The news of the last few days has been good, but we still need a great deal of patience until the first Saab new vehicles roll to the customers. Two economic news related to Saab's past and Saab's past blew through the press last week. It was about the National Electric Vehicle Sweden AB (NEVS), the guarantor for the Saab future, and about Victor Muller. A name from the Saab past.
Start-up loss at NEVS, but it continues into the future.
Saab 2.0 owner NEVS has had almost € 14 million in losses since taking over the Saab plant. The Swedish media reported that, and the comments on it were interesting. "NEVS continues to invest in the Saab future“Wrote Dagens Industri appreciatively. A magazine that has hardly found good words for Saab so far. Maybe we should use the ugly word "LossDelete "and replace with"Initial investment in the future" substitute. Because that hits it better!
In Trollhättan you are realistic enough to know that you have to invest properly for a few years. The rebuilding of the cult brand becomes a path that requires staying power. A look at India shows how to do it. Jaguar - Landrover has required large investments from its owners there for years. Now the product range and the numbers are right, the commitment is beginning to pay off. Tata has 5 years, as long as it has been, foresight and perseverance proven. It could be similar with Saab.
While the Saab factory on Göta Älv is on the right track, the problems add up further south. How it doesn't work can be seen with a look at Holland. There Victor Muller is - again - in front of empty cash registers.
Loss at Spyker, is there a future?
The only parallel between Spyker and Saab 2.0 is that you did not build a single car in 2013. And even that fact will change soon. While Saab heads for the future under Chinese direction, Spyker, including Chinese on board, is racing towards the abyss.
In the first half of 2013, the Dutch small manufacturer has burned more than 5 million €. While money was invested in Trollhättan in the future, Spyker lost its filled cash register in the trial against GM. Contrary to Victor Muller's story that there are investors who would finance the process, Spyker had to settle the bill in the opportunity-less venture itself.
Now the coffers are empty, again, and the Swedish press sees Muller, as with Monopoly, back on track. "Saab was his big chance“Writes the Svenska Dagbladet with regret, and you are probably right. You don't see realistic perspectives with Spyker. A new round of financing with Youngman is already underway, according to Muller. Anything else would have disappointed us too. But maybe Muller has also bet on the wrong partner with Youngman.
The investment in Spyker is not the only Chinese commitment in Europe. At the end of 2012, Youngman acquired 74.9% of the Bavarian bus manufacturer Viseon. A few months later, in April 2013, it was over again. The only way for the Viseon management was to go to the bankruptcy court. Firmly committed funds from China were not available, that sounds familiar, and Viseon was heading for bankruptcy. It will be exciting to see how the high-flying announcements are implemented in the Netherlands.
The stock market, it is said, always evaluates the future, not the past of a company. If so, then Spyker has no perspective. The Amsterdam stock exchange sees the reconstruction of the sports car manufacturer as a final failure and takes the share off the market. For months, the paper has only been worth cents, which is hard for fans who bought Spyker shares in hopes of a future with Saab.
The last trading day is, coincidence or not, the 13. September 2013. Victor Muller's birthday.