Saab Sweden: Why Saab survives the crisis - or not.

Valdemar Lönnroth
Valdemar Lönnroth

There are different ways of seeing things. It often depends on the location. is at home near Frankfurt and so, despite good Swedish friends, not very close.

One who is very close and experiences Saab every day is Valdemar Lönnroth, economic journalist at TTELA in Trollhättan.

Today he published “Pros” and “Contra” for Saab from his point of view. His, Swedish - regional, view of things is interesting, his arguments sound.

For Saab and the survival of the brand in his eyes speak the following points:

1. Binding contracts with two Chinese car companies, a functioning sales network in the world's largest car market.

In addition, the Chinese companies are committed to undertake the development with all costs incurred for three new models. This has never happened in the 64 year Saab story. There's also a Russian businessman who keeps knocking at the door, no matter how bad Saab is.

2. New models in the market. The Saab 9-4x and the Saab 9-5 series. In addition, an older model, with a good diesel offer. Under normal circumstances, the sales would be better than the past, modest numbers.

3. The technical knowledge of Saab was very important in the GM network. Saab is still a company that stands for technical innovation. And the service providers with technical know-how are generally, despite difficult circumstances, very loyal.

4. The factory, always in competition with Rüsselsheim, is considered very competitive, according to GM Investitonen.

5. A board named Muller. The constantly new financial or business partner presented and thus refuted his critics.

What speaks against Saab, why the company will not survive the crisis:

1. The short-term problems that are drawing. Actual problems with suppliers, many puzzle pieces that need to be sorted to restart. A fundamental condition is the solution of short-term problems.

2. The long-term solution of the ownership structure with Pang Da and Youngman takes time. Antonov is still stuck in the decision-making process.

3. Customer confidence is very low. The belief in the survival of the brand - outside the home market - is badly damaged. Especially in the corporate customer area, which is very important for Saab. It will be a long time before Saab can restore the trust that has been damaged in the past few months or years.

4. One of the risk factors identified in the financial statements is the ability of Saab employees to recruit. Saab has to be an attractive employer. The opposite is the case, some important employees have started to probe the job market and to ask potential employers - especially Volvo - about the possibilities.

5. There is no CEO at Saab who can only focus on the Trollhättan location. CEO Victor Muller is fully involved in negotiations to secure the future ownership structure.

As far as today's business article from Trollhättan. In my opinion, the positive arguments outweigh and the future of Saab would be assured, could solve the short-term problems.

What about customer confidence? Yesterday some fans have dumped the frustration over Saab here. I can understand you. Towards evening, however, came a lot of positive emails from readers, with whom so far was no personal contact. I think the trust, even in Germany, is stronger than the Swedes see it.

In this sense, keep on Saabing!

Text / translation:

Source / image: TTELA

5 thoughts on "Saab Sweden: Why Saab survives the crisis - or not."

  • blank

    It is the dealers who deter potential customers. I know two SAAB centers. In both, you can clearly see that the belief in the brand is almost no longer vohanden. SAAB can only get the curve if the 93er is technically renewed as fast as possible. The 5 Meter Monster 95 is not an alternative for me and just a transitional model. I am also very open to a SAAB SUV, but please with modern diesel. I got my second 2010 combo for 93. I keep it until 2014. If there is still SAAB, but no real alternative to the current 93er, then I buy at the Kunkurrenz

  • blank

    @ FalkvV: Such comments on the private business as advertising do not belong here, then have fun with the Volvo.

  • blank

    As a SAAB used car dealer, I am already thinking about what will happen next. You can still sell all SAAB convertibles well. You have to be very careful with the purchase of station wagons and limosines, the demand has decreased very sharply. This is largely due to the many engine failures in the 3.0 Diesel and the 2.3. I know customers who use their 9-5 Kombi 3.0 Diesel within two years: 30.000 euros! have lost because no dealer takes this car back. The rep. Vulnerability to 9-3 Diesel angered a lot of customers and drove them to other brands. I will continue to sell SAAB but will increase my share of Volvo vehicles.
    Falk of Vegesack, Brunswick

  • blank

    A good summary of the current intermediate level, I think. The negative points 1, 3 and 4 (5 actually too) are all based on trust (which must be won back partly). However, in my view, Saab has made mistakes in its construction in the past. I hope they learned from it.

  • blank

    Customer trust in the SAAB brand depends not only on what is happening in Sweden, but also - and I think - above all on the behavior of the local dealers. And here you can come to quite different results. The bottom line is that there is certainly still potential to strengthen trust, I'm not sure whether:
    a) the traders are not quite aware of this
    b) they are so shaken themselves that it is just too difficult to convey trust

    PS: Sounds a bit sweeping, of course, but it should not be meant that way!

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