peter wrote:Time for a reality check ?
Saab has always had an extraordinarily enthusiastic and devoted worldwide customer base. They, like many others, believe that the production of competitive premium cars is the way forward. Koenigsegg were seen as the future salvation of Saab in Sweden.
Industry insiders see this differently :
• Current production rates are around 35,000 (retail sales are less) per year. It is generally held that annual figures closer to 500,000 are needed to generate enough income to replace platforms over their life time.
• Saab has been emasculated during the 20 years of GM rule. Design, engineering, parts warehousing, finance, wholesale distribution, retail distribution and purchasing are now heavily entwined within the GM business. This was a sensible cost saving strategy at the time, but is now a threat to the survival of the Saab business. And remember that all Saab engines will be sourced through GM / Opel companies.
• Saab now have (or will have) two models to serve them for the next 7, or so, years. They won’t be gifts – almost certainly they will be the subject of royalties to GM.
• The Koenigsegg sports car operation provides only a small minority of the investment. It is mostly financed by other financial players, bank borrowings and government loans. From this point of view it is a venture capital operation, and the players probably intend recovering their investment sooner rather than later. The most likely scenario is that they develop the business and sell it by 2015. It would make a fine addition to one of the Chinese car manufacturing operations wishing to penetrate the premium market ?
• Koenigsegg have been very vague on future plans. “Exciting future brand development“ means what ? It may be that they intend to sell the Saab name and production lines whilst keeping (or selling ?) the Trollhattan factory. There have been rumours of using it to assemble electric cars.
• In fact, Koenigsegg bring very little to the party, and arguably their presence is a threat to the future of Saab. They are unable to provide parts, retail or wholesale car distribution chains, and there is no obvious route forward with joint platform development. Saab really needed an existing manufacturer who could provide the parts of the business lost in the GM years.
• GM are happy to get rid of Saab. Saab employees see Koenigsegg as the best option if they will be able to control the company in the future.
• There have been a few articles in the financial press questioning the future of Saab with Koenigsegg. There were criticisms of the transparency of the Koenigsegg group. Then Mark Bishop pulled out (a major financial player concerned about publicity ?). Now, it seems that Koenigsegg may not have enough funds to invest either : www.wsws.org/articles/2009/aug2009/saab-a27.shtml
& http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20090826-707159.html ,
www.ft.com/cms/s/a9abb1b6-9045-11de-bc5 ... abdc0.html .
• Swedish Prime Minister Frederick Reinfeldt has stated, “There are those trying to change the way companies should be run in Sweden. Firstly, the buyer stumps up insufficient funds. Then the venture capital and credit markets ... decline to join in. And then the state is left there as the largest venture capitalist of them all, who with welfare money should go in and assume the risk that no one else wants to take.”
As GM are now reconsidering the Opel position, could Saab be the premium product offering ? Opel and Saab are already entwined, but Opel are believed to be against future tie ups with Saab.
It is hard to see where Saab will be in 2019 ?
peter wrote:US motor cycles ................
Harley Davidson relaunched themselves as a traditional US lifestyle product in the cowboy mould. An attempted move into small 2 stroke machines following the acquisition of Aermacchi of Italy was abandoned in the 1970's.
shel wrote:Kinda-sorta. The Harley Hummer 2-stroke was virtually a clone of the BSA Bantam. I can't remember where they were built, but I don't think Aermacchi was involved.
peter wrote:I had ......... BSA Bantam D7, Triumph Tiger Cub, Ducati 250 OHC, Norton 350, Triumph TR6R, Suzuki 250 (15 yrs later), then learned how to lose more money faster on old cars and boats.
Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests