After spending a very long day yesterday in a very boring North Hessian village with a modest internet connection, I'm back now. Even the food was very modest, which is not typical of the country. The freeway was empty during the night so I could at least drive out our hunted Saab 9-3, which was a small compensation for the day.
In Sweden yesterday there was little relevant. The Union union withdrew the bankruptcy petition against Saab Automobile and Saab Tools AB in Vänersborg on Monday, leaving only the petition of Takata Petri at the local court. After all, again it is a step in the right direction.
Today people in Trollhättan write about a car dealer called "Tovek", who is unknown to me and who sells Volkswagen in Saab City. More and more Saab customers are finding their way to VW, which is an effect of the crisis and the clever model policy of the Wolfsburg-based company. Because in Sweden there have been delicious turbo engines from VW that run with E2011 since 85.
Doesn't exist here in the country and it's a real shame. In Germany the focus is still on "fossil energy", in Scandinavia the Flexi Fuel Passat are being torn from dealers' hands. No wonder, the VW Passat is in third place in the registrations and the Volvo V3 can feel the Wolfsburg's breath on its neck.
So it's time to put on the tapes in Trollhättan. Many fans and drivers ask me when production starts. I can only guess. With luck we will see bands running in December. More realistic for me is the 2. KW 2012, because the suppliers also have Christmas holidays.
Bad news for the Trollhättan region came from Volvo yesterday. The factory in Uddevalla will be closed in 2013. In the factory, a joint venture between Pininfarina and Volvo, built in 1989 with a lot of government support, the Volvo “tin roof” convertible is built. The factory is only 65% busy and Volvo has canceled its contract with Pininfarina. All 600 employees are to move to other plants. The Gothenburg car manufacturer is currently suffering from sales difficulties in the USA and is trying to save costs where possible.
For the region, with high unemployment no good news. The more important is that the chimneys smoke at Saab.