GM Planning More Layoffs & To Sell Another Brand

Posted on 08. Jul, 2008 by in 2000-2009

According to over a dozen sources indicate that General Motors are again planning somewhere in the range of thousands of white-collar layoffs and to Sell another car brand. Apparently, this will be taking place in the very near future on the eve of their 100-year anniversary as an automobile manufacture.

This news as of late, make us wonder what’s going to happen with Saab once again, with sales down 51% since June of last year, Saab dealerships going left and right and now this from Tony Cervonte, the VP of Communications with General Motors who I had the chance to meet for a dinner this past January while in Detroit for the Saab 9-4x BioPower concept launch.

“When it comes to liquidity, we’ve said we have enough for the remainder of 2008, and if we need to so something else, we have lots of options,” Mr Cervone said today. “There are lots of things under review.”

I thought Hummer was under review, but apparently “lots” of things are now.

Naturally, there is also a lot of speculation from the media when it comes to General Motors and the future of the Saab brand, so please take your time to read the following articles and make your own judgements:

The Wall Street Journal

“GM’s three biggest brands are Chevrolet, which accounted for 59% of 2007 sales, followed distantly by GMC at 13% and Pontiac at 9.4%. The five other GM brands lag far behind: Cadillac, with 5.6% of sales; and Saturn, 6.3%; Buick, 4.9%; and Saab, less than 1%. (Hummer accounted for 1.5%).

Just going by those numbers, Buick and Saab contribute the least to GM’s revenue and would be the easiest to let go. Pontiac, as well, is on life support; Brian Nesbitt, vice president of design for General Motors, said in a June 28 interview with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that “We’re still doing a little bit of damage control with the Pontiac brand. It still does a lot of business, but it’s not been easy to sustain customers’ interest in the brand.” Saturn, as well, hasn’t found a consistent brand identity, according to some auto analysts. And GM’s consistent problem has been creating cars that are covetable by consumers (read Nesbitt’s musings in the interview linked above.) If it dropped one or two brands, GM not only could raise money, but it also could funnel its design budget into making a few brands better, rather than taking a miss on every one”

The Dallas News

” The company sells vehicles under eight brands, but most, including Buick, Saturn and Saab, struggle to attract buyers despite offering new models that cost GM billions of dollars to develop. The company has already put Hummer up for sale.”


“Saab, the European upmarket brand, may be an early candidate for a sale, though a buyer is far from assured, Schmidt told Bloomberg News.

Saab on the Block“Saab has been a holy cow in past years and is losing money consistently,” the analyst said. “Credit to GM for holding on to it, but there is a point where you’re left with no choice.'”

CNN Money

“Among the most likely candidates for elimination are Saturn and Saab.”


“Saab: The storied Swedish born-from-jets brand has either been vastly improved or pathetically watered-down during GM’s ownership, depending upon whom you talk to. Either way, with only about 35,000 sales per year in the U.S. — about what the Accord sells each month — Saab is probably due for an ownership change.”

The Sydney Morning Herald

Saab, GM’s European luxury brand, may be an early candidate for a sale, though a buyer is far from assured, Mr Schmidt said.

“Saab has been a holy cow in past years and is losing money consistently,” he said. “Credit to GM for holding on to it, but there is a point where you’re left with no choice.”

GM won’t be able to get much money from selling its brands because they aren’t worth much on their own, said John Casesa, managing partner at Casesa Shapiro Group in New York.

“There’s a good chance that the US automakers will ultimately have new partners, or new owners, depending on the structure of the deals,” he said.

I Stock Analyst

“Saab: The Company made a good first step at revitalizing the brand with the recent 9-3, they just need to keep it up and make turning Saab into a bona-fide Audi/BMW fighter their #1 goal. However the Saab situation is similar to Saturn: either make the necessary investment to fix the brand or just sell it off to someone who can. It would be interesting to see what a company like BMW, Honda, Subaru or VW would do with the Saab brand, or even to see what would happen if the Saab jetfighter company were to take back control of the company.”

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