Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Z-06

Would you still sell SAAB?

31 posts in this topic

WSJ - Saving Volvo and Saab

One in every five cars sold in Sweden last year was a Volvo and Saab is the exclusive supplier to King Carl XVI Gustaf. So Sweden was never likely to abandon its two famous marques entirely to the mercies of parent companies Ford and General Motors. But while Thursday's promise of a 28 billion Swedish kronor ($3.44 billion) aid package offers Sweden's car-makers a lifeline, it may not be enough to ensure their long term survival.

The Swedish car industry needs all the help it can get as the parent companies of Volvo and Saab look for a bailout. One in every five cars sold in Sweden last year was a Volvo.

With the U.S. rescue plan for GM and Ford stalling in the Senate and more than 150,000 Swedish car industry jobs on the line amid falling sales and mounting losses, the Swedish car industry needs all the help it can get. Of the total package, SEK20 billion is in credit guarantees for loans to help fund environmentally-friendly research. And SEK3 billion is for a government-run company to conduct research and strengthen competitiveness.That's good for the long-term viability of the companies, especially when added to the billions already spent by Ford and GM on new models and green technologies, such as biofuel. At the same time, the government has provided a further SEK5 billion in rescue loans to help the companies stay afloat long enough to restructure or liquidate.

But if Ford and General Motors are forced to sell, this aid package will not be enough to allow Saab and Volvo to survive as standalone businesses and may not be enough to attract bidders. All the European manufacturers have more or less ruled themselves out. The best hope is an Asian buyer, most likely an Indian or Chinese car-maker, although this too looks like a long shot.

Volvo's unique selling point used to be its safety, but as standards have risen across the industry, this advantage has eroded. The brand now falls between stools: its record 458,323 cars sold worldwide in 2007 was well below that of a true volume producer such as Volkswagen which sold 3.66 million cars in the same period, but too few to be considered a specialist player. Saab, which sold just 125,000 cars in 2007, could just about qualify as a niche player but lacks Volvo's attractive large US dealer network.

Volvo and Saab's best chance may lie in a GM and Ford firesale. As every car dealer knows, the best way to shift stock is to knock a few zeroes off the price.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As the article mentions: SAAB lacks a large dealership network. Why GM hasn't rectified this is a mystery to me.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
As the article mentions: SAAB lacks a large dealership network. Why GM hasn't rectified this is a mystery to me.

I agree. I can see SAAB as a alternative fuel niche brand. I like their ideas of bio fuel, and other concepts they introduce. Saturn and Hummer on the other hand bring nothing to the table. Dealership sucks bad for them. One in Orlando is near boon dogs, and one in Tampa is near a landfill.

Talk about the BS saturn people call about their retention being high because of their "dealership experience". The brand got hammered in the retention survey that was released yesterday.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
As the article mentions: SAAB lacks a large dealership network. Why GM hasn't rectified this is a mystery to me.

Because GM never had a clue on how to manage and develop a brand like SAAB?

Edited by ZL-1
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Because GM never had a clue on how to manage and develop a brand like SAAB?

But I don't think giving SAAB more dealerships is really "managing" or "developing"...it's more like "HELLO PEOPLE WANT TO GIVE YOU THEIR MONEY AND CANNOT EASILY!"

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
But I don't think giving SAAB more dealerships is really "managing" or "developing"...it's more like "HELLO PEOPLE WANT TO GIVE YOU THEIR MONEY AND CANNOT EASILY!"

It would have been if it was paired with Cadillac on a premium-luxury channel: minimum (barely incremental) investment and additional coverage. But again, GM never knew what to do with SAAB: they bought it, as little kids say, "just because".

Edited by ZL-1
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd sell Saab for $1 if I could find a buyer for it. All it does is lose money.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'd sell Saab for $1 if I could find a buyer for it. All it does is lose money.

Unfortunately, GM's probably paying someone to take it...a $1 for Saab would be way too much for a buyer to pay.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fascinating theory that saab is sales-hampered due to a lack of dealerships, because the product is 'all that'. :wacko:

Edited by balthazar
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

there is no harm in saab being marketed in the cadillac channel. and it could survive with a 9-3 (hatch/sedan/wagon/CVT), 9-5 (sedan and wagon)(both of which would be getting smaller, right?) the 9-4x, and IMHO saab needs the aero-x or that other concept roadster, badly. saab took a major hit during the SUV time by not having a full size family hauler but methinks there just isn't that large market anymore for fringe players like saab.

saturn should become the 'pesky' niche brand again maybe. become creative with saturn, sell it in malls, downtowns, or added onto chevy or BPG or caddy where it makes sense to mix product. saturn should be brought to the customers. maybe a handful of full dealers and then rely a lot more on creative sales outlets. as an example, why not rent stores in malls, right next to the apple computer stores. if the saturn product was right, it could begin to draw off that crowd. or, the downtown business crowd, just get the effing product in high traffic areas!

saab though, needs to be in a dealer network and to me it needs to be caddie's rogue little cousin. they need fresh product and more sensible prices!!!!!!!!!!

and with saab staying fwd based, really, that leaves cadillac off to start with the new BLS alpha and then CTS. Caddy badly needs a fresh DTS flagship (which i would make AWD standard)

BLS rear or all wheel drive. in the US, sedan maybe only. maybe a coupe or hatch too.

CTS rear or AWD. volume line. sedan, wagon, coupe.

DTS/STS combine the line. DTS is luxury trim, STS is sport trim. large!

SRX stays i guess! even though its a tad weak to me. Escalade looks like it's moving to lambada? i think a seriously upscale 2 row crossover above the SRX would work for caddy if it had style and performance. think cayenne competition but not so ugly and fat.

I would revive the XLR on sigma or alpha and just provide a kick ass 2 seater with top level performance but not on corvette chassis unless it made more sense. the price needs to come down on that one.

i still say hummer has viability! H4 needed to come online and H3 needs an interior infusion and gas mileage infusion.

Edited by regfootball
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sell it.. GM doesn't have the resources to make or keep it competitive.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
there is no harm in saab being marketed in the cadillac channel. and it could survive with a 9-3 (hatch/sedan/wagon/CVT), 9-5 (sedan and wagon)(both of which would be getting smaller, right?) the 9-4x, and IMHO saab needs the aero-x or that other concept roadster, badly.

I'd do a full 9-3 range on Delta II (would there be a need for a 9-4X in this context or would a X-Over at around 4.6m long do the trick?) and the 9-5 on SWB Epsilon II.. The roadster would be FWD-based: a modern day SAAB Sonnet would be very cool!

EDIT - Unfortunately, I think SAAB will die.

Edited by ZL-1
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

GM is honestly better off selling SAAB at this point, the money crunch simply exacerbates the problems of lack of brand focus.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
there is no harm in saab being marketed in the cadillac channel. and it could survive with a 9-3 (hatch/sedan/wagon/CVT), 9-5 (sedan and wagon)(both of which would be getting smaller, right?) the 9-4x,

saturn should become the 'pesky' niche brand again maybe.

saab though, needs to be in a dealer network and to me it needs to be caddie's rogue little cousin. they need fresh product and more sensible prices!!!!!!!!!!

and with saab staying fwd based, really, that leaves cadillac off to start with the new BLS alpha and then CTS. Caddy badly needs a fresh DTS flagship (which i would make AWD standard)

BLS rear or all wheel drive. in the US, sedan maybe only. maybe a coupe or hatch too.

CTS rear or AWD. volume line. sedan, wagon, coupe.

DTS/STS combine the line. DTS is luxury trim, STS is sport trim. large!

SRX stays i guess! even though its a tad weak to me. Escalade looks like it's moving to lambada? i think a seriously upscale 2 row crossover above the SRX would work for caddy if it had style and performance. think cayenne competition but not so ugly and fat.

I would revive the XLR on sigma or alpha and just provide a kick ass 2 seater with top level performance but not on corvette chassis unless it made more sense. the price needs to come down on that one.

i still say hummer has viability! H4 needed to come online and H3 needs an interior infusion and gas mileage infusion.

First off, Mercedes dealerships are stand alone, Cadillac should be also, Saab's image doesn't fit Cadillac's and would be a distraction in the dealership. Second, there is no money to make Saturns and Hummer, they have to file bankruptcy in 3 weeks, making new Hummers and Saturns isn't happening.

About Cadillac, this is where GM needs massive investment, the 08 Malibu cost $500 million to develop. That was just an upgrade of an existing platform, using already existing engines, etc. It costs Mercedes over $1 billion to make a new S-class, and some stuff they can recycle. Cadillac has to start from scratch, it could cost $1.5 billion easily to make an S-class competitor, another $1.5 billion or more to do the BLS. To upgrade the CTS to get it to 5/E/A6 class could take another $250+ million if done soon. The XLR's problem isn't price, it is that it sucks. So that is another $250 million or so to fix it. Plus the SRX and Escalde will need work.

Cadillac needs $4-5 billion in 2009 and 2010 just to catch up to Mercedes, which is about 35-40% of GM's entire R&D Budget. If Chevy takes 50% (they do 75-80% of sales) only 10% is left for the other 6 brands combined.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

>>"there is no harm in saab being marketed in the cadillac channel"<<

saab is not a premium brand in either reality or image. Helplessly mired in self-parody of their own '80s, half a line of rebadges, the rest FWD- dead weight, just about worthless from any standpoint. Sell it sell it sell it.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: SELLING SAAB & VOLVO:

No, I would not... But that's because I see the potential of the divisions and I want GM to maintain at least 6 divisions and Ford 4 or 5.

The new GM needs to mirror the old GM, except with different focus. Chevrolet = volume, Cadillac = top tier luxury, Buick/GMC = mid-lux, Pontiac= performance and either Saab or Saturn needs to = small cars and technology.

Ford needs to look like this; Ford = volume, Lincoln = top tier luxury (Yes, it will take while) Mercury = small cars and technology, Mazda = performance and Volvo = mid-lux.

I don't think it is wise for GM to downsize to 4 divisions and Ford 3... As it is, Pontiac's survival still isn't guaranteed and neither is Mercury's. Not to mention, if this happens, the media will work EXTRA diligently to kill Pontiac and Mercury.

And before anyone thinks I did a "360" about Saab... Bear in mind the context of the argument. My anti-Saab and anti-Saturn sentiment was because these divisions were being valued AT THE EXPENSE of Pontiac. But now that Pontiac is saf(er) I think we can focus on these two.

P/B is the first priority, then Saturn and Saab.

As the article mentions: SAAB lacks a large dealership network. Why GM hasn't rectified this is a mystery to me.

I think GM should adopt my plan (in the To GM section) and combine Saab and Saturn into one sales channel.

P.S. according to griffon, GM's plan said that if it sold Saab, it would only sell 50% anyway.

Edited by FUTURE_OF_GM
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

GM has lost $$$ in nearly every year in the 18 years GM has owned/partially owned Saab Cars. The real question is: why wouldn't GM sell Saab and why hasn't it already done so?

There's a reason why Saab and Volvo both sold their car divisions: they're money losers with no future. This was just as true 10 years ago as it is today. GM and Ford gave it their best shot and failed. Had they not stepped in the Swedes would have been gone long ago.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
GM has lost $$$ in nearly every year in the 18 years GM has owned/partially owned Saab Cars. The real question is: why wouldn't GM sell Saab and why hasn't it already done so?

There's a reason why Saab and Volvo both sold their car divisions: they're money losers with no future. This was just as true 10 years ago as it is today. GM and Ford gave it their best shot and failed. Had they not stepped in the Swedes would have been gone long ago.

They've lost plenty of money in NA too, so why not break the NA operations apart and sell it off in pieces? :scratchchin:

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
They've lost plenty of money in NA too, so why not break the NA operations apart and sell it off in pieces? :scratchchin:

Going forward, the profit potential for Saab will grow IMO.

Opel basically runs Saab now (For a LONG time, Saab ran itself -- and did a horrible job) But now that the company is finally being integrated into GM, I think the potential is there.

The question is; does GM have the time and patience to grow the division? (That's the same question facing pretty much every GM division BUT Chevrolet, IMO)

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Going forward, the profit potential for Saab will grow IMO.

Opel basically runs Saab now (For a LONG time, Saab ran itself -- and did a horrible job) But now that the company is finally being integrated into GM, I think the potential is there.

I don't know if want a SAAB completely folded into GM... Using GM's engineering and production resources is great, and it helps to lower SAAB's breakeven point, but there has to remain something unique to it. It cannot be run as an old-GM brand. To me SAAB would be today's "young turks" brand, but with a focus in environmentally-friendly luxury and performance. Something Cadillac (as well as the BMW/Mercedes/Audi trio) cannot replicate.

The question is; does GM have the time and patience to grow the division? (That's the same question facing pretty much every GM division BUT Chevrolet, IMO)

And, more importantly, the money to do it? I agree that in essence only Chevrolet seems to be safe. Even Cadillac is pretty much non-existant outside of North AMerica and lacks the reach a global company like GM shoule have on the premium-luxury segment...

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Opel has been selling cars in Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark (Scandinavia) for many years.

gm keeps saab or they lose any sales in 'scandinavia'.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

>>"My anti-Saab and anti-Saturn sentiment was because these divisions were being valued AT THE EXPENSE of Pontiac. But now that Pontiac is saf(er) I think we can focus on these two."<<

WTH ?? There's no potential. 'Loyalists' will not allow saab to progress at the 'expense' of 'saab's character/quirkiness', whatever that means. Fold saab money immediately into the other core divisions.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your content will need to be approved by a moderator

Guest
You are commenting as a guest. If you have an account, please sign in.
Reply to this topic...

×   You have pasted content with formatting.   Remove formatting

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0