Brightwell Holding on the road in Sweden

While traveling south, the Brightwell Holding delegation traveled through Sweden. The Turkish investor has not yet made an offer and will not do so during his stay in Scandinavia. But we're close, said Zamier Ahmed, Brightwell spokesman for the press.

Yesterday, the interested parties from Turkey were in Gothenburg and Trollhättan, the day before in Stockholm. Like all serious buyers, Brightwell is also looking for a quick fix. Best in February, when the administrators award the contract. Zamier Ahmed's team also sees the timeline as crucial, as do other potential investors.

We know little about Brightwell Holding. The capitalization and the shareholders are still unclear. Some of Saabsunited's friends wrote yesterday, but reliable facts are still missing. We neither know the long-term strategic direction nor the true corporate philosophy. Is Brightwell a grasshopper in the classic sine or an investor with an industrial background? The funding from Far Eastern (oil) sources sounds more dubious than confidence-inspiring. In an interview with Dagens Industri, Zamier Ahmed said he wanted to invest some 100 million in Saab. Literally "flera hundra miljoner euro"

Some hundred million euros? Lean back, think of Tata, think of Youngman. Tata invests 5 billion in Jaguar and Land Rover. Tata builds the brands a new, own engine plant. Jaguar and Landrover are brands that are in much better shape than Saab.

Or youngman. Not that the Chinese are my personal favorite. They are not, to make that clear. Youngman wants to invest a billion in the first step. That as a start and certainly not enough to build a brand. Because to bring Saab where the brand could be, it takes a long breath. A decade, 10 years, will be needed to find results and market acceptance. So 10 years of investment without income.

Let us remember Audi. To the positively car-obsessed Ferdinand Piëch who pursued his goal continuously and stubbornly with Audi. Audi Quattro, fully galvanized body, Audi V8, a long, heavy, rocky road. A few hundred million will not help Saab. Saab would ideally need an industrial partner. Mahindra & Mahindra for example. Another automaker. No investment company. A few hundred million? Not enough, Brightwell Holding.

There is nothing Brightwell has to say about the current negotiations with the Americans. Also about possible jobs you keep covered. Still, because also the question of jobs will interest the administrators. The decision is not only about the purchase price, the future viability of the concept also plays a role.

Brigthwell, that's for sure, wants Saab completely. This is not new, but it is stressed again and again. The great Saab heritage will be preserved, the brand should evolve. The cars are safe, they save lives. And Saab will remain a Swedish label. I like to hear such statements and I believe that the intention behind them is a good one. Even if there are some unanswered questions behind Brightwell.

The numerous interviews that Zamier Ahmed gives are shallow and full of phrases. Even between the lines there is nothing to discover. Nearly nothing. For in one of his last interviews the professional then made a small slip of the tongue. Yes, there is one bidder for Saab whose name has not yet been named. Which, however, except Brightwell of course, would fit well with Saab. There he is again, the unnamed bidder X. Confirmed by Zamier Ahmed.

The next two or three weeks will show what substance is behind Brightwell. It will be interesting if the Turks have a long breath in the race with the other applicants.

In the next few days we know more. Confidentiality is agreed. But Brightwell loves the game with the media. Information flow is guaranteed.

Text: tom@saabblog.net

10 thoughts too "Brightwell Holding on the road in Sweden"

  • We are all more or less in the fog when it comes to the applicants for SAAB automobiles - in terms of the exact plans and the actual financial strength that exists. With candidate X, you do not even know exactly which company it really is.

    Therefore, one can not judge the Turkish investor from the outset worse than the competitors - he might well give us all models even in positive negotiations with GM right off the bat. This would be better than having to be content with Youngman Lotus with only the variants of the 9-3er model (for a certain period of time).

    Nobody knows exactly what Mahindra + Mahindra is up to, but in any case the financial power seems to be fully sufficient here ...

    Thus, there are probably positive as well as negative sides for all applicants. If it really concerns the German conglomerate Volkswagen or even better BMW, so would probably be the most suitable investor.

    • BMW should not be misjudged. BMW as partner / system supplier is OK, but BMW way of business is not the Saab client / Saab dealer. Especially in the dealer sector it needs stabilization and not destabilization. What is the "fluctuation" at BMW dealers?

  • Hello Joachim,

    how right you are. For many years we hope for independence and financial strength. Unfortunately, in recent years, we have either gained financial strength or independence (although with Spyker actually had neither the one nor the other!).

    Any investor who wants to invest several hundred million euros in the purchase and at least the same amount in the future of SAAB can be right. Because it secures our little whimsy: SAAB automobiles. This hope was not realistic on 19.December 2011.

  • Nice that Brightwell is in Sweden. But what is the output? We can not expect a bid for Saab as long as Brightwell is in Sweden, so at least one comment on SU.
    I do not quite see that Brightwell has the experience of running Saab. It's so nebulous at least right now (who is Brightwell really, what does VM do later, who are the investors really (if they come from the Middle East and made their money on oil).
    It would be really interesting for the insolvency administrators to see the offers and to rate them, to ask questions and then to see:
    - Who is actually in the race?
    - What is his mission statement
    - how does he start Saab again?
    - How to build trust with employees and developers and keep them on board or bring them back
    - which markets are addressed with which priority / are new markets addressed at all in the first phase, or are you focusing on stabilization, Phoenix and calculating a loss for the next 3-4 years?
    - but above all, how are you financing the project and what are the reserves and critical paths

    Now it's not the Powerpoint stallions / the "makers" that are in demand, but the quietly active senorities who define the paths with experience and understanding. The Saab management has to come from the inside and you can not make the mistake of setting up an external, wildly scrambled team - each a TopShot for themselves, but lacking the emotions for Saab and transmitting the emotions.

    • How should the management come from within? A new owner will tackle the matter in the most meaningful and effective way. Especially the previous SAAB management was not quite useful (including Jan-Ake Johnson) - products very good but Management Note 5!

      You can not deny Brightwell emotions for SAAB - on what grounds?

      The current trio of trustees will certainly focus on financial strength and future planning. It should not be too difficult to find the most suitable investor here.

      In your commentary from 9.02 PM, there was talk of BMW's business conduct not matching the SAAB clientele - what would be the main reason for banning BMW business fees?

      • Saab has had no bad people in management - only nobody could develop under VM - my personal opinion. Leader ship is not based on one person or should not.
        The term business conduct is a little tough. Everything was gated.

        • Jan-Ake Johnson was on board for a long time before VM and did not perform any outstanding management services during this time - assertiveness towards GM equal to 0!

          What is meant by "gegat"?

          • Unfortunately, my comments have such style flowers from time to time. My iPad is just creative. The correct letter typed omitted or wrong dialed and already created the spelling correction from a gated

            Quote: Assertiveness towards GM = 0

            That was good. I've probably missed something. JAJ was the tolerated brand manager. The financial control was then at GM and also the control of developments (eg Saab Powertain AB was under GM to GM Powertrain AB, all developments had to be tuned with Opel) as well.
            JAJ presented in a different light what I had read between the lines at that time. He planned the demolition of GM with a small team at an early stage and with the filed bankruptcy he did it a good two years ago in a skilful move and GM took control withdrawn. He has again provided Saab with its own structures and provided the skeleton for the new owner to start here. Unfortunately, everything changed. There were not enough funds available with the new owner, the EIB loan became an unpleasant corset. VM then made GM nervous with independence sayings, the BMW deal for Phoenix and the expansion cravings in China. Although VM spoke of a good relationship at its last press conference (until Lofalk appeared), I do not want to believe that.
            Under VM there was the new design boss from America with Italian roots. Saab has no bad designers.
            But as it really was in detail, we will probably never know.
            Let's say Brightwell would be able to take over Saab and a new management crew would be set up. What happens in such cases mostly? From my experience, very clever people are hired on paper who are used to working in much larger organizations / structures. Often, such a job is usually just the springboard to the next job. It counts short-term successes and not the long-term. Most of the time, you reorganize and provide for frustration (new advertising on the newly created positions), friction losses and interrupted workflows.
            For me it makes more sense to hire a seasoned Saabianer for a job. He knows the company, he lives for it. In addition, it is now important to have the structures active again as soon as possible and to go forward with continuity. Saab now has no time for any manager games or other secondary theater scenes.

        • I see that very similar.

          If SAAB management was bad in itself, we would not have seen this incredible commitment of employees at all levels over the last few months.

          Good management ultimately means that the numbers are correct. On the other hand, SAAB lives from its "Spirit of SAAB", which makes the brand special. This spirit runs through all levels of the company and it will be a real challenge to preserve it. If that does not work, SAAB is dead inside.

          People do not change from one day to the next, so it will be very hard to find managers from a different corporate culture who honestly embrace this "spirit of SAAB" and, if necessary, abandon old patterns of behavior and thinking. Since I have some problems, imagine the typical German Automanager at SAAB ...

          For me, the best way would be to find a strong, experienced CEO who can achieve ambitious goals with SAAB management.

          • Complete agreement. I just interpret a strong CEO like this:
            - can delegate
            - He leads
            - He implements strategies in the company
            - he can distinguish between management / so-called overhead, support and the core process and knows where he moves in the process landscape => delegate / lead

            He does not necessarily have to wear a pinstripe suit and set the world record in fluent English quick-talking. (Similarity with living persons are purely coincidental and not wanted

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