It's time for a decision on Saab

Douglas A. Bolduc is News Editor of Automotive News Europe
During my college years at Syracuse University in upstate New York, one of many favorite comments about the city was, “If you don't like the weather, wait a minute.”

That comment came back to me last week when every story that seemed to say Saab would die was followed by a report that provided some hope.

The week started with Ed Whitacre, chairman of Saab parent General Motors Co., saying: "We're closing down Saab."

OK, order the flowers because the 60-year-old Swedish brand is dead, right?

Not so fast.

GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz said that the U.S. automaker would press ahead with closing down Saab unless a new bid emerged that was "financially better for us than the wind-down."

Great, that just means GM is trying to get a better offer, which investment firm Genii Capital and Dutch sports car maker Spyker Cars NV promised to deliver.

Saab still has a chance.

Then on Tuesday, GM announced Saab's entire board must go to make room for two wind-down supervisors from restructuring firm AlixPartners.

Another sign the end is near? Nope.

GM says it is “continuing to evaluate the several purchase proposals” for Saab.

There was yet another interesting turn in the story on Sunday when Spyker CEO Victor Muller denied a report in a German weekly magazine that Spyker and Genii Capital would attempt a joint bid for Saab.

What next?

While all this is happening I keep wondering about Saab's 3,400 workers, many of whom protested outside of the carmaker's factory in Trollhattan last Tuesday. They want GM to sell Saab rather than shut it down.

The workers keep getting mixed messages.

One minute they all think they will be jobless.

The next minute brings a chance of survival.

They have had to live this way for a year.

Fortunately for me, I traded Syracuse's schizophrenic weather for the near-constant warmth and blue skies of Florida.

That little bit of normalcy was a welcome change.

Let's hope that the Saab workers get their day in the sun. If not, they at least deserve a quick and clear indication of whether they must prepare for a celebration or a funeral.