No sooner had the hurdle to continue the reconstruction taken, there was already tangible optimism in the NEVS camp. Frank Smit talked about the plans with the Phoenix platform and the possible construction of a small Saab 9-2 and a small SUV.
Everything in concrete terms, with just 18 to 24 months after the entry of a new majority shareholder. A 9-3 successor, which could have a hatchback and should offer more space on the rear seats, is also in the pipeline. NEVS continues to develop, no longer at the same pace as before the reconstruction, but at a slower level. Some of the money comes from China, from Kai Johan Jiang. Hmm 18 to 24 months is not a long time.
Is this realistic? If the funds for the continuation of the work are available, then yes. Why I share optimism in the approach in this case is another story that can be substantiated by facts. In due course more on the blog, but now back to the optimists of NEVS.
The following day, CEO Bergman announced that the two large targeted partners could join the company in a short period of time. He expects a binding contract during the reconstruction phase, i.e. by November 29th. The new partners would provide the funds needed to build a range of products, billions more than Saab would have ever had.
Everything is possible, and before we all fall back into cacophony, we should learn to distinguish. To better classify what happens, the following language rules could work:
There is NEVS 1.0. The company is in trouble, which for the most part has caused itself. NEVS 1.0 does not seem viable in the current constellation, we should erase it from our memory. It could be NEVS 2.0 in the near future if you do not fail in the final meters. A white piece of paper, because the 2.0 version should have little in common with 1.0. New owners will redefine corporate culture and direction, nothing has more charm than a complete reboot. Maybe NEVS should rename 2.0 as a consequence, because the name NEVS is, quite sorry, burned in the stallbacka.
NEVS 2.0, with new owners, fresh capital and a management that will hopefully come from the auto industry, could stand a chance ... if the right partners with the right name and enough money are behind it. NEVS has been negotiating with the parties for around 9 months, whoever is going to buy knows the facts down to the last detail. What is coming, and investors know that, will take years of development. Years with no prospect of yield. In the end, maybe after a decade, a highly profitable corporation could emerge. Volkswagen has shown the brand with the four rings how it could work. After a long build-up phase, the subsidiary in Ingolstadt sells pimped up modular goods at premium prices and is the cash cow in the group.
In theory Trollhättan is the suitable location for such plans. The Gothenburg region has one of the highest engineering densities in Europe, comparable only to Munich and Stockholm. Automobiles knowledge, supported by the EU and the Swedish state, is on site. The factory is in good condition, state of the art and flexible. 190.000 vehicles a year should be feasible, according to NEVS.
Nevertheless, the outcome of the story is extremely vague. How much substance is behind what leaves NEVS 1.0 to the outside, can not be estimated.
There are clear differences here from the time of Victor Muller. Muller recognized the power of the press and blogs. He used the media, played with them, and sometimes abused them. But there was always a certain amount of coordination, the press and bloggers always knew about the general direction of development. Sometimes more sometimes less. This ensured a loyal following and was mostly to Muller's advantage. He had the loyal following of the majority of the fans and employees until the end, in some cases beyond.
NEVS 1.0 makes it difficult for the media. Transparency, trust, openness, that is missing. The potential of social media is hardly used. Misinformation, whether deliberate or not, comes from the buildings in the Stallbacka. As a result, NEVS looks quite old in the media and in public, and loyalties are noticeably crumbling. The best example: SU authors are now also writing a BMW blog. Well why?
What does all of this have to do with Saab in the long term? Even if NEVS 2.0 were to exist and the owner had the necessary substance, even then there would still be the issue of trademark rights. Apparently, NEVS 1.0 itself has no doubts about the future use of the brand name. The logo is emblazoned on the papers for the reconstruction, and people like to talk about the Saab future in 2014.
For example, next Wednesday at 15:15 p.m. on the big stage. The Swedish auto industry suppliers hold their annual congress in Gothenburg. The first speaker will be Volvo CEO Håkan Samuelsson, who will speak from 09:20 a.m. The last speaker of the day, please don't see any symbols, Mattias Bergman from NEVS 1.0. His contribution to the Saab future: "Nevs launch of Saab with a new business plan and a new vision". The press is there. More on the subject next Wednesday.