It’s on. It’s off. No, wait, it’s on again. Oops, sorry, spoke too soon—it’s toast.
What am I talking about? The roller-coaster ride that GM has taken us on, trying to spin off the Saab brand of cars. There were more offs and ons than a string of Christmas lights.
GM bought management control of Saab in 1989 after it split from the Swedish truck maker Scania. In 2000, it bought full ownership of the quirky, sexy little car line.
What’s going on? I know very little except that it seems that there’s a new headline every other day jerking our collective leash in opposing directions. A deal’s been struck. A deal fell through. A buyer’s been found. Potential buyers backed out. Following the stories gave me whiplash.
General Motors, now in bankruptcy, has closed numerous divisions and product lines. They failed to find buyers for the Opel brand. They failed to find buyers for the Saturn brand. Now after umpteen pulls on the choke chain we have news that the deal to sell Saab to the Dutch manufacturer Stryker is dead.
Except for one thing. This morning there’s another set of reports that a new deal with Stryker is in the works. I hope it pans out, and for that matter, I hope they cobble together some sort of deal for Saturn, where most of the jobs are in the United States. (Most of Saab’s are in Sweden.)
Meanwhile, it’s just another Saab story.