Saab Automobile AB filed for bankruptcy almost three months ago. Much has happened in the meantime. Time for a quick look behind the Swedish scenes. How dramatic the situation really was in December 2011 can only be guessed if you are familiar with the Saab organizational structure.
Saab Parts AB is an independent, profitable subsidiary in the automotive group, but many administrative processes took place in Trollhättan and not in Nyköping until December 19. Nothing unusual when you are involved in corporate processes, but very threatening in this situation. Because in Sweden people believed in a solution until the proverbial last minute. Suddenly important structures were missing, the spare parts subsidiary was literally in the rain.
Overnight, new processes had to be set up in Sweden while international operations were secured. Because Saab wants to survive, and to be attractive, you need a dealer network and a working spare part sales. In Nyköping, there is no big corporation with enormous resources. The Saab Parts AB is a solid medium-sized business by German standards, with a three-digit number of employees.
At the beginning of the year, a race against time began in southern Sweden that had to be won at all costs. A challenge and a fight on all fronts at the same time. The great loyalty of many Saab employees in the international markets helped. Although the situation was uncertain - information and help from Sweden was sometimes completely lacking - the regional branches remained open. Brand loyalty? At the end of December and at the beginning of the year it was more than a slogan.
In the weeks of January, the situation became increasingly clear. Structures were created. Important staff in Trollhättan was taken over, the help desk and server systems secured. In some key markets, own national companies were founded and new teams were set up. New, limited supply contracts have been agreed with Saab partners.
Much has since stabilized. The availability rate of spare parts, at a low point in December, is increasing steadily from week to week. New contracts with suppliers were concluded. As with car production, a lead time is also necessary in the after-sales area. The spare parts production is currently starting at many suppliers, in a few weeks the delivery capacity will have improved significantly again. Bottlenecks that existed and still exist for some parts should then be a thing of the past.
The Swedes and Saab employees around the world have faced a huge challenge in recent months. As far as the spare parts situation is concerned, we are on the right track. A team with field staff takes care of the German dealer structures. In the past, very difficult months, some dealers at Saab have proven to be very loyal and committed. Non-bureaucratic help, bridging bottlenecks, we have been able to experience all of this over the past few months. Business is running at these dealers - including sales, and the workshops are full. Saab drivers find support when it is needed.
Does the Saab Helpdesk really work as usual? You can tell a lot, a test is better. So in Nyköping the key code for a Saab requested. Trader number and VIN entered. 13 Minutes later, the mail with the desired code was on the desktop.
Month 3 after bankruptcy filing. The structures are stable, the support works. Class made Saab!