The door has not yet closed on Saab. Hoping for yet another 11th hour stay of execution, the defunct carmaker's chief union, IF Metall, has written directly to President Obama, asking him to intervene, according to Just-Auto. While on the surface, this may seem silly, it's actually rather clever, even if it has little likelihood of working.

With the United States government still owning 26 percent of General Motors, the Swedish union is hoping it can appeal to Obama to pressure General Motors into granting licenses to continue manufacturing Saab vehicles, according to the report. It's this sticking point that has torpedoed every attempt to forestall Saab's dissolution, as GM fears that were it to allow continued production of Saabs developed under GM's ownership, it would open up the possibility of intellectual property conflicts, particularly if a Chinese manufacturer that competes with GM's own Chinese partner, SAIC, acquires Saab.

You have to admire Saab loyalists, as they clearly have not given up hope. But in this case, they just don't have any other options: Unemployment in the Saab hometown of Trollhättan has hit 40 percent, according to the report.


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  • 47 Comments
      Adrian
      • 2 Years Ago
      Incorrect statistic, Autoblog. Unemployment is NOT 40 percent in Trollhattan. 40 percent of IG Mettall's (the union that represents Saab and other metalworkers in the area) union members in Trollhattan are unemployed. Unemployment in the whole town still does stand at 17 percent, though. I kind of thought 40 percent sounded overblown, that's why I looked it up.
        LEDfoot
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Adrian
        Well, it's hard to find out the exact number still. The 17% is probably calculated in the usual way unemployment is calculated in Sweden. I.e. when you give up and stop going to AF that apparently means you're no longer unemployed. When AF puts you in a month long "training" program you are no longer unemployed, when you are assigned one of those 3-month internships at some company where the government foots the bill you are no longer unemployed, and so on.
      1guyin10
      • 2 Years Ago
      Can't believe they didn't try that one months ago. It would have made a lot more sense before the bankruptcy. either way GM isn't likely to license their design any further, especially to a Chinese buyer.
      Ace Convoy
      • 2 Years Ago
      If this works I'll buy a Phoenix 9-3 after school
      Gregg
      • 2 Years Ago
      The crux of the argument is this: (and ignoring IP issues for one moment), as a ward of the government, GM is in no position to turn down licensing offers, as they are multiple healthy revenue streams, and will be for decades: the cars themselves (Saab 9-4X is built on the same line as the Cadillac SRX), the parts used in current models (9-4X, 9-5), and all spare parts and tech dating back to the 1998 acquisition... that's a lot of money, and GM refuses to discuss the issue full stop-- or so they said. One of the potential buyers of Saab was Turkish private equity company Brightwell. Brightwell's President spoke of licensing negotiations with GM, in which GM continually and repeatedly moved the goalposts for the licensing rights to the 9-4 and 9-5 (the 9-3 is "GM-Free" at this point)-- after nearly coming to an agreement, GM then demanded a $73M "tooling fee"-- it was Brightwell's belief that GM had no interest in selling Saab and in the end pulled out of these negotiations and subsequently chose not to place a final bid on Saab as a direct result. Again, with GM owing Uncle Sam (and by extension: Joe Taxpayer) billions of dollars, how can they make decisions like this? Regarding IP, even though anybody can get precious GM IP by simply reverse engineering a Buick, GM has to keep its Chinese wing happy by snubbing all overtures by Youngman. I may not like it, but I can certainly understand it. However, there are other bidders for Saab including India's Mahindra-- if they end up winning, I hope that GM, who has very little presence in the exploding Indian market (which is more robust and stable than the Chinese market right now) might be able to find a way to work this out.
      jkyle
      • 2 Years Ago
      I love my SAABs too, (all 3 of them) It really doesn't matter who buys them as long as they are still distributed in North America. My last purchase was a 2011 93X sportcombi, I had some hopeful faith that SAAB would have been bought. Now I have no warrantty on a new car. Thanks GM!!!! If GM was smart they would just license the technology and move on. Let it go GM, its over. As for me and my family, we will NEVER buy another GM product. Of all the SAAB owners out there in the world and their friends and family I hope you send GM a message buy not buying thier automobiles.
      Mchicha
      • 2 Years Ago
      Lets see how the Democratic Socialist party Great Leader answers this request....
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Mchicha
        [blocked]
      Car Guy
      • 2 Years Ago
      Sure! Why not! Our own national debt isn't high enough. Let's start taking care of unions in Europe.
        TelegramSam
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Car Guy
        No one "takes care" of Unions. Their ranks are filled with ordinary Americans (esp the UAW), that otherwise have no voice and no political power. Historically BIG GOVERNMENT, has lent their police and national guard to stop strikes. Hmmm, who does the government "take care" of?
        hobbesfanmaster
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Car Guy
        Tell me how allowing GM to license IP to a Swdish company will at all increase our own debt, please.
      johnb
      • 2 Years Ago
      So now Obama is the President of the World and even Swedish Unions are asking for a bailout. Nice. That might actually work.
        hobbesfanmaster
        • 2 Years Ago
        @johnb
        All that they're asking for is licensing for products, something that will give GM money. giving is not equal to losing, I'm pretty sure that was made known before we were 4 years old.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @johnb
        [blocked]
      protovici
      • 2 Years Ago
      Wow sooooo glad Ford took matters in their own hands! Next thing you'll hear is the janitor asking Obama for a raise and his 15 minutes of fame.
      Diz
      • 2 Years Ago
      Obama.....Unions.....No problem!
      IBx27
      • 2 Years Ago
      That's it, **** off saab! The reds aren't going to get any more GM R&D; not from you anyway.
        chromal
        • 2 Years Ago
        @IBx27
        Heh, like SAAB would have wanted much GM had to offer. I think you've got it backwards. GM could only hope to design and build cars as well as SAAB did. I'm not saying SAAB's business model worked, but they built better cars, no question.
          IBx27
          • 2 Years Ago
          @chromal
          Keep telling yourself that, kid. Care to show me anything saab made on their own(that wasn't a 15 year old platform) since the 9000?
          LEDfoot
          • 2 Years Ago
          @chromal
          @IBx27: Actually, Saab managed to pretty much go their own way despite the bean counters at GM, the Top Gear episode gives a brief history that's is fairly interesting and easily digestible: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4qnfSHnrL90 Honestly it seems to me that this IP mumbo-jumbo from GM is mostly GM acting like a stubborn, slighted ex-lover: "we don't want Saab, but noone else can have it either".
      alexkoolur
      • 2 Years Ago
      This is EXACTLY why Gov't shouldn't be meddling in the affairs of PRIVATE industry. It's amazing how much liberals bitch and complain about how Bush and republicans are guided by "special interest" groups, but liberals and Obama are the biggest offenders and they pretend like it's "ok" if the special interest is labor unions, teachers unions etc...and in MOST cases the special interests in-bed with the liberal party is actually a liability to the tax payer and has opposing interests to the tax payer.....e.g. if they get their way, the rest of us pay more in taxes for THEIR interests, NOT ours
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