The Good News is that Saab sales for the first quarter are indeed at record levels. Thanks to Tobias for the following in comments, which is his take on an article from Swedish paper ttela.se (link in Swedish)……
Saab global sales 34200 up 24%.
Best market is Europe with 11 600 units, up 1000 units compared with last record in 2000.
March figure total – 15 800.
Big increase in Sweden (but last year was bad for saab in sweden).
More fun is UK-sales: 5 279 units and also new reecord sales in Spain and Belgium. (I heard that Opel in spain started to sell Saab just now).
The orderbook is thick; the trollhattan plant is at a max-2 level. Which means that all personnel must work overtime. (they have some kind of agreement that saab can switch worktime at the plant) Now it is at a Maximum if they need to produce more I guess they have to hire more.
Saab really is on a wave so far this year. The result of some better marketing and a broader range of desired products.
And now for the not so good…..
The bad news is that Swedish paper, Dagens Industri, is running a story saying that Kirk Kerkorian and his representative on the Saab board, Jerry York, are still keen in the idea of selling Saab from the GM stable. I know many people would see that as a great thing, but right now I’m all for maintaining some hard-won momentum.
Olav’s provided a dodgy internet translation of the Dagens story (thanks mate), the pertinent bits of which are as follows:
The danger that General Motors, GM, may sell out Saab Automobile is not over. GMs greatest proprietor, financier Kirk Kerkorian, still has the idea that Saab Automobile has to be sold for GM to reduce losses. “Dialog with Jerome York is not over devoid aggressive still. I am soon to meet him for discussions , but is sure on that he will accept ours strategy “, says Carl – Peter Forester for General Motors Europe. He is of the idea that GM should retain Saab , as the majority of the GM board is believing SAAB economy is strongly improving.
The rest of the story recounts York’s initial grumblings about Saab and Bob Lutz’s famous “he’s changed his tune” comments, which were later refuted by York.
I’m not sure how much new news there is here, but it’s worth noting that there seems to be some dialog between Saab Europe and York. Here’s hoping that Carl-Peter Forster can talk some sense into the man.
Or negotiate a sale to Porsche.