The news is bad for Saab. What remains after the retreat from Hawtai is helplessness. Even permanent optimists today find it difficult to read something positive out of the situation. Regardless of whether Hawtai was the right partner or not, the day is a disaster for Saab.
The announced production date for next week is obsolete. Christer Palmer, head of the Fordons component groups, formulated his opinion towards the DI today. "We are reaching a limit where everything threatens to go down the stream," he said. There is little to add.
What would be helpful now is a quick EIB decision. Investor Antonov is ready with much needed funds. Drums for weeks on the Saab door, but gets no access. The behavior of the EIB is incomprehensible and irresponsible in this situation. But the bets are bad on the possibility that the EIB moves.
Because Victor Muller's options, which are now under enormous pressure, are limited. Great Wall, the optimal partner for Saab, with 800.000 cars produced a heavyweight has already been upset. BAIC wanted to swallow Saab completely - but if the duo Muller - Antonov would end, the two did not agree.
The end of the Trollhättan site would not find a quick way out of the situation. Saab cannot pay employees permanently without income. The logical consequence would be the dismissal of highly qualified and always loyal workers. The car maker’s bargaining position is getting weaker every day. Because the Chinese are interested in Saab, no question. Saab is the last “good label” on the market to buy. What is ignored: The plant in the Stallbacka is of very limited interest, the Chinese factories are larger, more modern, the labor force cheaper, the supply of fresh engineers larger than in the small Sweden.
What we need is an intervention of the Swedish government. The Saab brand is too valuable to go to China as a pure label, jobs and development capacity should not be sacrificed recklessly now, in a boom phase. It is time for the economic liberal government in Stockholm to show courage, think and act long term and secure the location. Jobs in car production, once they are lost, do not come back. At least not in the Swedish province.
The Americans were ready to take GM under state custody. It was a good deal for the American administration. So why does not the Swedish government throw aside its dogmas, act and end the drama in Trollhättan? Secures jobs and know-how and after some time sells the shares to new shareholders at a profit
Because a Saab is not just a car. A Saab is a piece of Scandinavian engineering and Scandinavian design. Every Saab is also an ambassador of Sweden.
Action is announced. Now. Not at some point.
Text: tom / saabblog.net