Youngman on the way in the Saab minefield

Again, or still GM decides on the future of the Swedish car maker. Even if Youngman will be successful in the bidding race depends on it. Let's talk about the GM technology licenses and the Saab 9-3 again. Who wants to see dark forces and conspiracies behind the behavior of GM, which will be disappointed.

Because behind the license problem is a simple idea from GM to reduce costs and manage rights more easily. In 2005, GM combined the relevant intellectual property of all companies into a single organization. The “Global Technology Operations” is therefore responsible for all brands in the realm of the Americans and manages the rights not only for Saab but also for Opel, Cadillac and all other brands. All rights to vehicles constructed after 2005 are therefore the property of the GTO.

So far so good. Because the Saab 9-3 wants to build the Youngman is a construction that was created before the deadline. Thus, the 9-3 would be a true Saab, which is Swedish-owned. Unfortunately, Saab has sold the rights to the old 9-5 and 9-3 to China. The pre-facelift 9-3 is thus in the possession of BAIC and as it is indisputable that the current Saab 9-3 is based on its predecessor, BAIC has an important role in the contract negotiations.

The sale of the platforms to the Chinese provided for full coffers in Trollhättan. But the opportunities were not exploited and the company was badly managed. From full funds were mountains of debt and the current situation is the result of a chain of wrong decisions.

The effects of platform sales currently seem fatal. The bankruptcy trustees insist on Youngman's approval of GM and BAIC. A decision that is understandable. Because you want to prevent Saab from getting into the next disaster after the bankruptcy proceedings. It's tough, but I agree with that attitude. Because we had enough disasters and an end with horror would be better than an end with horror.

Youngman leaked details about the low bid on Sunday. It was to be understood only as an introduction to the negotiations, in no way binding or final. As a reaction of the administrators, the attitude to licensing issues was dispersed by a person familiar with the process.

Clear signals. The Youngman reaction came in the morning. The press conference in Stockholm, planned to explain the entry-level plans, was canceled.

Whether the Youngman delegation is getting on the plane to Beijing, we do not know. How GM and BAIC are related to the 9-3 issue is unclear. GM may agree, but BAIC will decline, according to an insider. BAIC wants to partner with Panasonic to build e-cars in Trollhättan. Youngman is a hindrance to it. Does BAIC dispose Youngman's compatriots about the licensing history? Do the Chinese agree on pressure from the political side?

It's a thriller and we're just the spectators. As always, we stay relaxed. We have our Saabs, which are very durable with good care. The spare parts supply is secured and you hear only good about the developments from Nyköping. The story is not finished yet. We are in the middle of it.

Updates follow.


3 thoughts on "Youngman on the way in the Saab minefield"

  • Hi Tom,

    Your latest information says on the one hand that the 9-3 is not affected by GM licenses - on the other hand, the trio of administrators insists on the “green light” from GM. How does that fit together? Are they so afraid of GM that they even beg for benevolence when this is officially not really necessary?

    Is there a lack of self-confidence in relation to the sly Americans? Maybe you should just give it a shot - let's see what happens….

    BAIC is of course a different “construction site”. We all don't know the contracts that were signed with BAIC at the time - maybe there are still ways to reach an amicable solution with this group.


    • There is the gray area which will happen with GM engines and transmissions. The bankruptcy trustees want to make sure that GM would guarantee the supply here in the future as well.

  • Sounds way too depressing for a Monday morning. Now, if Youngman suddenly relies on GM and Baic, the Chinese will be fine. Brightwell, I've already written off with their belief in the Ami's anyway and heard from the Indians, nothing clever. Now it would be time for the big unknown to jump out of the shadows and celebrate as the great savior of the Saab flag.

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