Last week Jonas Froberg wrote - again - in his column about the Saab investor NEVS. He has doubts about the concept and the questions he asks are not new. But they are justified because he is concerned. NEVS, he notes, is a company with no cash flow. In order to reduce the purchase price, one has foregone Saab's lucrative spare parts division.
How do you want to start series production based on the Saab 18-9 in 3 months and, what is even more precarious, how do you want to drive the Phoenix platform to series production? The costs for an electric Saab 9-3 could still be manageable, but millions of dollars must be invested in the development of the successor. And how, according to Fröberg, should one want to successfully market the finished products without any distribution network. NEVS needs a strong investor, and the journalist cannot find him anywhere.
What is Fröberg doing? It is certainly not the longing for a headline, Fröberg is too good and too serious for that. He's not just one of the top journalists who write for Svenska Dagbladet. Saab is, you suspect, a matter of the heart for him. He has written countless articles and a book about and for Saab. He has accompanied GM and Victor Muller, he has experienced sales crime first hand, and he has excellent connections in politics. One thing is certain. The man suffers ...
Although our Swedes sometimes seem so pensive, Jonas Fröberg is no different than the readers between Flensburg and Garmisch. He feels like we do, and Saab has a lot of heart and soul for him.
He asks himself the questions that are justified and he finds no answer like us. Why do administrators suggest other offers? Apart from offers from China, there were other buyers who would have liked to take over Saab. With a two-brand strategy, one of them would have vouched for an 100% utilization of the plant in Trollhättan. A study for a new Saab model, commissioned by an Italian design studio, was already completed. You were so sure of yourself. Jobs, even at supplier companies, would have been manifested in the long run. The Swedish auto industry would have gained a new status and growth potential. A hot, but guaranteed story! Maybe someday, when the story cools, we'll write about it in more detail.
Are there national sensitivities that spoke against this buyer or what is behind the decision? A friend put it this way: "The lawyers chose the" worst of all possible options .. "..so his opinion on the Saab drama. Which is not entirely true. The worst of all options would have been to dismantle the plant and ship it to China. The site in Trollhättan would then have become a large amusement park or an industrial ruin. It hasn't got that far. There is hope that the chimneys will smoke again at some point and the Saab lettering still shines above the stable backa.
What helps Fröberg in his suffering for Saab and what helps us? There are two means that work:
Medium 1: Driving Youngtimer is cult!
On the one hand, we should resign ourselves to the fact that we are traveling at least temporarily with vehicles of a youngtimer brand. This knowledge lowers the blood pressure and reduces the worry lines on the forehead. Because to pilot a classic car can certainly have its charm, we move so stylish outside the scheme of the daytime running lights and giant grille contaminated pack. We are a bit more classless and cooler than before, because we know the qualities of our cars. And in Sweden, every Saab has a long-term gene implanted that works with proper care.
If we look out into the world through youngtimer glasses, then we can follow developments in Trollhättan much more relaxed. Because we have secured our automotive treasures first! Newcomers and those returning to the brand are looking for a Saab of their choice. Which is not easy ... Because finding a Saab in the right color and the desired engine is not easy with the meager offer. You have to be patient to earn a Saab!
Medium Number 2: Puppy Protection!
Medium number two is time, time and time again. In politics, newcomers are given an 100 day period. NEVS is such a novice, and he deserves something like, I call it, puppy protection. In the first three weeks, optically nothing has changed in the factory. But behind the scenes, they are placing first orders for studies on companies in Sweden. That's a good sign. One speaks, according to own statement, with long-term investors and partners. That takes patience.
So puppy protection for NEVS! Until December, then we will take stock. That saves our nerves and is also advisable for Fröberg, his suffering, and his column.