California Autos Examiner

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Easter Bunny Could Bring Volvo Buyer

If you are Saab, you have to feel like a red-headed step child. Your parent company wants to send you packing, but no one is willing to adopt you. Heck, your own homeland won't help you out. Contrast that with Volvo's outlook, and it makes you feel even worse. The Swedish government has been much more receptive to Volvo's quest for funding and supposedly three interested parties may submit bids for the company around Easter.

Times are tough for both companies, but as I have long espoused, Sweden really has room for only one. Right now it would appear that Volvo has the upper hand and barring some miracle, that is likely how it will play out. Could Saab be split off from GM and still retain a Swedish-made lineup? Probably not unless the Swedish government is willing to play ball and currently that is not the case. Could a buyer pickup Volvo and then throw a low-ball offer towards GM for Saab? Maybe.

Frankly, if I were an up and coming car company, I'd be looking at Saturn's distribution network. Saturn dealers garner extremely high customer service scores and the brand's buyers like smaller, more efficient cars--just the stuff for a Chinese or Indian manufacturer looking to start off with a bang. GM just wants to be done with Saturn, so you could get and extremely sweet deal. You'd also be able to contract with GM for vehicles until you own lineup was fully fleshed-out.

source: Reuters

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