Screw you, Alex Taylor III.
While we’re here, screw you Alex Taylor II and Alex Taylor I as well!! And what’s with the “III” business, anyway. Don’t you know that apart from The Godfather II, Rocky II and The Empire Stikes Back there’s never been a sequel as good as the original?
Alex-the-third thinks GM should dump Saab. Not sell it or invest in it but just kill it. He thinks that GM have too many brands (which may be so) and that the excess need to be vaporised.
With its perpetually tiny volume and high-cost European manufacturing base, Saab has defied GM’s efforts for nearly two decades to make it consistently profitable. The success of Japanese sport-luxury brands Infiniti and Acura has made Saab irrelevant.
A guy writing for “Fortune” touting a multi-billion dollar brand-and-customer-shedding exercise for a company reasonably close to bankruptcy and nowhere near equipped to take on Toyota with just the brands he want to keep?
He should be writing for “Trailer” magazine.
Saab certainly did shoot themselves in the foot with some over-investment in technology that was too specific back in the late 90s and early Naughtys. But a general lack of investment by the corporate parent in years past has left Saab with an underdone range. “Saab have defied GM’s efforts?” What efforts? Prior to the last couple of years Saab were left to play on their own with little interest whatsoever from the mothership.
When that range issue gets sorted out in the next few years the customers GM have with Saab will be pure gravy over GM’s normal demographic and the expanded range will see sales growth beyond what a lot of people believe Saab are capable of.
Saab are capable of doing so much more if they’re given the right level of investment. They have a great niche position and (I’ll keep saying this until I’m blue in the face) are the best positioned brand that GM have got to take on the Europeans on their own soil.
Ditch the money pouring into Cadillac for Europe. Invest it in Saab and get that expanded model range out in Europe – pronto – if only so I can print this blog post, roll it up with a thin coat of oil and shove it up Alex Taylor III’s……