GM, which is itself a horribly run company, has decided to drop off their poorly performing and even more horribly run subsidiary, Saab. As such, they have been making moves to turn Saab into a separate business. The Saab board will no longer be on the GM-Europe board’s leash, they will then be given their own budget, and the freedom to make their own more European mistakes. This will, of course, require GM to give Saab a chunk of money which they don’t have. More after the jump.
Negotiations are currently underway between Saab, GM, and the Swedish government.
GM isn’t just doing this out of respect for Saab’s Swedish pride, but because they need all the money that they can get. In addition, neither company seems to like the other very much anymore. What started out as a sweet love affair in 2000 has gone quite sour. GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz expressed the American frustration with by saying “Frankly, they’ve been on GM life support,” while it seems like every Saab initiative to make their line somewhat interesting (bio-fuel turbo-charged “Green Cars,” and a plug in hybrid convertible 9-3 for example) has been shot down by GM.
If/when GM finds someone who believes that doing business with the US auto industry is a good idea (other than Fiat), Saab is hoping to find its way back home to Sweden, and abandon their German site.
GM claims that Saab’s future will be decided by 17 February 2009, when they submit their business plan to the US government. The only real question left is how much alimony Saab will get from the split.