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This ^^. It's rare that executives can deal with change quickly when dealing with entrenched bureaucratic culture. My experience travelling to Sweden and meeting with Per Gilbrand ( father of SAAB turbocharging systems for automotive etc ) in 1979 was that even then , while SAAB was blazing a trail and had innovative manufacturing systems They soon got left behind.

Even then the Swedish folks I talked to on the research project I was doing, ( not SAAB) lacked any ambition to advance at their work ( in this case law enforcement) as the income tax structure appeared to sap their energy to make more money and rise through the ranks. The folks appeared to be resigned to where they were in life. High suicide rate as well iirc.

1979. Back then Canadian government was starting to deal with drinking and driving as a societal issue that was killing lots of people on the roads. Sweden had huge penalties for DUI and hardly any such incidents. So may be they had the answer to the problem. Wait; the public drunkenness I observed on the streets and public transportation in Stockholm was shockingly prevalent.


At the end of the day the SAAB is a fine car well built with quirks etc Yet it was fabulously overpriced BITD as Tunnan has observed. GM is a hopeless case of mismanagement that continues to this day; they do have true believers At GM and the product lineup has never been better. But from their CEO etc. Big issues. Marketing ? Big issues. Read www.autoextremeist.com.
 

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This thread was focused on GM's ownership and management of SAAB.

Let's refrain from vomiting out the rants (justified or not) against Spyker, Muller, Antonov and other parties not pertinent the original thread article. There are other past threads where you can append to.

As such, some previous irrelevent-to-GM comments have been deleted.

Thanks all.
 

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While not directly related to GM and SAAB here is another article I read(you can also listen to the whole interview) talking about GM attempting to learn how Toyota operated and their(GM) attempts to implement Toyota's system, NUMMI which is also mentioned in your article Ken. I feel it can summarize GM's failure as a whole including SAAB. http://m.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/403/nummi
It's long, but it is definitely worth a read/listen.
 

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Gm's behaviour with the Saab brand when the company (GM, not Saab itself) was failing and appealing to the US government to be 'saved' was disgusting to say the least.

Remember the 9-2x and 9-7x which never got sold outside north america (at least never here in Australia - thank heaven!). The 9-2x was a direct rip-off of Subaru's AWD technology. GM wanted the technology that Subura (ie. part of Fujitsu Heavy Industries) had developed. The 9-7x was a re-badge Chev SUV for all intents and purposes and a lame attempt to 'Lexus-ize' something in GM's product stable.

Both very poor attempts at 'grafting' the Saab name onto something that was clearly not of the Saab 'ilk' (or should I say Elk, in memory of Moose.Parts which this website still censors out of forum posts to this day - illegally).

When the US government agreed to bale out GM, in effect turn General Motors into a fully US government owned industrial corporation, Saab was cast off like it was rubbish. GM seems to have treated Saab with contempt ever since they started buying into the company around 1990.

Craig.
 

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Gm's behaviour with the Saab brand when the company (GM, not Saab itself) was failing and appealing to the US government to be 'saved' was disgusting to say the least.

Remember the 9-2x and 9-7x which never got sold outside north america (at least never here in Australia - thank heaven!). The 9-2x was a direct rip-off of Subaru's AWD technology. GM wanted the technology that Subura (ie. part of Fujitsu Heavy Industries) had developed. The 9-7x was a re-badge Chev SUV for all intents and purposes and a lame attempt to 'Lexus-ize' something in GM's product stable.

Both very poor attempts at 'grafting' the Saab name onto something that was clearly not of the Saab 'ilk' (or should I say Elk, in memory of Moose.Parts which this website still censors out of forum posts to this day - illegally).

When the US government agreed to bale out GM, in effect turn General Motors into a fully US government owned industrial corporation, Saab was cast off like it was rubbish. GM seems to have treated Saab with contempt ever since they started buying into the company around 1990.

Craig.
SaabCentral is a private, non-governmental, entity. There are no constitutional or statutory provisions applicable to it prohibiting it from regulating its own content via censorship and promulgation of its own forum terms and conditions of use. It is therefore impossible for any content regulatory actions by SaabCentral to constitute an unconstitutional or unlawful prior restraint.
 

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The 9-2x was a direct rip-off of Subaru's AWD technology. GM wanted the technology that Subura (ie. part of Fujitsu Heavy Industries) had developed.
GM owned 20% of Fuji Heavy Industries (parent of Subaru) from 1999 to 2005, then reduced its ownership of FHI to just under 12%.

What exactly in the 9-2X (nee Subaru Impreza/WRX) do you think GM did not have, but wanted ?
 

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Gm's behaviour with the Saab brand when the company (GM, not Saab itself) was failing and appealing to the US government to be 'saved' was disgusting to say the least.

Remember the 9-2x and 9-7x which never got sold outside north america (at least never here in Australia - thank heaven!). The 9-2x was a direct rip-off of Subaru's AWD technology. GM wanted the technology that Subura (ie. part of Fujitsu Heavy Industries) had developed. The 9-7x was a re-badge Chev SUV for all intents and purposes and a lame attempt to 'Lexus-ize' something in GM's product stable.

Both very poor attempts at 'grafting' the Saab name onto something that was clearly not of the Saab 'ilk' (or should I say Elk, in memory of Moose.Parts which this website still censors out of forum posts to this day - illegally).

When the US government agreed to bale out GM, in effect turn General Motors into a fully US government owned industrial corporation, Saab was cast off like it was rubbish. GM seems to have treated Saab with contempt ever since they started buying into the company around 1990.

Craig.
I'm fairly certain the 9-7x was sold in low numbers in Europe. Could be wrong.
 

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I'm fairly certain the 9-7x was sold in low numbers in Europe. Could be wrong.
Yes, when it was clear that the Americans wouldn't buy them they offloaded some of them to Italy and Switzerland from what I can remember. I think some ended up in the middle east as well.
 

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Around 20,000 American sales and under 200 Euro sales.

I wish the price would drop on the 9-7 Aero with the 390 ls motor. The 2 "V's" the Vette and Volvo would be searching for homes. Gotta' think that through better because my Corvettes have been real good to me. :confused:
 

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Gm's behaviour with the Saab brand when the company (GM, not Saab itself) was failing and appealing to the US government to be 'saved' was disgusting to say the least.

Remember the 9-2x and 9-7x which never got sold outside north america (at least never here in Australia - thank heaven!). The 9-2x was a direct rip-off of Subaru's AWD technology. GM wanted the technology that Subura (ie. part of Fujitsu Heavy Industries) had developed. The 9-7x was a re-badge Chev SUV for all intents and purposes and a lame attempt to 'Lexus-ize' something in GM's product stable.

Both very poor attempts at 'grafting' the Saab name onto something that was clearly not of the Saab 'ilk' (or should I say Elk, in memory of Moose.Parts which this website still censors out of forum posts to this day - illegally).

When the US government agreed to bale out GM, in effect turn General Motors into a fully US government owned industrial corporation, Saab was cast off like it was rubbish. GM seems to have treated Saab with contempt ever since they started buying into the company around 1990.

Craig.
elkparts isn't censored.
 

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It was when I first came on here. I think they were competition to some sponsors. Bastid's hammered me on some insane ship and handle charges for a f'ing lightweight cap and decal .. yeah like $50 for the S&H.
 

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The feds mandated GM shed Pontiac which was a company that really turned things around and were definitely on the upswing (as well as Saturn but that was on death's door anyway). There was no way GM would be able to use federal tax money to support SAAB (which wasn't doing well anyway).
 

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It's also possible that GM anticipated getting some creative forward thinking design works from Saab. They got neither and limped along on the old 900 till the ng900 was introduced (boring but reliable, I had one).

Where were the engineers who put out this legendary technology, the improvements on the turbo and such.

In the end, the public got a cast and crew who were arrested with the individual who was the "dark power" behind the throne" awaiting trial for the theft of billions.

They seemed so sincere for a bit and we wanted to believe, Saab deserved better than this and now to be pushed into some sort of automotive limbo or purgatory?

Our Saab, so simple an alternative from the maddening stampede of Auto Mania deserved much better. It did not even get a dignified walk off. :cry:

GM let Pontiac go too, maker of arguably the first muscle car, not the GTO, but the 1963 Super Duty with the 421, pity it did not sell well, or the alu GTO though denied by Pontiac I saw and tested one so it was quite real.

If Muller wanted to sell cars, at least here in the US, he made a major error and it was such an error that it did result in an action against several mid-west dealers who dared to go against Muller's policy that forbid discounts and any but company advertising. I liked my wife's 2.0 XWD so much that I decided to buy one. I did not expect the deal that I got during the fire sale, not at all but I did expect a bit of give and take ... upgrades like extra mats, snow tires and such. Nope, Muller was firm the price of the car was $36,400 period; the same car that I just paid $24,000 for? And around the country sat a thousand salesman who could not sell a stock list car while back in Sweden Muller failed to pay his advertising firm and the parts supply trucks came to a halt at the door. GM .. provided the gun, Saab went out and bought the bullets and pulled the trigger. They should realized that such a buy out could only work short term and should have had a plan for emergence. Fiat would have done the same with them.
 

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Same here to be honest. Such a shame and they had huge potential too. No matter I'll be driving my TurboX for many years to come ;ol;
 

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I don't know. I've been thinking a lot about this lately, and I'm just not convinced that GM "destroyed" Saab in the way everyone seems to think. I mean, ultimately, yes, the end-result was that Saab folded and it was under GM's control. But GM had a lot of slack that they needed to take up. Someone needed to take Saab out of the 80s and get new, younger drivers behind the wheel of their cars. Saab was ill-equipped to do it on their own.

The major grievance that I have with GM is that I feel like their attempt at really marketing Saab was incredibly half-hearted and while from a business-perspective that may have been the "smart" thing to do, to sort of go about it easily, slow and steady, I feel like GM should have really put their guns on it. Saab needed to be revitalized and was in desperate need of an aggressive ad campaign. Unfortunately, no such thing ever materialized.

A good example of this would be the new Buick commercials where they make fun of people being unable to recognize the new look of Buicks. Because let's be honest, most people when they think of Buick think of, well, something like...



The new commercials sort of play upon the idea that most people think of those big, long, boxy, heavy-looking cars when they think of "Buick" when really the new look of Buick is far more modern and refined. It's an effective ad campaign.

Saab should have done something similar, and they might have tried, but it never reached me which is exactly why I was so surprised when I first walked onto a Saab dealership's lot. My exact words were, "These are Saabs?!"

I was expecting to see a row of the older 900s which many people love and even I am learning to appreciate more and more, but aesthetically, they just don't do much for me. So when I gazed upon a row of 2004, 2005 and 2006 Saab 9-3s that resembled something more like a BMW 3 series than anything else, I was floored!

Can you imagine how many times I must have seen a 2006 Saab 9-3 drive by me and gave it no thought at all? Simply writing it off as maybe a BMW of some kind or a Volvo, anything but a Saab! Unbelievable...

An ad campaign should have spelled it out for me in the same way these new Buick commercials are doing. Would it have saved Saab? Maybe, maybe not. I don't know. I just wish that GM had really gone into it 100% ... and they didn't.
 

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However you look at it, during a period when every other major motor group managed to create new or revive old premium brands, only GM managed to turn a premium brand into a dead duck.
 
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