Mats Fägerhag

If two people do the same thing, it's not the same. Two companies in southern Sweden whose history began in 2012. The names: NEVS and CEVT. There was already enough to read about the first company - and its precarious development - on the blog. CEVT - China European Vehicle Technology - on the other hand, has not yet been in the spotlight.

Mats Fagerhag
Mats Fagerhag

The man behind CEVT is well known in the Saab world: Mats Fägerhag. Born in Tidaholm in 1961, studied at Lund University. Various positions at Volvo Trucks and Saab Military Aircraft. From 1992 in various positions at Saab, 2005 he changed to Executive Director Vehicle Systems at GME in Rüsselsheim. 2007 Return to Trollhättan, in addition to working for GM Executive Director Product Development Vehicle at Saab. After the divorce from GM - Saab, Fägerhag stayed at Göta Älv until the end of Saab Automobile AB.

2012 - Kai Johan Jiang is preparing to buy Saab - Fägerhag has changed location. The new employer is Volvo. His task: to find development partnerships for the future. A challenge, but not a fundamentally new idea. Victor Muller planned a joint venture with his partners from China in 2011, NEVS has a similar plan.

Volvo is Chinese, which does not make the search easier, the future seems to have some question marks at this point. Fägerhag finds the partner - in its own group. CEVT is founded as a development service provider for Volvo and Geely. Home base: Gothenburg. With 150 employees, a new, interesting chapter in the life of Mats Fägerhag starts in the Lindholmen district.

In Trollhättan one develops at the same time at the flexible Phoenix platform, comparable one does in Gothenburg. At CEVT, the new basis for a global family of small and compact vehicles of the Volvo and Geely brands is growing. In addition to a dozen future Geely vehicles, the variable CMA platform will also be the basis for the new Volvo 40 family with a small SUV.

2015. Meanwhile, the CMA platform is completed, while the Phoenix in Trollhättan will probably never swing its wings. The Volvo-Geely Group has thus taken a big step towards the future. Crash tests are done, test prototypes were in China on the way. New developments at Volvo and Geely will in future be completed on the CMA platform in less than 24 months. If so, CEVT would have overtaken two Japanese manufacturers whose development speed was benchmark.

In just 3 years, the startup has grown into a large, international service provider. The offices in Lindholmen have long been too small. At six different locations in Gothenburg's city area, 1.162 employees from 15 countries and 117 gas engineers from China work for CEVT. Many have a Saab past, and more and more Qoros developers have recently joined them. There are also another 500 employees in China. The tasks are clearly divided: development and design in Sweden, testing of the prototypes in China. Production preparation and creation of the supply chain in both countries. Mats Fägerhag and his team can deliver Geely and Volvo vehicles ready for production.

A few days ago there was an article in “NyTeknik” about Fagerhag, CEVT and Geely. It was about the proven reliability of the Chinese, and that Geely in the past has always delivered a little more to CEVT than was promised. The future was also an issue. According to Fägerhag, it is a long-term bet that Geely has run on Volvo. He reports that he has not seen as much aggressive dynamism at either GM or Saab as he has at Geely in the past 20 years.

While in Trollhättan the future may be over before it has even begun, budgets are increasing at CEVT. This year, € 270 million will be invested in research and development. At least! An increase in the budget to € 300 million is expected.

Two companies, two start-ups. Three years is not really a long time. Nevertheless, an intermediate result that could not have been more different. Both companies are financed by funds from China, the experience with the investors are completely different.

Volvo and Geely have been job drivers in the Gothenburg area in recent years. The additional third shift in Hisingen has created almost 1.500 new jobs - also for former Saab employees. The Volvo factory is almost at its limit. The clock frequency can still be increased, then the limit is reached, while a plant in Trollhättan has been at a standstill for 12 months ...

Through Mats Fägerhag and his colleagues, much Saab knowledge has flowed to Volvo. Carl Peter Forster is also present at Geely and CEVT. Thanks to him Saab 9 5 NG, Saab 9 4x. With a little luck, a small SUV would have been added. Two personalities with Saab background control a significant part of the future in the Swedish auto industry.

In Sweden, the merger of Saab and Volvo has been repeatedly considered and negotiated in recent decades. What would have happened if Geely had also brought 2012 to Saab? Or would 2015 inquire at Saab AB? Exciting questions, again without answers.

23 thoughts on "Mats Fägerhag"

  • NEVS has never really internalized the SAAB DNA anyway. So Saab is what we drive ...

  • I think the NEVS people are reading along here !? If the mood shouldn't change even more, then it's finally time for NEVS to get out of the quark and explain itself. Either way …

    • NEVS we were always completely unaffected, even at good times they had only their China dreams. As if someone had been waiting for NEVS. Therefore, it does not matter if they go down the drain or not. They are not SAAB anyway.
      Today heard again: Great cars, what they drive there. SAAB has built really good cars. At the moment, NEVS is totally crazy about me.

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    An exciting wonderful article! THANK YOU for this info too! 🙂 Even if this is flat for SAAB….
    Quote: 2015. The CMA platform has now been completed, while the Phoenix in Trollhättan will probably never swing its wings again. … .That was the sad statement from you Tom, I mean, never went… ..!
    My SAAB will continue to be maintained!

    • There is the little word “probably” next to it. Bloggers can be wrong too 😉 But it is correctly observed. My assessment has become quite negative. We'll continue to drive Saab anyway. Or better: right now!

      • Just asked very carefully ... is there any news from NEVS (at the end of the reconstruction one month) regarding financing, partners, etc.? I don't want to put pressure on me, but wasn't there a 60-day deadline?

        • Nil novi sub sole… Nothing, no news. The 60 day period applies to the first installment, 50% of the liabilities must be met. An exciting appointment, because without changes at NEVS it is hard to imagine where the funds will come from.

          • I just say ... mundus vult decipi.

  • Isn't it quite natural that more and more young people find Saab. At least it was like that for me, the younger the smaller the wallet. Saab now has very good used cars for relatively little money. For example, if you compare the used prices of a Mercedes C - Class of the same age with the same mileage, equipment and engine with the prices of a 9-3, you will find that the Mercedes sometimes costs almost double the price. It looks similar when compared to the Audi A4 or BMW 3 Series. Isn't it logical what you drive when you're not that big

    • The low price is only half the story. Of course, Saabs are now being “used up”, or rather, used up. But there are many young people who consciously choose a Saab and where it doesn't just stay with one.

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    A very interesting contribution Tom, very well researched and still makes it sad to read that.
    How long should we still hope? If you read that, how does a new investor want to catch up?
    Saab is so much fun that also showed the exit in Saxony last Sunday, only the current situation is not allowed to address, then the faces are sad.
    What noticed more and more, young people find to Saab !!!

    • We are Saab ... And we shouldn't let the circumstances in Sweden take away the fun of our cars 😉

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    Years ago, SAAB Automobile CEO Jan Ake Jonsson vehemently rejected a merger of SAAB + Volvo - he was of the opinion that Volvo should be seen as a competitor.

    The current SAAB people (NEVS) will probably feel differently. But would Geely still have any interest at the moment?

    Most good people have turned their backs on SAAB / NEVS or have been fired from NEVS. What remains is first and foremost the brand and a modern plant - so it depends on the perspective of a possible new investor.

    In any case, the name SAAB certainly brings more than the name Borward - who of the younger drivers can do anything with the Borgward brand? At China-Borgward everything is really at the beginning and if they should get something more than NEVS, that would be an extremely bitter defeat for SAAB and Sweden!

  • If you look at what's going on at Volvo, you can only take off your hat. In this day and age you have to find the courage to limit yourself to 4 cylinders in the big SUV. If that works? I keep my fingers crossed for Volvo.

    • Volvo continues what Saab started with turbo engines. Saab was just ahead of the game, today it suits 100% only to use 4 cylinders. An 9000er with 2.3 Turbo, for example, has a thoroughly cultivated and powerful engine, economical yet. Already 20 years ago.

      • Yes, that's right, (too) far ahead of its time. Even today it is not that easy to “only” use 4 cylinders and Volvo has a longer financial breath today than SAAB ever had. Unfortunately!

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          One can argue about the “(zu)”.

          The idea of ​​environmental protection is no longer a newborn. There were many people in front of GM who recognized and appreciated SAAB's conceptual qualities and SAAB had buyers.

          I read then a comparison between the 9000 Aero and an 420er MB S-Class, in which the MB had beaten in all categories - unless you would use the higher than the better values ​​in consumption.

          Since a Swedish 4 has flattened a German 8 cylinder, which looked next to the SAAB also optically like a vintage car.

          Perhaps the problem was more that SAAB gradually lost precisely this nimbus of progressiveness with the entry of GMs ...

          All of a sudden, Opel 6 cylinders, which were both thirstier and less powerful, were regressively introduced as a new top engine. At that time no SAAB driver understood.

          • I must confess that it was the 4 cylinder Turbo that kept me at Saab. Small, light engine, performance on demand, 1992 seemed logical. Just with the 2001er Aero on the highway. 230 horses, light car, passage without end, fast and economical. What more do you want?

          • That's right, SAAB was watered down by GM, the 6 cylinder was supposed to bring prestige. I always thought that came from Holden.

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      Have already seen the new XC90 and I'm very impressed, on the one hand by the design,
      on the other hand, the build quality. He will go his way.

      • And the design and the workmanship will go through the whole model range. Since you can still be really excited !!

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    Business Crime of the finest! With every other investor, SAAB would have had more opportunities than with NEVS. Who actually has to answer this scandal?

  • Exciting, exciting, exciting. Volvo pulled the jackpot and signed one of the best in Fägerhag. Maybe NEVS will finally shut down and Saab will make a deserved comeback with professionals who can. You can dream ... 😉

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