Yesterday was a great day for Saab! The first section of a new era has begun. What exactly happened on Monday is best understood by approaching NEVS in a different way. If we just hide the Saab 9-3 for this article, let's talk about NEVS, the people behind it and your plans.
Kai Johan Jiang, founder and principal owner of NEVS, opened yesterday the press conference with a speech in Swedish. Anyone who wanted it could understand the message to the journalists: Saab is a Swedish company, even if the investors come from China. A good start of a sympathetic, visibly cheerful founder, who then passed on to Mattias Bergman.
"Cars are built by people"
Saab is - according to Bergman - a green company with solutions for environmentally friendly mobility. Ideas for the metropolitan regions of our planet are important. But driving fun will also continue with electric vehicles, because a Saab remains a Saab. Anyone who carefully watched the keynote speakers could feel the new style at Saab.
Or should I say: the new corporate culture? A mood of optimism, yes, but completely relaxed. Soft words, long-term thinking. There are no shareholders behind NEVS, no quarterly reports threaten, no bankers watch. Management has a plan, a good one in fact, and it knows its course. “We will adjust our production according to the order situation” was one of the sentences that came up at the beginning. No great ambitions on quantities, no huge goals. Not now ! A start with a sense of proportion and understanding. Only managers with adequate liquidity and a backlog of orders from China speak for example.
There are the little details on the edge. The more say than any press release, and you only learn when you're very close. The NEVS leadership team is already well coordinated. Kai Johan Jiang and Mattias Bergman know each other from study days, are friends. The interaction of the two was nice to watch. Here are people at work who feel and feel great fun in their work.
One of the next sentences will show why cars will still be built this year. There is responsibility for the city and its residents, but it is also about maintaining production capacity in Trollhättan. Having a work is one thing. "But cars are built by people," says Mattias Bergman ... "and we want the best for Saab".
Yesterday a first step was taken. So it was communicated to the journalists, so we should understand it too. Saab is again producing manufacturer. With small numbers in this, rising next year. New parts flowed into the production, well 600 suppliers were replaced.
The next step may be more important. NEVS calls him "Update". This includes the start of production for the sports suit (possibly 9-3x?), a further technical and a fundamental visual revision of both series and the introduction of the first electric car from Saab. Incidentally, other engines and the opening up of additional markets. The “upgrade” will be the point that will be of great interest to us as customers. And the introduction of the electric car could fundamentally change the perception of the brand. More on that in the next article, now back to yesterday.
Yesterday NEVS did (almost) everything correctly. The interest of the journalists was great, several Swedish TV stations were on site, we were able to watch “live” at work. Not only the national newspapers were invited, the international motor press also had the opportunity to be there. Also a large magazine from Germany. who didn't make the appointment. Too bad, you can say, because you missed “New Saab”.
Annie Lööf, Swedish Minister of Economic Affairs, traveled from Stockholm to Trollhättan. In good spirits, because there was a gratifying occasion, she opened the production with Kai Johan Jiang. Lööf fought for Saab and NEVS, built many bridges. Maybe it's because the Saab Spirit blew through the halls, Saab Management celebrated its stage victory, or that Swedish politicians are simply closer to the people than here in the country. The very sympathetic Minister of Economics was for everyone to speak, not shielded by bodyguards, and the usual in Germany tank sedan was also not spotted.
“… Our guests from Germany”
In addition to the minister, the Chinese ambassador, the deputy mayor of Quingdao, local politicians and trade unionists and important suppliers were also present. NEVS took them all on board, and the VIP guests from Germany were asked to take a group photo. Not us, no really not, but two important partners from Germany had sent their representatives to Sweden. They were well catered for, driven through the city on VIP buses, and suddenly it was clear. The Saab Spirit is there, we are all family - at least for this moment. Suppliers are also part of the new Saab project, NEVS maintains ties and is close to the most important partners.
The Saab management, including long-term and only recently returned employees, were in production that afternoon. Ready for every conversation, the spirit of optimism and the desire for the future tangible. On the fringes, the production staff. All of them long-time professionals who bring their knowledge to the comeback. Newly dressed, with “National Electric Vehicle Sweden AB” and “Saab” lettering on the work clothes. A smile on your face, a glow in your eyes. People who enjoy what they do. Saab is back! The story goes on!