I’ve just watched an extraordinary little slice of automotive history.
After a few hours of conducting interviews at the Geneva show I wandered up to the Saab stand to see if I could get the latest on the attempts to prop the company up.
As luck would have it Saab chairman Jan-Ake Jonsson was unaccompanied. So I got stuck in with a few questions about the likelihood of Saab surviving.
After a few minutes, somebody grabbed his attention because Bob Lutz, GM’s retiring global ‘product czar’, had appeared on the Saab stand.
Over the years Lutz had promoted Saab’s case from within GM, though his quick-fix Saab 9-2x and 9-7x SUV models are not the proudest part of Saab’s heritage.
Jonsson wandered over to talk to Lutz and within a few seconds Carl-Peter Forster, boss of GM Europe/Opel (and by extension, also the ultimate boss of Saab) also appeared.
(In the picture, Forster is on the left, Lutz has his back to the camera and Jonsson is on the far right).
To see the three men – all major league automotive players and all now fighting for the survival of their respective brands – standing about in semi-public discussing their various problems, was bizarre.
I struggled to hear the conversation because of the strategically placed security guards/PR minders.