Rearview Mirror: The art of not giving up

The look back: Bloggers rearview mirror
The look back: Bloggers rearview mirror

It's not easy to write about the Saab brand. For more than a year, Saab has stopped building cars in Trollhättan, and I'm not good at writing about the glorious past. Because life goes on, things develop and change. It is simply too exciting to ignore the future and stick to the past.

A delicate article in a difficult situation. And a very personal and open one. Because in the current situation, in this eternal hanging area, the topic is not very fun for me. I or we started - back then with friend Marco - to support Saab and to write test reports from the perspective of a normal customer. No products, no reviews, and in my circle of friends it is difficult to ask, and rightly so, if I seriously believe that there will ever be cars with a griffin again.

Now is the time for an optimal exit. Because in my lightheartedness I had promised to write until the factory gates finally closed. Voilà! That's on the 1. August the case. The former Saab employees, who still work for the administrators, have done their job for the most part. A new owner will be the landlord in the stablebacka. That's the end of the story, and it's time to take off your hat and turn off the Mac. But is she really told to finish?

What happened? A property changes owners, and car works that get a new owner, are nothing unusual. In the US, Fisker has just bought a GM plant, in the Netherlands Nedcar is changing hands for one euro, and there are some in Europe, some of which have empty or abandoned production facilities. And in the future, probably many more work will be added. Fiat has two factories too much, Opel either way, and PSA will also have to shut down one or two plants.

So there are works like sand in the desert, and the appreciation of these properties, as you can see from the symbolic 1 € prices, is quite low. So buying, renting, or leasing a car factory is not something that is particularly exciting. When NEVS can move into offices in Stallbacka by August 1st, investors will find a clean-swept factory. Press shop, paint shop, test benches, a test track and much more.

And now again the question, very concrete! Is this the right time to get out and lose the battle?

Rather, it's time to ask the right questions! While NEVS buys a plant and talks to Scania and Saab AB about the trademark rights, nobody in Sweden asks about the Saab crown jewels. NEVS has acquired rights to build the Saab 9-3 if the purchase price is paid to the administrators by the end of summer. But the 9-3 is, let's be honest, at most a bridge product on the way to the future. The real value of Saab doesn't lie there.

The new little Saab would have completely disappeared from the public eye. Let us remember ... Based on the expiring Mini, a Saab 9-1 should appear. Contracts with Munich were made, development work started. There is also the Phoenix platform, the basis for an entire product family. The little Saab and the Saab 9-3 successor are the real crown jewels of the Swedish car manufacturer. Only nobody speaks about it, at least officially. NEVS has neither acquired the Phoenix platform, nor registered interest in the Saab small car.

That the prototypes are forgotten in a corner of the factory, dusting away, that can be ruled out. Also that the half-finished pieces have wandered into a press. They are too valuable for that. Under the administration of the insolvency administrators the development work was not completely stopped, because the value lies also in the development team itself.

Let's look at the market! The automotive business is getting tougher. China increased its automobile exports by 6% in the first 28 months of the year. Geely alone exported 10.000 cars in June and this year the manufacturer will export 200.000 cars. It is the soft rumble of an avalanche that is looming and rolling inexorably towards us. This will affect manufacturers who see the car as a cheap means of transport.

In Europe it is Ford, Opel, PSA and Fiat. Building inexpensive cars on our continent will be increasingly difficult. The Chinese are now only exporting to the emerging markets and selling their cars at a low price. But the first “made in China” cars are already running in southern Europe and the Balkans, and the number is growing.

Europeans only survive those who are at home in the premium segment or have a strong image and who can earn a corresponding price for their products. These are companies that distinguish themselves over design or mass technology. Or, as marketers say, carry a certain unique story.

Saab could be one of those companies because the brand history is incomparable and the brand is too good to close the books today. The Saab story, I'm sure, has not yet been told! There are the Saab future values ​​that nobody has talked about so far. The Saab 9-1 and the Saab 9-3 successor are the real objects that are at stake. The administrators will - sometime soon - bring the story to an end. Whether in August or September, nobody really knows. And then we'll see if the brand has a future.

I do not have to continue writing at any price. My life is full of interesting, challenging options, and even life after or without Saab would not be boring. But miss the finale now? No way !


25 thoughts on "Rearview Mirror: The art of not giving up"

  • Hallo,

    I'm still a SAAB driver (1 convertible, 1 station wagon ==> 2 * 180000km), because I simply cannot choose another one. Buying a car is just feeling like buying. I sincerely hope that the 9-5 will soon be seen as a station wagon.

    Greetings from the Saarland.

  • Even if the Swedish flag is (still) at half-mast, we all hope that OUR flag flutters once again high up in the wind.
    Greetings and thanks for your article.

  • Hi Tom,

    between glimmer of hope and illusion, the insider can
    best to distinguish. In the hope that the former applies, all SAAB friends are certainly grateful for continuing.

  • Hello Tom, I hope that you have the necessary illusion to continue here! I believe that the Saab scene, at least the German-speaking, would be a good deal poorer without your blog! So I wish you the best, still hope for MANY of your reports and thanks again for your work here. Greetings from hot Spain.

    • Illusion??? I think you mean inspiration or something else positive ... But I don't think illusion, otherwise you don't have to read along 😉

      • Sorry, I made a small "misprint"! Of course I meant positive things, like inspiration, lust, etc., what happens when you live abroad for 30 years, freely translated from Spanish. So I hope to be able to read along here ... ;-)))

        • logo, I was just amazed that who writes so what even if the article not only has pink stripes in the sky, it's just no illusion

  • Wow…! @ Tom: Yes, in any case, please continue! And thank you for the great blog!

  • I can not imagine with the best will that crisis times such valuable brand capital could be destroyed. Right now, strong brands are in demand, because only they can stand out successfully from the automotive monotony. You buy a SAAB because you want to have a SAAB. (Which of course applies analogously to MB or bmw etc.)
    If you just want to buy some new car, then vw, opel, korean and japan are in a row.

    I want a SAAB and stay with SAAB until there is no more to buy. The End.

  • A SAAB 9-1 would have been more suitable than the big dick ship SAAB 9-5 (nothing against the 9-5). SAAB would finally get young buyers and the little one would be a success. Maybe somewhere lurks an Indian who has already secretly negotiated the contracts. Hope is still not dying for me.
    The departure of our blogger would be a big loss for us and the brand. So it has to go on!

  • Hi Tom,

    I can only understand your intentions too well. My friends and family have long been labeled a business romantic. But I can not and do not want to simply bury my sauna room. Saab belongs to me and my heart, my car heart belongs to Saab. If I were to throw in the gun, that would mean I would give up a part of myself.
    The last line is not written yet. the telenovela will go out well. I trust my gut feeling, that's good, it's never let me down.

    It's already done so much of the way, then we will not give up so soon for sure. GM just can not win. And only together we can let the Saabtraum live on.

    • “GM just can't win” - that's one of the most important points for me too!

      With Tom's current article, I ask myself more and more whether he already has very specific information that we don't have - actually it's really primarily about the Phoenix platform and the models 9-1 + 9-3 and not a daring electric car production by NEVS. The latter could also start in Trollhättan, but it seems to me that another well-known name could soon be the big final surprise. I could now imagine two of the previously large interested parties as the new SAAB-Autobile group handlebar (my favorite here is not from Europe).

  • So, I would be in favor of postponing the deadline until the exit from the blog - we know that from Sweden - until the SAAB file is closed.

  • Tom please do not let us down, even if there are other blogs like SU etc. on the web, so yours is the blog on which we can always count and not only which Pimperniz is posted, personally I am a fan of your spelling and would miss this.

    Ps I will, if all goes well for the TurboX buy the Honey Grill, do you know if we have the TX Packet on TurboX ?? I'm not sure this is the product of desire

    • The grill definitely fits. Good idea :-). The TX package = Turbo X, so we definitely have it. And let's wait and see what happens until September ...

  • ... well, some just do not want to admit it, as I've already noted, with the sale to NEVS, the SAAB brand is dead and a thing of the past. With a sale to Youngman, Mahindra, or anyone else who can build cars, things would be different.

    The administrators have opted for a startup financial consortium, although it is still unclear why, who has no interest in SAAB or its technology and wants to build e-cars, with all the associated concerns and also can not present a clear concept. Lost time and lost employees are just other negative items.

    ... the only chance to ever see a “newly” produced SAAB is if NEVS sells the rights to someone who can build cars, they also need the name, which they will hardly get that way - but that would have been easier and begs the question why not have ...

    • I do not believe in NEVS and all the humbug. This is the show to distract and Tom got it right. What about the little Saab and the Phoenix platform? These are the things of interest and when the theater is over we will see the truth.

  • Hi Tom,

    do not write so much otherwise the summer is over and we were not in the beer garden



    PS: The SAAB story is not over until the last Saab has moved into the junk press, which will take a damn long time!

  • Hi Tom,

    and once again you write true words. Although I'm personally more interested in the new 9-5, a 9-1 would probably be the key to the market right now. This shows the success of the “little ones” with other brands. Who would have thought to introduce that someone “needs” a BMW 1 series? I am curious to see whether someone still dares to continue with Saab and whether they get the chance.

    Many thanks to you for keeping us up to date at least until the final. One thing I can promise: As long as you continue writing, as long as I will read.

    Greetings from Rheinhessen

    • The 9-1 would be the ideal product around again, now I say it's time to pull on a younger Saab generation. The majority of Saab skiers have a slightly higher age, but have experienced the glory days with the SABB 900 and 9000 as drivers. I do not want to offend anyone here but the future lies with the young drivers who should also be able to afford such a SAAB. 9-1 as an entry-level product, no giant engines but still class with good passage, so that this vehicle as a second car would be a Saabiger fun

      • So nen Saab 9-1 Aero ... That would be something ... I would pre-order directly.

        Well, you can still dream ... ^. ^

        • 9-1 Aero Convertible, with Hybried strong buy

          • & iQon 🙂

  • Top article with clear announcement! But what do we do if Tom really gets off the boat?

  • Phew... Tom, don't scare us like that! 😉

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