NEVS is not Saab

Last week, NEVS lost the rights to use the Saab brand. Saab has thus left the circle of active manufacturers, at least for the time being. The Saab Saga and NEVS are now going separate ways. In future, we will therefore only be writing on the blog about NEVS - no longer about Saab when it comes to National Vehicle Sweden AB.

NEVS is NEVS. Not Saab. © 2014 saabblog.net
NEVS is NEVS. Not Saab. © 2014 saabblog.net

No drama, no surprise, but a normal process. Trademark owners usually protect themselves by granting licenses for use through certain clauses in the contracts.

In the event of bankruptcy, or if the licensee does not meet his obligations, the rights of use automatically expire. This keeps the brand away from damage and prevents misuse. A positive step by Saab AB, which I welcome. The small cult brand has been through a lot in recent years, the fans have suffered. NEVS has still contributed a lot. At least that is now coming to an end.

NEVS and the company's lawyers will have calculated the implications of the application and will have accepted the loss of trademark rights.

No longer Saab - irrelevant for NEVS.

For the NEVS owner and management, the Saab dream is either the last winter's snow. A comeback attempt that is a single log of failure that has been on the history since Thursday. For NEVS, apart from any Saab romance, it's all about protecting the investment and getting out of the Swedish adventure with as much revenue as possible. There are no funds to make a new start on your own. The bags were not nearly as deep as promised. They are empty!

The first step is to sell 50% of the development company and the Phoenix platform to a new owner: Dongfeng. This is followed by the sale of the remains: the plant, the rights to the 9-3 and the remaining 50% of the platform and engineering company that has already been partially sold.

If our information is correct, then founder Kai Johan Jiang wants to keep a small share of NEVS, even to save face. The future industrial leadership and alignment will be adopted by others; where Trollhättan and the factory control is uncertain.

The media response is a clapper for 24 months of secrecy.

NEVS has put everything back to zero in the last week. The last 24 months are almost lost time. The work on the Phoenix platform was already discontinued in December 2013, the alleged existing supply chain for the 9-3 is a mirage. All this comes to light in Sweden, NEVS has lost its bonus and now pays for continued secrecy.

Commentators are calling for the bankruptcy law to be tightened in order to prevent companies like NEVS from having a chance of obtaining state money in the future. Only Dagens Nyheter, who is close to the Social Democrats, said on Friday that she heard cheers in Trollhättan. All other media saw a panic attack at NEVS or just sheer despair. Even the local newspaper only spoke of a small step in the right direction, not without pointing out the mammoth task that lies ahead of the potential buyer.

Does the Saab brand come back to Trollhättan?

If the NEVS plan works - the chances are at least in the beginning - and if both sales go off stage, then a new owner will eventually move to Stallbacka. He may be called Mahindra and he may be interested in leading the Saab brand into a new future.

For the Indians, the episode with trademark rights will not be a problem. Saab AB is closely linked to the subcontinent via Saab India. Long-term partnerships with several companies in the Mahindra Group, including Tech Mahindra, indicate a relationship based on trust. Licensing to an Indian majority shareholder - presumably just a formalities for Saab AB.

If Mahindra does not get a move, the work could go to other interested parties. Or NEVS goes bankrupt. Because there is no product that you could sell, at least not under the name Saab - and which you will not get back in the current situation.

Griffin instead of Saab?

On SU it was discussed on Friday how important the brand name was. There they think that the brand doesn't matter. The same location, the same product, so renaming would not be a problem. Maybe in Griffin instead of Saab ...

Strong Tobacco. People buy products because they like brands. Brands convey stories, longings, promises. Brands are image, tradition. Sometimes they reflect the attitude of the owners. Who is one? Hasselblad buys, he does it consciously. Who buys a Porsche - too. Likewise people who drive a Saab.

Even the Swedes, who, according to a Swedish journalist, are fond of trying to kick themselves, are more realistic about this than they are on SU. A poll among readers of Auto-Motor Sport Sweden gives NEVS no chance.

NEVS without SAAB name, no chance. Survey of Auto Motor Sport Sweden.
NEVS without SAAB name, no chance. Survey of Auto Motor Sport Sweden.

The Saab saga is not over! The brand is too good to just let go. What's coming - is open! We can only wait and see what happens in Sweden again. Our motto also applies: “Saab is what is at the door”. Or what we can do with it together.

Finally three things! Orio AB takes care of our vehicles, the help desk in Trollhättan and the warehouse in Nyköping. This is more Saab than NEVS ever was! We shouldn't forget that. We will of course continue to follow the fate of NEVS, the company that could once have become Saab. What becomes of the factory and the people in Trollhättan does not leave us unaffected.

And of course we wish the NEVS CEO Mattias Bergman and his people the necessary bit of luck in the negotiations. Even if NEVS is not Saab.

Text & image: tom@saabblog.net

34 thoughts on "NEVS is not Saab"

  • I am VERY skeptical ... but still I announce: If there is ever a new 9-3 combustion engine, I will be the first to buy this car.

    • That is noted

      • I was not really keen on an E-Saab like the prototype of Nevs but I'm satisfied with a 9-3 body I like this line

  • Mhhh, but I thought Dongfeng is out of the sales negotiations? After all, they have already joined Peugeot-citroen ...

    Otherwise, of course, these are bad news about NEVS, they've really managed to play theater even better than Muller.

    One can only hope that “Saab”, if someone really wants to buy, will find a worthy end. As an alternative, I only see an investor with really deep pockets who is independent of politics. As far as I know, that would only be Mahindra (Dongfeng is dependent on Chinese politics and I don't think Tata is interested in Saab, after all they have Jaguar and LandRover)

    But we will probably have to wait again if we are still interested in the fate of Saab / NEVS.

  • Now please don't see it so black! Sure it will continue with SAAB, the story is not over - still not! But as my colleague said above, sticking a logo with a griffin on any cart is probably stupid and will only lead to laughter - SAAB has always built very good cars and was up to date (maybe that's why NEVS did not receive the griffin ?). Anyone who wants to survive in the automotive market in the future needs know-how and good products. Why not have SAAB developed and build in different versions in India, China and Sweden? Let us be surprised where the journey is going. We can't change it anyway - even our intentions to buy a 12 year old car have been ignored! But: what NEVS has deducted is simply fraud, if they really now have 40 million debts, then I seriously ask myself how much cash they really had. Unfortunately it looks like 0,00 and was therefore an air number! What was that supposed to mean? Are the lawyers blind, or blind and stupid? That will certainly have consequences ...

    • You're all right somehow somewhere but…. please explain to me why an e saab was presented after the reopening of the plant ??? Why was a new e saab presented within a few days one or two weeks ago ??? even if it was apparently quickly tinkered together overnight. I have to say one thing now ... at least he was standing there ... what for? For me this is the point that is incomprehensible?!?

      • That is also incomprehensible. The unions have today in Trollhättan complained about the miserable information policy of NEVS. News only from the newspaper, the flow of information is not right. For Sweden that was extraordinarily open. So do not be surprised if we have difficulties understanding some things.

      • Presumably one would like to suggest that the future majority shareholder is, so to speak, two-pronged: conventional cars with combustion engines and a mid-range electric variant between large e-cars like Tesla or large electric BMW and the lower segment (Renault, Nissan & Co.).

        This would be desirable, because until the appearance of completely new models, a far too small group of buyers would be considered as customers only with the well-known conventional 9-3 - with an additional inexpensive 9-3 e, the demand during the bridging period would certainly be significantly greater.

        Also because of the further upward fuel prices, this e-alternative should really make sense.

  • NEVS is not Saab, that is already clear and only consistent to make this clear. Logically, it would have been to strike through the NEVS logo and not the Saab logo. In my opinion, a small graphical error

    In December there was still euphoria on the blog - even with you, Tom. Everyone set NEVS and Saab equally, the cult brand (terrible name) was praised, the atmosphere, the special Saab spirit (I can no longer read it) that was (allegedly) felt in the rave Plant. The belly in the face of a Saab rolling off the conveyor belt must have gone crazy. As cool as the reaction is today, it was so emotional in December. Now that the NEVS chapter comes to an end, tipping the line between mother and brand is easy. In December, nobody had the courage and sense to do so!

    What remains? Only the Saabs in front of our door. Because it would be a big surprise if there were ever brand new, competitive (!) Saabs.

    • December was euphoria, of course. As well as the Swedish politics of NEVS was pleased, the minister radiantly intersected bands, representatives of the German suppliers and the Chinese ambassador from NEVS hosted. Nobody knew the backgrounds at the time. The fact that only 9 would fly the insolvency ghost through Trollhättan months later was not to be guessed at.
      If you already had the perspective, courage and understanding back then, respect ...

      • No, I don't want to say that I had the perspective. But 9 months ago it was also that NEVS is not Saab. And it was never seen that way. Now NEVS is evil and incompetent and the real and emotional split takes place. As I said: Apparently the much-vaunted Spirit would have been there in December, translated in the current article as “Enthusiasm and the happy smile on your face increases with every kilometer. Saab Spirit live! " Aha, Saab Spirit is the joy of driving. Hmmm, ... others have that too.

        • Maybe you let your bad mood pass to the “others”, how about it 😉

  • Is not it the case that the previous brand Saab is dead? After all, it does not matter if a manufacturer sometime sticks the logo on a car (whether with griffin or without).

    Obviously nobody needs the factory and that is the last thing Saab would be.
    NEVS has amateurishly tried to become an automaker and now the little money that has been invensted is just gone. Phoenix platform or not. The development continues. Actually, nobody can afford a standstill of half a year in product development. All established manufacturers march on, but also in the electric car development. Also, no one has been waiting for NEVS.
    How long has the Saab development been? A few old Saab 9-3 pickups will not break anymore and you could build a new product family.

    This reminds me of Rover. And no one has considered such an end as Roewe a new beginning!

    I also hate the brand, but it's over!

    • complete agreement.

    • Gone is over when it should actually be over - at the moment (all blog readers should really have noticed this by now), however, negotiations are ongoing with serious corporations who want to get involved. Mahindra even as the majority shareholder!

      This is exactly what was proven by Mattias Bergman & Co. with the request for reconstruction in court - it really is now
      annoying, if not only Dudenhöfer occurs as a lyre boxer, but alleged SAAB fans here even refill. What's the nonsense?

      Simply wait for the next few weeks without a negative lyre and then determine objectively what came out of the negotiations. There's nothing more to say at the moment - is there?

    • No, it's not like that. Over is not over. A brand is never dead. A car plant can be dead. But a brand has a story that lasts. And if the story is exciting and sexy, then it can always form the emotional basis and background story for a new beginning. I hope for that ...

  • Changing the brand name from SAAB to Griffin is about as clever as changing Nike to Sporty, Cola Cola to Rülpsy, and Oktoberfest to Festy. If great (or at least competitive) cars are ever built again in Trollhättan, then no one will mind if the SAAB is called and has a griffin in the logo ... a licensor can also charge money for it ... by the way: the brand has certainly not been used up , the only thing missing is a consistent restart - not with 850 employees, but first with a concept, then a new vehicle, no more old chimneys - possibly 50 station wagons MY2014 (I'll take one!) - PLEASE !!!

    • If it weren't so sad, one could suggest to Nevs to change the company name to Troll-i and henceforth to manufacture suitcases, also with electric drive ... I'm happy every day to see two beautiful Saabs.

  • "The company with its main plant in Trollhättan near Gothenburg never had a large market, but has long had a successful niche."

    Source: http://www.format.at/articles/1436/958/377719/die-marke-saab

    Living from a niche is not enough anymore. It is the end and there will be no long-term prospects. End of the Saabstory. It is a castle in the air and NEVS provided us with the necessary imagination.

  • OK. NEVS has it down. Now she just has to chase someone out of the factory to clear the way for a new start.
    I hope that in the end something good comes out for everyone. Especially for the staff.

  • The brand is program!

    If you lose the brand name, you also lose the values ​​and content that a brand defines and constitutes.

  • This is little to complete. Except perhaps that it was good in retrospect that the Saab spare parts business in the form of formerly Saab Parts and now Orio remained independent. Fortunately, the Saab Museum is spared.

    • Both are a stroke of luck for us, absolutely right!

    • If car expert Dudenhöfer would find out that NEVS is not Saab ... but that will remain a wish.

    • Dudenhöfer would like to put his half-knowledge in front of a large audience again and again - for readers who know less than the SAAB fan base or others who are really informed, this talk might sound plausible.

      In any case, the judges, who decided that the reconstruction has a chance of success, know which companies are at the table in the ongoing negotiations and how far these negotiations have progressed - Dudenhöfer, on the other hand, only comes with his old story. It is half-knowledge with a tendency to please the German auto industry - really disgusting behavior.

      You really should not even bother with such guys. Likewise, one can confidently neglect press and other media that bring out this lyre boxer again and again.

      • The talk from the Dudenhöffer reminds me a bit of Hilmar Kopper when he gossiped about the Leo Kirch company and its solvency in front of the camera and had no idea what he was doing ... the heirs of Leo were happy ...

  • Wow, a consistent cut and step here on the blog. Unfortunately, but probably justified ...

    Sorry for all those who had attached their hopes to NEVS. For example, the employees or suppliers who have engaged in NEVS. But also about deer. On their side, today I was briefly out of old bondage.

    Unfortunately, there is not much left for "older" SAABs, which may now turn out to be the youngest that will ever exist.

    Instead, Hirsch even issued an upgrade (279 PS / 420 Nm) along with Ex and interior components for the NEVS MY 2014. Quite a lot of effort for a few cars at the pawnbroker, who is unlikely to upgrade them ...

    • Not the pawnbroker, he just wants to resell. But if someone with a little money wants a fast, very rare car, then Hirsch-Nevs-9-3 would be worth considering ...
      Otherwise, there will only be a few weeks' time to see whether someone with enough money can turn the “leftover” parts in Trollhättan into something halfway sensible. According to the previous history, the bankruptcy court should have asked for something reliable in information.

  • If the SAAB name isn't that important to the SAABsunited folks, then I would suggest that they change their page title ...

    For me, the impression is getting stronger and stronger, the secrecy was not a secrecy at all, but there was nothing that could be reported.

    What will become of the beautiful Minister of Economic Affairs, who was so prominently featured in the restart of the production, and who seems to have used it heavily for NEVS?

  • NEVS is through, after the theater no one buys a car any more. SAAB AB has decided correctly. Point.

  • Is it really time for SAGA to find a safe haven? MAHINDRA, TATA, whoever. JLR is a good example!

  • That is “strong” news! Now that you know all these facts, you can only congratulate the SAAB AB for acting quickly. It's unbelievable how much time has been lost to promote the brand! (Phoenix platform) Personally, I would never buy a “Griffin”, especially if it is produced under NEVS “patronage”!

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