• Mar 3, 2009
Damage control must be in full swing at General Motors these days with the recent announcement that Saab and Saturn are on the outs and Pontiac will forge on with a reduced product portfolio. Just yesterday, Susan Docherty, VP of Buick/Pontiac/GMC, published a post on GM's Fastlane blog saying that "Pontiac is alive and kicking, and we are still part of GM's future plans." Fair enough, but what about Saturn and Saab?
A few weeks back, Saturn General Manager Jill Lajdziak sent reassuring letters to the owners of Saturn automobiles suggesting that the brand will live on, even if that means bringing in products from other automakers. Now, Mark C. McNabb, Vice President of GM's Premium Channel, has done the same for Saab owners. The two notes follow a similar pattern, first reminding owners why their specific brand is different from the rest and then highlighting why its corporate parents are pushing it out of the nest.

The underlining theme in both letters is one of hope for a future where each brand is able to carve out its own profitable niche in the global automotive marketplace and, of course, soliciting for continued sales from brand loyalists with assurances that their warranties will remain intact.

Read the letter from Mark McNabb after the jump.

[Source: Saab]

LETTER TO SAAB OWNERS FROM MARK MCNABB:

Dear ________,

You've always known us as somewhat of an unconventional company. From our very first days, when a group of unassuming jet engineers decided that driving should feel more like flying, we've had a natural affinity to seek the not-so-obvious path. Buoyed by a curious mix of ingenuity and optimism, we've always found our way.

Today, our sights are set on a new destination: independence.

Last week, General Motors submitted its viability plan to the U.S. Department of Treasury that outlined the corporation's long-term restructuring goals. In that plan, GM stated that it would actively pursue measures that could result in Saab Automobile AB, including all of Saab's global operations, becoming an independent company.

Saab has had several different types of ownership during its storied history. Recently, the first step toward re-establishing its independence was taken when Saab Automobile AB in Sweden filed for reorganization under a self-managed Swedish court process that will attempt to create a fully independent business entity. The reorganization in Sweden allows Saab to continue operating, while new ownership possibilities are being pursued. Current business is unaffected during this restructuring process.

So, what exactly does all this mean?

To current Saab owners and loyalists, be assured that all warranties on Saab vehicles remain valid. The warranty for both new and Certified Pre-Owned Saab vehicles are provided by GM and remain intact. GM will support continued availability of parts and service. Prepaid scheduled maintenance also remains in effect on all current product offerings.

To those who have recently expressed interest in buying a new Saab, we'll be there for you as well. All of Saab's current product offerings remain available. While these times may seem turbulent and uncertain, our cars are just as safe, just as fuel-efficient and just as fun-to-drive as ever. With the full backing of all warranties, you can drive with confidence knowing that your Saab will be covered under its warranty.

We are excited by the potential opportunities tomorrow will bring. And we're eager to start anew. During the reorganization period, your Saab Dealer stands ready to assist you with all your sales and service needs. In addition, Saab Customer Assistance is available at (800) 955-9007. While it may not be the most conventional path to take, for those who know Saab, you're well aware – we know no other way. With the spirit of Saab leading us, we hope you'll join us for the ride.

Sincerely,
Mark C. McNabb
Vice President
Premium Channel
General Motors Corporation


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  • 15 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Good thing I got rid of my POS 93 2 years ago.

      It took SAAB/GM 10 (count them, 10!) weeks to get me a rear trunk lid for my 2004 93 after it was rear-ended by a DUI driver. And in these 10 weeks, they did NOTHING to compensate me or even display any sign of an apology.

      I'm so glad SAAB is going under, and if it wasn't for the thousands of jobs that would be lost in OTHER professional industries like marketing and the like (the heck with union workers), I hope GM goes under as well. Take Chrysler with you.
      • 5 Years Ago
      "So, what exactly does all this mean?"

      Y'all are screwed.
      • 5 Years Ago
      These "reassuring" letters remind me of when pro sports general managers give embattled coaches the dreaded "vote of confidence." Then, shortly thereafter, the coach is no more.
      • 5 Years Ago
      *carve.
      • 5 Years Ago
      "The underlining theme in both letters is one of hope for a future where each brand is able to carve out its own profitable niche in the global automotive marketplace"

      Well. That's it. Saab's gone. Or does no one remember why GM purchased them in the first place? (hint: inability to care out its own PROFITABLE niche in the global automotive marketplace).

      I wonder how much better GM would be doing had they not gone on that brand buying bonanza.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I remember why GM purchased them. Ford had just bought Jaguar and GM decided it needed a premium European brand. So they bought Saab. Then Ford buys Volvo for its Premium Auto Group (PAG). Then GM makes moves on Fiat. Then the whole thing implodes.

        The only strategy involved with the whole premium European marque debacle was a pissing contest between GM and Ford.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I doubt anybody at GM knows what will happen tomorrow, let alone next week.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I can just hear the GM management(and I use that term loosely).

        You buy Saab, and we will throw in Hummer and Saturn.
      • 5 Years Ago
      It really is time for GM to get rid of another screaming chicken!!!
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm not sure why SAAB Automobile keeps stressing its heritage with jets. Any relationship with SAAB (the aerospace company) was lost with the overturning of SAAB Automobile to Scania in 1969. So SAAB Automobile, your cars may drive really well, but stop lying to laypeople about your cars being born from the jets (that stopped happening in 1969)!
      Pam
      • 3 Years Ago
      I had an issue with my Saab, the part was on back order. I found the part on my own, a Saab Garage in Essex Massachusetts. They are great, shipped it out that day. I would recommend Specialized Auto Saab to everyone.
      • 5 Years Ago
      "To those who have recently expressed interest in buying a new Saab"

      All three of them.

      See, if I received a letter like this from my carmaker, I'd be concerned, very concerned, whereas no letter would mean all is well.
      • 5 Years Ago
      So for the 482 people who bought cars in February, they could have hand written the letters and licked the stamps. The fat lady is singing. Just go back to being a quirky car for engineers...think 900 Turbo or the 9000 Turbo. Well, the 9000 Turbo was really a Fiat and designed by an Italian...well then then in retrospect the re-badging of a Subaru wasn't that big of a manufacturing jump.
      L D Hamlet
      • 3 Years Ago
      I just purchaed a new Saab 94 and have been a Saab customer since 1999. Just a little concerned about the warranty given the state of affairs with Saab at present. Is there any news with respect to the Warranty. I did not recieve a letter from General Motor's VP
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