Yesterday was a typical Saab day for the current situation. Phone calls with friends in Sweden and elsewhere around the world about Saab and then I was traveling with a good friend and his Saab 9-3 - in terms of Saab. The result was - frankly - frustrating, so I had no motivation to blog last night. On days like these you can feel the Saab end up close in personal conversations and it literally gets under my skin.
But, as always, it's not over yet and the factory gates aren't closed yet. A new Saab prospect has once again appeared in China. The Chinese investor Number 3 with the name “Dongfeng” builds trucks to my knowledge and runs a joint venture with the truck builder Volvo. After the lessons of the past few months, my confidence in Chinese investment intentions has declined noticeably and I see Dongfeng as a side note for now.
Meanwhile, the potential buyer from Turkey is working on the GM topic. The Turkish government is fully behind the purchase intentions, which promises political tailwind. Turkey is a NATO partner and has been courted by the US as a strategic bridgehead in times like these. If Ankara sends the political card, then Brightwell gets support from the GM shareholder in Washington.
In several interviews yesterday, many nice words were said about Saab. Contrary to initial suspicions, the brand seems to want to be preserved. Production in Trollhättan is also conceivable, with a smaller volume. That sounds - with reservation - good.
Now you look towards Detroit. One is waiting for an invitation from the Americans and has a proposal that the gentlemen on the Potomac River cannot say “no” to. We are familiar with such statements, but GM repeatedly refused. But, new game, new luck. Perhaps one can show more sympathy for buyers from Turkey in the USA than investors from China. We will see.
In the US, the Saab sales run at full speed. Saab of North Olmsted has sold 55 from 120 Lager-Saabs from Christmas until yesterday. On the already very cheap prices, there were again up to 45% and probably I would have, had I been Saab fan in the US, slaughtered my piggy bank and would have taken two new Saabs.
Of course, the Saab dealer from Cleveland burns real money with it. In an interview, Bernie Moreno, President of the Collection Auto Group, said Saab USA could perhaps offset some of the losses. Sure Bernie, on this proposal you have certainly waited there.
One last look at Sweden again. There is now an (almost) clear bidder list for Saab. Magna, Brightwell, some Swedish prospects, Mahindra & Mahindra, Youngman and Dongfeng. A Chinese named in the last few days seems to have dropped out and one name is still missing from the list.
Since yesterday, there is also a personal favorite. This is reported when the case is confirmed.