The Saab Blues

How realistic is it to hope for a future car production in Trollhättan? Swedish friends who have been blogging since February do not expect production in Saab City any more. The shock over the bankruptcy of the car maker has been overcome and the reality is gray in gray.

It is understandable, because everyone was loyal to Saab, their 9-5 or Saab 9-3 driven longer than desired and hoped for a new car from current production. At some point it comes with the patience at the end and in January and February are the long-delayed purchases. The primary focus is on a Saab year-old car, in Sweden the selection is better than in Germany. The GMAC Leasing is now collecting the Saab company cars to throw them on the market as returns.

In Germany, the selection is much narrower. My Saab 9-5 is now 5 years old and actually I wanted to drive 2011 already a new Saab. For the well-known reasons nothing came of it and only my wife luckily came to a new Saab 9-3. Now, starting in mid-January, I'm looking for a 9-5 II, but with little hope. If it does not become a new Saab, then in our fleet there will be another brand, the Saabs will hopefully forgive it.

That the Swedish friends are right with their negative assessment, you could read again at Dagens Industri. Semcon CEO Kjell Nilsson reports on a minefield of licenses GM designed around the Stallbacka plant. I could not have expressed it more beautifully and it coincides with my rudimentary insights into the production environment. Unlike Volvo, where Ford made a clean cut, Saab still has a fatal dependence on GM.

Before readers now have to scold me about GM, they should consider the following. Contracts are always closed from two sides. GM has negotiated well for its side and safeguarded its own interests. Spyker has bargained bad and yet signed.

It is also becoming increasingly clear that Saab's prospects are primarily interested in the PhoeniX platform, secondarily in terms of production facilities and virtually no location. Which unfortunately also applies to Youngman. The green light from the NDRC in Beijing exists only for the purchase of the rights to the Phoenix platform, not for the time being for the work.

For all who do not know. The Saab brand is bound to the Trollhättan site and to the use permit of Scania and Saab AB. Spyker, or Swedish Automobile, was never the owner of the trademark rights. Saabs from Turkey or from inner Mongolia will not exist without the location Trollhättan, which I find somehow reassuring.

Everything gray in gray so in the Saab land? Only almost, not quite. The local newspaper in Trollhättan reports of a car manufacturer who has emerged as a new prospect for Saab. No name, no origin, it's too early. I can add the following to that. Since the Saab bankruptcy, a car manufacturer is intensively examining the possibilities of entry. This has now been confirmed firsthand. He comes from Western Europe and now has contact with the bankruptcy trustee.

There is nothing more on my part. Because our hopes and expectations have been completely disappointed in the past few months. I would like to avoid further disappointments. Wait…


31 thoughts on "The Saab Blues"

  • So the Renault / Nissan Group I can well imagine, just why they have not been used for a long time? Now that customer confidence has dropped to virtually zero, it will be even harder to get Saab back on his feet. But in the premium segment, the Renault / Nissan Group really has some catching up to do. Well Nissan still has Infinity but they are also rather difficult to gain a foothold in Europe. So let's wait and see if there's a turnaround at the last minute?
    Now I wish you all a Happy New Year in the 2012!
    Greetings from Switzerland, the beautiful Baselbiet.
    Thomas F.

  • GM has said that people like to listen when they find a buyer who wants to build cars under license and does not violate GM's interests.
    If that was the contract between Spyker and GM, then VM was at the mercy of GM right from the start and could only hope that one of his solutions did not violate GM's interests.
    In any case, even a simple fresh start after bankruptcy makes it unlikely.

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      We do not see it that negative here.

      The Americans have always emphasized that no disadvantages should arise in the most lucrative market - namely China - for their great vehicles….

      At an Indian company (see Tata at Jaguar), business would continue in a similar manner as it did before the mandatory break - without any serious expansion for GM on the China market!

      One should therefore differentiate precisely among those interested - not every group is as “dangerous” as the Chinese. For this reason there is also the so-called ABC slogan.

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    So, now the Indians are also in the boat, now only missing Saudi Sheikhs. If this continues, GM will again appeal to SAAB. Basically, the current focus on the sale as a whole, which is favored by the Swedish debt administration, is a good sign. That means there are opportunities for SAAB as an automobile manufacturer.

    The next 14-20 days will be very interesting. It will be nerve-wracking anyway. Maybe a happy ending with car production in Trollhättan?

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      Somehow we talk past each other. No Indian company is on board here - the first conversation was stalled by a bankruptcy administrator! If there is no valid reason for this, the removal of this person from the office of administrator would be indicated as soon as possible and a subsequent apology to the Indian side would be mandatory.

      I can only repeat myself: unbelievable!


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        on another Saab blog is reported that not the negotiations with the Indian group were rejected, but with the lawyer appointed by the Indian group. This is Mr Carlsström, and he is considered by the Swedish authorities to be No Go because of his other client, Mr Antonov

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    Saabsunited reports that a bankruptcy trustee canceled a meeting with Indian investors !! ?? What's going on here for a strangeness?

    Should not you just keep all doors open with potentially financially strong prospects and at least exchange views? What is actually played here?

    Hopefully this will shed some light on this strange behavior. In the years before, the Americans had led SAAB by the nose - this should actually no longer be practiced by their own compatriots. Incredible!


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    Maybe there is also a German manufacturer of Saab interest, as there is one of the builds sporty cars with rear-wheel drive and has ne 2. Brand that builds cars with front-wheel drive.

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      Hey SearchSab,

      a potential prospect with an “employee” in the yellow Saab Cab ??

      You know what I mean !?

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        Hey Mark,

        can be

        That would be nice 🙂



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    ... so Renault would be really great ... because they have had unusual designs over the last few years ... AVANTIME ... VEL SATIS ... and the safety is also very good ...
    Anything better than from China or the Balkans ...
    So fingers crossed and PATIENCE

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    I can only connect. In addition, GM is already cooperating with Renault in the van sector, since one should perhaps do something with the oh-so-precious licenses a little easier.

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    So in the future probably frog legs with crispbread

    With an entry of VW (or Skoda, so in fact but VW) I do not expect. The core brand VW and Audi already supplies all segments in which SAAB models are available. And by buying Seat, you already have experience, what happens when you release two of your own brands on a customer segment.

    The same applies to BMW - actually only French car brands remain of the Western European brands, which can hardly offer anything in the luxury segment. SAAB would probably be worth checking the options ...

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      Should Renault / Nissan really be the invisible prospect?

      In order to use the Trollhättan plant to full capacity in the transition phase with only a few SAAB model series, one could, for example, manage the production of the small Infiniti (Nissan) planned for MAGNA in Trollhättan - high expenses for contract manufacturing at MAGNA would thus be avoided.

      Your view of things, Phibo, with regard to the upper class segment is similar for me: apart from the totally outdated MAXIMA and some Renault attempts to get something up and running in the upper class, there are no signs of this - if anyone can manage all of this (including SAAB rescue), then Carlos Ghosn (CEO of Renault / Nissan)!

      Greetings from the Hanseatic city

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        On the other hand, Ghosn is known as someone who calculates with very sharp pencils. So if SAAB does not give the impression, very soon and above all a financial enrichment for Renault / Nissan (so, just suppose ;-)) to be, he will bury the project very quickly. In addition, Nissan is just trying to build Infiniti in Europe as his gem.

        The problem is that SAAB, in terms of the size of the model range and the production volume, is a typical second brand - like Lexus for Toyota, or Infiniti for Nissan (!). Unfortunately, GM did not understand how to serve several market segments with several brands without both getting in each other's way or saving money at the wrong end.

        Besides waiting, nothing remains to be done. Greetings from the southwest.

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    If I still think about the confidence of the Geneva Salon and now the blues are taking over; a tragic development. The more the blues around me, the more I think about whether the scheduled meetings on 14.01./ 15.01. maybe a sign that there is still life in the brand. Maybe it will inspire a prospect.

    But one more thing. Should the seemingly inevitable day come when the last one finally shuts off the light in the stablebacka, locks the gate (and throws the key away), and then follows the (presumably) last blog post, then tell us the Western European name

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    Hei girls and boys! Listen to some music from Roxette or ABBA from Sweden! SAAB will certainly continue to exist. Positive thinking is important. Greetings from optimist SAAB fan from Switzerland.

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    Maybe it can be VW? They have plenty of money and are looking for more support in global markets.

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    “The shock of bankruptcy is over…”? Quite honestly, it is still deep for me. And I think most of them in Trollhätan too. Today I received a newsletter from “rescue-saab” - the guys also sounded pretty shocked. Especially since the outlook is very bleak.
    But as you know, emergency communities show solidarity. And in such a blog it can be quite easy to endure mourning together ... ;-)

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    On Saabsunited someone from Rumors writes about the manufacturer in Weteuropa and it falls the name Skoda

    Here is the comment:
    5. Skoda - This is now an interesting rumor. Why would Skoda be interested in SAAB? Production facilities? I do not think so. They have to work in their neighborhood in Slovakia, if they want. Engineering? SAAB have skillful engineers, but Skoda have access to the best technology in the car world. What is left is the brand. Skoda is looking forward to interesting story with VW concern, because they seem to be pretty skillful in driving their own story regarding their models. Skoda Yeti and Superb do not have peers in VW world, so my feeling is that we respect and give them some independence in their strategy. Maybe Skoda has decided to use SAAB as a sub-brand? Seat has failed as a "sporty, independent thinking brand" and maybe it's time for a new one. SAAB would fit as well, and for that this would be "come true", especially because they could just fuck off GM and their IP crap.

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    In my opinion, a manufacturer in Western Europe can only come from France, tap on PSA or Renault, because they do not have a world-wide sales network like Saab.

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    If only the car carpets come from Turkey, I would not have any problems with that.

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    Hi all,

    It is still completely unclear to me (as already stated yesterday) how z. B. Turkish prospective buyers want to proceed after buying the Phoenix platform - there is no noteworthy automaker there who could just tax a good body (design, safety, etc.).

    Interest (ownership) in just one platform is by no means sufficient to be able to manufacture high-quality vehicles - at least the involvement of suitable development engineers (design, bodywork, etc.) would be of great importance here. An investor could still fall back on Trollhättan resources here. If he wants to do it right, he will continue automotive production at the location - because only then would it be real Saab vehicles with the corresponding emblem on the radiator grille!

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      Dear Joachim, In Turkey, Renault manufactures cars, the FIAT Group manufactures together with PSA there the van series. Turkey is a car producer, but only at second glance. Presumably, there is the ambition to build a national product.

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        Hello 900,

        as correctly noted, it is about Renault and Fiat - but these are not Turkish companies.

        In Trollhättan, however, were Turkish prospects and not delegations of Renault or Fiat!

        My question remains unanswered: what could a Turkish company do with (only) the Phoenix platform?


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          The van factory does not belong to FIAT or REANAULT. I didn't get it right, what happens when you surf Saab while at work ... So, sorry.

          The Turkish group is called TOFAS OTOMOBIL, used to make its own car, now builds licenses, the vans and so on. Have own work, only the know-how is missing. Here the link:

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    Many have already said to me that China SAABs will soon come onto the market, which are not SAABs, but only have their names. I always denied that and it is good to read now that this will never happen 🙂

    Should no one buy our brand, it can at least rest in peace ...


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    Car manufacturer from Western Europe ????????? sounds interesting ………… .. it would be nice to know who that is

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    I would even buy a “SAAB” from a third-party production ... I am mainly concerned with the simplicity / beauty of the cars, the safety, their comfort and the robustness against rust, etc. The expectations that I have placed in the SAAB products have always been met and exceeded! Let's hope for a successful alternative for each of us ...


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