Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Bailouts Blueprint For Success... or Failure?

Someone riddle me this... if American car companies are going to be "revived" by scrapping traditional American muscle and comfort and room in favor of a so-called "better", lighter smaller, European design, then how is it that.... "Saab keeps on Slipping Slipping"?

From The Auto Reviews blog-
"To many peoples’ surprise, SAAB was amongst the brands that made the cut when federal bankruptcy judge Robert Gerber cleaved GM in two. Saab was owned by GM Canada. It’s now part of New GM—which is busy negotiating with The Koeinigsegg Group to offload the Swedish automaker. Very little has come out of the recent negotiations re: the sale and/or the European Investment Bank (EIB) loan that Saab, GM and Koeningsegg view as a prerequisite for the deal to go down. Meanwhile, last week, Saab CEO Jan Åke Jonsson declared “we need a cash infusion so we can boost production.” Förlåt?

At the moment, SAAB is building 100 or so cars per day—36,500 per year without holidays—at their main production facility in Trollhättan. In recent years, Saab have averaged sales of 120,000 – 130, 000 cars per year. In 2008, sales of the Swedish cars fell to 93,388, down 25 percent. And it’s getting worse.

Sales of SAAB in Sweden are down 60 to 65 percent so far, Saab CEO JAJ revealed in a recent interview. They’re fallen to 4200 units during the first six months of 2009. In the US, sales of SAABs during May fell 64 percent to a mere 783 units. Saab sales in Europe dropped 66 percent to 2,191 during the same month.

Since sales of Saab have plummeted nobody really understands why Saab want to boost current production levels." FULL STORY

So again I ask, if the rest of the world is so great at building cars and selling them then why haven't those cars actually been selling for the past 10-20 years?

SAAB (like Volvo) was one of those companies that prided themselves on fuel economy over power and style, yet had the about the best safety record in the industry while being green and all that jazz.... but it didn't sell.

At least the Swedish government was smart enough NOT to give SAAB a bailout jackpot.

Ice Daily News- Canada:

"Sweden’s government had refused to bail out the beleaguered carmaker, fearing the cash would just end up in GM’s empty pockets. The sale of Saab is being backed by USD 600 million from the European Investment Bank, and guaranteed by the Swedish government.

Koenigsegg and a clutch of other investors will pony up the rest of the money needed to keep Saab operational. Ideally, his company will put the quality name back into Saab after nearly a decade of losses."

But it's not just SAAB struggling today...
Washington Post 06-09:
, the world's largest automaker, said June sales were down 38 percent compared to June last year. Fitch ratings downgraded Toyota's credit rating for the second time in seven months".
The fact is that ALL car companies are struggling... struggling to figure out what kind of car the enviro-nazis running the government want to build instead of listening to what kind of car the customers want to buy... and as long as they continue to do this, they will continue to struggle.


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