By Andy Bannister
Now that GM is in dire straits, naturally its small Swedish subsidiary could be an early victim of a wider cull promising very bad news for jobs and the industrial base of Sweden. The Scandinavian state’s other long-standing marque, Volvo, is also looking for a new owner after less than a decade in the stewardship of Ford.
With the turmoil in the world auto industry putting off many potential rival companies, who until recently might have snapped up the two marques, one possible (if unlikely-sounding) solution being touted is the nationalisation of both Saab and Volvo by the Swedish state.
The long-standing rivalry between the two companies made one previous attempt at a merger, way back in the 1970s, fall flat. Now, however, Saab looks very much the junior partner compared to the more modern and diversified Volvo line-up, with four times more Volvos sold than Saabs each year.
If Volvo and Saab were forced together, Saab would seem to offer very little in its current line-up to justify its continued existence except the powerful sentimental attachment to a badge which still proudly stands as a Swedish symbol. Continue Reading →