SAAB press. Start of production. Very light ... indeed.

The Swedes love harmony. Unpleasant things are avoided until the problem is resolved - one way or another. But what doesn't always work ... Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) has recently been illuminating the future of the auto industry in Sweden. The Volvo perspective is critically questioned. But not without pointing out the slightest improvement in the situation - you are very Swedish. You were always fair to Saab, even in the darkest of times, to dedicate a very comprehensive article to the brand. What was read there a little over a week ago is interesting. But not as we hoped.

National Electric Vehicle Sweden
National Electric Vehicle Sweden

It is primarily about the start of production, which was announced to the media for the fall. There was also an article with the headline "NEVS breathes life into (the old) Saab". According to SvD Information, Saab 2.0 will start with a very small production team. The 100 or so employees that have been sought in the last few weeks will start with the Saab 9-3 Cabriolet in the fall, according to SvD. GM products are ruled out as motorization; according to newspaper information, engines from Fiat or BMW or from a Chinese source will be used.

Most of the production should go to China. But it should be possible to purchase vehicles from previous Saab dealers in Sweden. The numbers will remain manageable. The first electric Saab will arrive in spring 2014, also based on the old 9-3. According to SvD, NEVS had bigger problems with the suppliers. Many companies do not want to differentiate between Saab old and Saab new and struggled with the supply contracts. They are still "burned" by the events of the Muller era. According to a newspaper source, Saab 2.0's payment term is only 30 days, which is a very short target for the auto industry.

The medium-term future is viewed with skepticism. In Quindao - the city has a 22% stake in NEVS - a new plant will be created in the form of a joint venture, which will each belong to half of the municipality and NEVS. The process is ongoing and will take three to five years, and the focus will shift from Sweden to China. Because, says SvD, whoever believes that research and development will remain in Trollhättan is wrong. Quingdao will gain influence at the expense of the location in Sweden. Funding - questionable. The business plan - as well.

After all, it will be crucial to achieve a positive cash flow through larger production volumes. When that will be, Mattias Bergman from NEVS could not or did not want to answer the SvD. So Svenska Dagbladet had only one thing left in the following commentary: to wish NEVS good luck.

Commentator Nils-Olof Ollevik noted that NEVS survived for almost a year - without building a single car. He hopes that many more will follow as sales increase. He sees the future of NEVS in China if everything goes well. And it depends on lots and lots of money. NEVS will have to take over 1.2 billion euros in hands for the Saab rebirth. A sum that is probably true, because we have heard similar things from other sources. From a Swedish perspective, the result will be unsatisfactory. If the story ends well, it will be a success for Quingdao. If the thing fails, Trollhättan will be hit the hardest.

Disappointed with the article about the start of production? Certainly, because somehow we imagined it with a little more vigor. Which is not due to the SvD. The magazine is conservative - serious, and what we get to read is the result of research and publicly available facts. No more - no less. It is difficult to say whether all things will be so, but the article shows a situation created by the information policy in Trollhättan. Presenting cautious hints and small truths is not a good thing and can do the opposite. These facts do not inspire future employees or potential new car buyers.

Only months before you want to sell something, press work should not look like that! Where the question is, if you want to sell something. Apparently, one sets with full seriousness on sales as a service fleet at shareholder Quingdao. What a business model!

Another problem came up at SvD: the search for a new, permanent CEO for NEVS. So far it has been (apparently) unsuccessful. Who is surprised? In this case, it can only get better. NEVS has failed to build an image in its home country Sweden in the past few months. You have taken over a large, traditional European brand, but behave as if you had bought a neighbor's chip shop. That can not be ! A campaign based on the motto “We are here and will build great cars again from 2014” or “The Saab story continues - the legend lives” would have helped. NEVS and the brand would have remained visible and everyone in Sweden would have known what the investor stands for.

After a good year at NEVS, the profile is still unclear. In the best case scenario, as a Chinese investor with unclear ambitions, you can get away with it. The owners are now presented with the receipt. Important positions for the start of production are being advertised for the third or fourth time. Meanwhile with the note "urgent", which sounds kind of pleading. How attractive is NEVS as an employer? The vote takes place with the feet, and the current result is a clear Watschn (High German = slap in the face) for NEVS. Because fewer applicants than expected find their way to the main portal in the Stallbacka. One should take the signs seriously in Trollhättan and adjust the course. There is still time!

Text: tom@saabblog.net

Image: Richard for saabblog.net

 

13 thoughts on "SAAB press. Start of production. Very light ... indeed."

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    Thank you very much dabj for the report, I have been skeptical lately about the start of construction in the fall and
    was not deceived. It's okay to start with just one model, but who buys a convertible in autumn / winter and this car as a company car in China ??? Where they are more of a 9 5 than a 9 3
    would drive, I would understand electric with the current Chinese car policy, but produce it in Sweden and then import it to China ……. I have to take it really slow
    look around other manufacturers, at SAAB I see slowly black

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    Hello, now I have to make up for longer.
    What the previous speakers have said, says almost everything. Even I can not understand how you as a car maker, which one wants to be now, but with his public relations but so much off the mark. That's even better for Dacia.
    I can soon no longer hear it: "That's the way the Swedes are ..." I learned from a well-known Saab dealer that workshops in Trollhättan now find it rather annoying to be asked for help by workshops because - it's midsummer ……. are so the Swedes ?????
    To the festival:
    - there is a Saab 92 - exactly like in the museum - in the street parking lot… and…. nothing, is that the Swedes ?????
    - In the museum parking lot there is a Saab 9-5 with 1 million. 74.000 km ... and ... nothing, are the Swedes ?????
    - even the only coffee / snack bar on the festival site doesn't open until 11:00 on Saturday, because that's the way it is, festival or not, is that the Swedes ?????
    The list could be continued ...... ..
    As good as the cars are, so ... uh ... the Swedish mentality is probably different.
    But I think that's just how you can not place a new product on the market.
    Most of the world is not as SAAB-CRAZY as it is here. This clientele is accustomed to being wooed with a huge roar.
    Well, I hope the Swedes and half-Swedes wake up and show what they can do.

    Because I do not expect reasonable cars so soon, I exchange my 9-5 SC for a newer.
    So, we are just.
    Greetings from Thuringia to all.

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      They didn't put the EV-1 into series production either, LIKE STUPID - that's how the Swedes are ??? !!!

  • blank

    If the jobs in the NEVS car factory can no longer be filled again in Sweden, then that makes me think. Too much trust has just been lost. No wonder. Let us wait further and we are more confident than the people in southern Sweden seem to be.

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    UNSUCCESSFUL AUTHORITIES?

    As Tom writes, voting takes place with the feet. Many years ago by customers, then by the bad mother GM, in the VM era by suppliers, banks and the state and now people don't even want to work for SAAB 2.0 ...

    There have been discussions about SAAB's positive and negative views on various SAAB blogs over the last few years. Some authors of a commentary there is called because of his concerns of others to rosaroter discipline, partly downright downright downed as a pessimist, which immediately assumed a manic depression and a therapy was recommended.

    You can still summon up so much think-pink discipline, but with a nap behind a pair of pink glasses you will not regain confidence - be it from suppliers, dealers, or potential employees - nor build cars. As long as that is the state (no cars), you need not even talk about the trust of customers.

    You have to be very surprised about this smudge tactic of a supposed major investor. The silence in terms of publicity would only make sense if NEVS knew that they could be stopped with a real bang and positively surprise the public. Hopefully there is something else coming from NEVS? Otherwise it was.

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    I would be very interested to know, at what price NEVS could offer a 9-3 CV in AERO version with a 2.0 liter 4 cylinder gasoline turbo engine and about 210-240 horsepower. And maybe the change of supplier also brings a quality boost here and there, I think especially of the plastic quality (material appearance, feel).

    For the 9-3CV with conventional drive, in any case, I see a certain market in Europe / USA.

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    Mitnahmeeffekte pay only so if you earn money with every car. Maybe you can still get the best prices with convertibles? As a company car in China probably rather unsuitable.
    It could really look better, but other manufacturers start so synonymous with only one model variant. Would definitely be different than others.

  • blank

    Thanks for the article, Tom! I think this opens the eyes to the perspective of the Chinese carmaker, possibly also of NEVS. CHINA is the focus of sales! The “rest of the world” is possibly a “hobby” or a nice takeaway effect. But NOT a focus market. That certainly has consequences. Which remains to be seen. I keep trying to think positively. NICO's comments are also a reality….

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    Behind the scenes, the reporter from Svenska Dagbladet can not look.

    One should not consider NEVS 'clumsy way of presenting itself as a sign of future failure - but an adjustment, especially in the direction of good marketing, is really necessary now !!!!!!!!

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    I think NEVS could, if you wanted. But goals and alignment are unclear. Only the hope that everything is better than described.

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    You can't ride a dead horse anymore. As hard as it may sound, I believe that SAAB 2.0 will no longer play a role in Europe and has no chance. Unless they bring a real blast to the market. Electric cars are simply not in demand. The only electric car that really makes sense in my eyes is currently the electric smart, and only as a car sharing model for cities. And knocking together a couple of 9-3 convertibles with BMW, Fiat or China engines ... I don't know.

    We are lucky that we have our old SAABs in the garage. Really new, innovative and Scandinavian cars with the SAAB spirit will probably not come anymore. In China you have quite different ideas of a car than in Sweden.

    There is a very significant quote from the chairman of the supervisory board, Volvo / Geely: “Volvo has one weakness, and that is the design. It looks too Scandinavian. ”I think that says a lot about the way of thinking in China.

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      I think the situation shouldn't be viewed as negatively. In an individual niche, Saab has a chance in Europe - if the owners want it. The question is whether there is the will to do so. In China you will only be accepted if you have long-term success in Europe, especially in Germany.

  • blank

    Top article! Since the SvD has hit the situation to almost 100%. But maybe NEVS will surprise us after the summer break 😉

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