SAAB comeback. Visiting the Saab factory.

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.

NEVS Saab No.1
NEVS Saab No.1

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? Mood of optimism, yes, but completely relaxed. Quiet 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.

Why cars are still being built this year will become clear in one of the next sentences. There is responsibility for the city and its residents, but it is also about maintaining the ability to produce in Trollhättan. Owning a work is one thing. "But cars are built by people," says Mattias Bergman ... "and we want the best for Saab".

"...the update"

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 is perhaps even more important. NEVS calls it "Update". This includes the start of production for the sports suit (possibly 9-3x?), another technical and a fundamental visual revision of both series and the introduction of Saab's first electric car. Incidentally, there are 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 about this in the next article, now back to yesterday.

"...the minister"

Yesterday NEVS did (almost) everything right. The interest of the journalists was great, several Swedish TV stations were on site, we could be seen "live" at work. Not only the national newspapers were invited, the international motor press also had the opportunity to be there. There is also a large magazine from Germany. who did not keep the appointment. It's a shame, 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.

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 long-standing 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 sparkle in your eyes. People who enjoy what they do. Saab is back! The story continues!





47 thoughts on "SAAB comeback. Visiting the Saab factory."

  • Hello Tom!
    In Sweden it is probably common for high-ranking politicians to appear in public without personal protection. I would also find that rather positive! But it is also fraught with risk ... Pity for this very friendly and dedicated woman!
    Let's enjoy the openness where and when it exists!
    Kind greeting!

  • Is there actually a video of the start of the car? Both live streams stopped shortly before, one came back when it was almost all over, the other not at all ...

  • Can we find out something specific about the quality of the material? What about a first impression of the haptics of the plastics, ie dashboard, door handles, ... have there been any changes compared to the last MY11? The seats have always been a special plus in a Saab. Whether you like these new headrests or not, the technical benefit is much more important than the packaging, can we assume that Active Head Restraint (SAHR) technology will continue to be used? Did you find the seats (too) soft (for a sports seat)? Thigh support too short? Steven hinted at something like that ... Don't be so long on torture 😉

    • In a moment, article is almost finished ...

      • Thanks also from me !!!!
        Best regards from B

        the Ivan

        and thanks for the nice words to the Aero!

  • Hi Tom,
    Thank you, thank you, thank you for this and all the other reports ... it was once again an article to "devour"! And you were about to stop writing ... crazy chicken! 😉
    If it continues like that then everything is right and the future for our great brand is secured!
    Our Saabfuhrpark is already looking forward to a new entry!
    Saabige greetings to Randhessen from Karl - Marx - Stadt 🙂

    PS: Nice to read that there is only one in the contributions of it does not quite understand!

    • Yes, Alex with the Saab jacket ... I got the mail, the answer will come at the weekend, because here is work-wise "country under" hip. Congratulations on the beautiful new Saab. Delicious 😉

  • Sure, certainly with the number of employees that is not possible. So about 1500-2000 NEVS are currently missing even if you at least want to reach the production figures of just before the bankruptcy (39 vehicles per hour at something about 3000 employees). Hopefully, the NEVS clear! makes more profit per vehicle than GM, otherwise the nice money will be eaten up by the labor costs.

  • To slow down the euphoria a little ... The NEVS-Saab does not have pedestrian protection prescribed in the EU, so it is not even eligible as a volume model here. This is only possible as a small series, i.e. around 1000 vehicles per year (for the entire EU, mind you).

    • If you follow the reports, you will have noticed that NEVS does not want to produce any volume here. Only with the "update" - here the 9-3 will be equipped with pedestrian protection - the volume increases and additional markets are opened up.

  • "Practice" ... something similar went through my head. I admit that I have been somewhat skeptical about NEVS so far, as it seemed for a long time that NEVS acts against all logic. If you want to sell a product, the planning of the marketing and communication strategy usually begins long before the actual production begins. But since we all cannot see behind the scenes, we also cannot know whether NEVS was not tackled in this way, contrary to what was believed to be perceived. It had to be clear to everyone that NEVS cannot act aimlessly or haphazardly (as it sometimes seemed) in view of the enormous financial commitment of NEVS (regardless of whether Saab could now be purchased at a "bargain price" or not).
    In the end, what counts is always the facts and not assumptions and adventurous speculations. The fact that NEVS resumed Saab production the day before yesterday after a long break (break is of course only the correct term from the customer's point of view. From the NEVS perspective, an "enormous amount of work" would be the appropriate term for the past 30 months), indicates a really great performance and, above all, serious intentions. The fact that the first vehicles are primarily produced for China - and now I'm finally getting to the point 🙂 - actually seems to be a clever move:
    - the factory is no longer standing still
    - You have the chance to prove to the automotive world that the products from Trollhättan are still in a class of their own
    - A new market with great development potential is being opened up for Saab
    - you are supplying this new market with a product that meets the expectations there (from the rather modest ones for today's standards - but in my opinion extremely reasonable -
    Exceptions) might correspond (keyword: high-level European technology)
    - one bridges the time that is required for the development of further products and earns money with it again
    Conclusion: It seems to me that NEVS is obviously doing quite a lot of things right, especially with the “practice operation” that has just started 😉 !!

  • And I wish it too terribly long. The best with a nice V6, of which I get as now with my 2,8T / V6 even with 160 kmh a kick in the cross when I step on the gas pedal and this accompanied by turbo sound. This green chatter and the Green Ideology is terrible. But it damn well does not promise any fun.

  • mysterious german vip's? maybe bmw have given up on relaunching triumph cars and the focus is on something different, suppliers must have been given concrete financial guarantees to commence supply of parts, nevs may be a buyout target if their claim that car batteries will be in short supply in the near future.

  • Hi Tom,

    This is my first comment here after following the blog for about a year. I drive myself a 900 steep schnauzer, which, mind you, is older than me. I think your blog is great and very readable and it will probably be easier for you to write about real news. You always put the individual events clearly and comprehensibly into the overall context and you have earned the highest respect for your commitment. Keep up the good work, your blog will help keep the myth of Saab alive and give it new power! I certainly do not want to miss him anymore.

  • “We will adjust our production according to the order situation” - that was the most important point for me in the article. Because this statement can be summarized as follows - perfect for the company and both "blessing" and "curse" for the customer - although the blessing and curse comparison is probably too hard, but I couldn't think of anything else.

    A brief explanation of my statement. First of all: I think it's great that NEVS designs production according to this motto. This way, you can save yourself miscalculations and also keep the brand artificially rare - at least initially.
    Because every vehicle is built “only to order”, NEVS can plan much better and I am of the opinion that the quality of the vehicles will be better because a car does not have to be screwed together under “pressure”. As a customer, you can probably get an even better quality than it has probably already been (here I don't have the knowledge).
    Of course, the customer must then live with it, that there will not be any bargains in the actual well, because it is not produced on hell come out and then the vehicles are around and you get thrown them almost behind.

    The whole corporate structure, that there are no shareholders or the like, makes the company very appealing to me. Not that I have anything against shareholders (a good idea in itself - people with too much money give it to companies and receive a 'small' amount as a bonus), but what comes out in the end is usually not that beneficial.

    So now I'm looking forward to the next article about the "update". I can only hope that there are a few pictures of the interior or the rear view, for example. And of course then hopefully the engine question will finally be resolved.

    • Totally forgot. The “engine question” naturally also includes information about the electrically powered Saab, because the engine is the engine - regardless of whether it is a combustion engine or an electric motor.

      With the "E-Saab", the following information is particularly important to me:

      - Power of the e-machine + capacity u. Technology of the battery including the range (although these are interrelated and a weaker e-machine can even result in a shorter range)

      - Installation location of the battery - i.e. whether there are effects on the trunk volume, for example.

      - of course the cost of the eco-mobile + other mileage

  • Hello Tom!
    THANK YOU for the paragraph with the "insight" into the corporate culture! It reassures me that NEVS is not an AG !!! This squinting for quarterly results is big crap and breaks a lot of employee engagement! Only bankers and shareholders are happy .... There are enough “unsightly” examples of this type of economy! I personally like strong visionary entrepreneurial personalities. more! NEVS-SAAB has a good way to go…. Christmas 2013 will also be brighter again for the region around Trollhättan….
    Good rest week!

    • You can find unsightly examples in every corporation, less so in partnerships. So I wouldn't necessarily limit my concerns to the AG, especially since there are good examples here too when a private equity team isn't pulling the strings. But every company wants to make a profit, it becomes dangerous when the only company goal is MAXIMIZING profits on the agenda ...

  • With the presentation of an "old" 900 16V Turbo in the showroom at the factory, showed in advance where NEVS-SAAB's journey is going for the time being ... Old virtues and successes are to be continued. I think.

  • Very nice report Tom, thank you, Have never looked so often in the blog, as yesterday, so great was the tension to finally read something.
    Overall, it sounds quite good, now it's time to wait for more details. It goes on, who would have thought that months ago and at the Saab meeting.
    I think all Saab fans are happy, others do not understand us that way.

  • Yes, a nice article. The presentation of NEVS has become much more professional when I think of the first slides for the takeover PK, and the plan also makes sense. Do I see it correctly that NEVS is currently in a kind of training operation, in which the processes are still being rehearsed and improved before operations really start with the facelift? If so, then the result of the practice operation with this 9-3 can already be seen. I liked it right away ...

  • Hello Mac!
    So, where is the problem?
    Enjoy your 9-5! It's a CLASS SAAB! And let the NEVS people do their work ... The performance on December 2.12.13nd, XNUMX was optimistic !!!! The rest of the SAAB's will also come….

  • Nice report, interesting photos.

    As much as I am pleased to hear and read about SAAB ...

    For me pers. Mean the latest information:
    2 still waiting for another year for a new car (and yet do not even know exactly whether a large new station wagon is then even and especially here in D incl. Sales network is offered) ....

    Hmmm ... but I don't want to "moan" at all.
    I'm looking forward to the positive news first and then drive a little round with my cozy ollen 2002'er combo!

    • Hello mac9-5,

      I drove by in Lesum. How it looks in Horn-Lehe, I have not been able to check. The best Saab workshop was in Schevemoorer Landstraße in HB-Osterholz. There is now a glassworks resident.
      Good luck with searching. Call the retiree H.-G. L___er on. Maybe he has a tip for you.

    • If NEVS adheres to its schedule and you come to an agreement with "ORIO", possibly because of service and sales, then it could work next autumn with a new SAAB, of course only a refreshed 9-3 station wagon or sedan.

      Just as I have now met the NEVS team, such statements do not make it to the blue, but only if they are quite sure they comply.

  • This post from Tom perfectly reflected the mood at the restart. Yes, it is written quite differently when there is something new to report. Even the loveliest wedding party can't be there. With this tone, the longtime Saab fans are easy to recapture. However, new, young car buyers also have to be won over, which is why I am curious about the facts that our two boy scouts brought back from Sweden and will now serve us in small doses. Anyway, thank you very much for the beginning of what will hopefully be a long series of exciting news and for the bloggers holding out.

    I'll just stop by the two Saab dealers who are around me and who have been more or less holding out to hear how they see the Saab future.

    • I think the dealers do not have it easy.
      My current “workshop” used to be one of the dealers who even stopped by for the SAAB tour with SUV and station wagon.
      Meanwhile - according to their own statement - they no longer even take part in "SAAB promotions" and no longer have the SAAB logo on the invoices (only that of the second brand offered there).

      Whether the remaining dealers can or want to "hold out for a few more years" I dare to doubt with some / many - unfortunately. 🙁

      • Dito. I am glad that my dealer is also well utilized with third-party brands and that I am still a competent partner for maintenance. Since I also like to take a longer journey in purchase and let even smaller things done there, which could also perform an XYZ workshop on site (less time and cost intensive). Good that there are still the small Saab workshops here and there.

      • Hey mac9-5, you were somewhere in Bremen right? Mine has now taken a Japanese manufacturer. The autumn action was not included

        • Moin Frank.

          Yes, I've been in Bremen for some time now (it has been our 2002th “Saab” workshop since 6).
          With the second Sweden!
          There is always a "yuckle" of over 75km away. 🙁

          I thought yours (if the “other one” is on offer for example near Ikea with Koreans) “doesn't exist” anymore as an “official” Saab partner. At least it was no longer listed as such in the network and no Saabs appeared there as used. 🙁

          • Hello mac9-5,

            at Möhler, the Saab advertising has been dismantled. In their place, new red letters of a Japanese brand shine. I drove there an hour ago.

            Sorry, Torsten

          • @@ Torsten

            Oh dear ... really?

            Before 2 weeks the display was still outside at the workshop building (in Horn-Lehe).
            And of course nobody "said" anything. 🙁
            Was that probably the case with those with SAAB?

            Crap! What now!?!?!?
            Do I have to look for a new workshop again?

            PS: I made a mistake earlier - it wasn't the 6th workshop since 2002, but since we started driving Saab (a 9000'er at the end of the 80'er; somehow some of the dealers have always gone bankrupt). 2002 was “compulsorily” only the last purchase (a 9-5 SC).

  • The drive was worth it, in addition a TOP REPORT:

  • Nice article ... many thanks to the writers of this very hopeful report

  • Nice article. Only hopefully there will be a lot of SAABs with turbo. Can not make friends with E drive me. Let's wait and see how everything starts and develops. Let's see what's coming in the spring with the station wagon.

    • There is a statement from NEVS "... we will build vehicles with a conventional drive (turbo) for as long as our customers want these products ..." That sounds good, doesn't it 🙂

      • It does indeed. It can not be better for us SAAB fans. I wish it for a long time.

  • Tom, a good journalist has been lost to you. Your writing brings all emotions and facts over in a curious and figurative language. Yesterday, I followed everything on TV4 and was thrilled with the open, warm and informative presentation of the Zus Memmingen, results and goals. The NEVS lives a true and sustainable corporate culture, came across clearly.

    • Hi Tom,

      I have not commented for a long time, but now I just have to go back and I have to join Christoph. Your articles about our favorite topic are always so readable and so emotionally written that you can not help but to look here every day to see if there is something to read.
      Thank you for your eternal effort to Saab. Many people in my area consider me Saab-crazy, but nevertheless I always like to tell my fellow human beings what I am reading here.

      I am very excited about what the near future will bring. I also have to admit that at first I was not really convinced of NEVS. But I was very happy.

      Greetings from Upper Lusatia and a nice evening to all.

  • Thanks Tom - (once again) a nice contribution that keeps us hoping!

  • Who were the two important partners from Germany? - ahem .. BMW ... ahem ...

    • Very cold and not spectacular.

    • Pffff, BMW ... nothing more. These will be two German suppliers who, despite a high bad debt loss, stand by the Swedes and continue to supply Saab / NEVS, I assume.

      • There were important system suppliers there, if I had wanted to write their names, I would have done so. But everyone reads here, the blog is an open book, and some should be left to NEVS.
        On the other hand: NEVS is currently investing very impressively millions in our brand. The owners keep their promises and are serious. We should be happy about that and in future let this chatter - I can't think of another expression - about the Spyker be a thing of the past. One thing has nothing to do with the other.

        • Exactly, is a committed, new team that cannot be blamed for past mistakes. And unlike back then, they deliver too. Better quiet tones and not too much press TamTam, but kept promises instead of fizzled visions. Good thing, it can stay that way 😉 Now please add the convertible quickly ...

          • Yes; we want to see the convertible ... and order it

        • Alas, is Bosch also talking about SAAB?

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