Friday, January 28, 2005

Adjo Saab?
Unless you read the British publication Financial Times, you likely missed the story that had everyone in the Saab sphere reeling a few weeks ago. It was reported in that respected periodical that GM was doing a study on the viability of Saab, which would be completed by March, whose conclusion might be that GM would close Saab down. Needless to say, those of us who have hitched our professional wagons to Saab were mortified.
The recanting has been fierce, and the revised story, which is not news, is that GM has overcapacity in both Trollhattan in the Saab plant and in Russellsheim, Germany, where Opels built on the same platforms are produced. One of these factories will likely close. The Saab plant is newer and enjoys excellent efficiency. However, the Swedes are not on the Euro and as strong as it is, the krona is stronger, which contributes to high cost of production.
If GM is to be believed at this point, it is the Saab plant in Sweden, not the brand, that is danger of closing.
This would seem to make sense, given that we have two new products being released this year--hardly what you'd do if you were about to hang a going-out-of-business sign on the brand. There is also another joint venture with Fuji on a brand new product (for Saab and Subaru), and talk again of a more European 92X. We shall see....

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Can anyone clean the snow off their cars these days? Every time that it snows I am stunned by the number of people who drive around with their vehicle ensconced in snow and ice. Isn't it hard to drive when you can't see out the windows? Don't you realize how inherently dangerous it is to other drivers when the snow eventually dislodges as you drive (and it does, since I can personally attest to how scary and infuriating it is when a 4-foot block of ice comes smashing down on your car's roof on Route 2)? Isn't it a bad thing when you stop short and the snow on your roof slides down over your windshield? Am I missing something here?!
And what really irks me is the number of truck and SUV and minivan drivers who can't get a snowbrush out. Come on - if you want to drive something tall, the rules about being conscientious to other drivers don't go away because it is harder to get up to the roof to clean off the snow!
We are all too busy, it is nasty out, but take a few minutes and clean your car off!