General Motors Europe To Create New Auto Group In Collaboration With FIAT in Turin, Italy?

Posted on 07. Jan, 2009 by in 2000-2009


This process of Saab Automobile looking for a new owner, is getting kind of interesting now, given that all three of the possible candidates indicated have said they are not interested in Saab Automobile including speculation on Porsche as well, which turned up to be just a rumor.

However, let’s not forget that it has been Fiat that have continuously indicated in their dialog here at Saab History, that they are not in a position to comment about their status even though they have also said that they are not interested in acquiring Saab Automobile.

What’s new to this developing story for Saab is that, a late breaking article has shown up on Sweden’s expression, which appears to indicate some talk between Saab Automobile’s Jan-Ã…ke Jonsson and General Motors Europe’s chairman, Carl-Peter Forster, about forming some new group.

This new group will quite possibly be between General Motors Europe and FIAT and will be located in Turin, Italy.

Turin Italy, if you may or may not know is where one of GM’s design studios are located. It was at this studio, where the Saab 9-4x BioPower Concept car was put together as illustrated on a promotional video filmed there. The Saab 9-4x BioPower concept was shown back in January of 2008 at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan.

Here is a translation of the high points of the article thanks to Sweden’s Jan Ollsson.

Carl-Peter Forster

GM’s Europan president has been unusually withdrawn in recent weeks. The first time I listened to Forster, I was convinced that he wanted to bully Saab to show off his own dear Opel. But when the E85-liquor was served Forster’s liking of Saab suddenly increased. Forster has not chosen siden yet – probably because he does not want to be seen make to much noise. If he is forced to leave Wagoners side much speaks for Forster joining Saab’s Jan-Ã…ke Jonsson and take a flight to Turin to piece together a new group together with Fiat.

Jan-Ã…ke Jonsson

Saab’s chief executive has worked hard since GM announced the company on “Blocket, online ad service” Jan-Ã…ke have fought hard to maintain Saab’s position in the car market. He has managed so so… with a practically impossible task. Jan-Ã…ke Jonsson is sticking his chin out and try to defend himslef which he should have credit for. Playing dirty is not Jan-Ã…kes style which should not be interpreted to mean that he can withstand any amount at any time. Whatever happens, I hope that Jan-Ã…ke Jonsson will come unscrathed from the fight and that Saab survives.

At this point, I almost think it’s pointless to send e-mails to both General Motors Europe and again Fiat because what will they really tell the public about a “possible” development?

Here’s hoping an insider contacts Saab History to provide some more details about anything that’s going on, so we know where Saab Automobile stands moving forward.

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No Responses to “General Motors Europe To Create New Auto Group In Collaboration With FIAT in Turin, Italy?”

  1. Carl

    07. Jan, 2009

    This sounds promising.

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  2. Johannes

    08. Jan, 2009

    I might not be qualified to comment on this but Fiat owns Alfa Romeo. Have a look at the Alfa Romeo 159 or Alfa Romeo GT. I don’t know but I guess they appeal to the same customer base as Saab. So why would they want to buy Saab then?
    Since Alfa Romeo have become so frequent within the last few years, here in Germany, where I live, I am even wondering if possible Saab buyers haven’t bought an Alfa Romeo instead? Or a 1 series BMW, which have been a great success. I don’t know but since coupés have been selling so well within the last few years, I can’t seem to understand why Saab changed its traditional design. While this might be different in the US, and I have also seen a number of new Saab 9-3 in Ireland, they just don’t sell over here. I am still driving a 1995 Saab 900 and as these cars are getting older Saab is unfortunately becoming an increasingly rare sight.

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  3. peter

    08. Jan, 2009

    I have no current inside info on this.

    However Alfa (Fiat sporting brand) and Lancia (Fiat premium brand) sell three times as many cars in Europe as Saab.

    Saab, however, has much better global distribution.

    Saab, Lancia, and Alfa could share development costs (they already share Engines). Lancia & Alfa have interesting small cars, which could help Saab (Saab 600 Mk2 ?).

    Saab, Lancia, and Alfa could be an interesting distribution mix, strengthening Saab in Italy and S European markets, but strengthening Alfa & Lancia in the rest of the world (launching in many new markets).

    The problem I see is that Fiat are looking for a volume partner, and Saab volume is insignificant.

    But Peugeot/Citroen/Fiat/Alfa/Lancia/Saab/Ferrari/Maserati could tick most product group boxes ?

    Peugeot/Citroen need a premium brand, and need better distribution in US etc. ? Saab has always had lousy results in France (often lower sales than in Holland or Belgium), and Peugeot/Citroen could help there, too !

    Fiat are already rumoured to be talking to Peugeot/Citroen about joint ventures & mergers.

    So, that leaves Opel. Opel are strongish in Germany, Sweden and UK which could help distribution of the oyther brands. Would a three way partnership be attractive to all the players ?

    In any event, GMUS probably need to keep Opel if they are going to develop the cars that customers want in the future.


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