Independent Thinking - 5 Years After

The blog was still young when Saab's invitation to the Geneva Motor Show was made public. It should be the last official presentation. Saab Automobile AB had a huge list, which was not yet visible in this clarity. Today, 5 years later, everything is different. Competitors from back then, such as Volvo, Spyker, Koenigsegg, have changed a lot. A virtual compilation of the Geneva Motor Show 2016. Not representative, not mainstream, but still legible.

Crosshairs in the HUD. Who dares to do that?
Crosshairs in the HUD. Who dares to do that?

Per aspera ad astra?

If Volvo seems to be barely able to walk with power today, thanks to steroids from China. The Swedes surf on a wave of success, the self-confidence is strong. You can feel it, you read it in the price lists. The new Volvo V90 is available from 45.800,00 €, the XC90 top model for 123.150,00 €. More than 100.000 € for a Volvo?

Press invitation before 5 years ago
Press invitation before 5 years ago

2011 looked even less friendly. Volvo, Chinese since 2010, had to stay afloat with EIB loans. The credit rating was low, but the future prospects better than in Trollhättan. Ford had full cashes and fair contracts. In stark contrast to GM, who wanted to torture Saab even after the sale on. And they did.

5 years of steroids from China, many, many billions, and Volvo is back. With new models - and aggressive. Volvo sold more than half a million new cars in 2015. But there should be more, much more. Volvo wants to play with the really big boys. Will they put up with it?

The rapid rise of Volvo has made the end of Saab possible. Former engineers have found a new job there, bringing with them knowledge and ideas.

Independent Thinking? The upcoming CMA platform is the evolution of the Phoenix from the Stallbacka, the idea of ​​multi-supercharged engines comes from the Saab Powertrain Department.

The Sino-Swedish marriage at Volvo is going better than expected. After starting difficulties, cultural and linguistic differences, the visible success brings a wave of harmony into the married life. A template for NEVS in Trollhättan?

The last Swedes

The Swedish auto industry is occupied by foreigners. The whole industry? Volvo belongs to Geely, the factory in the NEVS stallbacka, Volvo Trucks and Co are a dangerous Dongfeng - China adventure, Scania is Lower Saxony. Really all of Sweden? No, in a small village, a manufacturer defends itself against the rest of the world.

New Regera. Picture: Koenigsegg
New Regera. Picture: Koenigsegg

Ängelholm is known for its UFO sighting and for superlative sports cars - which could be thought of as cars from another star. Koenigsegg, the last true Swedes. Innovative ... innovative ... Koenigsegg! Finest engineering at the highest level. According to the manufacturer, the battery in the new Regera plug-in hybrid is the most effectively cooled; Ängelholm also delivers the world's first production vehicle with an 800 volt battery. Exclusive lightweight construction, the new, revolutionary “Direct Drive”, Koenigsegg wallows in superlatives.

Independent Thinking? In any case, Koenigsegg has the right representative for it. A Saab gem, which I can respectfully write. The founder of Trollhattansaab, Saabsunited and the only official Saab blogger Steven Wade blogs and represents for Koenigsegg. Would there be a better one for this task? No way !

The last entertainer

In the auto industry, there were guys whose lives can be described as highs, lows, turns. Types with rough edges that 10 once failed to get 11. Give the world a dream car. Or never.

These guys are dying out, which is emblematic of the industry. She suffers on her own. Who has seen 10 SUVs as a customer, does not like number 11. He does not visit car shows, does not watch any more engine broadcasts. But they still exist, the true entertainers.

Victor Muller has been through a lot since 2011. More depths like heights, in business and in privacy. After Saab Spyker went into bankruptcy, in Sweden, a lawsuit against him.

Against all odds, Spyker is back. Exhibition stand: Booked in November. The exhibition company waves it aside because it is fully booked? “A toilet is enough for me”… Original quote from Muller in Geneva yesterday. And there he is! With a sports car. Not an SUV. A temptation on wheels, with a cheeky crosshair in the HUD, a continuous LED strip at the rear and a dashboard to rave about. The Spyker Preliator. What stands for fighters and fits the brand and maker. In moments like these, who asks about financing, series production, the past?

Independent Thinking - 5 Years After

What remains? Wrong question.

What will happen? Better question.

Steroids from China, consistent innovator, types with corners and edges. Everything is possible. A lot has happened in the last 5 years. The parking spaces fill up again in the stablebacka. 630 employees, including 500 in the technical departments. Steroids from China make it possible. NEVS is responsible for keeping the Saab Spirit alive. So Stig Nodin, formerly Saab Automobile, now director of product development NEVS last week in an interview with the local newspaper.

10 thoughts on "Independent Thinking - 5 Years After"

  • blank

    Hats off to Koenigsegg and the courage of VM. I can fully subscribe to the observation with the SUVs. You find one thing interesting, if you have driven it for a few years it becomes bland, probably also because you only see the boxes in every supermarket parking lot and in front of the daycare center. A sedan or a coupe is almost a rebellion and a statement for “Independent Thinking”.

    • blank

      Exactly, preferably a Swedish coupe or Combi coupe
      But as the culmination of nonsense soon rolling SUV convertibles through the country

  • blank

    Great article - as always and please keep it up!
    I myself am a fan of the entertainer qualities of CvK. The man has dreams and implements them consistently - with audience appeal but on a sound basis and with the best that is on the market - just like Swade.
    When Koenigsegg showed interest in the takeover of Saab, it was very clear: this will be something and ingenious. Only after GM had put the last documents on the table, CvK then consistently refused, as no business model could work on it - that should have been reason enough for VM not to accept these conditions. But then there would certainly have been no 9-5II on the streets and no Phoenix which is certainly the most underrated prototype of all time ...

  • blank

    Great article, Tom! THANK YOU !
    I take the headline once: what remains? Wrong question.
    What will happen? Better question.
    It is well known that there is plenty to talk about: the unlimited mass mobility of individuals reaches its limits.
    We feel it ..., suppress it and don't want to hear it (anymore). Nevertheless, this “problem” will remain worldwide and we will find solutions every day. These solutions make regional, national and international sense. Hardly anyone wants to accept solutions that only marginally restrict our spoiled habits. And yet we need fewer SUVs
    less diesel,
    less short distances by car but
    more connected individual mobility,
    more public transportation,
    more sustainable drives, possibly more bike users.

    If “The Last Entertainer” has to start up to arouse emotions, it also shows how tired we users have become. How dubious "so-called. Progress ”have become: rain sensor, tailgate that opens automatically, various beeps 🙁 etc.
    The way to the stars is still a long way for SAAB .. I cannot judge whether NEVS is on the “right path”.
    Some individual “toys” from Swedish production are certainly not the serious problem of the future.
    But whether VW, BMW, AUDI, TOYOTA, GM etc., as dinosaurs of an industry, will solve the “mobility problem”, I have my doubts.
    RWE and EON were also not the pioneers of the green energy transition ...
    I will read this blog eagerly… 😉
    Greetings to the “round”!

    • blank

      Wow, that's a really interesting all-round approach to mobility, dear mountain goat ...

      Perhaps it is that SAAB has ultimately played a pioneering role in the demise?
      That would be kind of conciliatory and typical SAAB. Who knows how many more dinosaurs will follow?

      • blank

        Moin moin, Herbert!
        Yes, the pioneering role in death would indeed be tragic ... but the pioneering role always involves a certain risk! 😉

    • blank

      There is an interesting article on the subject of mobility in the current Spiegel. The authors don't know how things will go on with the “dinosaurs” either. The possibilities are simply too many, and it will take years to see how customers will accept the changes. Definitely worth reading!

      • blank

        Moin, Tom!
        Thanks for the tip! Will buy me the “mirror”. 🙂

  • blank

    5 years ago, that's scary. My 9-3 is already 8 years old. You do not notice it, but it is. I hope he will last a long time!

    • blank

      ... my current Saab is from “the time” (from 2011 ... that's already 5 years - as the “years go by”).

      Unfortunately, he's just bitching around a bit and I don't know what it is ... 🙁

      @@ general
      I used to love to follow Steven Wade's old Saab blog (I didn't know him in the “SU” days)! They were great reports!
      His own later page ( ) I then also read something, but due to decreasing current Saab reports and too many "general" topics at some point no longer.

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