Good bye, Saab, good bye.
A Classic 1993 900-T Convertible
Permit me to fulminate. I loved the Swedish Saabs. I was a "Saab guy." For years. I had a 1984 900, a 1988 900-S, at 1990 900-T convertible, and a 2000 9-3. The 9-3, in comparison with the others, was a plastic coated joke show. It was a constant problem. It had electrical issues. It had temperament issues. It had intermittent wiring. It wasn't a real, Swedish Saab. And it didn't act like one. It didn't maintain Saab's legendary quality, the quality that kept me alive in a serious accident I had in the 1984 Saab. The 9-3 replaced steel with plastic, and every year, the more plastic added, the higher the price. It replaced design with copying American road hogs. There was no way the GM Saab could ever compete with BMW, with Audi, with Volvo, with Infiniti, with Lexus.
And now, to no one's particular surprise, General Motors has finally killed Saab dead:
GM has been looking for a buyer for Saab, and said on Wednesday "given the urgency of stemming sizeable cash demands associated with Saab operations" it would need support from the Swedish government prior to any sale.So there will be no support from Sweden. And the geniuses at General Motors will have finally succeeded in killing the brand. Saab is the new Rambler, the new Fraser, the new Nash, the new Oldsmobile, the new Edsel. First they devalued the brand, then their stupidity killed it dead.
But the country's Enterprise and Energy Minister Maud Olofsson told Swedish public radio that "voters picked me because they wanted nursery schools, police and nurses, and not to buy loss-making car factories".
In practical terms, the news probably means that Saab, which rapacious General Motors gobbled only to devalue and undermine, is going unceremoniously to go bankrupt or die along with the other GM dinosaurs, Saturn and Hummer, two of General Motors' other brilliant ideas.
I know that the US automobile industry needs to be bailed out for macroeconomic reasons. I accept that. But if there were such a thing as free market capitalism, which there obviously isn't, I can't think of a company more deserving than GM to die an ignominious, debt ridden death, one in which its shareholders' stock is worth absolutely nothing. In a just world, there'd be an independent Swedish Saab, and GM would be shredded into tiny shards of the glossy plastic they used to make imitation wood.