Is China detrimental to the Saab image? With what do you connect China? Is there just cheap electronics from the Middle Kingdom and unspeakable plastic toys, or is there more. And how does it affect Trollhättan when there are board members from the Far East have the power of decision.
We have had our readers vote. At the time of the vote, however, it was not clear that a second Chinese investor, the Youngman Group, was ready and the Chinese would take over the leadership in Trollhättan. This is the result:
The Saab community welcomes by a large majority the entry of a Chinese investor, proving once again how cosmopolitan the Saab fans are in general. To stay in reality, we have no choice but the Chinese donors otherwise. Without China, Saab would probably soon be history, but the brand gets the chance to prove what it can be.
If the Chinese are as we hope, they will respect the roots and cultural heritage of Saab. The brand could come to a new bloom and the unworthy game that is currently in Sweden would finally come to an end.
So far in Gothenburg at Volvo almost everything is running around with the Chinese owners. A new plant is being built in China, financing is secured. The Volvo S60, so far only as an imported product in China is running, so it looks, soon from Chinese tapes. Interestingly, not in a Geely factory but at Geely rival and old Volvo partner Chang.
Only as far as the design-technical direction is concerned, one hears, there are first cracks in the harmony in Gothenburg. Chinese love "bling bling" and the big show, so Audi is so successful in China. To what extent this view is compatible with Scandinavian ideas is the exciting question.
China is no longer just the cheap workbench of the western world. The low-tech industries have long since moved on to other countries that are even cheaper and the working conditions are even more worrying. Cheap textiles are usually no longer from China, but from other, less developed neighboring states.
China is making high-tech and more valuable products, that's what the government wants. In many parts of the electrical and computer industry, the Chinese have already taken the helm. There is a catch-up marathon in the software industry and efforts are being made to catch up with competitors in Europe and India. Every year thousands of young and well-trained engineers graduate from Chinese universities.
The country's foreign exchange reserves are huge and the opportunities in China are enormous. Saab can take advantage of these opportunities. We should not forget that with all the joy there are also the questionable sites in China. The People's Republic is a totalitarian state, the social imbalance and thus the explosive in the social fabric enormously.
In China, a Saab production is raised when the entry of Pang Da and Youngman is approved. Chinese Saab stay in China, because you can be sure. A second, intended only for the Chinese market, should use Swedish production experience and probably not quite up-to-date Saab technology for a good price offer.
The entry of the Chinese is a new phase in the life of Saab. Not more, not less. Saab was once Swedish, then the brand has survived the American owners, now we have a Dutch interlude.
Owners come, owners go.
Saab and Trollhattan for ever.