Sergio Marchionne sceptical that Saab Spyker alliance will work

The newly formed Saab Spyker Automobiles faces a huge struggle to survive, according to Fiat boss Sergio Marchionne.

“I like the Saab brand,” Marchionne said a few hours before Spyker's deal to buy Saab was confirmed. “I think it’s very difficult to be a niche player and profitable. Marginal players will continue to be marginalized. We cannot build on hopes and dreams."

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Asked about Marchionne's comments, Spyker boss Victor Muller (pictured) said: ""We have a lot of work to do. Mr Marchionne is entitled to his opinion, and it is up to prove him wrong."

John Smith, GM vice president for corporate planning and alliances, added that GM will continue to be heavily involved in the new Saab, including building the new 9-4X crossover in Mexico and providing powertrains and engineering expertise.

"We want to see a strong Saab," Smith said.

Last year, Marchionne included an offer for Saab as part of Fiat's bid for Opel, claiming that he could see potential synergies between Lancia and Saab. Fiat also bid for Saab in 1989 but was beaten by GM.

Since Spyker was revived in 2000 it has not made a profit. Saab, meanwhile, has lost money for GM over the past decade.

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24

27 January 2010

When Sergio Marchionne makes a decent go of running and bringing the FIAT empire into profit, I'll listen to what he has to say. Until then he just sounds like a man with a grudge 'cos he failed to get hold of Saab...

27 January 2010

Thankfully SAAB is not part of the Fiat/Chrysler potential debacle, otherwise the next 9-3 would be a rebadged Lancia Delta!

27 January 2010

[quote trocadero]Thankfully SAAB is not part of the Fiat/Chrysler potential debacle, otherwise the next 9-3 would be a rebadged Lancia Delta!
[/quote]

Or maybe it could have been the basis for a Saab 9-2? A car Saab could really do with.

Saab should be alright with Spyker until the money runs out, or for 10 years or so, but eventually they will need a new platform and that seems to be where the real costs lie.

My bet would be that they are sold on in 5 to 10 years time as i cant see them surviving alone. But that doesnt have to be bad news, and we should be greatful they have been saved for now.

But it wont survive if more than a few people dont swap to Saab from the German stuff they buy now.

27 January 2010

[quote Autocar]I think it’s very difficult to be a niche player and profitable[/quote]

A bit like Lancia and Alfa Romeo then???

27 January 2010

"Last year, Marchionne included an offer for Saab as part of Fiat's bid for Opel, claiming that he could see potential synergies between Lancia and Saab. Fiat also bid for Saab in 1989 but was beaten by GM."

Marchionne is immersed in a fog of synergies.

Marchionne sees synergies everywhere. He sees synergies between Alfa Romeo and Dodge, where clearly there are none. He sees synergies between Lancia and Chrysler, where ultimately the only similarity is their inability to appeal on a mass market basis across Europe.

When FIAT was considering purchasing SAAB (hardly a serious bidder in all fairness), he saw synergies between SAAB and Lancia when the only thing connecting them is a foggy and distant memory of the 9000 and Thema.

Everyone is aware of the hill that SAAB has to climb to survive, none more so than it's management and those of its new owner no doubt. The thing is, we'd all prefer to see SAAB make its best effort, develop new models and fail TRYING in the marketplace than be starved of new metal, BLED DRY on the innovation front, then wound down and ultimately culled by Generic Motors in order to allow it to sell more units of Chevrolet dross, across Europe, in it's place.

Apart from a glut of models which SAAB lacks, FIAT wasn't in a much different position a few years ago when they too were building rubbish cars like the Stilo that no one wanted and they were also haemorraging money.

27 January 2010

Mr FIAT knows what he's talking about.

His own company is practically in free-fall and if he is scratching his head as to how FIAT can stay afloat, his head must be boggling as to how Spyker is going to make a success of a company that just about makes 100,000 units a year.

People have to remember it's not always about quantity. It's about setting the right price to balance supply and demand.

27 January 2010

Whilst he might be right that the task before Spyker is immense he probably wants to concentrate on sorting out his own problems rather than commentating on Saab/Spyker.

It would be interesting to see the Spyker business plan and whether GM has got an option to buy it back? - at the end of the day it will boil down to product and more specifically Spyker's ability to bring new models to the market that people will want to buy. Only if they can do this before the money runs out have they got a chance.

27 January 2010

this Mr. macarroni is a must

I wonder if I will ever see what will come up from this Fiat/Chrysler partnership.

I remember to hear, not so long ago, a certain arrogant Mr. from German lands to say that two ill persons do not ever make a fruitfull healthy couple.

(I give him some credit, after all he has proved since long time that he has some B^%lls, anyway he is credited for having 12 children and even scored a cousin`s wife for several years in a row...)

and still keep rulling...

27 January 2010

If Marchionne can turn Chrysler/Fiat around, he's a god...

Saab, although in a riskier position (because it is so small) is now positioned exactly where it's followers and owners want it to be. It is the only independent left field upper/medium brand on the market. If you want something individualistic for the family, there is only going to be one brand.

When people look at Chrysler/Fiat at the moment, I think that they see the word "Failure". I really hope Marchionne has something up his sleeve for later this year, because if that Chrysler "Delta" is what's in store, they've had it...

Anonymous

27 January 2010

[quote trocadero]Thankfully SAAB is not part of the Fiat/Chrysler potential debacle, otherwise the next 9-3 would be a rebadged Lancia Delta!
[/quote]

It would be like history repeating, the original Delta was marketed in some territories as the Saab 600!

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