Saab Sweden: Discussion Pro and Contra Saab

Strong Saab environmental diesel: 400 NM, 180 PS, bi-turbo
Strong Saab environmental diesel: 400 NM, 180 PS, bi-turbo

The Swedes do not seem to agree on the future of the car maker in Trollhättan. It is interesting that the front of Saab opponents and supporters runs across editorial offices. Dagens Nyheter published two articles this weekend, “Pro” and “Contra” Saab respectively.

An article written against Saab calls for the end of subsidies for Saab and the car industry. Subsidies? One subsidy point is the Saab plant Malmö, which 1989 was created with government subsidies. On the one hand it replaced the old Arlov plant, on the other hand it was an experiment with the backdrop of the European shipyard crisis. As in other European countries, the Swedish state also wanted to retrain former shipyard workers to become automobile workers.

In addition, unproductive group work was introduced in Malmö in a green environment with many plants. The “feel-good factor” of the employees was in the foreground at the time and was considered innovative. Plant islands and relaxation zones dominated the factory halls. Volvo also operated a plant with a similar background, in Scotland there were new, subsidized plants at British Leyland at former shipyard locations, all of these projects failed.

For Malmö 1992 had already come to an end, the plant which was designed for 60.000 cars a year closed with the entry of GM. 890 employees had to leave. The Saab Malmö plant was later used as a convention center, currently the demolition is in progress. Subsidies from a historical perspective.

For the author of this article, further subsidies for Saab are the construction of the motorway to Trollhättan and the railway connection. Actually normal infrastructure measures that every state carries out or should carry out in order to keep the country attractive. What the author imagines is unclear to me. Trollhättan without motorway, without railroad, without Saab. Next, the university will be closed and the area of ​​the municipality declared a nature reserve.

A thriving industry and prosperity require good infrastructure. My hometown is the location of TRW and Takata Petri. Both build steering wheels and security systems. The location is held because the infrastructure is excellent. Good motorway connections, a good university, Frankfurt Airport on your doorstep. If the infrastructure is good, other companies are added. For example, Magna has set up a large development center and continues to invest in high-wage Germany.

I liked the article better per Saab. Automotive expert Christer Gerlach says that you do not have to be big to survive. He cites Jaguar and Land Rover as an example. Jaguar sells 50.000 car in the year. Half of what Saab sells in a normal year. He sees the partnership with Pang Da. If each of the 1.100 Pang Da dealers only sells one Saab a week, we already have 57.000 Auto in China alone in the year.

Saab builds the safest cars in the world, has the strongest eco-diesel in the world and is better positioned in the product range ever. Saab has talented and resourceful engineers, they have developed the interior of the 9-5, the Saab 9-4x, and have refined Haldex's all-wheel drive.

Many small car brands have found a niche, Rolls Royce, Bentley, Dacia, Mini, Subaru. Saab has to find his niche, then Saab can survive well. Saab can be the alternative to the German luxury brands. For, he says, when Audi, BMW and Mercedes are in every driveway in Germany, China and the USA, what alternative do lawyers, architects and dentists have?

The US government has rescued GM and supported Chrysler. The state of Lower Saxony holds 13% to Volkswagen, Renault in France belongs to 15% of the state. A temporary entry of the Swedish state, says Gerlach, would stabilize Saab and create the confidence of foreign investors.

Saab now needs 5 - 7 billion crowns, says Gerlach, to get through the crisis and start up production.

Without this money - no production, no sale, no income.

Gerlach wrote this article with the heading "With a little help along the way, Saab could survive". The idea of ​​state participation is not new, but the idea is good. However, we are dealing with a government in Stockholm that is opposed to this idea.

A reader on Dagens Nyheter wrote that it is worth fighting for Saab and for the jobs. Because once the jobs are gone, they never come back. And the Swedes should be proud of the turbo and security pioneer Saab.

There is nothing to add.

Text: tom@saabblog.net