At the beginning of the week our gaze was drawn to China, and somehow the East would not let us go. Shortly before the weekend we will swing back to Asia. There are exciting things: Saab technology is in demand and celebrating success, Dongfeng wants the Phoenix. And it's about things that can be done better ...
BAIC & Saab
BAIC continues to advertise Saab turbo technology, safety and the night panel. The famous Saab engines with Trionic are finding their way into more and more models. Also in a rustic SUV that goes by the name of the BJ40 in China. And because the original with the name BJ40 actually comes from Toyota and not from China, it is called X424 in other markets. What you don't have to remember ...
The China-BJ is coming soon as a long version; in addition to the previous 2.4 liter of diesel then 2 Saab turbo engines should be available. The high-end version is powered by the 2.3 liter turbo with 250 PS; So far, BAIC has only delivered one 240 PS variant in its sedan.
For the manufacturer from Beijing, the purchase of Saab technology was the start of a success story. “Made by China” vehicles are trending, according to the South China Morning Post, while the previous winners have been punished by domestic customers for months. What would have happened if Victor Muller had signed Saab's sale to BAIC and hadn't broken off the negotiations?
Dongfeng & Saab
What does Dongfeng want from NEVS? Technology, specifically the Phoenix platform, says NyTeknik. Reported prematurely as completed in 2010, it is still waiting for completion today. Platforms are industry sanctuaries that are rarely shared. But NEVS likes to share because NEVS needs money.
New Dongfeng “Aeolus” models are slated to emerge on the platform, and NEVS is hoping the Chinese will pay for the development work to complete the aging base. Then you could offer your own models on the platform.
The know-how of Saab and the Phoenix that will never fly is already using Volvo. The flexible CMA platform is based on the knowledge that Saab engineers have acquired during the Phoenix project. These have migrated to Volvo, the CMA platform is a further developed derivative. The successor to the current Volvo V40 will be based on it, as will many future Geely models.
NEVS & the Victor Muller Effect
Things went badly for NEVS this week. On Monday CEO Bergman went on the air with the NEVS & Dongfeng Liaison ... and received rejection. From "banishes NEVS from the blog”By renaming to“NEVC ” and "chinacars.com ” everything was there. Are we ungrateful? What went wrong?
Once more it could have been done more skillfully. If Muller had announced the story, how would he have presented the news to fans and the staff? Unfortunately VM was not available, he is currently busy with battery planes, but we can guess what his speech would have sounded like:
"We announce the breakthrough for Saab 2.0. As of today, we are developing vehicles for Dongfeng, the third largest manufacturer in China. Saab car technology for the global market ...
Our quality seal “Engineered by Saab” will be found on the most innovative vehicles sold in Asia, America and Europe. By the end of the decade, we will be the technology leader in plug-in hybrids and EVs ...
The expected quantities, synergy effects, license fees secure the Saab future. They make Saab strong, independent and free ... From 2018/19 we will be launching three model series of the latest Saab plug-in hybrid generation in quick succession ..."
Victor Muller would probably have sold the success much more eloquently. Fans would have loved him, employees would have loved him, for the press the Saab - Dongfeng Coup would have been the topic for days.
Nothing came across at NEVS. The statistics of the Swedish employment agency are presented more excitingly than the cooperation NEVS - Dongfeng. Even the next positive news, soon 500 NEVS jobs for Trollhättan, was lost.
Life can be mean, and Bergman is not Muller. In other words: not everyone understands entertainment and marketing in their own right.
Last question before I fly into the weekend with the Saab. What the hell was Bergman doing before NEVS?
Answer: Vice President of a communications and marketing agency.