Spitting out the equivalent of "No soup for you," General Motors has made stronger noises about shutting Saab off from its technology and component pipeline and the new 9-4X, due to the Swedish company's proposed takeover by Chinese firms Pang Da and Youngman. While the GM statement didn't appear to make a definitive statement of walking away, it did say "GM will not agree to the continuation of the existing technology licenses or the continued supply of 9-4X vehicles to Saab following the proposed change in ownership as it would not be in the best interests of GM shareholders."

The mere fact of the Chinese accessing GM technology is obviously part of it, but this would also involve a Chinese competitor – not a joint-venture partner – ingesting a steady stream of GM's current and ongoing platforms and engineering. Since GM's shareholdings mean it needs to approve a Saab sale, the latest arrangement looks like it's going to take some reworking to come to fruition.

Saab CEO Victor Muller saying "We go back to the drawing board" is admitting that GM's stance all but unravels the Chinese agreement to purchase Saab and provide $850 million in long-term funding. We aren't entirely sure what Muller can do when he gets there: the Chinese are the only suitors on the board, no one knows if they even have government approval yet, and GM is the only company that can keep Saab in products without it costing a lot more than $850 million. But Muller's kept the ball in the air this long, we won't be the ones to count him out yet.


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      • 3 Years Ago
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      tenspeeder
      • 3 Years Ago
      At this point I hope that 3-5 years from now, the Saab brand is thriving (even if it is using different platforms and has had to rebuild itself), is funded by the Chinese companies and is being strongly marketed throughout China taking sales away from GM's Buick brand. Karma's a B that will, somehow kick GM back in the face. Go Saab!!!
        NightFlight
        • 3 Years Ago
        @tenspeeder
        You forgot the /sarcarm tag. Saab is going to fail miserably without the GM platforms. Do you have ANY idea of the time or resources necessary to design a platform AND an engine?
          • 3 Years Ago
          @NightFlight
          [blocked]
        Snark
        • 3 Years Ago
        @tenspeeder
        I find it amazing that Saab fans are such friggin' ingrates. Saab was a dying company when GM bought them, provided them platforms and technology, and allowed them to function as an independent business unit. GM's expectations that a brand as modest as Saab could stretch upmarket enough to fight BMW and Audi were unrealistic, but GM bent over backward to make Saab work. It's often forgotten that Saab insisted on being as independent as possible - it handled its own development, its own marketing, its own product planning. It insisted on differentiating platforms to the point that Saabs couldn't be built anywhere but the Trollhattan factory. It wouldn't play nice with Subaru - a natural pairing if ever there was one. The blame for Saab's failure as a business lies with the decisionmakers at Saab as much as it did with GM.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @tenspeeder
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      • 3 Years Ago
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        SloopJohnB
        • 3 Years Ago
        Ignorant panda hugger. The Russians can't build a decent jet engine that will last more than 100 hours...don't confuse their barely adequate commercial jet engines with their high performance aircraft engines. That's not to say the Chinese won't copy one of ours if they can get their hands on one, but I note that the Chinese haven't been able to successfully copy even a Russian engine that is sold to them!
          IBx27
          • 3 Years Ago
          @SloopJohnB
          And every one of those pounds was stolen.
          • 3 Years Ago
          @SloopJohnB
          [blocked]
        • 3 Years Ago
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      throwback
      • 3 Years Ago
      GM is doing the right thing in protecting their IP. They also have a joint venture going in China already, I'm sure SAIC would not be happy with a competitior getting GM tech so cheap.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @throwback
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      Steve1969
      • 3 Years Ago
      1. GM cannot be faulted for protecting its IP investments. It is ethically bound to do so. 2. I'd also like to see Saab survive, but I agree 100%, I've always found it ridiculous and strange for them to think they could compete with Audi (the past decade), DB, BMW, Lexus and maybe even Cadillac. Although not priced that way, Saab offerings fell clearly in the camp of value- or near-lux: Buick, VW, Lincoln, Infiniti and Acura...and let's face it, it's a little generous including Saab with a few of those. I hope they make it as stated above with their own all-new designs (as it should be anyway according to their brand ethos). And marketing and pricing that fits what_they_actually_offer. They didn't make it because the value proposition was not there, period. We all know they had to be hugely discounted just to move off the lot and sales were still dismal. Their officers and brand managers all should've been sacked about 10 or 15 years ago. Still blows my mind that they tried to compete with top-tier lux marques. What a travesty and disservice to the brand, its employees and shareholders.
      IBx27
      • 3 Years Ago
      Don't let the chinese take the Haldex AWD, epsilon architecture, or the engine/transmission systems. Don't let them steal it. Block it as long as you can GM; it's better that SAAB dies out than serve as a wormhole for the chinese to get into your billions of R&D.
        clquake
        • 3 Years Ago
        @IBx27
        The Haldex AWD Saab uses is the intellectual property of the Haldex Group AB, licensed for use to GM/Saab. Also found on some Audis.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @IBx27
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          • 3 Years Ago
          [blocked]
        avatar-ds
        • 3 Years Ago
        @IBx27
        Haldex? You got to be kidding. It's independent of GM and the Chinese already have access to it through Volvo. Other parts of Saab's GM legacy are not exactly the bleeding edge, a the platform they use is a generation behind, and most engines even older. It's silly rending the air, GM is just trying to get rid of a potential competitor by activating the kill switch they deliberately retained in Saab. For big corps without any integral sense of ethics it's business as usual.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @IBx27
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      • 3 Years Ago
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        beman03
        • 3 Years Ago
        There's a big difference between selling a car in China and having Chinese companies (who are notorious for ripping off the intellectual property of others) get access to billions of dollars worth of R&D for a relatively small $850M investment.
          DB
          • 3 Years Ago
          @beman03
          beman: In China, there is no difference between selling a car in China and giving Chinese companies complete access to all of your intellectual property. This is a government requirement to do business in China you have to give full access to all of the IP you want to sell in China to whoever your Chinese partner is. GM already is giving all of their relevant IP to the Government-owned SAIC group. Presumably they don't want to give it to a second Chinese company.
          • 3 Years Ago
          @beman03
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          Vien Huynh
          • 3 Years Ago
          @beman03
          I read about those sharing tech in Chinese news lately, and apparently, they dont learn much about tech from their western partners. They cant build the car independently...
      SloopJohnB
      • 3 Years Ago
      This is a no brainer since the Chinese are horrid technology thieves. However, GM may be shooting itself in the foot..China is or soon will be the largest market for GM vehicles. Better to get in bed with the bitch now....
        • 3 Years Ago
        @SloopJohnB
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          hmmwv
          • 3 Years Ago
          You are absolutely correct, I bet SAIC is actually lobbying heavily to get the SAAB deal blocked. The last thing they want is another competitor in China. It's funny that GM is tailoring alot of its strategies to SAIC, considering that SAIC-VW itself a competitor to SAIC-GM.
      mustsvt
      • 3 Years Ago
      This death by 1000 cuts is too painful to watch any more. Saab is now a fatally wounded brand. Let it die with whatever shreads of dignity it still has left...
        • 3 Years Ago
        @mustsvt
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      Dark Gnat
      • 3 Years Ago
      SAAB is a Zombie brand. It's time to get the chainsaw and boomstick. Come get some.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
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