QUOTE(Beamer @ May 8 2012, 03:32 PM)
But that's the best kind of sale - you get rid of the cost and risk while keeping capacity in your factory while the new owner builds his own factory, therefore giving you time to plan for that capacity drop (which would drastically raise your costs otherwise.) However, Saab is actually no longer a vehicle built by anyone - it's a defunct brand that exists kind of in name but has no factories, dealerships, current models, etc.
Saturn did not sell because it is a brand with no value.
Pontiac was shut down because it is a brand with no value.
Your view of Buick makes you ridiculously short sighted. Let's look at the number one car in China in 2011: http://www.autoguide.com/auto-news/2012/01...ar-in-2011.html
Hey look, it's a Buick! And Buicks have been in China's top 10 for the past several years. And Buick sells nearly half a million cars in China each year and is considered the most desired car brand, above even the Germans! Let's burn it down and kill it because it's not likeable in America!
GMC could be killed, I agree, but it could not be sold. Who would buy it? What does it represent? It has absolutely no value. You say Daimler wanted Jeep, but why? Brand equity. They didn't want Jeep's knowledge, which is nothing, they wanted the 7 vertical bars and the name "Wrangler." Quick, name 3 GMC trucks. Name one happy GMC owner. So why would anyone buy it?
Yes, Opel could be sold, but then what does GM do in Europe? Write it off?
The Holden brand is exclusive to Australia. Exclusive. So the brand has zero equity to anyone not looking to buy in Australia. But the brand makes a lot of cars sold as Chevy, and GM is planning an entire sports car line in the US based upon Holden cars. So no one would buy Holden for much, given that the name is somewhat meaningless (though I used to advocate killing Pontiac and bringing Holden here as GMs sport division), but the value to GM as far as engineering goes is massive. So GM would take a large hit selling Holden but gain little in return. It would have been a terrible move.
Ford sold Jaguar, which actually may have been a bad move (they finally fixed Jaguar only to sell it), Aston Martin and Range Rover. These are desirable brands. Not only that, but they are brands that contribute nothing to Ford's engineering, as they took, not delivered. GMs brands are valueless, but Holden is a major engineering division and Opel is their only brand selling decently in Europe. They could not get in return for those two brands what the value is to their bottom line.
You are still paying for part of the output, though. I mean, unless the new ownership (it's not an ownership...i forget the term used for this kind of "ownership" and it's driving me nuts) has it in the deal that ALL expenses attributed to any Saab output then okay, but i doubt that will be the case. The risk in having this relationship of ownership is that the Swedes can terminate certain operating assets that GM is actually part of and GM cannot do anything about it. I can't even find the friggin term on Investopedia.com. A total memory block for me. But, banks do it often as well and usually the turn out does not benefit creditors.
Saturn actually had a popular line of vehicles, which you still find today and there is a good used car market (the Sky is a pretty slick car). But anyway, like i said. Saturn was about to be acquired by Penske, and the process would have been very similar to what happened with Saab. Because then Penske would have dealt with Nissan, or to be more precise Nissan-Renault, and Saturn would have been a solid sell for GM. The deal fell through and personally i think GM did not want Nissan-Renault to gain GM technology and engineering that could have been used here in the US and especially in Europe to go against Opel.
Pontiac was horrendously managed, but there was a limited time to handle it as downsizing was a top priority. I think you probably could not have sold it because it was the performance brand of GM. They just killed it themselves though.
I knew Buick was tops in China. But what about here in the US? May as well kill it here and make it a brand for the Asian continent.
GMC would not be sold as a brand to another car maker to continue it. I think it would have been sold to a car maker, dissolved, and its engineering and technologies used to make the better SUVs, which are still, in large, dominated by American car makers. That is why Mercedes created Daimler Chrysler. From day 1 to the very last day it was about getting the Jeep brand. They would have continued Jeep, but they would have used Jeep's 4x4 engineering for Mercedes as well. That is why Chrysler always said no. The SUV market is mostly American and Japanese. The Germans lag behind it. Even with the minivan. That is why Volkswagen is using Chrysler's minivan to build theirs. The Routan i think it is called? It's a Chrysler. So, i think GMC had value to sell, but not to see as a future brand.
Jaguar was getting killed by Ford. Thank God they sold it. Range Rover sold well. I think Volvo sold for over $2 billion. Yes, more marketable brands, but when you are losing big time, especially at home, you have to accept in cutting your losses and rebuild a stronger fort in your home base. GM would have been better off completely selling those brands for cash. Whatever they could get. They would have saved a lot more money and i think they would have been able to better manage their resources to Chevy and Cadillac (which can be marketed better in Europe).
Anyway, we don't know all of the behind the scenes and what could have happened.
But for Opel, it's not even a great car in Europe. It probably has less than 10% of the market share in Europe. I think it's useless for GM to keep it. They have the technology and engineering from it. They built the Buick Lacrosse (i think) from an Opel vehicle and that's that.
Also, just going back to Buick for a sec, but if Volvo was sold to the Chinese (just looked it up) for nearly $2 billion dollars, then i wonder how much the Chinese would pay to take Buick. I mean, if it is an offer that can't be refused, i would do it if i were GM. Taking that much cash/credit and being able to strengthen my vehicles in the US to compete better would be my strategy. Or at least, built a Volt that is actually worth the money and does not have a battery that dangerously burns the car.