It is always sad when a well-known company disappears from our view for what ever reason. Unfortunately the most common reason in the current economic climate is bankruptcy. In the last few years we have seen a number of well known companies disappear including Woolworth’s, Zavvi, The Pier, Allied Carpets, MFI to name but a few – some have gone for ever – others have been revamped as much smaller businesses (but sadly not Woolworth’s with its 820 stores).
We accept the closure of most businesses, few really ‘shock us’ – probably Woolworth’s was the big loss of this recession so far.
But now it appears we are going to lose a large car manufacturer – Saab has been in trouble for some time, since it was purchased from General Motors by the Dutch company Spyker. According to the press they have been bouncing along the bottom for months – unable to pay staff and suppliers. I accept that they are not a large car company, but it is still a major blow when an old-established company looks to be on its way out.
They have been trying to get finance from China, but it does not appear that the Chinese Government will allow further fragmentation of their motor industry, so the end is nigh.
In their past Saab have produced some very ‘individual’ cars (although the latest ones are basically GM cars). The old Saab 99 was a fantastic vehicle (and they are still around years after they stopped production). This was the original Turbo car – fast and very scarey!
Before that they produced some highly competative rally cars which were driven by ‘the mad Fins’ who ruled rallying in the 1960’s. I knew someone at college who had a two stroke Saab 92 – now that was an amazing car!
I blogged recently about how ‘bland’ our cars are getting – they all feel and drive the same. Saab were a breath of fresh air in this respect and did things their own way – I respect that and will be sad to see them go if the worst happens.