Saab week: Northmen in the storm

With the entrance into the reconstruction I hoped for more peace for Saab. Out of the headlines, to the really important things. The new partners from China are fulfilling their obligations, transferring a good few million. The reconstruction is underway, the creditors are satisfied. Then you throw the tapes and finally a new Saab tumbled after the other from the tape.

Imagine, Saab is again in the midst of a violent storm. He started with the promised millions who did not come. With the poker for a lower stock price it went on and now threatens a huge black cloud on the horizon. Deep Geely from China moves in and wants to take over our ship.

The wolf has eaten chalk and speaks of synergies and the advantage for both brands. I can hear the words, but I lack faith ...

My favorite journalist from Sweden, Jonas Fröberg, has summarized briefly and succinctly why the alliance between Saab and Volvo should not come.

- Saab and Volvo have developed new platforms. Two years ago, the two companies considered the joint development, but broke off the talks without any results. Volvo does not need the Saab or the Saab PhoeniX platform. Volvo has its own, which cost a lot of money.

- Volvo has two new factories in China, in which Geely has invested a lot of money, which Geely also does not have. I still come to this point. Geely does not need additional capacity in Sweden. Works are closed there and layers are deleted. The future production location for Volvo is China. A plant for Europe in Sweden, Chinese plants for the rest of the world.

I mean, the ideologies behind both brands are totally different. Volvo is the big, somewhat sedate but not unsypathic security fanatic whose cars can even brake automatically. Saab, on the other hand, is the smaller, more lively, faster (because, of course, turbo-ventilated

Geely is likely to smash Saab, the development departments take over, including the spare parts business. The production in Trollhättan is without interest. In the best case, Saab becomes a label of the Volvo Group, in the worst case, there is no more vehicle production.

Jonas Fröberg says quite clearly, “... there is danger”. Jonas Fröberg, just as a note, is one of the journalists who write for our car brand. The man is worried.

The question is, what's up with Youngman? There are two possibilities. On the one hand you could play poker, on the other hand it may be that you are not allowed to. Or may not and may not.

“Do you think the boys are billionaires?” Asked a business journalist yesterday on the subject of Geely and Youngman. To add right away, “None of them are billionaires, they have no money of their own”. We have to learn to understand the Chinese.

Geely has invested billions in Volvo.

Money that Geely did not have, but that flowed over Chinese structures that we can not understand, Geely. It's the same with Youngman. Lotus Youngman does not have the money needed. The state has the money. The powerful provinces have the money. You make it available to Youngman or not.

It could be that help comes from the administration in Stockholm. It would be a signal from Stockholm to Beijing. However, you play the game there, one step ahead, half back. The state intervention in repaying the EIB loan was half-heartily denied yesterday. The state is not a safe haven.

He would have every reason to do so. Because the Swedish auto industry is eroding. Very slowly, just a small, creeping erosion. But that's the way it always is. It starts slowly and ends in a big landslide.

Volvo closes the plant in Uddevalla. Is bad for the city, the restaurant at the plant will close, the conference center probably too. Because of Uddevalla alone, no suppliers will die. But Uddevalla is not far from Trollhättan. Close the plant in Trollhättan and the plant in Undevalla, it is hard.

Supplier Lear will close its small plant in Trollhättan. That too is not that bad, just 163 employees. In Udevalla at Volvo are now missing some plastic parts. Not really bad, they say. Plastal could be the next one to close down. This will continue. Then it's bad, it's too late. It goes until Sweden has completely lost the magnetism for the auto industry.

But, our Swedes in Trollhättan will not give up easily. Northmen are stubborn and tough guys. Saab has weathered so many storms and I can not imagine now that you can clear the sails and leave Saab Geely without cushions.

Martin Larsson, the man who acts as the new Saab CEO, comes from Trollhättan. Guy Lofalk, the administrator, consciously integrates Larsson, was with him in China. I trust his social responsibility for city, region and brand. He and those responsible at Saab will make the right decisions.

We will also tackle this storm, because we are all, even in Germany, storm-tested. On Monday begins a new week. We will see what she brings.

I hope for good news. At one end of the storm. Maybe, but a new storm will come. But that can not shake us. Because I am firmly convinced that Saab survived the storm. Whether with Youngman, Pang Da, Geely or a laughing third party. No matter. The main thing is to build cars in Trollhättan again soon. Turbocharged, a little better and smarter than the rest, safe and cool. Saab just.

Allen Saab drivers and fans with their families a nice weekend wherever you are.


6 thoughts on "Saab week: Northmen in the storm"

  • Really very well written again, Tom. Many many thanks.

    As for Saab and Volvo, I think the customer groups are also completely different. Earlier at least, only since the early 90s Volvo “did” its design and dynamics, before that was always Saab's domain. In terms of income, I would place Saab drivers a whole lot higher than Volvo drivers. For me, Volvo is the brand of senior teachers with corduroy pants or that of families in the new development area with a little more money than most other VW and Audi drivers (Audi is VW in a designer suit, which is available in different sizes, depending on social conditions Rank, from A1 to A8 ;-), if you like to be guessed, you will drive this brand). Everything changed a little with the Volvo SUVs, but unfortunately also the early indestructibility, which was then lost by Ford.

    Saab was and is the thoroughly more modern and progressive brand of free spirits and individualists and represents the free western values, there was nothing of the conservatism of the Volvo drivers, on the contrary ...

  • Great written. Helps really only good energy to beam to Trollhättan.

    The blog and the Saab week have almost cult status with me. Every Saturday I look forward to reading breakfast from Saabhausen.

    Please continue !

  • If you keep that in mind. A rather good start to the year, a good mood for the Geneva Motor Show, shortly afterwards a production stop and now, as a temporary low point, possibly even flanking Geely's smashing fantasies.

    Slowly I miss the words, so I will first turn a lap with my Saab. The thumbs remain pressed in the hope of a good solution.

  • Hi all!

    Our family hopes that there really is a laughing third party (as also described by Tom) that puts SAAB in calmer waters.

    The thing with the Chinese is somehow getting more and more confusing and steering in the direction of Geely is apparently extremely risky. It must be expected that SAAB will ultimately only be "disposed of" under Geely - unless intelligent security systems are contractually built in that enable future interaction with Volvo.


  • you speak to me from the soul….

    • Yes, me too..!

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