Re: Expand in Europe, attract younger import buyers - Saab General Bulletin Board - Saabnet.com


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Re: Expand in Europe, attract younger import buyers
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Posted by Justin VanAbrahams [Email] (#32) [Profile/Gallery] (more from Justin VanAbrahams) on Thu, 21 Feb 2019 10:04:48 Share Post by Email
In Reply to: Expand in Europe, attract younger import buyers, A1-turbo, Thu, 21 Feb 2019 06:43:14
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Inferred from the articles, it seems GM's entire goal was production. They referred repeatedly to Saab's ~100k unit idle capacity in materials of the time. I haven't found (recently, I went looking) any references to access to buyers or technology. GM's original goal was Jaguar for tech (XJ40, AJV8) and prestige, but Jag wasn't interested in a co-ownership. GM ended up "winning" that partnership with Saab, and then the NG900 happened.

Saab had NO technology in 1990. The c900 was basically thirteen years old, the 9000 eight. Way past their freshness date in the industry. Saab had nothing in the pipeline. Most of Saab's tech was OE'd from somewhere else (Teves, Bosch, or ATE) and common to lots of cars, with the exception of Trionic. I recall reading that GM had interest in Trionic, but I'm not sure that's actually true. GM's DIS had been available domestically for several years in 1990, and while it did not have ion-based knock sensing or active boost control, that technology was of limited use for a company that sold almost entirely all naturally-aspirated pushrod motors that ran on 87 octane gas.

I haven't (re)read on what ended up pushing GM to acquire the second 50% a decade later. I suspect at that point the considerations had changed in some way, or maybe GM was in too deep to extricate itself. There's probably some information to be had on that.

This may sound like I'm harshing on Saab but I'm not. It just reaffirms my never-wavering opinion that GM's investment of Saab had nothing to do with Saab and everything to do with GM setting up the pieces so it could sell Cadillac and Chevy, more or less like it always does. I guess the final outcome was always obvious, it's just that from an outside perspective watching GM bumble around for basically two decades with Saab's inventory *looks* incredibly clumsy. I guess we just need to understand it wasn't ineptitude, it *was* evil. Well, "evil" in the sense that corporations are legally bound to pursue shareholder value at costs.

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