Saab trademark rights as a future question?

The automotive industry is redefining itself. Away from hardware, towards software. In the future, people will no longer talk about car manufacturers, but rather mobility providers. The industry has to face new issues. Digitization is one of the most important buzzwords and stands for an infinite abundance of possibilities, many of which are only just being conceived.

Saab main portal with Turbo X
Saab main portal with Turbo X

As if that were not enough of a challenge, the drive concepts are also changing radically. The diesel is under heavy pressure, and some manufacturers will do without it in the future. Instead, they rely on plug-in hybrids with gasoline engines or pure electric drive. One is evolution, the other revolution.

Today it is not a question of whether batteries are good for the environment and whether plug-in hybrids could be too complex, or whether hydrogen is the option of the future. It's about the Saab trademark rights. A brand that was neither digital, nor an electric car, nor a plug-in hybrid. There were approaches that were never realized. Before that, the light in the factory halls went out.

Are you well advised to revitalize an old, big brand?

Or should one start over - unencumbered - with a blank sheet of paper?

It was a matter of time before we worked our way through this question. It may be considered heretical. I'm afraid it took us more than 5 years to do this, but it is inevitable.

How to revive vanished brands is demonstrated by current experiments. Probably the saddest to experience the famous brand MG, which starts with Chinese colors in England with boring products from the day before yesterday. More promising could be the resurrection of the sports car brand Alpine, where Renault files. Completely beyond the track runs the strange Borgward project, which is Chinese with every fiber, but wants to be German at any price.

In Trollhättan the conditions for a comeback of the brand would be given. NEVS owns the Saab factory, there are more people on the payroll than ever with Saab past. The résumés are similar. Saab Automobile AB, then one of the start-ups in Trollhättan or change to Volvo PV or Volvo Trucks. It was not that rare that it went to China. Qoros as an employer is already a thing of the past, the caravan is heading home to Europe. And Qoros could be a good example of how it doesn't work. Take a lot of money, highly paid veterans looking for their final battle, and invent a brand name that doesn't stand for anything. The result is a recognized good, but at the same time any product. Neither spectacular nor particularly innovative, no story behind it, and no one can explain why you should buy it. Qoros still exists, but the plan to conquer the world has been postponed to infinity.

The view back, and this time into the future. Bloggers back mirror
The view back, and this time into the future. Bloggers back mirror

In the stablebacka, you would know very well how to build a Saab. Because the workforce has a lot of experience because cars are created by people. In addition, the brand would have a lot to tell. Entertainment is more important than ever. A good story can be worth more than 1.000 facts, even the responsible customer wants to be enthusiastic, involved and taken along.

But there has been this break - since 2011. And there is a tempting chance for the blank sheet of paper. Unencumbered, free from traditions and obligations to start something completely new.

As a blueprint Tesla could apply. A new brand, a new product. Tesla did not invent the electric car, but redefined it for the luxury class. With the model 3 the revolution in the upper middle class could succeed. Much more exciting, however, is the advance in trust that Tesla enjoys among young, technology-savvy people. Which is pronounced enough to pay 1.000,00 € for an unfinished product.

Some readers may find it really heretical when I, as a Saabist, question the comeback of the brand. If I think out loud whether the Swedes would not be better advised with a complete restart. I hope you accept that and don't immediately quit the friendship. The next posts will be more traditional ...

If we let our thoughts fly free without claiming a solution, then another question could be thrown into the room. Who actually has which option here? Saab AB, which believes it is in a position to trade trademark rights?

Or a company that could, with a lot of Saab background and long experience, develop a strong, new product. That as a Swedish Tesla hunter might be so innovative that, as an ambassador of national engineering, it would do all the credit to the country? And that would succeed under any brand name?

Of course, these are only trivial mind games and no concrete background. Nevertheless, once again the question:

Are you well advised to revitalize an old, big brand?

Or should you start from scratch with a blank sheet of paper?

I would be interested in the reader's point of view. And I'm sure at least two Swedish companies are reading. Here it goes to the vote, comments are expressly desired.

Is NEVS well advised to restart the brand Saab?

  • Definitely! (85% 450 Votes)
  • A new brand name would be the better option! (15% 78 Votes)

Total Voters: 528

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39 thoughts on "Saab trademark rights as a future question?"

  • Reinventing a brand has never worked properly. And to start over completely has nothing to do with a brand or its affiliation (felt). A dilemma! NEVS has nothing to do with Saab (as we know and love it). I think that Saab would only have a chance, if you stick to old virtues, but the modernity of the automotive future does not exclude. A very difficult task, but doable. By the way, Saab is still dead. I would not buy a new NEVS or whatever they are called, and always point out that it should actually be a Saab.

  • That touches on various questions. eg 1. is it a kind of "transfer of business" from Muller to NEVS, i.e. the assets are being transferred? and 2. Can a “good will” transfer be achieved with the customer, ie does he transfer what the old company stood for to the new in his perception?

    To 1 .: Primary probably not, because everything went over it and under it, not even the factory belonged to the rest of the company, and therefore not NEVS. But much has been done in terms of rights, know how, personnel and infrastructure, so I now think that point 1 is fulfilled.

    Point 2 then turns to the question of whether the Good Will will pass only with or better with the retention of the old name. And here I believe that with skillful communication of the relationships most customers ultimately do not care about the name, at least not as important as the team and the work. There is a case of precedent, the company Rolls Royce. As everyone knows, they're now called Bentley, and that does not bother customers.

    From these aspects, I believe it does not matter if the shop is called Saab or NEVS.

    As a ballast, I would certainly never take the name Saab, so in the sense of better start anew completely; despite the bankruptcy.

  • I'm torn here. On the one hand Saab yes, in principle, for example, turbo contributed so well to this success, as no one thought great about it, then there would be in terms of e-mobility already back a certain confidence that you can implement that also reasonable. However, I think that the Chinese influence will shift the focus more towards Asia and maybe the cars will go in a different direction.

    I could well imagine that then there will only be e-mobile, no Saabs with turbo and if you look at the comments, I think there are many who think of Saab always on the turbo. Therefore, I think it would be better to bring a new name.

    I think if the new beginning works, then - especially with regard to the Chinese requirements - there will only be e-mobiles, no turbos and thus the connection to Saab will no longer exist.

  • Difficult question. In order to launch as a white paper and follow Tesla, there would have to be marketing and communication steps that I have never experienced from Sweden. Writing the familiar name to a product, in my opinion, only works if the product is truly breathtaking. Maybe the name Saab has potential for a shot, but if it does not sit, I find it difficult to hold the mark.

    I think a new name based on Scandinavian roots with connections to the old Saab world would be my solution. From this, you can build a story that has potential. However, this story should also start soon to create an environment for the start of production (of whatever). Everything that NEVS looks like for the future is a big bet, a big game of poker (not meant negatively). This fits a new name in my opinion better.

    Saab Automobile is in the end - as hard as it sounds and I do not like writing it - several times failed and finally finally. Sometimes you just want to get back what you lost.

    • Well put. Maybe no majority, see voting ...

      • If you read through the comments results for me a different picture than the result of the survey. According to the comments I would say 50: 50 with a slight tendency to a narrow majority for a new name. But maybe you should also link this question to a second question. Namely, the question is, do we want to have moving computers in the future, which will distract our mobility, or would we still like to be master of things and have fun driving a car?

        • The market decides with the moving computers. We can decide if we want to buy it or if we want to go on self-driving.
          As far as the picture of the vote is concerned, I think it is easier to vote than to formulate discussion contributions. This decision is not so easy.

  • Well, honestly, at least people who buy a SAAB because of the brand can do without it altogether.
    These weirdos can just as well drive a Tesla or "What do I know" ...

    What UNALLY lacks are products that go back to the glorious era of the eighties, when we still had a market economy in (W .-) Germany and did not drift towards capitalism.
    I'm just saying a 900 convertible, which deserves this name and, in a way, DEFINES its own product category. Or finally a car again that is “at home on long journeys”, completely in the style of my “old lady”, where even after 1000 km you are a little unhappy that it couldn't have been 200 km more.

    BTW: At least I can do without a new edition of the 9-5 with chrome glasses (and hard plastic ;-)).

  • Yes, we "avoided" this question for a long time ...
    I'm through for myself. Drive SAAB now.
    What comes and should be called SAAB MUST include the Scandinavian DNA.

    If it turns out to be "arbitrary", please look for a new brand name.
    For the drives, hybrids and EL versions should be offered.
    The concept of environmental impact MUST be strong!
    Perhaps the SAAB turbo has had its time ..., according to TESLA, I can get to 4 km / h in about 100 seconds. So thrust is plentiful (!) When I want it. Work on the maximum range for the EL versions has to be carried out. A real 300/400 km a day would be enough for me. Can I recharge my batteries "quickly" during a business meeting. Then it's enough back.
    If the cars turn into PCs in spe, I'm out anyway. I want to steer, brake, take care, operate the windshield wiper and choose the restaurant.
    I'm not interested in further dependence on corporations.
    I want to be mobile, holding in front of the door is less important.
    So I think, a fresh start from NEVS is the best. With a new brand name.

  • Good question. Results show that Merhheit wants to have a clear bond with Saab.
    For me, it must be absolutely 100% Electrom = nisch, but with the Saab ideas known to us.
    Do not follow what others do but develop new and useful ones that anyone who is set to something individual can appreciate. Also beautiful models and not these sometimes terrible boxes (Tesla S is a selltsame exception in Elektra cars).
    Then has the Nahme Saab but a valuable contribution to this development, right?

  • In the end, there is a lot of marketing stuff involved. In my eyes, SAAB / NEVS will only succeed in making its glorious entry into the automotive industry with a revolution: A new drive concept is needed. I would even support that, because the thought of a Swedish Tesla hunter is really hot ...
    But if you think about the implementation or compare NEVS with the thinker and driver Elon Musk. At least then the dream is over. At NEVS too big are financial dependencies, profit thinking. Elon Musk, however, has taken a lot of passion and implemented his ideas rigorously. And that without the constant thought that the cash flow must be right.
    The measure of the E concept would be simply Tesla. NEVS vs. Tesla, dream over

  • Whether Saab or Nevs. Without turbo, without me. E cars will not exist for me in the near future (15 years). I do not need all this electronics, software waste. I want to drive a car.

  • I now think that SAAB would not be correct either. Sometimes a detail is enough to distance yourself, e.g. SAAB cars would actually be correct. (As the page is called from the start.) Nevertheless, without SAAB everything would be somehow mega shame and sad ...

    • actually SAAB EV for Europe and USA, everything else NEVC, or just NEV, certainly NEVW also conceivable

  • If the Chinese manage to build a real SAAB, then ok But have real doubts.

  • The future is blowing through the sacred and virtual blog halls! I'll put it this way: I buy a car from NEVS, no matter what it says. The main thing is it clever and the blog remains. The latter is the main condition! I do not want to miss the daily SAAB or NEVS reading.

  • Sorry if my views sound heretical. But I'm probably also a little less influenced by the "glorious" Saab history.
    As a beginning GDR teenager, I fell in love with the Saab 99. For me it is “the” Saab, but I drive and love my 9-3SC from GM times. That means that I don't differentiate between pre- and during-GM-Saab. If Saab is on it, Saab is also in it for me. At first, I don't really care who is behind it, once the car matches what the brand is all about. And that brings me to the point that matters to me: what makes a Saab?
    ?? Saab is a car with turbo engine! ??
    ... and what about the diesel Saab? Do they count too?
    Since I drive a car I drive diesel cars, whose power and consumption have always fascinated me. So, what is Saab for me?
    When I look at Saab history, Saab stands for innovations, for innovations or doing something different. Going your own way and not swimming with the mainstream was maintained in Sweden even during the GM era (... all of Gaul ...?). Almost all carmakers have made mistakes at some point, the only question is how to deal with them.
    With that in mind, even the hiatus since 2011 isn't necessarily bad for the brand. NEVS has done a lot of things right, you can stand by the Chinese however you want (I like them, from an economic point of view, not necessarily either). When I think of the Muller days, when discussions were mostly about the press and the company thrived on big announcements, I don't understand what many think so great about it. NEVS must have pissed off many fans because they did not publish every step and every consideration immediately and immediately. In my opinion, they worked and negotiated more “in the back room” until they had developed a workable concept, and they are now resolutely implementing it. I always had the feeling that NEVS was just as surprised by the bid at the time as most of those who had thought about Saab. And they took advantage of this opportunity, which actually wasn't. Why didn't Sweden support Saab? Were “the trolls” too headstrong or did you think that Sweden only needs a strong car brand? No idea! NEVS achieved what nobody believed. You have established a large network of various technology partners and thus laid the foundations for a car 3.0 (or whatever you want to call it). In China, what is feasible is tested and the rest of the world gets a turn if the concept works. What the brand is called in China doesn't seem to matter much there. The rest of the world knows Saab and expects innovations from this brand, the money mostly coming from China, you have already got used to that.

  • NEVS was chosen years ago by the insolvency administrators as the savior of the automotive brand SAAB. This should also be taken into account by SAAB AB. The false start by NEVS was unsightly - but nobody is perfect (this also applies to the SAAB AB in the past).

    As it now stands, NEVS is on the right track and should receive appropriate support from SAAB AB with regard to the brand name. All the groups involved would have their advantages here - NEVS, SAAB AB, remaining good SAAB bases or dealers worldwide and the entire SAAB community.

    The prerequisite is of course high-quality products that really deserve the name SAAB - this is probably not only a question mark for SAAB AB and will therefore remain under observation for the next few months. If there is further positive development, in my opinion, nothing speaks against the use of the name SAAB and, as already mentioned, would have advantages for everyone involved.

  • Great success needs a brand, Tesla works because the brand Elon Musk works. Nevs has no one who could function as a brand. Of course, Nevs can start from scratch, but not as a volume producer. Today no cars are bought anymore, they are on every street corner, people buy a story with which they identify themselves. Technology is becoming more and more alike, it's the story behind the car that counts. And that's where the brand name SAAB has a lot to offer.

  • SAAB should continue without NEVS ...

    • Entirely my opinion. Saab gets the licenses back from GM, refines and refines the GM technology from its engineers, and gives the contract manufacturing to the hallowed halls of Stallbacka. We and the dealers get real Saabs again as we love and know them. I can sell my Volvo again and buy myself a 9-5 NG station wagon and NEVS can boast a new name for its power soup. Everyone is happy.

  • If an existing distribution / logistics network is to be used, an existing brand is certainly helpful, because buying a car is at least emotion and trust. Both are easier if you have already seen the name and the dealer.

  • I believe that it doesn't matter what kind of logo is on the hood - as long as the product and the marketing work. There just has to be a “have-will-effect”. I haven't had this in any electric car before. With a BMW I3 or a Renault ZOE, I always ask myself why does an electric car have to be ugly? I only got bright eyes at Tesla and the Porsche study.

    On top of that, Tesla makes that very clear, the infrastructure around the product just has to be right. They consistently implement their idea of ​​functioning electromobility. And regardless of other manufacturers. While others still present studies and talk about what would be best, in America you just make nails with heads. But that only works if you have a visionary at the top of the group. Elon Musk. Steve Jobs was carved from the same wood and changed the world with Apple.

    SAAB has always been a very innovative brand. If SAAB now appears as a manufacturer of electromobility, then they have to live up to the name SAAB and bring an absolute, revolutionary bang. In every sense. With average products (see the NEVS-Elektro-SAAB) they simply have too strong competition. At the end of the day, these are not just the traditional automobile manufacturers but also technology groups such as Google, Apple, Samsung, etc ...

  • ... the blank sheet should only apply to the car, the brand is still well known and known for its innovative solutions. The fear that I read out of many comments here is that there is a product that does not correspond to SAAB. Of course, that can't happen. Whether it is good to pack the electric drive in the old 9-3 shape is doubtful, a blank sheet looks different.

    • In China, the 9-3 electric will be good enough to create a cash flow that will go into the development of the next generation of electric SAABs. It must be true SAABs to sell well in the wide world.

  • In the example of the Triumph, the new motorcycles from 1989 had nothing to do with the old Triumph, but more to do with Kawasaki and Yamaha. It wasn't until after 10 years in 1999 that there was a new Bonneville triumph that looked like the old triumphs. Today it is sold both modern Triumph motorcycles and "retro", with great success. NEVS can start selling modern, electric SAABs that don't have much to do with the old SAAB, but the "spirit" lives on in the Technic, brand, thinking ... Then, after a few years, when they have got a market , come the new SAABs that listen back to the old SAABs - from design, features, intelligent technology, performance, safety…. List goes on, you all know. This is a change of times, how it was from two-stroke to four-stroke, how it was from carburetor to turbo ... this time it will be from turbo to electric car. And the electric car of the future has little to do with today's “limited edition” battery cars. If the cars are called SAAB, I will be very enthusiastic - if not, then I will buy one anyway, it will certainly be the best alternative to the other brands anyway - at least it will be the only car brand with a bit of "SAAB spirit" .

  • It probably depends on whether you want to and can adapt the spirit of the brand to the new EV world. If it says SAAB, SAAB should also be recognizable, despite new owners and drive concepts. In principle, the challenge is to convince the old customers of the new product. Of course, this also presupposes a certain openness to something new on the part of “us”, if “we” only ever cry about the old models, that is, the past (which are now the past), then the future has no chance.

  • A good example of a successful revival of a brand; Triumph Motorcycles. Dead in the year 1983 after a series of life-saving attempts, revived in the year 1989 as a modern motorcycle manufacturer. Today is one of the top motorcycle brands in the world. Can also happen with the brand SAAB.

    • The only fundamental difference is that motorcycles (like trucks) are bought out of certain personal convictions, and not mainly because you want to finally catch up with your neighbor - or get it indoctrinated by the relevant marketing departments.
      For this reason, for example, the other brand with the griffon still achieves extremely considerable market shares in the two-digit percentage range, despite premium products.
      In addition, the development of a motorcycle is associated with much lower cost than that of a car.

  • Personally, I would of course wish for a "rosy future" for SAAB!

    But for a NEVS without Saab I somehow almost even have something like understanding, because - I think - except for us "freaks", rather few have ever really started something with Saab.
    And if a NEVS Saab would be what I like / like about Saab in the future, I do not really know at the moment either.

    For example, when I take a look around my circle of acquaintances, I usually only get a shake of the head (even if everyone has always "secretly" envied the cars in terms of performance and interior; and that has been as long as we drive Saab as a "family")!

  • Tradition can not be bought for any money in the world. Just like time. If you use both sensibly, something big can arise in Sweden. One should only approach the potential customers and not put them a finished product in the hope that it will be bought.

  • A sore point has now been hit. On the one hand, of course, you want to see a SAAB car brand resurrected like a phoenix from the ashes. On the other hand, with the GM era, a skepticism has become stronger as to whether an average product should not be marketed with foreign springs. The market makes it difficult to achieve a high level of vertical integration and you would probably have to rely on a joint venture ... My image of SAAB stands for a high level of safety and ingenious turbos, if it is possible to develop an equally emotional electric drive, to set high safety standards and my beloved Night - To liven up the panel, then I almost don't care about the name. Because I know it's a SAAB at heart.

  • Boldly asked ... I'm not sure what would be better, although I would already wish for a new SAAB in front of the house. The fact alone that something is going on in Troll Town and Tom and Mark write about it saves me Monday. Optimism is back. Thank you!

  • I think NEVS should risk a complete restart. With SAAB engineers in the background, Tesla should be captured, or what? The product makes the music, and if it's good it becomes a success.
    When restarting with SAAB name, I see the problem that old press gelaber begins again. Then comes the GM past, Muller, already failed and so in Germany from Endlostape. We already did not need it anymore.

  • I do not trust NEVS therefore my opinion at the moment is that you should not start with the name Saab. He was abused by the Chinese many times as it had done at the time GM

    • That's exactly what I think. I would be absolutely desperate for a restart of Saab as an automaker but NOT under NEVS.

      • I see exactly the same.

        When you take over a company, you not only pay for production machines, factory halls, storage facilities, etc. but - sometimes even to a much larger extent - for what is known as goodwill. In the case of NEVS, the takeover of “SAAB” still does not reveal itself to me, as NEVS has not yet understood how one can benefit from an existing sales network and a loyal customer base.

        Since NEVS the trademark rights to the name SAAB but remain withheld, remains at least a small spark of hope that maybe someday yet another automaker (ideally without Chinese DNA) on the plan whose products may be called SAAB again.

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