I hate being IT-illiterate. But once this new wireless laptop is connected, the world will be mine…..mmmwuhahahah!! The router thingy won’t connect to the whatsit just yet, but I have a 14-day window to return it for the right widgets and when I do…….it’ll be unrestricted blogging access and there just might be a new site in the wings.
Everyone was pretty warm and cozy at Aero-X time in Geneva. Saab had a 5 year plan and the backing of GM Europe. I still think there’s a pretty good chance Saab will turn a profit this year, but last week’s news could turn the future on its head.
Many of you would have heard about GM’s big Oops! last week. They forgot a little thing like $2 BILLION DOLLARS on their P&L statements. You think Jerry York was in a spin when the losses were just $8.6 billion. Now it’s $10.6 and given that Jerry is on a contract to earn 4% of whatever he makes for Captain Kirkorian (he has a $50K a month retainer, too), you can bet Jerry is sliding from neutral to overdrive when it comes to Saab.
Those figures come from a Newsweek article, which gives a pretty decent overview of the whole GM/KK/JY thing.
And whilst we’re talking about GM’s vulnerabilities……
GM still retains the title as the global sales leader in the car industry. Narrowly. Toyota are gaining steadily and could even overtake GM this year. The companies are worth castly different amounts, however. Even with GM’s mountainous sales volumes, their margins are so low thanks to the various on-costs they have to cover that as a company they are worth around one-fifteenth of Toyota.
The full fish and whale story here at the International Herald Tribune.
How about something Saab-specific?? From Automotive news:
Saab and Opel are working jointly on a hybrid drivetrain that could see its way into the new Saabs – sooner than you think, too.
Saab Managing Director Jan-Ake Jonsson said a hybrid will likely appear on the next generation of its 9-3 and 9-5 vehicles.
“We are part of the development process,” Jonsson said. “Eventually hybrids will be in Saab vehicles.”
Jonsson said the development of a hybrid system, which Saab is currently working on at its research and development center in Sweden, makes sense for a brand that continually wants to separate itself as a leader in technology.
“It fits into the image of the brand,” Jonsson said.
For some people (not me), the most amazing part of that story is that there’s still a Saab R&D centre in Sweden.
Could this be a fourth drivetrain variant? Gasoline – Biopower – Diesel – Hybrid. What’s the bet that the regular gasoline engine is eventually phased out in favour of all engines getting the Biopower treatment. Why not? It can run on gasoline just fine.
I’m just not sure about this hybrid trend though. It’s got plenty of knocks on it with regards to real ownership costs and seems just a bridge between the more mileage/enviro friendly fuels of today (i.e. diesel and ethanol) and the hydrogen drivetrains of tomorrow (IF they get up).
Ten minutes late and a dollar short?