Rearview mirror. SAAB Zukunft under NEVS direction.

The times are getting more exciting! This time in a positive sense, because the Swedish business crime around Saab could develop into a Scandinavian-Asian success story. Could he really? We shed light on the facts and wonder what could become. And I'll be a bit speculative towards the end of the article. That too must be.

NEVS Maingate
NEVS Maingate

A new, innovative and green company is currently emerging in Trollhättan. Saab is reinvented again. After various phases, as a manufacturer of small cars, as a manufacturer of turbo and upper mid-size sedans under the Saab-Scania label and as a GM subsidiary, a new chapter is now being added. The mood of departure in the factory is palpable and palpable, Saab is back!

The view back: Bloggers back mirror
The view back: Bloggers back mirror

NEVS has a multi-stage plan, very targeted, with high investments. The first step has been taken, the line is running, the supply chain is in place. Now the after sales area is being set up in Trollhättan in connection with the former Saab Parts AB, today Orio AB. Negotiations are ongoing ... No contracts have been signed yet, but Orio would be the obvious partner. At the same time it is about the distribution of the new products. It is not yet clear which path NEVS is taking. The experiment, selling over the Internet in Sweden, is just one of many options. Establish your own sales in the long term - or act with a partner and their dealer network - all options are open.

Since NEVS also sent letters to former partners of Saab Automobile AB in Germany last Monday, it seems clear that traditional structures are preferred. What happens exactly we will see soon. Because one thing is clear: NEVS increases the speed, and 2014 will be an eventful year. Because the new company has little in common with the old, cumbersome GM tanker and is in comparison more a fast, sleek motor yacht.

Saab EV

Sometimes you get things told, even though you haven't asked the question. So also last week. In Trollhättan we heard that the first Elektro Saab was “very near”. For a company called “National Electric Vehicle Sweden AB”, the premiere of the first electric vehicle is likely to be more important than the production start-up just seen. Because what will come will be used to judge the future of the company. A subsidiary of State Power Holdings, which also includes NEVS, and which bears the name Beijing National Battery Technology, manufactures the batteries that will be used in the new Saab EV.

NEVS has a big advantage for its Saab brand because they use their own product and do not depend on suppliers. One factory is in operation, two and three are under construction. NEVS relies on Lithium Iron Phosphate technology (LiFePO4), which is considered to be particularly safe and fast to load. Even Fisker used this technology, but took the batteries of A123. As well as German premium manufacturers. When the supplier got into trouble stopping its deliveries, the temporary exit came for Fisker.

At least this drama NEVS can not happen. The Saab electric car has to be a convincing product. The signs are good. The batteries should take up less space than in the prototypes, the range with 300 kilometers should be convincing. It is one of the little secrets in Trollhättan that Japanese specialists in the plant care about lightweight construction and the use of new materials.

The premiere will take place in the next few months. Maybe at a car show in China, which would probably be, maybe also at the Geneva Motor Show. Nothing is confirmed yet. Like what is coming, then the perception of the brand Saab will change in the eyes of many interested parties. Electromobility is innovative, BMW is just what could go. Tesla, the benchmark for electromobility, is considered hip. Saab can be a bit cooler.

[sam id = ”7 ″ codes =” true ”]

The update

Another step will be the “update”, which the 9-3 Aero Sedan will experience at the same time as the premiere of the sports combination. The 9-3 will be refined optically and technically, the number of pieces will increase continuously. NEVS has a clear direction, because there will only be sedans and station wagons at aero level. A high level of equipment, linear and vector are a thing of the past. We're not going to build 120.000 vehicles in 120 different versions, said NEVS CEO Mattias Bergman last Monday. I think that's reasonable. The “update” will also be the point where the starting signal will be given in Trollhättan to open up additional markets. It is exciting for us, because the question is whether Germany will be there.

Saab in Germany?

Germany is the largest and most important market in Europe. What is going on here is going all over the planet. The German Autobahn and Nürburgring are legends for everyone with a passion for cars. Is Saab coming back to Germany? Of course we asked. The answer was a "maybe". No no - no yes. To me that sounds like a yes, I consider the return - even without confirmation from Sweden - to be very likely. If Germany were included in the first step, we would be very happy.

Because we have dedicated dealers, a loyal community and in Eschborn a company that does not listen to the name Saab Parts, but where longtime Saab employees are passionate about the brand.

Convertible goes electric

We are waiting for the convertible. The last confirmed body variant will appear on the market after the sedan and station wagon. Why so late ? I have no explanation for it. Because I imagine electric mobility in a convertible, gliding silently through the summer, delightfully. It fits well with the new Saab slogan from “Pure Joy”, which can also be interpreted in terms of environmental compatibility and should not be limited to driving pleasure. A four-seater convertible, with no emissions, will further raise the brand's image.

Phoenix platform

There was something else! The revolutionary Phoenix platform. With the new generation of vehicles, NEVS will become a global provider. Says NEVS. In theory, everything is possible from a small car to a large 5-meter limousine. However, the clock is also running for the platform and there is a need for action. At NEVS, I'm sure, they know this problem and act accordingly.

Now comes the part I allow myself to speculate on. Yes, you also read with NEVS, and if I'm completely off the mark now, then you have at least a humorous start to the week in Sweden.

First two facts: NEVS invests a lot of money and time to make the Saab 9-3 “GM-free”. Modules are changed, suppliers replaced by new sources. If you use so many resources, you will not only build the model series for 2 years. But for a longer period, which makes sense when we put on the China glasses. Because in the main market of NEVS, the fastest growing market in the world, the 9-3 counts as a new car. BAIC with its derivatives based on the old Saab 9-5 shows that you can be successful with Saab technology, even if it is no longer completely new.

[sam id = ”9 ″ codes =” true ”]

In Sweden, one speculates in some magazines with an 9-3 successor 2015 / 16. I do not agree. My bet therefore: The first new Saab on Phoenix platform will not be a successor to the 9-3. Something else, maybe a little Saab, maybe a big one or an SUV. Or several models at once.

The schedule (for optimists)

As I am currently speculative, here is my schedule for further development. As I said, without any statement from NEVS, just the evaluation of things from Bloggers point of view.

  • Spring 2014: SAAB EV
  • Early summer 2014: Update SAAB 9-3 sedan and sports car.
  • Summer / Autumn 2014: Saab back in Germany.
  • Fall / Winter: SAAB 9-3 Convertible EV and conventional.
  • Summer 2015: New model on Phoenix platform.
  • Fall 2015: NEVS at the IAA ...

Pessimists simply add 6 or 12 months to my schedule, then that also fits. If my assessments in the Stallbacka have caused some amusement, then I can live with it. And even if I should be wrong, one thing has been clear for a week: Saab is back, the story continues, 2014 will be an exciting year!





32 thoughts on "Rearview mirror. SAAB Zukunft under NEVS direction."

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    The problem with the electricity is that you can not just pour a few electrons into the tank as is the case with gasoline or diesel. With a range of 300 Km one comes slowly into a region that allows a small journey, but a route such as from Stuttgart to Berlin is never there to do. Unless you have a lot of time. In addition, the specified ranges are only possible under ideal conditions z.Bsp. in summer when the sun is shining and it is bright and warm. But what about winter when I have to blow my windows with warm air, which I also have to make electrically warm. In addition, I need light that also tugs at the battery and thus the power consumption is other than ideal conditions. Interestingly, this history of electricity is only when we speak of ranges between 400 and 500 Km, the batteries can be charged within a maximum of 5 minutes and nationwide, if there is no corresponding network / petrol station available throughout Europe. Otherwise, the electric driving will be very regional or limited to the city. The fun factor is very low in my Saab but just in the city. I also believe that there are even more promising alternatives for future mobility, which are more likely to win out.

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      That's the biggest risk right now. Forget about the range. Saab drivers tend to be fast, and then the range shrinks more than in internal combustion engines. Without better batteries, the dream of electric Saab in the registration numbers can go down. You just have to look at the numbers.

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    Again a nice report from Tom and he lets us all hope something. Whereby the Auissage regarding the product launch Germany is a bit incomprehensible to me.
    If you do not know if you want to supply in the German speaking area, where please in
    Europe could otherwise sell reasonable quantities ?? one must not forget the price segment in which the Saab is offered

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      In Trollhättan the statement was quite clear. The first step is Sweden and China, and then all major markets in Europe. When asked if we are also supplied in Germany, came the answer, Germany is for us the most important market in Europe, next to GB.
      The only question is if NEVS will make it to the second step and when that will be and if one agrees with ORIO. Because without service is not.

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    These are ideas for the future that we can not assess at the moment. The steps are just too big for me. If and however our dealers can not use it. So far, these guys are waiting on hold.
    We SAAB drivers can't do without the basics. Stay and am an absolute SAAB fan. But the rose-colored glasses don't help. It would of course be all messy if the plan ……… Otherwise, the contribution is of course extremely interesting

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    With everything that sounds really good at the moment, I can not completely shun my skepticism towards NEVS. Although there is a claim that there are conventional drives as long as customers want, but I have the fear that in the priority orientation of NEVS on electric drives of the internal combustion engine (in whatever form, we know that there are also different alternatives ) degenerated to the stepchild in whose development is no longer much thought or money invested. And therefore could also be so neglected, the thing soon no longer match and therefore very quickly no longer wanted by the NEVS customers. The Saab cuddles Customer then in the tube and drives something else.

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      What speaks against electric when it works?
      The way the gentlemen presented it, they are aware that they still need the gasoline engine. If the range is right, then the gasoline engine is gone, I'm sure. In contrast to all other manufacturers, NEVS-Saab does not have any production that still has to bring in their investment costs. For me, this means that if the electric is competitive, the need for gasoline engines will no longer exist anyway. I also hardly believe that any “gasoline cucumber” is being sold there, because you have to be on a par with the competition, otherwise it will damage the image. So it will definitely go on for a few more years with gasoline engines, only diesel they have categorically excluded.

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    Hello Tom ,
    On the speculative side, were there any answers to the future engines that could possibly replace the GM Series 1 engines? Or is there a supply contract with GM that secures the long-term use of the engines? or do we have to keep speculating?

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      There is no satisfactory answer to this question. AMS Sweden writes that a new supplier should come into play (spring). It seems hard to stand that it will not stay with these engines.

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    Hi Tom,
    Despite all the euphoria, I think if NEVS really succeeds and also seriously, what I consider to be very realistic after what we saw there, is your schedule too ambitious. But, it would be nice as a dream.
    I have seen the statements regarding a model on the Phoenix platform rather more in the future. So IAA 2015 with conception as a prototype, I could imagine, but not production before 2016 / 17.

    For the EV, I think the Beijing International Motor Show is an imaginable idea. This would be the 23. April 2014. The station wagon / sedan in about a year show for Germany. Convertible Geneva 2015, fitting for the start of the season.

    What is still in my mind is the following idea, the 9-5 is under GM license, but in China nobody bothers. The 9-3 seems to me too small for China, the 9-5 would be much more suitable as a chauffeured sedan. The tools for that would have to be in Trollhättan?

    Well, let's wait, until a week ago I would never have believed that NEVS seriously wants to Europe.

    Greetings and thanks for your great preparation.

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      You'll be right with Beijing, because Geneva will definitely not be. I asked today. We will no longer see the 9-5. All GM license and thus no possibility, even in China there will be no license (for sale).

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    Hello Tom
    Once more. Many thanks and many greetings from Switzerland.
    Let's leave some time for marketing and logistics.
    I'm curious to see if NEVS can be seen with SAAB at the Geneva Motor Show 2014.

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    Great view, such a convertible with electric drive! Would be the first e-convertible (?) And thus once again a reference to great, hard-working trolls! SAAB would certainly be TOP in the discussion again….
    Thanks Tom, for the detailed information!

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    I have just been informed by e-mail, the morning of the online sale in Sweden starts. If I read the Swedish lines correctly, NEVS has put together a very good package:
    “Saab 9-3 Aero Sedan 2014 is fullutrustad and has a bensinmotor at 220 hk / 350 Nm. Priset med sexväxlad manual växellåda är 279 000 kronor including moms, + 10 000 kronor med sexstegad automatisk växellåda. I priset ingår tre års fri service, tre års vagnskadegaranti, två års vägassistans and vinterhjul på aluminum case. ”
    - 3 years of service included
    - 3 year guarantee included
    - 2 years of assistance included
    - Winter tires on aluminum

    Please continue

  • blank

    That was the most content-rich blog in years. Great thanks!
    The market Germany is mentioned. I believe that the Austrian market was relatively larger than the German one. This is related to the pre-EU period, ie the EFTA period.

    Can we please find out if NEVS is also thinking about the Austrian market? It may also be speculated.

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      But that is now really speculative ... Since the after sales area for Austria is already being managed from Eschborn, it makes sense to have Germany and Austria supplied with new vehicles from an organizational structure. I guess yes, it looks positive. But of course we didn't ask. Sorry

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    The schedule sounds good and would also be perfectly ok. It's much easier for me with new or new second cars anyway. (my wife's BMW has to go). The only thing that would interest me now is whether a TURBO comes on the Phoenix platform. I would like something below 9-3.
    PS: That you speculation I would not have thought 😉

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    Well, great, after this article for me waiting for the Stromer convertible is almost unbearable

    As always a great report.

    By the way, I came across a historical picture by chance: Marky Mark & ​​The Funky Bunch in front of a Saab 9000, if I'm not mistaken; D.
    Just try google and smile.

  • blank

    Hello Tom

    Nothing is impossible - nevs has it in hand. Respect for the investments and the courage to create something new.

    Because of those few cars that have been rolled off the line I do not break into euphoria. You could also have screwed these together from existing stocks like in a manufactory.

    Your speculation about the future looks more interesting then and could enable a sustainable and capable image in the medium to long term. Together with the short-term further development of the 9-3 and the associated sales opportunities in China, this could again be the splash of color on the market that we expect from SAAB in the medium to long term.

    One thing I miss completely: The communication with the current SAAB drivers and the updates / maintenance of the vehicles that are (still) in operation today. As before, technical everyday questions such as an update of the navigation system of my 9-5 SC from the year of construction 2007 or the availability of the Nivomaten from the previous slaughterhouses from the SAAB dealer network can not be answered. The Mobility Guarantee has dissolved with the bankruptcy of SAAB in the air and must be organized today and paid in addition. The shipping of a flyer for winter complete rims is the only thing I have seen so far and does not knock me off the stool.
    A hotline, which can be contacted with questions about the existing SAAB products and then actually comes with solutions, even at a marketable price, would be something.
    Your own search for solutions takes time and leaves the impression of driving an outdated hobby or vintage car vehicle. For the 70 retired high school teacher and enthusiastic hobbyist with 5 same vehicles in the garage, the DIE may be the challenge. In business everyday simply lack the time and nerves for such a thing!

    It is clear that NEVS is legally a new company, which has only taken over the trademark rights to SAAB, but has nothing to do with the previous company SAAB. So I perceive the company to the outside. As a result, today I am not a NEVS customer but I was a customer of SAAB, which went bankrupt or was sent to bankruptcy.
    If NEVS wants to win me over as buyer, I'm primarily interested in the investment protection of my previous investment.
    If you have reasonable answers for this, NEVS will be there as your supplier at the next change; if not, the trust will be missing or it might be too late. A Zitterpartie as with SAAB I would not like to experience again with NEVS.

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      I understand the concerns. NEVS is now building up marketing and sales, and with it communication with customers. In last week's dealer letter to Saab partners the following sentence occurs "Customer satisfaction is our fundamental priority, especially against the background of expanding our presence in other markets."
      That says something about how to tick in Trollhattan, the next months will show more.

      • blank

        As I said - everything is possible, NEVS has it under control.

        So far, the question as to which customer segments NEVS wants to focus on and whether the existing SAAB customers even belong to it is still completely open.

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    On the subject of 9-3 and only 2 years of model life. Mattias Bergman has indicated several times that the 9-3 is a new car for China, and while NEVS is introducing new models in Europe + USA, the “old” 9-3 can run for a few more years in China.

    I think something like the Beetle in Mexico and Brazil, or the VW Santana in China could be going well, and if these cars are built in China, while the more expensive and modern cars are built in THN, then NEVS could make good money with them can.

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    Hmmm ... that would mean “only” holding out with the old packhorse for about 1.5 years! 😉

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      Good care, it lasts forever.

  • blank

    Great contribution - thanks Tom!

    But: Your schedule has a catch - if I postpone it by a few months, as you write so beautifully, there will be no IAA at all ..... 😉

    • blank

      Absolutely - you can't postpone the IAA 😉

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    Tom, your optimism is contagious - and after the latest developments and clear signals that were very surprising for pessimists, it is also within the scope of the possibilities! There is also a little bit of speculation. Regardless of how it now takes its course, the “Stallbacka” recognizes with how much enthusiasm you / you bring the Saab brand back to people's awareness.

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      I have to confess that I sometimes wonder myself about what is going on in Sweden and sometimes it can not believe it. But our hopes seem to come true

  • blank

    Good morning,
    Thank you for the great reporting. For me, as a loyal customer of the brand and as a huge fan of SAAB, it is an incredible winter fairy tale that has come true. My next new car will be a SAAB like the last one - and this very likely prospect is wonderful.
    I have to confess that there is still a dream and a vision in me.
    On the one hand, fueled by the 900 Turbo in the reception hall and, on the other hand, because it just makes sense to me. A new SAAB 900 Coupé - a retro version. The design and the space saver SAAB Combi-Coupé is simply unique and for me a figurehead of the brand.

    The new FIAT 500 or Mini Cooper has shown, for example, what emotions such a thing can trigger and how this affects the sales figures and new customer acquisition. I am very excited and will never stop dreaming .. and if I had one wish it would be a brand new SAAB 900 Turbo Coupé "Retro" in dark blue with cream-colored leather seats ..

    • blank

      Since it seems that NEVS understand the brand, I consider a hatchback as a new edition not ruled out. The coupe at the reception was already something of a signal.

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      I can well imagine that the name of the good old 900 is revived with a modern car.

      While the Nine Nomenclature (9², 9³, 9⁴, 9⁵, 9⁷, etc.) may be able to cover a wider range of models, a sprawling variety of models may be expected in strategic thinking and visions for the next two decades Brand SAAB will probably have no part anyway.

      Below a 900 there would be room for a somewhat more compact SAAB 90 and for a noble small city car (SAAB 9). This could be a SAAB 9000 again placed. These are enough tasks in the long run.

      Even if the military even tends to hybrid, I can't really imagine a SUV from NEVS. The uncivilized variants have 1. still huge tanks, can 2. be accompanied additionally (tanker vehicles) and 3. take advantage of being able to silently raid any village at night. Terrain and socket is kind of silly.

      Also, SAAB has no serious tradition of off-road vehicles. I would be very surprised if NEVS had placed such a vehicle somewhere on the list of medium-term priorities. All-wheel drive will be on the other hand.

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      @ Christian!
      I totally agree with your opinion. A Retro 900 Turbo 16S would be awesome and definitely my next car. Check out “Saab Art” on Facebook from December 5th. There is a picture of such a dream from a certain Chris Ivory. I don't know who that is. The picture is subtitled:
      Saab 99 Turbo Combi-Ry An Version.

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