The fiercely loyal Saab followers will not let Saab go away. The quirky car company has enjoyed an incredible following, along with a string of interesting and ground breaking cars. All of this was fine until it, like many other smaller carmaker players they were swallowed into larger auto maker portfolios. From then on, it was a downhill spiral.
Big And Small Players Have Different Cultures. It’s usually sad to see a niche carmaker become part of a mainstream global auto maker portfolio. It’s also usually a question of survival that comes at a price, ironically enough, its own life. You fear what made the smaller player special, its culture will be diluted. Unfortunately, it happens more often than not and Saab was an example. So how do you save a bankrupt niche car maker? Enters the scene an unlikely group of electric car consortium.
National Electric Vehicle Sweden. The new electric car consortium involves a few interesting key players, namely the former Volvo Trucks head Karl-Erling Trogen who is spearheading the bid to buy the assets of the bankrupt Swedish car giant Saab. The next one is a new player, Youngman, the Chinese car company that tried its luck to previously through talks with Viktor Muller, the Dutch entrepreneur behind Spyker Cars. Skyper has since then dropped out of the process, although its name still appears on the Saab website. If you follow the money trail, it will lead to a Japanese-Chinese automobile consortium, whose 245 shares of its total 500 are owned by Sun Investment. The rest, 255 are held by Mikael Kubu, the President of Ac-Gruppen, a law firm based in Gothenburg. Are you getting a clearer picture now? Good, because no one else is.
As for GM, Saab’s former owner, it claims it is not negotiating with any prospective buyers, either for the entire company or licensing key Saab technology. Confused yet?
This leaves us with a few interesting questions. Will the smaller car makers find a rebirth via the electric drive? Are those smaller players that were, let’s be honest ruined by larger car makers in the middle of a catastrophic recession key assets for electric cars, EVs? It stands to reason they would. Consortiums with access to battery technology would stand to win the most from buying a bankrupt car company. It’s key technology and even its assembly line could be used to pump out EVs with little financial outlay. In the meantime, the prospect of Saab being bought by industry veterans and a consortium with battery assets might be the lifeline the company deserves.