A little more follow up to Jerry York’s speech the other day, where he advocated a massive cleanup for GM, including a recommendation to sell-off Saab. Edward Lapham at Automotive News commends the speech as common sense, with one exception:
There isn’t anything radical on the list or anything that hasn’t already been suggested by Wall Street analysts or other wags. Almost every point is a no-brainer, except maybe for the suggestion to whack Saab.
Can’t say I disagree. Despite my longings yesterday for a Porsche buyout, those longings are reserved for a situation where Saab definitely is going to be sold off. I still retain my line from a few days earlier where I believe that it’s ultimately best for Saab to remain with GM and actually produce the models that are already in the pipeline.
What Lapham has said here is correct. There’s little in York’s speech that’s objectionable. It’s good business sense, really. And retaining Saab would be good sense too. Saab have cut costs by a third over the last few years, will quite likely return to profitability in 2006 and are GM’s global premium brand.
But if they’re going to sell it, then sell it to Porsche OK?
The Financial Times online are talking about a Saab 9-1, which from the description given is the future model we’ve come to recognise as the 9-2. I’ve posted here before about the need for an entry-level Saab model and it seems from this article that the 9-2 might be the one:
The car could be built in much higher volumes than other Saab models and would further underpin the Swedish brand’s future and production facility in Trollhatten, said Mr Jonsson. With GM still suffering from over-capacity in Europe, the Trollhatten plant has no guaranteed production role for the group beyond 2010.
Mr Jonsson, a Saab veteran of 30 years, acknowledged that Saab had been "inconsistent" in its brand image and that it had needed to "go back to our roots" as a maker of sporting cars.
Thanks to Dr Apa for the heads-up.