This is one of the saddest things I’ve read about the demise of Saab Automobile in recent times.
Many of you would know that some of Saab’s classic vehicles from the US were sold recently. Thankfully, those cars ended up in good hands and should be preserved for years to come. You can read more on the collection and it’s preservation over at Hemmings.
That wasn’t the only sale on the schedule, however. The Man-in-charge also sought to sell off all the equipment and stock at Saab’s US headquarters in Royal Oak, Michigan. Ray Wert, from Jalopnik, went along to the auction to observe the goings-on and it sounds like a very sorry tale.
The “auction” wasn’t much of an auction. One expects an auction to be orderly — and in a bankruptcy, one expects there to be rules designed to help engender the highest possible bid. That wasn’t the case here.
Instead of an auction it was more like a fire sale…
Having worked in a Saab office just like the Royal Oak office, I can well imagine what it would have looked like. How those storage areas and parts would have been arranged. In Sweden, some of those marketing materials would have been available in bundles on the shelves just across from my desk.
The thought of some sweaty bargain-hunters rifling through what was once someone’s very personal space is more than just a little unpalatable. I had people who became good friends working in that office.
It just makes it all the more disappointing that a company with such a wonderful human element like Saab doesn’t exist any more (as we knew it), yet others in the same industry, but without the soul, continue to flourish.
Such is the way of the business world, I guess.
The upside of that fire sale is there’s now nothing left in Royal Oak and if someone’s successful in buying Saab, they can open their US offices in the north-east, where they should have been all along.
Speaking of which……..
I think Brightwell had the resources to do something good with Saab, but I also think they lacked the experience that might have been needed to convince the various movers and shakers to cooperate.
Friends in Italy tell me they’ve come across a brief news article somewhere (I can’t find it) stating that BMW were only interested in Saab’s Phoenix platform. This doesn’t make total sense to me, and as the article is yet to be found, I’ll treat it with a small degree of suspicion (though I think BMW are an unlikely buyer).
That leaves Mahindra and Youngman as the remaining suitors known to the public, who seem to be seeking to buy Saab as a whole. IMHO, Youngman would be a disaster and they won’t get cooperation from GM anyway. So…..Go Mahindra!
If neither of these companies are successful in bidding for Saab, I think we’ll be able to conclude that Brightwell’s Zamier Ahmed was correct when he said today that GM want to kill Saab off completely. And if that happens, it won’t be because of competition, or concerns about technology.
And finally, the stupidity bit.
Why on earth would the Telegraph get someone like this to review an episode of Top Gear?
This episode was the first episode I had ever seen of Top Gear. Until six months ago I couldn’t even drive, and so I felt confident it could have little relevance to my life.
If they’d put the review in context, something like “we’re quite interested in finding out what a thirty-something British mother, slighted by the fact that she’s now up to her ears in nappies rather than cappuccinos and with no discernible interest in cars thinks about a motoring entertainment show” – then I could understand.
As it is, it’s just plain stupid.
And speaking of Top Gear, the Saab story from last weekend is available on it’s own, here.
I’m going to watch the full episode tonight.
I’d love to go into the political bunfight that occupied the last five days or so of our lives here in Australia, but it’s irrelevant for most of you and well known to the Aussies that visit here.
Suffice to say it made for some riveting television.