SAAB News. "... leading electric car manufacturer until 2020".

The interview was almost 4 weeks ago, and I almost missed the link, as always with a full mail account. NEVS-Saab purchasing manager Per Svantesson spoke to the news portal during the supplier meeting of the Swedish auto industry “Just car". Three statements from the interview let us look a little deeper into the self-image of Saab owner NEVS and are good to know, even if you don't want to be a fan of electromobility.

NEVS-Saab
NEVS-Saab

1. “… will be“ leading ”EV producer by 2020…”

The focus is on China, which has long been clear, because the trends are set in Asia. BMW does and is at the forefront with its electric cars. Munich is very reluctant to make forecasts, but 8.000 to 9.000 BMW i3 units have already been ordered. But the benchmark comes from the USA. Tesla is expected to sell more than 23.000 all-electric vehicles this year - and there could be more.

Because Tesla has a problem that torments the industry, but that NEVS-Saab does not have. Batteries are lacking. With partner Panasonic, higher delivery quantities have been agreed, but they are only a drop in the bucket. Tesla redirects vehicles from North America to Europe so that the greatest bottlenecks can be eliminated. This is not a solution, it was recognized last week. If the “small Tesla” comes with the designation “X”, a vehicle in Saab 9-3 size, then you will build your own battery production.

NEVS produces its own batteries, so it is one step ahead of BMW and Tesla. With the Saab 9-3 as the basis for a purely electric vehicle, as Svantesson says, you have an inexpensive basis, but also - of course - a compromise.

Tesla S with 17 "display
Tesla S with 17 ″ display

2. “… competing with Tesla…”

The benchmark is Tesla, and you see yourself in direct competition with the Americans. Purchasing Manager Per Svantesson has been in the industry for a long time, and I attach much importance to his statements. In other words, I assume he knows what he's saying. It is clear that both the Tesla S and the Saab 9-3 are elegant vehicles that show that electric drive and good design are not necessarily mutually exclusive.

I have not driven a Tesla S yet, which can be changed, but two things have been noticed at the first contact during the Geneva Motor Show. There are the materials and the processing in the interior, which do not fit the vehicle class and price. It has always been better in Trollhättan, but perhaps there were US models in Geneva, and what comes to Europe is of a higher quality. A point for NEVS, maybe, but a second point could be more important.

Tesla S cockpit
Tesla S cockpit

The Tesla is dominated by a 17 ″ monitor and there are no switches in the interior apart from the usual control levers. Okay, I'm more of an analogue person in this regard, because I'm from the computer industry and I'm happy to be able to move a vehicle with less technology to compensate. But buyers of an electric car who feel like an avant-garde automobile expect more. To score here, NEVS-Saab would have to radically revise the 9-3 interior, and maybe they do, which would explain why it takes a little longer for their debut in Sweden.

3. "We are a company without any debts ..."

Perhaps the most important and most beneficial sentence in the interview by Per Svantesson! NEVS-Saab has been investing large sums of money for months and paying for them out of their own pockets. We had already considered whether the money comes from Chinese banks or from the state. It does not, and NEVS seems to be a very healthy and, above all, independent event.

Maybe the best in decades! There was the owner GM. The Americans switched from quarterly report to quarterly report and still do so today. There was never room for long-term investments in this system, and nobody wanted to allow Saab to set up for a few years. Then Victor Muller followed with Spyker. Right from the start he was a driven man who - although full of ideas and energy - only started with liabilities and who had no chance.

Now there is NEVS. Debt Free! With power plants in China, with our own battery production and with access to the seventh largest power grid in the world. With the will to build strong products, not just battery-powered. Apparently with deep pockets that allow you to go your own way and allow yourself the time necessary to build up the brand. While people in Gothenburg take out credit for credit because the Chinese owner does not want to invest any money, a concept is running in Trollhättan that couldn't be more contradictory.

The investor is deeply relaxed because there are no banks and no pushing shareholders in the background. From this perspective, NEVS is probably the best Saab owner of the last 20 years. Did I really write that? That's the way it is.

Text: tom@saabblog.net

Images: Richard (1), saabblog.net (2)

7 thoughts on "SAAB News. "... leading electric car manufacturer until 2020"."

  • Clean, that's megalomania in its purest form. No car on the road yet, but we're already talking about market leadership ... tzzz. That reminds me a lot of a certain VM….

  • It is astonishing that in the USA the TESLA S in the upper middle class segment is now generating higher sales figures than the respective comparison models from LEXUS, BMW or Mercedes - all of which are offered with a combustion engine or at most as a hybrid vehicle.

    With this breakthrough of a pure electric vehicle, one can observe that even in the US, environmental awareness is increasing.

  • Also think that the touchscreen solution prevails (especially since it is cheaper in my opinion but not least also more flexible, think of new functions via software update).

    However, I would like quite right switch for ventilation, heated seats, etc. Part of it you can probably put on the TMS buttons on the steering wheel (I did not try it myself).

    How the solution works at night, I could not try (was in the summer and there it is bright with me), but if you read something in the forum here, it certainly does not seem to be a big problem (the car is here in Norway very popular).

    However, I could not imagine switching from the iPhone to a smartphone with a keyboard, although I was previously a user of such a smartphone and I was very skeptical of the exclusive touch operation at the beginning.

  • The touch screen will probably be the future. Cheaper and more flexible, but not better in my opinion. I like the direct feedback, the feel is important. Not for nothing I switched from the iPhone back to the BlackBerry. Keyboard has advantages ;-).

  • Hopefully it does not prevail, completely on touchscreens or similar. to put.

    In the car in particular, I want to “execute commands / functions” as blindly, simply and naturally as possible, without taking my eyes off the road or having to laboriously aim with my finger on uneven roads or when driving faster.
    And, in my opinion, that's still best done with “classic buttons and switches”.

    And especially at night in most cars the “bright” lighting ”of all the buttons or especially the navigation system sometimes bothers me a bit (even if they are dark and dimmed; in a friend's Audi I get“ crazy ”regularly).
    It gets even worse for me if I use an iPhone (also already dimmed) in my 9-5 as an additional “more reliable” navigation system on the gooseneck.

    I just think this NightPanel is a great feature in Saab and makes driving at night much more enjoyable. By complete touchscreen control that would unfortunately be completely eliminated, right?

  • Very interesting the prospects at NEVS. With the Tesla Model S, a 9-3 is unlikely to compete, which is then a class higher settled (the size and the price). The Model X, which comes next to Tesla is not a smaller model, but an SUV with optional four-wheel drive, which is in contrast to the Model S also suitable as a towing vehicle and space for 7 adult persons.

    In my view, the Model S is currently the only electric car that meets my requirement of range, he does not look too bad and driving you have to have experienced yourself (after no test drive before, the 9000 Aero had felt so lame). Sure, there is room for improvement here and there, but it is simply impressive what Tesla has achieved.

    Incidentally, there is also working on a separate Battery Priduktion, also with regard to the planned after the Model X smaller and cheaper model.

    But back to NEVS Saab, I'm particularly excited about the range and the usable interior and trunk of an electric 9-3. It will show whether this offers significantly more in the two categories than the alternatives in the compact segment (e.g. Leaf, i3 and the upcoming B-Class).

  • Hope this can become reality, that would be oh so nice

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