Uphill Battle

It's year 5 of the blog calendar! As a result of the past, bloggers are feeling tired. In the Anglo-Saxon language area there is a term that describes the last few years. “Uphill Battle”, a tough fight that can be hopeless.

Uphill Battle
Uphill Battle

The list of battles fought for Saab is long. To stay with the military parlance: there was a time when the fight for and for Saab was a mission. These days are glorious past; The mission has become an uphill battle.

This threatens to go into another round. NEVS is very likely to leave reconstruction on Tuesday; the clocks are reset to zero. In Trollhättan, NEVS gets a second chance. Under supervision, with a probation clause. A new start made possible by the law. Anyone who expects a prognosis for the future from me now can calmly go offline and concentrate on more meaningful things. I have no !

The blog team hears a lot from Sweden - from official and unofficial sources. I take note of that. I don't want to write about it.

Too often, NEVS has disappointed and over and over again, the worst fears have come true. The memory of the September 2013 I still have a presence when NEVS celebrated a kind of production start under exclusion of the public. I could now list a list of frustrations, which would be counterproductive. So let's leave it. Only as much as the readers are accustomed to, formulated with restraint: The cooperation with Stallbacka, my assessment of the interaction between NEVS and the blog, is not in the positive range in the result.

The motivation is passé, signs of wear and tear can be felt and read. Don't worry, this won't be a farewell article, even if I feel like it with regard to NEVS. Rather, it should be about the second chance and whether it should be given to NEVS.

Mechanisms like reconstruction are there for that. The legendary second chance ... Not everyone gets it. Muller was denied them. At a time when there was still substance to save the brand. Kai Johan Jiang gets it. Although there is no meat left on the bone at Saab. Will and can NEVS also use them?

A clear, strong, positive signal for a new beginning - that would be necessary. Already to get the trademark rights back. No further as before, but NEVS 2.0. And to be honest, that's the only way the Uphill Battle has a slight chance of taking a winning turn.

May we, the fans and Saab riders, give NEVS the chance? One should think about it well, not give the answer lightly. The fact is, we must continue to live with the company. Whether we like its culture and past or not. Those who had hoped that bankruptcy would clear the way for new things had built on sand. If you do not want to give up the tender hope of a Saab comeback, you have to get involved with the National Electric Vehicle Sweden AB. An alternative is not within reach.

The perspective that NEVS will reinvent itself, that everything will turn in the right direction with a new majority shareholder, is not entirely absurd. NEVS goes on parole from the reconstruction on Tuesday. The facts and the process are clear. 60 days: that's the number that matters. Then NEVS has to settle the first part of the outstanding liabilities.

It's not alone. NEVS has a very limited time window to celebrate a clear new beginning, to rebuild the trust of the partners, to win the hearts of fans. And bring the Saab brand name back to Trollhättan. Where it belongs, where it was born, where the first aircraft with the Saab name took to the skies. Cooperation partners and new shareholders must be presented - in short: every shot has to be right.

Michèl spoke to Mikael Östlund last week. There were signals from the Saabvägen 1 that were positive. Let's hope they are true. Otherwise it will be a very short Uphill Battle.

32 thoughts on "Uphill Battle"

  • Bzw why .net and what does that mean?
    On the official site has once again done nothing.

  • Ah yes ... -> Saabcars.net
    @tom: is there any information today? I'm really nervous 🙂

  • Under GM, the Saab brand was significantly reduced in terms of costs. In the end, it doesn't matter whether there were only 200 or 450 employees in the development department. Because almost all of the employees have disappeared under NEVS. What remains is the hall. Life is over in the Stallbacka. This fact and additionally this whole NEVS story is simply unworthy of Saab. Don't think that I can imagine a new car under NEVS direction. I do not trust them to establish a new automobile on the market; maybe just ticked it off emotionally. Second chance or not, several years are probably enough of a chance. After all, we, potential customers, were completely disregarded. The train has already left for me in terms of NEVS….

  • SAAB used to be something more than a “suitable” car.
    If you only wanted a suitable car, you never had to buy a SAAB.
    SAAB had solutions, large, small, technical or even hidden, that “the others” never came up with.
    Countless numbers could be enumerated - for example, who thought about the shape of the A-pillar (like the old 900), or the ingenious front axle in the same car - double sun visors in the 9/5, the absence of which drives me crazy in the DB, handbrake Acting on the front axle, a super emergency brake without the car skidding, door sills that protect you from dirt when getting out etc. etc. etc.
    In 9/3 there was almost nothing left of it - a car - just a suitable one.
    Have the ingenious inventors become extinct, have all been replaced by Chicimici Designer and Rotstiftheinis?
    Who brings something new that also makes sense?
    It doesn't need fame - it needs ideas - ingenuity!
    I'm afraid; Nothing is rolling!

  • You can hardly get it to the point. Danke1

  • The question is whether you want to buy fame or a matching car (basic concept, design and of course quality).

    The experiences of the buyers (including die-hard SAAB connoisseurs such as Josef Zabel) can already be described as good to very good with the NEVS SAAB 9-3 Sedan - why shouldn't future vehicles with even more contemporary, sensual technology + good design also fully convince?

    None of us should make hasty, rushed decisions - rather first observe what is actually rolling!

  • Somehow, SAAB has managed that, against all odds, build great cars and conjure up some new surprise. It's my great hope that somehow this time it will go away and continue. Tomorrow we probably know more.

  • I think you have to differentiate between the phases and take into account the Swedish farmer's cunning: There was actually a time when Saab's development department was halved, at the beginning of the 2000s, to 450 people. At the time, I thought that was it. But a few years later it was increased again significantly, and I think the reason was that you can show off more with a competence center “Saab” than with Opel or Chevrolet.

    And somehow Saab seems to have managed to do his own thing again and again, despite being hanged from above. A measure seems to have been to modify the platforms so that they could only be built in Trollhättan. And the 9-5 II has probably been largely designed by Saab.

    Actually, I found Saab after the complete takeover by GM no longer acceptable. Dear buy from a smaller manufacturer from the EU. But somehow they have fought for an independent profile, and at least partially preserved. Maybe that's on the minus side and the reason that GM did not build the 9-5 as an Opel Senator or something.

  • That's fine, Tom. But hope that it could come next to this opportunity also to the new development.
    But this example of English brands is a security for us all who still want to drive Saab. At least I will do that until the end of my chance to drive cars; only SAAB !!!

  • Where was Saab an empty shell? The GM Group was a competence center for turbo technology, diesel engines, emission optimization, prototype construction and much more. The fact that you developed cars in the group is the normal course of things. The last Saab proprietary development was, except for the engine, the 99. Later, they settled on cooperations, like the 9000.
    As for Orio, there is no dependence on NEVS. Car body parts can be pressed anywhere in the world, not just in Trollhättan. The best example is English brands, where manufacturers have long disappeared. There, through the commitment of the clubs, there are even complete bodyshells to buy.

  • What shoud that?
    When NEVS acquired Saab, Saab had been an empty shell for some 10 years. Apart from the Spyker attempt at resuscitation, Saab was one of many works in the GM Association without its own independent development department without the right and competence to make and control its own developments.

    During this period, not a single car was developed in Trollhättan, they were subordinate to Opel and were only allowed to edit what was decided there or at GM. This work was not limited to Saab, but was done for the entire GM group.

    The alternative to NEVS is and was the smashing of automotive expertise in Trollhättan.

    In the next few days you will learn more, and if it's neVsschaft the company to get, then that's already a big step, because if NEVS is no longer, then synonymous with the spare parts made there. Orio hardly has the strength to organize without NEVS as bad as their economic data look.

  • Thank you. Especially the second part (from the: yes!) I really liked. Think, that speaks some readers from the heart.

  • Tom, your question to the readership I also take as a question to me and therefore formulate a personal answer for my circumstances.
    An answer that did not arise just in connection with your question but a condensate is my since the late 80ern existing enthusiasm for the brand in the current militia situation of the brand for years.
    An enthusiasm that began as a child, which continued as an owner and which is still unbroken as ex-owner and continues to be a daily reader of this blog.

    My answer to your question is: No! No further chance for NEVS. No further, helpless revival of an 10 years old vehicle concept. No further exploitation of the brand name for another ridiculed stopgap.

    My answer is the same: yes! For a complete new beginning, for a bold mobility solution adapted to the actual needs of today. Yes, for a vehicle concept that sensibly reinterprets the core benefits of a car instead of the third touch screen, the fifth assistance system and the tenth app.
    Yes for a Swedish-distinguished, disruptive alternative to the current “thicker, heavier, bad-race” of the established brands in the dead end.

    Min riktiga bil är en Saab .. and no patched fix.
    It's time for an end.
    And a complete new beginning.

    Best regards,

  • I think kai jing jong pays the debt itself

  • There is a lot of truth in that. NEVS has so far been neither interested in dealer structures nor in us “crazy people”, so I also doubt that the spirit of bygone days will rise there again.
    On the other hand, it does not look much better with other manufacturers. The car is today a throw-away product, like cell phone, TV, etc. Many (not all) even want that.

  • for me, the blog is the source of information on the latest things about Saab! about the events in Sweden, the spare parts and events. , ... ..and very important to the others infected who cannot leave the brand. I really hope for new innovative SAAB automobiles!

  • If we all analyze, regardless of how old we are and for how long, why we preferred SAAB - automobiles - everyone immediately has a certain feeling, a story, a very specific trigger ready to call up.
    You never buy or buy a SAAB without an accompanying story, just in passing.
    Are we honest - do we expect that again?
    No matter what or by whomever something is offered to us, this effect, this very special feeling is never again. No chance !
    Remember, and you know what I mean.

  • If it is a product that can inspire and live up to the name Saab in terms of quality and spirit (assuming the name comes back) I can even imagine very well or I would very much like to buy a new Saab. But after all that happened I have considerable doubts whether NEVS can accomplish something like that.

  • Even if they were producing, I would probably not buy anything, because the fame of the old days is completely gone.

  • Let's be honest, if NEVS does not really present new partners, new shareholders and corresponding obligatory contracts in the next few days, what else can be expected. NEVS is now reportedly negotiating with the 2 ominous car makers from Asia for at least a year. First, it is said that the negotiations can not be completed within the set timeframe. Then NEVS goes into reconstruction and loses the trademark rights. NEVS gets 2 time extension because allegedly an agreement was signed on the entry of a new major shareholder. Now the new shareholder can not get in yet as long as NEVS is under reconstruction. Dongfeng and Mahindra regularly deny negotiations with NEVS. Saab AB denies negotiations on the brand name. NEVS talks about negotiating with 2 big Asian automakers all the time and does not name names. If NEVS now comes out of the reconstruction, they will now have to let the cat out of the bag and it will show what the ramblings about the last year has to truthfulness. I wish I did not lie properly but I expect nothing good.

  • As long as Tom is still writing is hope!

  • A lack of liquidity will be the driving force to achieve the goal quickly. The end of the reconstruction also makes it easier for a new partner / shareholder to “come out”. So much for the theory. At the moment I am still lacking the belief that things will turn out to be good, but that can still happen 😉

  • Very good work. And after Saabsunited just limp in front of him, also important work!

  • Actually, I thought I had read that leaving the reconstruction now would clear the way for new (co-) owners? Since NEVS certainly no longer has any money, they must therefore lower or raise their visor in the next 60 days.

  • Now let's see what NEVS will be up to (in the next 2 years) and let us surprise us in this crime thriller. Sometimes I suspect that SAAB has also been dropped politically. Possibly because the egg heads were listened to too much, they said for SAAB, or better for two automobile brands, Sweden would have no place in the world. A completely stupid view that oozes narrow-mindedness and laziness. NEVS now has two problems: on the one hand to define an achievable goal, on the other hand to secure its financing. Basically, my opinion is: it would be better for everyone involved if NEVS changed hands and started an elementary restart under different conditions. An automobile factory should simply develop and build great cars - we haven't seen much of that in the last 3 years. Otherwise, I hope that this wonderful blog will be maintained. Good work ! Keep it up - what should I do with my breaks without the information? Thanks again ! If you have a problem (because NEVS has nothing new), write about historical SAAB vehicles, anecdotes (e.g. the first SAAB engineers did not all have driving licenses, etc.) and interesting company details, such as the background to the takeover General Motors ...

  • Let's hope for the best ... I'm still scared ...

  • It only remains to be hoped that Jiang & Crew take the right partners on board.

    The future in Trollhättan depends on the future partners. Hopefully NEVS will not come to us beaming with joy with Plan B - the global SAAB community is really not waiting for that!

  • It is exactly like that. For once there is plenty of potential for NEVS up there

  • It is like it is! WE are only Zaungäste anyway!
    The hope lasts in the end! But the people in and around Troll City would have to enjoy a positive outcome of the drama!
    And, Tom Your “crisis of meaning” has long been understandable for me! But I would also lack information about SAAB…. 😉
    60 days ..., approx. 8,5 weeks ... what else will we SAABians achieve! 🙂

  • There is another English sentence that has to do with perspective: “You can't cut corners here!”

    In plain English: There is no shortcut.

    The way to success is via fulfillment of real customer needs. There are enough of them.

    In addition, even passion for SAAB. The blog contributed a lot to ensure that this is still there today. The community has been living for years without real prospects and has given several hazards a chance. We will see. The Trollhättan location would be indulgent.

    The pitcher goes to the well until it breaks.

  • Let's hope for the best but expect the worst. So continue as before.

  • I feel like Tom, I would like to repress the topic. So far nothing good has come from NEVS, I hope that changes now. Hope always dies at the end. Fingers crossed

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