Thoughts on the current Saab situation

It's - again - about the dear money. And I actually hoped that situations like this would be far behind us. After the usual sources in Trollhättan have been showing the red flag for some time, it has been official since yesterday. NEVS has a problem.


The solution: liquid funds and more reliable shareholders than the representatives of Qingdao seem to be. And - this is important: the situation cannot be compared to what we experienced a good three years ago.

NEVS is not Spyker - Kai Johan Jiang is not Victor Muller

So far, NEVS was conservative, you could also say prudently, on the way. Prefer not to talk too much, to promise too little, and then to surprise in the end. With this strategy, you have done well, and that now, partly without fault, out of step, is tragic.

You do the right thing in this situation. NEVS pulls the emergency brake before a mountain of debt pile up. The assets far outweigh the liabilities, they said yesterday in Trollhättan. With the suppliers and partners one is in the open dialogue, important co-operation partners and the politics were informed before the public about the situation.

New partnerships should address the situation

NEVS is negotiating with two car manufacturers to secure the Saab future. One manufacturer would like to buy itself as a long-term shareholder, another is interested in a development partnership for the upcoming Phoenix platform. The talks have been going on for a few months, there is a signed, non-binding letter of intent. A viable solution will be presented in June.

NEVS is an interesting partner. The new platform, now free of GM pitfalls, is almost finished. Many companies would like flexible platforms. Both in emerging economies and in the old world.

What took a damper yesterday is the option for the Saab future. No matter how the story goes on, the story stalls, and above all it takes time.

The image damage is there

It would have been nice if NEVS could have avoided a press release like yesterday. Because it is also clear: the image of NEVS has received a first scratch. How deep the scratch will be depends on how quickly and professionally you can correct the situation.

Suppliers and development partners could look more closely in the future and the situation will not become any easier in the medium term unless a major partner with first-class credit ratings enters the market. And probably the entry of additional shareholders for the future of the brand is without any alternative.

NEVS seems to be able to profit in Sweden at least medially from the previous reconstruction work. Because the press deals relatively well with the Saab situation, critical commentators are very cautious.

What happens in Trollhättan is tragic and counterproductive for the brand. But for us, in the year 4 without new cars, nothing changes. Because NEVS secures neither jobs nor a dealer network, nor has one committed itself to some extent for Germany.

The Saab situation in Germany

Therefore, it is good to distinguish between the future option in Trollhättan and the reality in Germany. At our spare parts supply and for the Saab partners the current development does not change anything. And just in recent weeks, the situation for Saab fans and owners has developed positively.

The Saab Service Club is under construction, the first Saab customer magazine has been available for four years. The service network is being actively expanded by Orio Deutschland GmbH, and gaps on the map have been closed with a revised concept. I'll cover it in detail in a separate article.

These are current events that are positive and important to our vehicles and Saab passion. And my Saabs, the daily ride and the fun with it, are more present to me than the development in Sweden.

NEVS has been committed to building up. But in the current earnings, the investors are nothing else than the previously unredeemed change to a possible future with a new generation of vehicles. But at least an option. And yes, I would like a quick solution to the problems. Because I do not like writing articles like these anymore.

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35 thoughts on "Thoughts on the current Saab situation"

  • Somehow it seems to go on, if there is even a new deer version (see intsagram)

    • The emphasis is on “somehow”. The variant was built by Hirsch, but the problems remain. For now. A lot is happening in Trollhättan, the liquidation should come in June.

  • The emergency braking (stopping production) is probably also the result of the current low demand for vehicles due to the very limited range of models - you don't want to stockpile production.

    The fact that NEVS did not name this as the main reason should probably prevent the public from getting a picture of unsaleable SAAB automobiles - demand will probably only increase significantly with the PHOENIX models.

    • In France, Peugeot is currently being supported with EU funds - in Italy, the Agnelli family has sold companies to finance the development of new vehicles at Fiat. Swedish politics speaks of the post-industrial era and dreams of thinking workplaces without production, cuts ribbons at aperitifs and is proud when foreign investors take full risk. People are happy to take the jobs and pride themselves on the fact that the framework conditions are so fantastic…. The Wallenberg family, the original owners of SAAB, are making a public donation to the SAAB Museum …… and are investing elsewhere …… ..

  • It's a shame that things are currently stalling. Although I have to say - you should shut down production for me in order to reduce costs. As long as the development continues, everything is OK

    Nevertheless, NEVS comes too late with a "new" car, so I can only hope that NEVS will still be around in 6-7 years, when the coming car can be retired.

    M&M seems to me to be a potent shareholder. Ssangyong is one of them and, as far as I know, they sourced their technologies partly from Mercedes-Benz. So I can well imagine that you are interested in the Pheonix platform so that you can build better sedans than you do now with the Verito or as an alternative / successor to Chairman W.

  • Saab is a European brand. To fix myself so strongly on China after all the experiences also of Muller with Youngman, I do not know, whether one can measure such a contract with Chinese big meaning. A lot of hot air but no investments.

  • Uh, maybe I'm confused by the language, but isn't the unmasked unreliable partner "Qingdao" also the city that wanted to buy the EV Saab? If that were the case, it would be twice as bad because then not only would the money be missing, but the planned main buyer of the first EV Saabs would disappear.

    So I can only hope that M&M means it honestly, because as you can see from Jaguar, Indian corporations are very careful with traditional brands. And you can see that M&M is proceeding very carefully with SsangYong. Any other option (e.g. BMW, Magna, etc.) is not really attractive and I would never be able to bring "our" Saabs back to us. Well, let's be honest, why didn't you decide in favor of M&M right away, because the mess with EV vehicles is not going anywhere (at the moment) anyway ... many in the Saab community also prophesied that.

    And a second Uh ... .. after GM is doing really badly (recalls, penalties & recalls) and one has landed an impressive belly landing with Chevrolet in Europe, Saab has hopefully ruled and cannot be caught again. The fact is that GM currently has nothing to oppose the other premium manufacturers except Cadillac, but that's a story that, damn it, has never worked in Good Old Europe.

  • I've written in a previous comment before that NEVS would do well if they are looking for a powerful partner in a large car maker. To use and buy in the large common parts and not to invent each switch makes sense especially for a small manufacturer. Perhaps this was a necessary wake-up shaker for the NEVS people to realize that your electric project needs a very very long breath and as long as konvetionell earns money and this is best done by getting an interesting car up and running as quickly as possible, which people like to buy even without re-education. Speak the wishes of the customers serve. This is just with a corporate shelf in which you can access much faster and kostengüstiger. If the future partner is right, then it will be something. Maybe the big time of the electric car comes but until then money must be in the cash register and if you have the money to do one thing and not leave the other.

  • Since NEVS has mostly remained silent about everything, I read from the press release that it has to be very serious. For to describe negotiations with others, there was not yet of NEVS.

    I also think that if NEVS has to turn off the light, then nobody will try to revive the brand name. The "old" design line is partly continued with a South Korean manufacturer and in China advertises another with the history.

  • Look at it this way: The vehicle production is a test run to retract the production line and to organize the interaction of the suppliers. It certainly cost money and did not bring any relevant revenues. It belongs almost to the development costs for the e-vehicle. Now that seems to be going so far, and when the money is tight, it makes sense to put it in the more important development projects, and put what proved to work first.

    That there are also terminated contracts with external developer offices, is already worrying.

    • The terminated contracts can also be the result of future cooperation with a large, international developer. The press release from NEVS leaves room for interpretation.

  • One more note: SAAB would also be a great option for BMW. After the fiasco with Rover, I think everyone will be transferred to Kabul immediately who is even thinking of another takeover ... what is forgotten is that BMW is very well positioned with the acquisition of the MINI brand and that a second pillar in the premium segment cannot hurt ... especially since GM with its botch and save in the wrong place SAAB only steered into the AUS.

    • Well, I think that at their cars and the carbon factory in the US have enough construction sites!

      • Yes BMW or another manufacturer that is already far in electric vehicles probably has no added value through NEVS-Saab. The last hope you can have is the real interest of someone and not just fake negotiations so that no one else comes into play.

  • Then it seems that something more is being said in June than just a new partnership.

    The current situation is likely to conjure up some “I always told you” or “I told you right away” comments. I admit that at the beginning I was also very critical of NEVS, and that I am still critical, especially when it comes to the always somewhat naive and uninvolved public relations work. But at least it had one advantage: at least you don't fall on your nose when your mouth is too full.

    In addition, the careful development of the business may have resulted in the fact that you are not now - compared to the assets - sitting on a mountain of liabilities. This means that NEVS can offer a lot of bargaining power, in particular its own plans and ideas, instead of a mountain of GM licenses.

    Is there actually information about the amount of liabilities? They probably could not have been that low if the suppliers stopped the deliveries.

    • Nothing is known about the amount of the liabilities, nor about the current relationship between NEVS and the supplier. The thing with "Stop delivery - or hold back“I don't want to sign like that at first. We don't know enough facts for that.

      • Hm, I had taken that from the newspaper this morning as if that were the problem. It also made sense for me somewhere where there were no parts and no production there either - a preventive production stop to avert a possible future bottleneck was far from my mind.

        • But I would not overestimate the consequences of the production stop. The question is, for whom was the daily production of 6 units per day even determined? To my knowledge, there were not really many orders from Swedish end customers before, mainly last but in the end was produced for dealers and / or a test fleet. Should still be made units for China, right? Maybe there were not really enough jobs that justified a production.

          • Hm, that's a good question indeed ...

            But if it is, as your comment suggests, that the production stop took place because there were no buyers for 6 units / day (overproduction), the stop is insofar as without consequence or tragedy, since it does not meet any end customers ...

            In other words, because the interest is so low anyway, you do not have to overstate the production stop.
            Two reverse sides of a medal.

            With the same reasoning one could downplay a complete disappearance of the brand. And that would only be consistent. If the interest in SAAB is actually low, the brand has little chance.

            Maybe we see this too much through the fan glasses and confused the quality (intensity) of their own interest in SAAB with a required quantity of interest, which is so on the market and among motorists but not available?

            Hm ...

            • The attitude has nothing to do with customer demand. It is justified in the possible (hopefully) entry of a new shareholder. Because of this, many activities have been shut down.

  • My favorite solution would be a government-backed reunion with the planes.
    Pleasant side effect: the Swedes would finally be an Autonation and no longer Chinese colony.

    • For info. The planes are having big problems right now. For example, Switzerland does not order any machines as it stands today.

      • Correct. The armor area is no longer a self-runner.

  • With the possible partners spontaneously come to me only BMW and MAGNA in the sense!

    • About the company M…. and M & M is spoken as a partner in Trollhättan. But that's all speculative.

      • M …… is already clear, but who is M & M?

        • M & M = Mahindra & Mahindra

      • oh ... that would be great! Now patience is required again ...
        well, we are well trained!

    • I do not believe in BMW. They will not get involved in this way again after the Rover debacle (and the 75 was a really beautiful car). Every bet.

  • Very balanced comment. Thank you!

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