Tag Archives: GM Europe

SPYKER TALKS COLLAPSE, GM TO WIND DOWN SAAB!

Posted on 18. Dec, 2009 by .

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I never thought that this day would happen, Spyker talks Collapse and Saab Automobile is closing.

Every news source is covering this right now, so more will be forthcoming but really what can we really say at this moment.

It’s an incredible sad time for everyone right now, and my heart and mind goes to all of us that have been trying to ensure Saab Automobile has a bright future.

Here’s GM’s Official Press Release:

Saab Sale Cannot Be Concluded Brand to be Wound Down

2009-12-18

Detroit. General Motors announced today that the intended sale of Saab Automobile AB would not be concluded. After the withdrawal of Koenigsegg Group AB last month, GM had been in discussions with Spyker Cars about its interest in acquiring Saab. During the due diligence, certain issues arose that both parties believe could not be resolved. As a result, GM will start an orderly wind-down of Saab operations.

“Despite the best efforts of all involved, it has become very clear that the due diligence required to complete this complex transaction could not be executed in a reasonable time. In order to maintain operations, Saab needed a quick resolution,” said GM Europe President Nick Reilly. “We regret that we were not able to complete this transaction with Spyker Cars. We will work closely with the Saab organization to wind down the business in an orderly and responsible manner. This is not a bankruptcy or forced liquidation process. Consequently, we expect Saab to satisfy debts including supplier payments, and to wind down production and the distribution channel in an orderly manner while looking after our customers.”

Saab will continue to honor warranties, while providing service and spare parts to current Saab owners around the world.

As part of its efforts to become a leaner organization, GM began seeking a buyer for Saab’s operations in January. Last week, Saab Automobile AB announced that it had closed on the sale of certain Saab 9-3, current 9-5 and powertrain technology and tooling to Beijing Automotive Industry Holdings Co. Ltd. (BAIC). GM expects today’s announcement to have no impact on the earlier sale.

As the company continues to reinvent itself, GM has been faced with some very difficult but necessary business decisions. The focus will remain on the four core brands – Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC – and several regional brands, including Opel / Vauxhall in Europe. This will enable the company to devote more engineering and marketing resources to each brand and model.

A media conference call with John Smith GM Vice President, Corporate Planning and Alliances will take place at 9:45 a.m. Eastern Time.

Call-in-details are as follows:
Teleconference Dial-In Number(s) for Media:
United States: (800) 230-1059
International: (612) 234-9960
No Passcode required. Operators will request Name & Affiliation

General Motors Company, one of the world’s largest automakers, traces its roots back to 1908. With its global headquarters in Detroit, GM employs 209,000 people in every major region of the world and does business in some 140 countries. GM and its strategic partners produce cars and trucks in 34 countries, and sell and service these vehicles through the following brands: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, GM Daewoo, Holden, Opel, Vauxhall, Wuling and Jiefang. More information on the new General Motors Company can be found at www.gm.com.

# # #

Tom Wilkinson
Tel: 313-667-0366
Mobile: 313-378-6233
tom.wilkinson@gm.com

John McDonald
General Motors Company
Phone: 313-667-3714
Mobile: 313-418-2139
john.m.mcdonald@gm.com

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Saab Dealerships Receive Letter From Jan Åke Jonsson

Posted on 16. Jun, 2009 by .

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Saab dealerships receive letter from Jan Ã…ke Jonsson, Managing Director of Saab Automobile AB.

The dealerships have until Friday to submit letters of intent to transfer their GM dealer agreements to the new Koenigsegg-Saab dealership agreement.

This is probably one of the best letters Saab dealerships have received, those lucky enough to be alive today, waiting a whole 20-years to see this day.

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Jan Ã…ke Jonsson, Managing Director June 16, 2009
_______________________________________________________________________
Dear Saab dealer,

I am very happy to announce that we are one step closer to a new independent Saab Automobile. Today General
Motors announced that it had entered into a memorandum of understanding to sell its Swedish operation, Saab
Automobile AB, to Koenigsegg GroupAB. The following is an extract from the Press Release that is submitted today.

Deal will secure Saab’s future
EIB expected to provide $600 million financing with state guarantee by the Swedish government
GM reinvention achieves another milestone

General Motors Corp. and Koenigsegg Group AB, a consortium led by Koenigsegg Automotive AB, today confirmed the details of a memorandum of understanding for the purchase of Saab Automobile AB that secures Saab’s future.

The sale, expected to close by the end of the third quarter of this year, includes an expected $600 million funding commitment from the European Investment Bank (EIB) guaranteed by the Swedish government. Additional support is to be provided by GM and Koenigsegg Group AB to fund Saab’s operations and product program investments. This includes plans to launch several new products that are in the final stages of development. Saab had filed for reorganization under Swedish Law on Feb. 20, 2009. This tentative agreement is a key milestone for Saab to successfully
emerge from its reorganization process.

“This is yet another significant step in the reinvention of GM and its European operations,” said GM Europe President, Carl-Peter Forster. “Saab is a highly respected automotive brand with great potential. Closing this deal represents the best chance for Saab to emerge a stronger company. Koenigsegg Group’s unique combination of innovation, entrepreneurial spirit and financial strength, combined with Koenigsegg’s proven ability to create world-class Swedish performance cars in a highly efficient manner, made it the right choice for Saab as well as for General Motors.”

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your unwavering support during the last months and I would ask you to remain focused as we move into the next exiting chapter of Saab
Automobile’s history.

Best regards,

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Jan Ã…ke Jonsson

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Official Press Release: General Motors and Koenigsegg Group AB Reach Tentative Agreement on Saab

Posted on 16. Jun, 2009 by .

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General Motors and Koenigsegg Group AB Reach Tentative Agreement on Saab.

Finally, official confirmation!

General Motors and Koenigsegg Group AB Reach Tentative Agreement on Saab

# Deal will secure Saab’s future
# EIB expected to provide $600 million financing with state guarantee by the Swedish government
# GM reinvention achieves another milestone

Zurich. General Motors Corp. and Koenigsegg Group AB, a consortium led by Koenigsegg Automotive AB, today confirmed the details of a memorandum of understanding for the purchase of Saab Automobile AB that secures Saab’s future.

The sale, expected to close by the end of the third quarter of this year, includes an expected $600 million funding commitment from the European Investment Bank (EIB) guaranteed by the Swedish government. Additional support is to be provided by GM and Koenigsegg Group AB to fund Saab’s operations and product program investments. This includes plans to launch several new products that are in the final stages of development. Saab had filed for reorganization under Swedish Law on Feb. 20, 2009. This tentative agreement is a key milestone for Saab to successfully emerge from its reorganization process.

“This is yet another significant step in the reinvention of GM and its European operations,” said GM Europe President, Carl-Peter Forster. “Saab is a highly respected automotive brand with great potential. Closing this deal represents the best chance for Saab to emerge a stronger company. Koenigsegg Group’s unique combination of innovation, entrepreneurial spirit and financial strength, combined with Koenigsegg’s proven ability to create world-class Swedish performance cars in a highly efficient manner, made it the right choice for Saab as well as for General Motors.”

As part of the proposed transaction, GM will continue to provide Saab with architecture and powertrain technology during a defined time period. Additionally, Saab plans to produce its next generation 9-5 models in the Saab production facility in Trollhättan, Sweden.

“The proposed agreement will enable us to maximize the brand’s potential through an exciting new product line-up with a distinctly Swedish character. Today’s announcement is great news for Saab’s current and future customers, dealers, suppliers and employees around the globe, said Jan Åke Jonsson, Managing Director of Saab Automobile AB.

The sale will be subject to customary closing conditions, including receipt of applicable regulatory, governmental and court approvals. Other terms and conditions specific to the sale are not being disclosed at this time. Deutsche Bank acted as financial advisor to General Motors Corporation.

General Motors Corp., one of the world’s largest automakers, was founded in 1908, and today manufactures cars and trucks in 34 countries. With its global headquarters in Detroit, GM employs 235,000 people in every major region of the world, and sells and services vehicles in some 140 countries. In 2008, GM sold 8.35 million cars and trucks globally under the following brands: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, GM Daewoo, Holden, Hummer, Opel, Pontiac, Saab, Saturn, Vauxhall and Wuling. GM’s largest national market is the U.S., followed by China, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Canada, Russia and Germany. In Europe, GM sells its vehicles in over 40 markets. It operates 10 vehicle-production and assembly facilities in seven countries and employs about 50,000 people. More information on GM can be found at http://media.gmeurope.com and http://www.gmeurope.com. GM Europe executives blog at http://drivingconversations.com.To support informed discussion and fact-based reporting, GM and Opel & Vauxhall have launched a new website at http://gmeuropefactsandfiction.com.

Koenigsegg Group AB is a consortium of private investors led by Koenigsegg Automotive AB. Koenigsegg Automotive AB manufactures supercars. It has representatives in Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, North America, and the Oceania. The company was founded in 1994 and is based in Ängelholm, Sweden.

CONTACT(S):

GM Europe
Chris Preuss
+41 44 828 25 00
jchristopher.preuss@gm.com

Saab Automobile AB
Eric Geers
Tel: +46 (0) 520 27 97 97
eric.geers@gm.com

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Saab Automobile Technical Director Interviewed By TTELA

Posted on 19. May, 2009 by .

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kick.jpg

Photo Credit: TTELA

Trollhattan, Sweden’s TTELA interviews Saab Automobile Technical Director Mats Fägerhag.

It sounds quite positive!

Here’s the interview.

We get a kick start

Must Saab be included in a large group to survive?

– “Not at all,” says Technical Director Mats Fägerhag. Necessary co-operation can just as easily be done through partnerships.”

– “There is a completely different transparency for such solutions today.”

During the years the automotive industry have taught us large scale operations with shared components, development and production. Precisely for this reason many believe that Fiat would be the optimal ownership solution for Saab. But that is an outdated approach, says Saab’s CTO Mats Fägerhag to TTELA. Large corporations are not the only way to cut costs. An option as good as anyone is to be an independent company with various partnerships.

– “Everyone wants to find the volume by sharing investments with others. There is an openness to these things today that did not exist five years ago,” he says, and continues:
[…]

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General Motors Europe’s Response To Fiat Interest

Posted on 05. May, 2009 by .

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Eric Geers of Saab Autombile has provided Saab History General Motors Europe’s response to the recent news of Fiat’s interest in acquiring them.

A thank you to Mr. Geers, it must be insane from a PR standpoint these days with the days getting closer to and end to reconstruction, a new buyer and now Fiat tells the world they want GM Europe and all of the products within it (ie. Opel, Vauxhall & Saab).

GM Europe is in talks with several possible investors. We see good and realistic interest of some of these possible investors. We have agreed to not communicate names of possible investors and we do not speculate about the timing of the negotiations. We also do not speculate about the content of the talks between the German government and the FIAT management.

GM Europe has developed a viability plan to ensure a long-term future of the company in the European market. As part of this viability plan, GME is continuing its discussions with potential investors to obtain funding to enable continued operations and with the German government regarding support. The initial outreach for third-party investors has been very promising. We expect that Opel/Vauxhall will become a significantly more independent part of a strong global GM product network as we navigate
these very difficult economic times. GME is continuing negotiations with employee representatives regarding a reduction in labor cost.

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Fiat Group’s President, Sergio Marchionne To Present Plan Of Large European Car Company With Chrysler, GM Europe

Posted on 03. May, 2009 by .

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The Financial Times Reports that Fiat is planning on presenting a plan to create a large european car company with Chrysler and General Motors Europe to transform the automotive landscape.

It finally looks like what I heard about a long time ago, may be going through with Fiat & General Motors Europe’s new group.

The question at this time is, what does that mean for Saab Automobile as well given that they are still currently part of General Motors Europe?

Here are some excerpts from the column.

Sergio Marchionne, Fiat chief executive, is on Monday due to outline plans to transform the global automotive landscape by spinning off Fiat’s core cars division, joining it with Chrysler and General Motors Europe, and creating a new publicly traded European car company.

Mr Marchionne wants Italy’s largest industrial group to separate Fiat Auto from its other divisions, join them with Opel / Vauxhall, Saab, and GM’s other European operations, and Fiat’s stake in Chrysler to create a company with about €80bn ($106bn) of revenues and sales of 6m-7m vehicles a year – second to Toyota, more than Renault / Nissan or Ford Motor, or GM itself, and roughly as many as Volkswagen.

Mr Marchionne had spoken of spinning off Fiat Auto from the group’s Iveco trucks, CNH farm and construction equipment, and Ferrari / Maserati luxury divisions as long ago as 2004.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Mr Marchionne said: “From an engineering and industrial point of view, this is a marriage made in heaven”.

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Fiat Considering To Partner With GM Europe?

Posted on 20. Apr, 2009 by .

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The Motor Authority & “Hotstocked” are reporting that Fiat, the company that got away from Saab Automobile back in 1989, is back in the news again this week. Apparently, Fiat is planning on partnering with GM Europe in addition to their attempts to partner with Chrysler in case that goes south.

I am interested in this news because it sounds like the original story I heard back in January about GM Europe forming a new auto group with Fiat.

What is interesting about this is that the Motor Authority says that the partnership will not include Saab. I sure hope they are wrong as I’d like to see Fiat partnering with Saab, even though it’s 20 years too late. Furthermore, I wonder who their “source” was that provided this information. What do you think?

Here is Motor Authorities quote:

While Fiat and Chrysler are desperately trying to secure an alliance here in the United States, the Italian side of the duo is also reportedly considering an alliance with General Motors’ core operations in Europe and Latin America. If all goes ahead, a merged Fiat and Chrysler, along with the GM operations, would become the world’s second-largest auto group.

The latest information comes from a source familiar with the matter, who revealed to Automotive News that talks between Fiat and GM are in the early phase and are not an alternative to Fiat’s ongoing negotiations with Chrysler. The GM operations involved would include the Opel and Vauxhall brands in Europe and GM Latin America in South America. Not included is Saab and Chevrolet’s European operations.

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Saab Automobile AB To Lay Off 750 Employees

Posted on 12. Mar, 2009 by .

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Photo Credit: Saab History

During this reconstruction process it has been mentioned today to Trollhattan’s TTELA that 750 workers and 100 executives will be dismissed from Saab Automobile AB.

It is unclear who will be departing and exactly when, but here is the announcement below.

Saab Automobile has not been announced earlier in the crisis for the automotive industry. During Thursday morning was the employees information about the now 650-collar employees and 100 officials alerts of dismissal.

TROLLHÄTTAN Saab Automobile in Trollhättan, 750 employees notice of termination, of which about 100 are officers.

On the factory floor in Trollhättan work, according to Saab’s information, some 1 650 people.

The entire company has more than 4 000 employees. This includes development and design center in Pixbo outside Gothenburg, the warehouse in Nyköping and offices in Stockholm.

Since 1990 the number of employees has fallen from around 7 800. Last year, there have been several cuts through voluntary arrangements with the package of agreements. It has meant that several hundred have left.

Production was halted in the morning at Saab in Trollhättan. 650 metal and 100 officers was given of termination. The reason for notice is the low production rate.
[…]

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