Yesterday was an important and good day for our Swedes. Saab got a big and not natural chance. After the good news, I took the rest of the day off the blog. Now comes the summary of what happened yesterday.
Saab has taken a really big step towards a safe harbor and our prospects for new, fascinating cars from Trollhättan have not been so good for months. There are still many more steps to be taken, such as the Chinese entry - which the NDRC in Beijing has yet to find good.
The court in Gothenburg has appointed lawyer and reconstruction expert Guy Lofalk as administrator. Lofalk knows Saab from the last reconstruction phase during the GM era, which is an advantage. The administrator works closely with the Saab management, which remains in office. Any decision must be discussed with the administrator during this phase, which will take at least 90 days.
At Saab, many things will probably be put to the test by the end of the year. There is a press release from yesterday.
Trollhättan, Sweden: Swedish Automobile NV (Swan) announces that Saab Automobile AB (Saab Automobile) has launched an improvement initiative as part of a broader review of the business plan for 2012 and beyond, aiming at creating a more flexible and more competitive cost structure for the company. This initiative therefore reflects the effects of the prolonged production stoppage since April of this year and is an important element of the voluntary reorganization plan that will be presented at a forthcoming creditors meeting.
During the coming weeks, Saab Automobile wants to identify areas throughout the organization where efficiencies can be gained. The initiative aims to reduce and reduce the cost and complexity of Saab automobiles by eliminating duplication of work, streamlining processes, shortening lead time, improving coordination between departments and simplifying the organizational structure. As a result of this initiative headcount reductions can not be ruled out. All improvements should be implemented before the end of the year for Saab Automobile to have a new competitive cost structure for the 2012 financial year.
In concrete terms, one reads between the lines that there will be a job cut that should make Saab leaner and fitter. Because especially in the area of production there are - unfortunately - too many employees on board. This can be tough, but it is essential.
The step is definitely correct. The takeover of GM was hurried and, in my view, irresponsibly quick. GM wanted to dispose of Saab as soon as possible and demonstrated “zero” social responsibility for employees, suppliers and the buyer who was thrown into the cold water. Every small craft business in Germany is handed over to new hands more responsibly.
Many structures and problems at Saab are still based on the GM time and now the opportunity is being used in Sweden to trim the manufacturer into appropriate structures and lean processes.
Saab has exciting new, innovative products in the pipeline. If the entry of the partners from China works out, so far nothing speaks against it, because the first two hurdles were already taken, the future is secured for individual and high-quality vehicles from Trollhättan.
In Sweden and Germany there are many “car experts” who don't see it that way. These experts see the "now" and the current situation. You don't see the future and what could be and will be in the next 5 years.
The road will be long and hard for Saab. And Saab just took the first step into this future yesterday. Countless others must now follow quickly and decisively and there will also be setbacks. But we are going, at last and for months, in the right direction!
The fans and Saab riders have proven in recent weeks that they are the brand from Trollhättan. I think whatever comes, one thing we can promise. Saab will continue to have our support in the future.