The annual Swedish auto industry meeting ended yesterday. An event that we cannot ignore, even if it is not about Saab. Not about Saab? This is unexpected, because NEVS had announced the appearance of CEO Bergman.
The other Swedish brand had booked the big, well-placed show for itself. Volvo CEO Hakan Samuelsson announced 1.300 new employees at the Torslanda plant, an additional third shift and 50.000 new Volvo XC90s to be built and sold next year. Göteborg was aiming for a new production record as early as 2014. 470.000 sold new Volvo cars should be on the books by the end of the year, the record of 458.000 vehicles from 2009 should be set. According to the plan, there should be 2020 units worldwide by 800.000.
It all sounds good, and I like it in Sweden. "Full throttle”Wrote a big daily newspaper about it. Above all, it is one thing: brave! Volvo is emerging from the crisis, but is prone to setbacks. The new XC90 has to pass its public test first, and Volvo needs to get its margin problem under control. The yield is only 1%, the target is 8% by 2020. Competitor BMW, with whom one likes to compare oneself, is hovering at over 10%. Any unevenness in the economy can turn into a risk; if one of the new models fails, the dream of success and growth is in jeopardy.
The Volvo offensive is particularly good for the dismissed production employees in Trollhättan. For them, the hope of new employment is fulfilled. 15 days after losing their jobs, 131 out of 155 former NEVS employees already had a new job. The Trollhättan - Torslanda commuter shuttle is now used by a few more passengers. As I said, yesterday in Gothenburg was a Volvo and Hakan Samuelsson show, ennobled by a royal visit, because Prince Carl Philip was among the guests.
No representatives from NEVS could be seen. CEO Bergman had decided at the last minute to "eastbound”To break up. Intensive negotiations would require his presence, and his new visions for the Saab future remain unpublished and unheard. Maybe not a bad decision. First deliver, then vision. Or?