Bloggers are first and foremost fans, especially if you write a Saab blog. Which does not make the situation more relaxed, because every day the view goes towards Trollhättan. How it feels, eternal after sales, and whether there are opportunities for a restart, that bothers us a lot. In December it was still quiet, way too quiet to my liking.
What changed abruptly in January. There were press releases, the new partnership in China and the plan to build a second plant. In addition, the new logo, which, well, somehow then the old and is missed in the chapter missed opportunities. The fact that we are not satisfied with press releases alone is in the nature of things.
The chance to get the right answers came a few days ago. The Saab blogs, at least most of them, work in close coordination and exchange information regularly. Till from Saabsunited prepared some questions for Mikael Östlund, the NEVS press officer, and said I could contribute my own questions. An offer that I gladly accepted. Four more questions, which I thought are the “right questions” from a German point of view, came on Till's list. Plus a bet. If we get specific answers to that, then I owe Till an invitation to my favorite Italian restaurant.
What came was, one can guess, disappointing. Although I want to be fair. Till is still invited when on the way to the north and from the point of view of a NEVS Press Chief, who is not allowed to say anything at the moment, the answers were brilliantly worded. At least the ones that have been answered. The most important questions were missing the statement or they were formulated as non-binding as Angela Merkel leads her election campaign. Nothing new? At least nothing we do not already know. The Saab 9-3 will be redesigned inside and out, working with the Saab Parts would bring great synergy effects and, yes, the focus is first on China but then on the other key markets as well.
Till and I quickly agreed that this would not be an interview for the blogs. Too many unanswered questions, too many non-binding answers and thus too much room for misinterpretation or misinterpretation. As the press and the car industry read along, we have the interview disappear in the clipboard. It will stay there.
Why? In Trollhättan, intensive activities take place behind the scenes. The self-imposed message block and one of the two most frequently heard sentences still holds, the second we come later, last week was "... we cannot give anything outside ...". We accept that, because in the past few years a lot has been destroyed by indiscretion before it started. However, this firewall can no longer be maintained for a long time. In December we searched for activities with a magnifying glass. Meanwhile, more and more information comes from every corner every day. And it is foreseeable that the dripping news situation will eventually become a torrent.
Everything indicates that the public will learn more, and above all more concrete, in February. Until then, patience is the order of the day. But waiting is not what we are used to. Something has changed. To end the story comes the second sentence that I heard over and over again last week in Sweden and Germany. "... we underestimated the Chinese ...”It could be so.