually unchanged. The gorgeous exterior, the usability and versatility of the EVer powertrain, the eco conscious materials, and the dream of one man make the Karma a great car. Sadly, the company could not overcome its financial issue, but in 2014, Fisker may get a second chance. Until then, I would be proud to own a 2012 Fisker Karma…in white!

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The 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

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Tonight, Chevrolet took the cover off the 2014 Corvette in grand fashion. The event was broadcast online and has been publicized for months.  One of the most surprising announcements of the night was the car’s name: Stingray. No Corvette has been given this badge since the late 1970s. Chevrolet felt this car was so special, that it was worthy of one of the most iconic nameplates in GM’s history. Stingrays are expected to begin hitting show room floors in September, and no pricing was announced. Nevertheless, a new Corvette is big news in the automotive world and the introduction of the C7 has been anticipated since the release of the C6 in 2005. Is the C7 worth the wait? Let’s explore the 2014 Corvette Stingray.

Specs

2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

We will begin with the most important information. The drivetrain. The Corvette made the small block V8 into what it is today, and the 6.2 litre LT1 offered in the Corvette Stingray is all new. Producing 450 horsepower and 450 lb. ft. of torque, the numbers are not that much more than the C6. Paired with the LT1 are two new transmission options. Chevy is offering an all new seven-speed manual or a six-speed paddle shift. Both will offer impressive performance paired with that V8.

Chevrolet promises the new Corvette Stingray has 50/50 weight distribution and added stiffness to improve handling. In fact, the car’s entire frame is now constructed from aluminum, a feature once reserved for the Z06 and ZR1. Chevy claims that the new Corvette will achieve 0 – 60 in under 4 seconds and that the power to weight ratio of the C7 is better than the Porsche 911 and Audi R8. Those are some pretty big claims. Claims that will have to be tested in the future, but impressive for a base model. But nothing was said of independent suspension. Chevy will offer a Z51 performance package with a variety of improvements including Magnetic Ride Control, limited slip differential, dry sump system, close-ratio gearset, and additional coolers for the brakes, transmission and differential.

Interior

2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

Since the C5, the Corvette’s interior has been problematic, no, cheap. The plastic dash and uncomfortable seats have made the Corvette’s interior one of the most hated in the industry. One of the promises GM made with the regards to the C7 was an all new interior worthy of a world-class sports car. Certainly the new interior looks better, but anything would be an improvement in this department.

What has changed inside the Corvette? Chevy claims that the interior is all new, and it looks it. The dashboard has an all new, driver centered design, a new instrument cluster, a new infotainment system, and all new seats. The seats of the C5 and C6 were poor and the Corvette Stingray will come with two seats, GT and Competition. Both look inviting, but the Competition seats will feature a magnesium frame to save weight and add strength. But there are some oddities. The blocky steering wheel looks like it belongs in the Impala, not a Corvette, and the carbon fiber trim pieces look out of place. Although it is not perfect,  Chevrolet has paid more attention to the interior and it shows.

Exterior

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The exterior is where everything goes wrong for me. I have said on several occasions that if the Corvette was still made of fibre glass, in the world of aluminum, magnesium, and carbon fibre, that Chevrolet had already lost. Bad news: fibre glass it is. Why in the 21st century is a world class sports car still built from plastic?? I know, I know, carbon fibre is expensive, but aluminum is not and the entire frame of this car is made from it. If it is strong enough to frame the car, why can’t it make up the body as well?

Fibre glass aside, the Corvette now has the nose of a Viper, rear 3/4 of a GT-R, and the ass of a Camaro. The result of of an awkward three-way? There are too many lines on this car and it is hard for the eye to follow one line from start to finish with finding another. It reminds me of the current Hyundai Genesis Coupe in this regard. It is over-designed.

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Angular design works well on Lamborghinis, but it has not worked here. Softer lines have been a part of the Corvette’s heritage since the first car was unveiled in January 1953. A curvy body has graced the Corvette for most of its life. The designers went for something different, and I am not sure if it has worked. From the side, this car is clearly a Corvette as it has a silhouette that has been familiar since the C3. But from other angles, the car is just bizarre. Perhaps the most unappealing angle is from the rear. The square rear with the square tail lights belong on the Camaro. My only wish is that someone had taken away the designers’ rulers.

I am sure that the majority of Corvette enthusiasts will love the C7, just as there will be some that hate it. I have been pretty critical, and I do not want anyone to think that my negative posts about GM has anything to do with my opinion of the Corvette. As a car enthusiast, I have always had an admiration for the Corvette, and I loved the C6. But I think this car’s styling will make it tough for some Corvette enthusiasts to like, and that is not a bad thing. Controversial design makes a car more interesting, and I am looking forward to learning more about the 2014 Corvette Stingray throughout the year, and there is still a lot to be revealed. When will we see the convertible? Z06? ZR1? What about the C7-R?

In the meantime, watch the full unveiling video below.

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The Lincoln Motor Company

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What is going on with Ford Motor Company’s Lincoln The Lincoln Motor Company? Ford says the brand is going strong and even gave it a new name at the beginning of this year. But much of the automotive press has dismissed Lincoln and some have even predicted its death. Nevertheless, they continue introduce new models, but we have to wonder what Ford’s plans are for the “new” Lincoln Motor Company. To better understand what Lincoln’s future may hold, we need to take a look at its competition and its newest products.

Competition

Lincoln's new MKZ is too much like Ford's Fusion

Lincoln’s new MKZ is too much like Ford’s Fusion

Lincoln has long been the luxury brand of Ford. That is to say, Lincolns have simply been nicer versions of Ford vehicles. However, the automotive world is changing, and Ford has been leading the charge with its global platforms. But Lincoln seems to have been left behind and lost its character. What does Lincoln do that is different from Ford? Not much really. So, who are Lincoln’s top competitors?

Lexus? Yes and no. Lexus has been much like Lincoln in that it has only sold rebadged versions of Toyota, but Lexus has really stepped it up. New Lexus models such as the GS and the soon to be released IS prove that Lexus has a new target: Germany. Lexus is going after BMW and Mercedes by building rear wheel drive cars with a fair amount of power and competitive handling. Lincoln makes front wheel drive cars with very little power. Not Lexus models are sporty, so Lincoln could compete with the luxury and styling elements of these models, but even here Lincoln falls a little short.

Infiniti? Yes and no. Like Lexus, Infiniti is reinventing itself by creating models that offer sportiness and luxury. But again, Lincoln falls short.

Cadillac? No. The ATS, CTS, and XTS are all rear wheel drive and have a decent amount of power (when properly equipped, but is for another post). Again, Cadillac is gunning for the Germans, and by all accounts, the all new ATS has brought them close. But Lincoln’s current offerings cannot compete with the power and handling these cars offer.

BMW and Mercedes? Hell no.

Buick? Finally a competitor for Lincoln. But Buick is about it. Much like Lincoln and Ford, Buick sells rebadged versions of Chevrolet vehicles (much like all GM’s brands, but again, that is for another day). They are all front wheel drive and are primarily sold to…more mature Americans. This accurately describes Lincoln.

So what does Lincoln need to do? Clearly they cannot keep selling rebadged Fords and compete only with Buick. Mercury was axed because the cars were only rebranding Fords, but so does Lincoln. So why did Ford keep Lincoln? Perhaps we are beginning to see why. There has been a lot of talk lately about Lincoln developing a rear wheel drive platform based on the current Mustang’s platform. Could this be used to take on the Germans and Japanese luxury carmakers? Can Lincoln pull off what Lexus has done over the past several years. I believe it can, but it is going to take some fresh ideas and fair amount of resources to do so.

Welcome the MKC

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Yesterday, Lincoln unveiled the MKC, the new SUV concept it is bringing to the Detroit Auto Show. Based on Ford’s new Escape, the MKC does not look like a Ford. Some suggest it looks like an Infiniti or a Range Rover Evoque, but the important thing is that it has a design unique to Lincoln.

When I first saw the MKC this morning, I wondered why it was not a Ford. It would sell better as a Ford, and it would look great with Ford’s new Aston Martin-like styling. But the more I thought about it, this really needed to be a Lincoln. Lincoln needs a vehicle that has styling that differs from the Ford that shares its platform. This model is the first step for The Lincoln Motor Company to separate itself from Ford.

As I look at the MKC’s beautiful body and luxurious interior, there is one question nagging me. How will it drive? The Escape has been well reviewed, but the Lincoln MKC needs to be different. It needs to offer something more. As I discussed above with the cars, Lincoln’s SUVs need a new target. Land Rover seems like a good target for Lincoln. Like a Land Rover, the MKC offers great looks and a luxurious interior, but will the MKC perform off-road? We will have to wait to find out. There are already a wide variety of luxury SUVs on the market today but there are only two companies, that I can think of, that sell nicely equipped off-road capable SUVs: Land Rover and Jeep. These companies should be Lincoln’s target with all future SUV offerings.

We do not know much about the new MKC, or about the new Lincoln Motor Company’s future plans, and we may find out more about both over the next few days. But if the “new” Lincoln Motor Company wants to compete on global scale like Ford, they will need all new models with new goals. Rear wheel drive luxury cars and an off-road capable luxury SUVs would set Lincoln apart from Ford and could save the company.

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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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Book Review: American Icon

Bryce G. Hoffman. American Icon: Alan Mulally and the Fight to Save Ford motor Company. New York: Crown Business, 2012. 422 pp. $26.00 (Hardcover), ISBN 978-0-307-88605-7.

Today the automotive world looks to Ford Motor Company as a standard in quality in the industry. This had not always been the case. In fact, this is a very recent development, coming only in the last five years. Like General Motors and Chrysler, Ford had been viewed as complacent in the market and bloated in brands in the late 1990s and early 2000s. This was only made worse under the leadership of CEOs Alex Trotman and Jacques Nasser. In 2001, Bill Ford become CEO of the company that bore his family’s name, but he began to realize Ford was in poor shape, and he was not the man to run the company.

Automotive journalist Bryce G. Hoffman explores this early history briefly in his book American Icon: Alan Mulally and the Fight to Save Ford Motor Company. Bill Ford realized that Ford was desperate and needed to find someone who could save it. The man chosen for the job was Boeing executive Alan Mulally. Mulally had worked at Boeing after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 when Boeing’s sales were cut by over 50% following the attacks, and Mulally began to cut Boeing and reorganize it into a global business. This record attracted the attention of Bill Ford and he brought him to Ford as CEO in September 2006.

Hoffman uses his connections, as well as the cooperation of Mulally and many within Ford, to tell the story of one of the greatest turn-arounds in business history. When Mulally arrived at Ford, he encountered a poison corporate culture that encouraged competition and backstabbing among its executives. His job was to save Ford from bankruptcy, by some estimates Ford was only a few months from this reality, but Mulally would have to train the executives to think, and act, as a team. He did this by having weekly meetings with all senior executives who were required to present the data from their respective departments to Mulally each week. He wanted openness, something that had never been stressed in Detroit.

CEO Alan Mulally, Chairman Bill Ford, and VP of North American Cars and Trucks Mark Fields

As the openness began to spread, the problems within Ford became clear to Mulally and this allowed him and the team to begin restructuring the company. His goals was to simplify the Ford lineup by eliminating the majority of its brands (Ford owned Ford, Lincoln, Mercury, Aston Martin, Jaguar, Land Rover, Volvo, and a stake in Mazda). At the same time, Mulally brought the organization methods used at Boeing to make Ford global. This organization saved Ford a great deal of money allowing them to sell the same cars worldwide and build a number of cars on the same vehicle platforms.

What set Ford apart was the fact that it was not bailed out by the United States government during the 2008 economic crisis. Ford had begun its restructuring two years before the meltdown and had seen the recession coming. It borrowed $23 billion in preparation for the crisis and came through the recession as a winner. The brand was praised by the public for not having to take federal bailouts like its competitors, but Ford had also begun improving quality and this was getting the attention of automotive publishers and Consumer Reports.

Hoffman’s description of Ford’s recovery is extremely detailed. This is due to his access to Ford executives and Mulally, but also due to the fact that he promised to not associate particular stories and quotes to their respective sources. This made people from Ford open up to Hoffman and he uses every piece of information to his advantage. His exploration of Ford’s restructuring is both informative and instructional.

The story of Ford’s resurgence is nothing short of amazing. It is striking similar to Steve Jobs’s return to Apple in 1997. But the one difference is Mulally. While Jobs is often described as a product visionary and, at times, difficult to work for, Mulally is more business minded and openly kind to employees at  every level of Ford. Both men’s systems of leadership have proven to be successful in the last decade despite their different leadership styles.

It may be a stretch to call Alan Mulally the greatest CEOs ever, but he is certainly the greatest automotive CEO in history. He knew how to read customers and the market and develop plans to meet both. Hoffman describes how the CEOs of GM and Chrysler scoffed at Mulally, an outsider, in 2006, but today Mulally is still head of Ford, they are no longer employed by the auto industry.

Hoffman’s analysis of Mulally’s business restructuring plans is the most important aspect of this book. The openness and sharing of ideas, weekly meetings with department heads, and a matrix organization system. He concludes that this plan is one that can be applied to a variety of businesses. Unlike books on Apple and Steve Jobs which specifically say their books are not intended to be instructional, Hoffman’s book is. The case of Ford and Mulally will likely be studied by business students in the future.

Hoffman has pieced together a great book that explains how Mulally was able to save Ford Motor Company. Mulally’s fight was not easy, battling the United Auto Workers, his executives, the government, and the Ford family. Each time, Mulally came out on top. The greatest fear at Ford today is when Mulally will retire. At 66, he is likely the oldest employee at Ford, if not in the auto industry. Many worry that his changes will not remain in place after he is gone. Only time will tell, but one thing is for certain, Ford is looking stronger now than it has it the history of the company, thanks to Alan Mulally. 

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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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“GM Wants to Kill Saab”

Last week it was reported that as many as seven companies have expressed interest in purchasing Saab. One of those buyers backed out today and had some fairly harsh words about General Motors. Turkish Brightwell backed citing GM’s attitude as their primary concern. Zamier Ahmed reports “Everything was under control and we where excepting final feedback from GM. They changed their position in the very last minute. I am sorry to say that I have never seen such behavior from a company of that size ever.” While it is possible that GM and Saab’s creditors have simply not accepted Turkish Brightwell’s bid, there are other companies, larger companies such as BMW and Volvo have also placed bids. But there is some evidence that GM is interested in killing Saab.

GM supplies parts for the entire Saab line, but Saab does own its own Phoenix platform that could serve as a next generation 9-3. This is what the majority of the interested parties have proposed. This would cut GM out of the supply chain. This puts GM in an awkward position. They can either allow Saab to continue and sell parts to produce Saab vehicles, or they will be forced to give up all say in Saab and have yet another competitor to deal with. The later seems to to be the real issue. GM is uncomfortable with having to face Saab as a competitor, not so much in the United States, but in Europe.

Saab's Phoenix Concept

GM took over Saab in the late 1980s and their relationship has always been strained. GM was never happy with the modifications Saab made to the platforms they provided to Saab. Nevertheless, GM was in a very similar position in 2008, but they seem to have short memories. There would not be a GM as we know it today if the American government had not bailed them out. While Chrysler was also bailed out, GM has been heavily associated with this bailout in the automotive community, and it has become a stigma in many circles. Their handling of the Saab situation since 2008 has angered yet another crowd within the automotive community. There are a number of people who do not want Saab to fail, myself included. This is an opportunity for GM to step-up to the plate and ensure that Saab does not die. Having Saab as a competitor could be less damaging then their current hardball strategy which would only result in Saab’s death. If that happens, those interested in Saab will almost certainly blame GM for Saab’s death resulting in a hit to GM’s already soiled reputation.

UPDATE: Offical statement from Brightwell:

It is with great regret that we must inform you that we have withdrawn from the race for Saab. GM’s intransigence to cooperate and forge a relationship to revive Saab and additionally create revenue for GM was “not in the interests of its shareholders”. We remain bemused, shocked and above all disappointed that we could not join the Saab family. We hope that Saab finds a home where its new owner will sustain the company’s heritage as we planned to.

It appears that Brightwell was planning to continue to use GM parts. Most likely, GM prefers another option.

Source: SaabsUnited

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