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AutoBlog: Is GM's Henderson 'afraid' to let Saab go because the next 9-5 is so good?

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Filed under: Sedans/Saloons, Hatchbacks, GM, Saab

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According to Swedish newspaper Expressen, Fritz Henderson, General Motors' recently appointed CEO, doesn't want to see Saab leave the American automaker's portfolio. Why? Apparently, because the upcoming Saab 9-5 sport sedan is just that good. The paper goes on to suggest that the new Saab 9-5 Aero was tested and compared against the Opel Insignia OPC, which shares a similar platform, with the Swedish automobile emerging as "a clear winner."

We really do hope the next-gen Saab 9-5 is a brilliant car. Still, we have a suspicious feeling that these reports are a bit embellished. All things considered, it's more likely that Henderson hopes the new 9-5 is good enough to help attract a reasonable offer from its new owner, be it Geely, Fiat or some other bidder, which may in fact turn out to be a better scenario for the Saab's future that staying under the GM umbrella.

[source: Saabs United]

Is GM's Henderson 'afraid' to let Saab go because the next 9-5 is so good? originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 13 May 2009 09:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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This is probably hyperbole, but I wouldn't be surprised if the new 9-5 is fantastic. However, as we've seen from Saturn, an unpopular brand needs more than just good product to turn around.

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SAAB would easily be able to be relocated to the BPG sales channel to replace P, though. That would give it the sales presence to shine, IMO.

We also know now that one of the main reasons SAAB was so terribly unprofitable was because of GM's assinine cost allocations.

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We also know now that one of the main reasons SAAB was so terribly unprofitable was because of GM's assinine cost allocations.

Not asinine at all, actually. How does one move money to feed the NA cancer without resorting to 'corporate overheads'? As far as tax authorities go, I wish them luck in finding proper comparables to judge if things are done at arm's length. :AH-HA_wink:

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Not asinine at all, actually. How does one move money to feed the NA cancer without resorting to 'corporate overheads'? As far as tax authorities go, I wish them luck in finding proper comparables to judge if things are done at arm's length. :AH-HA_wink:

I'm just saying, making SAAB look exceptionally unprofitable on paper due to allocating costs to them that they did not necessarily bear does nothing for the company, especially if SAAB is to be sold/spun off. Now the NA operations are in the same hole, but now they have to do something to address it. It's like cleaning a room, but putting the pile of dust in one corner. Sure, the room as a whole might look good, but keep doing it and that dustball gets huge and noticeable.

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saab has been rather clever at finding ways to needlessly waste engineering money over the years, so it's not all 'numbers juggling'.

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the 9-5 and insignia are both better than most of GM's stable of offerings. saab really was mishandled.

why saab has not been positioned between volkswagen and acura, sort of area, maybe closest to acura, that would have been where they would shine. then, your 9-3's could outsell passats. your 9-5 could be around where the TL is. and they would be a more attractive alternative to the pricier german stuff. a saab compact could be where jettas are.

i don't understand why GM tried to position saab vs BMW and mercedes. saab could be the swedish answer to VW, cultish, upwardly mobile, not pretentious and not nerdy like volvo is.

aside from all that, this new 9-5 is about oh, 6 years too late.

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saab has been rather clever at finding ways to needlessly waste engineering money over the years, so it's not all 'numbers juggling'.

The same can be said of every single one of GM's brands. At least with SAAB, their products have stayed in production largely the same throughout their run, with minor updates here and there. Seems somewhat frugal to me...

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Not sure 'staying largely the same' is helping the bottom line over time, tho yes; it should reduce costs.

Difference between saab vs. SOME other GM divisions, is that the latter have made profits (at times);

saab has been in the red from before joining GM in '89 thru the late '00s, IIRC.

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Not sure 'staying largely the same' is helping the bottom line over time, tho yes; it should reduce costs.

Difference between saab vs. SOME other GM divisions, is that the latter have made profits (at times);

saab has been in the red from before joining GM in '89 thru the late '00s, IIRC.

But has it? With the revelation that GM allocated NA operations costs to SAAB (and Opel?) to make their NA bottom line look better, I would be really interested to see what the adjusted, ACCURATE profitability/unprofitability is...for both NA operations and E operations. Obviously, properly allocating the costs to their rightful divisions would make SAAB less unprofitable, and the NA divisions less profitable. Only then with those figures would a valid comparison be possible.

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It's like cleaning a room, but putting the pile of dust in one corner. Sure, the room as a whole might look good, but keep doing it and that dustball gets huge and noticeable.

:yes:

Here are some spy pics of the new 9-5. The cladding is starting to come off! :)

Edited by ZL-1
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