The short pause on the blog met with a time poor in news. It's quiet, very quiet around Trollhättan. The calm before the storm? We will see ... Something happened on the periphery of the Saab world and a Swedish State Secretary made a remarkable remark in Trollhättan. But first, on the subject of engines. In Trollhättan, the persistent rumor of the comeback of the old Saab engines has been going on since the beginning of the year.
Are the old Saab engines coming back?
Until the old Saab 9-5 series was discontinued, classic Saab engines were used in sedans and wagons, including Saab's own gearbox. Engines with a certain charm, hearty and powerful, and equipped with the Saab Trionic. The rights were sold to China and are now serving in the BAIC-Saab derivatives.
Informed circles in Trollhättan speculate about a comeback of the 2.0 and 2.3 liter engines in the NEVS-Saab 9-3. The continued silence of the new owners on this subject provides plenty of space for this and challenges these ideas. It was not only I who previously thought the chances of this were excluded. People who know more about cars than the blogger think installation in the 9-3 is simply impossible. "That does not fit”I've been hearing for months.
Apparently it fits. The Chinese Blog “auto.sohu.com”Reported last week about the Saab 60-9 derivative called the C3, which is to come onto the market with the old Saab B205 engine, and shows a photo of the interior of a pre-series vehicle with 5-speed manual transmission. Old gear and old engine seem to fit in the 9-3. A logical step for BAIC, since the rights for the engines and transmissions used in the Saab 9-3 II do not lie with the Chinese.
So a comeback? Interestingly, the 1.8 T announced as BAIC's own development seems nothing more than a modified Saab B205 engine. The Chinese design their own engine family on a Saab basis, and at first glance, it could make sense for NEVS to use BAIC-Saab engines.
A closer look relativizes this option. Apart from the issue of emissions, Euro 5 or 6 is not to be created with these engines, which are not direct injection, there will probably be no rebirth for us. So my opinion. The use of the old transmission speaks against it. Who will accept a vehicle with an 5-manual or automatic transmission in Europe as a not very cheap new car? Hardly anyone.
Shenbao (Saab) in China Part 1
Let's stay in China. With Shenbao, the old Saab brand name, BAIC has introduced something like a new brand in China. The label has been on the market for 4 months and sales have now reached more than 1.000 units per month. By the end of the year, there are plans to generate 2.000 vehicles a month, and in 2014 there should already be an incredible 150.000 models sold. Two things are interesting. 70% of buyers are said to be private customers, which is a high proportion of prestige sedans. And 80% of the components come from former Saab suppliers and have not been replaced by “Made in China”.
The Shenbao has become a very European Chinese. That should remain so, and Shenbao plans in the next few years more models on Saab basis.
Shenbao (Saab) in China Part 2
A legend is meanwhile the Saab performance team, which under the name Dynatech lives on. Saab even had jackets with the Performance lettering for the fans, and we found a few, few copies that are on the way from Sweden to Germany. More on that later. The Swedes were in China for the Shenbao market launch, and they will probably be seen there more often. Because Dynatech and BAIC have now signed a contract for the next 3 years. With that back to Trollhättan.
Political visit to Trollhättan
State Secretary Håkan Ekengren was - again - on a visit to Trollhättan. The last time he was at NEVS was a few weeks ago when the first Saab rolled off the production line there under new ownership. Now he visited GKN Driveline, the Innovatum and - of course - NEVS. What was interesting was what he announced to the local newspaper afterwards. It is exciting, says Håkan Ekengren, that series production will start soon. In addition, NEVS works with (other companies in Trollhattan) on a new research car.
Good numbers of Saab Parts AB
Good news comes from Nyköping. Saab Parts AB increased sales from 257 million Swedish kroner to 271 million (30,8 million €) in the last quarter. Earnings increased from 51 million to 82 million Swedish Krona (9.3 million) due to one-time special effects. The number of authorized partners in Germany, Switzerland, Sweden and the US selling original Saab parts has continued to grow, according to Lennart Stahl, CEO of Saab Automobile Parts AB.
The increase in sales is mainly attributable to the positive development in the USA, Germany and Spain.
Nice, the numbers are correct, and with it our basis for the supply of spare parts. But what does NEVS do and what does the missing sales and after-sales network do in Europe? Several sources report, independently of one another, that Trollhättan deals intensively with the Swedish dealer network. Whatever that means ...
Images: saabblog.net, auto.sohu.com (2)