Thanks for all those birthday well wishes. The day has started slowly just as I like it and will continue with a big fat steak for lunch and the opening of the football season tonight.
What more could a guy ask for (except more investment funds for Saab and the continued existence of the Trollhattan plant)
One issue that’s been flying under the radar a little is the incredible expansion of Porsche. Last year, when Jerry York was agitating about getting rid of Saab (and even earlier, actually) there were opinons expressed on this bog by myself and others that Porsche would be a great candidate as a new corporate parent for Saab.
It seems that ain’t even the remotest of remote possibilities now.
Porsche rescinded one of it’s own rules last year that prohibited it from taking an ownership in any automotive company outside Germany. This got the hopes up for a few seconds. But then they started increasing their ownership stake in Volkswagen. They started with small portions, but this really has turned into a case of the mouse eating an elephant.
Earlier this month, Porsche increased it’s stake in Volkswagen to just over 30%. This triggered another one of those funny corporate rules and now Porsche are required to make a takeover offer for the entire company.
Accordingly, Porsche have sought a 35 BILLION Euro loan to make the mandated offer. And all this to get a portfolio chock full of Lambos and Audis that compete with it’s own cars.
They would have got Saab for about 1% of that price and with little or no risk, heaps of potential growth and no portfolio clash.
Here’s a litmus test for the Service Managers at Saab Canada – make this guy happy.
A 9-3 Aero owner so unhappy with his service experience that he’s tracking it on his personal blog. According to his latest entry he’s considering seeing if anyone at head office will listen to his complaints.
If you’re reading this you have a chance to exceed his expectations by contacting him first. But I bet you’re more worried about the precedent that might set, right?
My apologies to SaabUSA for a lack of thoroughness when I first published this. Location now amended, but the story remains the same. Thanks Gripen
Yesterday I did something I’ve not done before. I pulled our car into a car park near my office and two spaces away was a silver-bumper early 70s model Saab 99. It was almost a replica (on the outside) of my very first Saab. Red, 2-door and with the beautiful blue aeroplane logo badge on the front.
I’ve actually met the owner of this car some time ago. It’s a daily driver and gets plenty of work and seems to be holding up pretty well. They’ve fitted some 15-slot wheels similar to those used on 9000s and 900s in the mid eighties and they don’t look too bad, actually.
So I left a note on it. I pleaded with them to never let the car be shunted off to a wrecking yard and to contact me should they ever think of disposing of it.
Hopefully they kept the note.
Back to that birthday wish of keeping Trollhattan open….
Carl-Peter Forster is talking about what sound like inevitable closures in European plants, with T-hat being one of the plants at risk (like all the others, I guess).
The head of General Motors’ European operations warned Thursday of more job cuts at the company’s Opel, Saab and Vauxhall plants.
This was because productivity at the plants was growing at an annual rate of 3-4 per cent but the market for cars was stagnating, Carl-Peter Forster said at the Opel test centre in Dudenhofen.
It seems a bit cruel to squeeze maximum efficiency out of all the plants and then close some because you now have more capacity. There’s just something quite wrong with that.
But there’s nothing wrong with the name “Dudenhofen”. I wish I was from there, dude.
I think my Viggen’s sick. Or at least I’m getting sick nearly every time I get in it. I think there might be an exhaust leak somewhere.
With the a/c going it seems to be OK, but with the a/c off and normal air pumping through it’s starting to give me headaches.