IMPORTANT NEWS: National Electric Vehicle Sweden has agreed to buy the assets of Saab Automobile and the sale is expected to be finalized during the summer.

Monday, November 7, 2011

GM disapprove sale of Saab to China

Latest news is that General Motors makes it clear that if Saab is sold from Swedish Automobile to Chinese companies Youngman and Pang Da all technology agreements between Saab and GM will be void.

"Although General Motors is open to the continued supply of powertrains and other components to Saab under appropriate terms and conditions, GM will not agree to the continuation of the existing technology licenses or the continued supply of 9-4X vehicles to Saab following the proposed change in ownership as it would not be in the best interests of GM shareholders," GM spokesman Jim Cain said in an email statement cited by Reuters.

When asked by TTELA what this means, Jim Cain explained that GM is certainly open to being a supplier to Saab for finished products. But GM closes the door to continue cooperation on technology. Technology owned by GM, technology that was developed during GM's ownership of Saab and that is being used by Saab.

"This is a definite decision that the company has made," said James Cain.

"Now it's back to the drawing board," said Saab's CEO Victor Muller to Aftonbladet.

Saab confirms that the have taken notice of the statement from GM:

Trollhättan, Sweden: Swedish Automobile N.V. (Swan) and Saab Automobile AB (Saab Automobile announce they have taken notice of a press statement issued by General Motors Company (General Motors) today regarding the proposed sale of all shares in Saab Automobile and Saab Great Britain Ltd. (Saab GB) to Pang Da Automobile Trade Company Ltd (Pang Da) and Youngman Automotive Group Company Ltd (Youngman).
Swan and Saab Automobile acknowledge the position taken by General Motors and will now discuss with Pang Da and Youngman to see whether a structure can be agreed which is acceptable to all parties concerned.

Now the question is if GM is ready to go into negotiations to reach an understanding that will let GM reconsider its decision. This brings my memory back to December 2009, when GM ended discussions with Spyker Cars on the sale of Saab. GM was persuaded to reconsider back then, so why not now?

Anyway, acting this way GM is definitely not making any new friends in the Saab world. What is GM afraid of? It can't be its current technology. I am pretty sure that the current agreements limit the use of the GM technology to the Saab 9-3 and the Saab 9-5 manufactured in Sweden and the purchase of complete Saab 9-4X vehicles. Selling Saab to China shouldn't change those agreements. Therefore, what GM is afraid of is Saab sharing its knowhow and expertise with Youngman, a potential future competitor in China. In other words, GM is using dirty means to stop a possible future competitor.

If GM do not reconsider, I will never ever buy any GM vehicle and I will be very careful not to buy a vehicle that uses GM technology or GM components. GM will not make a single dime on me in the future.