Surely retirement has to be an attractive option……
I thought Bob might have retired already actually. He’s been pretty quiet ever since the Geneva show. He’s popped up again in the UK for the British Motor Show, and he’s touting the idea (again) that Saabs can be Swedish without any basis in Sweden.
Gert has sent me a quick translation of an article appearing in Swedish paper Dagens Nhyeter. There’s no link, but Gert’s translation is as follows:
LONDON In the future SAAB may not be manufactured in Sweden, not even in Europe.
Even if the Swedish car manufacturer now is the strongest GM brand all design, engineering and manufacturing work may be moved to the US.
It was revealed for DN by the GM development director Bob Lutz during the ongoing car show in London.
-But SAAB is and remains a Swedish brand, where the cars are manufactured isn’t that important, Bob Lutz says.
– SAAB is now completely integrated in the GM family and we are delighted over the success of the SAAB brand.
And now they have been given better prerequistes to develop completely new models based on a common GM-platform.
Saab Design has already been moved to Germany.
Production of the 9-3 and 9-5 is scheduled to move to Russelsheim in the near future.
The arrival of the Cadillac BLS was supposed to keep things ticking along until the 9-1 turned up, which at this point is still around 3 or so years away.
Despite being flat out right now with heaps of 9-5 Biopower orders, I’d say the good men and women of Trollhattan have some reason to feel nervous about the future.
I don’t mind Rick Wagoner, who I think is doing a pretty good turnaround job under tough circumstances. I’d share a steak with Jay Spenchian and any of the Saab USA folks I’ve dealt with. But IMHO Bob Lutz can go take a long walk off a short pier.
I could write a whole heritage piece, but it’s 11.30pm and I’m tired, so I’ll make it simple:
Keep Saab Swedish.