SPAIN: 'No regrets' says Victor Muller on Saab as NEVS takeover date still unknown
Former Saab CEO, Victor Muller, says he has no regrets taking on Saab, but did not shy away from launching further broadsides at unspecified parties, who he claimed, were not over-helpful in the situation.
Muller - who is now CEO of former Saab owner Spyker - made his comments to just-auto from Majorca in the same week he unveiled his mammoth US$3bn lawsuit against General Motors - who he maintained had tried deliberately to drive the Trollhattan automaker into bankruptcy.
"I don't regret taking on Saab," he said. "But I regret what has happened to Saab as a result of certain parties being a little less co-operative or proactively negative.
"It was completely unfortunate and as a result, we have now a large lawsuit against General Motors."
Muller also said he is not a potential bidder for the remnants of the bankrupt automaker despite no further news forthcoming as to when prospective buyer, National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS), will complete its proposed purchase.
NEVS today (9 August) confined itself to noting to just-auto from Sweden it did "not have a completion date" for its takeover of Saab and repeated its insistence the deal would be closed "during the summer."
The lack of a firm date has prompted speculation there may be a delay in proceedings - a situation on which NEVS declines to comment - but nonetheless Muller appears to be concentrating more on his huge lawsuit launched against GM this week than any thought of revisiting Saab.
"I am not a bidder for the assets of Saab," said Muller, although he conceded NEVS had not yet secured full ownership of his former company.
"The use [of the] Saab brand has not even been granted to the purported buyer, NEVS," he said. "I am a true believer in brands - without the Saab brand the factory in Trollhattan is just a factory whether you produce X, Y or Z cars."
The brand issue is problematic in any takeover as defence and security company, Saab AB, manufacturer of the Gripen fighter aircraft, as well as as Scania, must first give their approval to any change in owners who want to keep the automaker's name.
"Saab AB had no interest in Saab Automobile continuing," said Muller. "The sheer thought of having an unstable Saab to them must be horrifying."
The defence company previously told just-auto it could "to some extent" block the sale of Saab as it can stop the name and logo type, but it is unclear at what stage negotiations are at between the three parties.
Saab AB noted any buyer would have to "respect the Swedish legacy, heritage and engineering" inherent in both Saab AB and Saab Automobile.
Muller added with the flight of white collar workers from bankrupt Saab, any restart would require "500 to 600 engineers," which could be problematic given the "tremendous demand" for such skilled workers.
GM responded to Spyker's lawsuit this week by noting: "We have reviewed the complaint and it is completely without merit. We will vigorously defend the company against these baseless allegations."
There have been some cold winds blowing this week, literally and metaphorically. The metaphorical blasts are all too familiar and can be summed up in three words: problems in Europe....
This QUBE report from just-auto provides a comprehensive overview of the global transmissions sector, major suppliers, top markets, technology trends and market size forecasts. Use this report to gain...
BorgWarner has opened a new 86,000-square-foot (8,000-square-metre) facility in Manesar, India, near New Delhi to produce exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) coolers, tubes, valves and modules....
Nizhny Novgorod regional governor, Valezy Shantsev, has welcomed the start of Chevrolet's Aveo production this week at GAZ Group's plant in the same city....
GAZ Group - part of Russian Machines and Basic Element - says it made the right decision to axe its own passenger car production and concentrate on commercial vehicle manufacture and contract building...
General Motors and its joint ventures in China sold more than 300,000 vehicles in a single month for the first time ever in China last month....
Chevrolet is entering the US and Canadian diesel car markets this summer with a 2.0L turbo-diesel version of its Cruze....
- Q&A: Volvo XC90 chief engineer Håkan Ivarsson
- COMMENT: No wizards needed at US$100 a barrel
- THE WEEK THAT WAS: Minding the shop
- COMMENT: The diminution of Fiat
- ANALYSIS: Thailand targets EVs for future growth
- JLR in talks for Eastern Europe plant
- Magna Steyr to build vehicles for JLR
- SUVs continue driving US sales growth
- New Honda chief sets out vision
- Ford’s ‘significantly enhanced’ EcoSport on sale
- Global light vehicle safety systems market- forecasts to 2029
- Magna International Inc. (MG) - Financial and Strategic SWOT Analysis Review
- Global light vehicle instrumentation and cockpits market- forecasts to 2029
- PLDB - vehicle cycle plan database (annual subscription)
- Global electric light vehicles market- forecasts to 2018