It wasn't a big surprise! It had become increasingly clear in the past few weeks that Saab would not be back. There were talks between NEVS and Saab AB, but the direction was clear. NEVS would start by establishing its own brand.
Saab's story was always full of fractions. The Saab 99 was a radical departure, away from the round compact car to the edgy middle class. The 9000 was a cheeky break with the old luxury class tradition, the Turbo a revolution in drive technology. From this perspective, it can be tolerated that the Saab lettering can no longer be found on the work. Of course, this hurts as a Saab fan; it feels like you've lost your home - but it's a good thing.
A new label based on Saab foundations.
The decision creates clarity that has been missing for a long time, it clears the way for something new, perhaps for a revolution from Trollhättan. That Saab AB wants to protect its brand name is honorable and understandable. That NEVS is better advised with a new brand has been my opinion for months. There are more than 5 years without production between Saab Automobile AB and today. And when new NEVS electric cars roll off the production line in the Stallbacka in 2018 or 2019, then 7 or 8 years have already passed. Too much time in an industry in radical change to credibly pick up where the end was sealed in 2011.
At the same time, the tempting opportunity opens up to build a success story on Saab foundations. Audi emerged from several brands - Horch, Wanderer, DKW. Today the tradition of these brands is maintained at the Chemnitz location. Something similar could be achieved at NEVS. Saab DNA, Saab design, the roots deeply anchored in Västra Götland ... where aircraft were once built and the first 2-stroke engines carried the Saab name into the world. Just new technology, progressive solutions, another name.
NEVS seeks proximity to the Saab community
An email from yesterday suggests that this could be the case. Mark and I received an invitation from NEVS. Representatives of the Saab community were invited to be guests at the plant today. NEVS talks about the future, shows the future, answers questions. It would have been nice to have known this date in the medium term, because we would have loved to be there. More than 1.000 kilometers stood against this, as opposed to private and business scheduling. A flight booked at short notice in the morning with a return flight on the same day plus rental cars cannot be displayed for a fan blog.
As regrettable as the short-term nature of the invitation is, it shows a tendency. If the sustainable strategy behind this is to build on the long and great tradition of Saab, then that would be the right way to go. A lot of brand expertise is gathered in the former Saab plant. People who know how a Saab should feel, how it should look, design future products. That could be exciting, we could like the result.
Will we continue to support NEVS?
The question arises as to whether we will stick with it and continue to support NEVS in the media. Or whether we will change again and become a pure youngtimer and classic blog. The decision-making process is ongoing, and it largely depends on NEVS. Whether you are interested in the Saab legacy in the long term, whether you want to get involved in working with us. I'm excited about the future, but could live well with both options and a slightly quieter blog that only cares about the “old” cars. The coming weeks will bring a general decision about our future direction.
What is the résumé of yesterday? A new label is on the way, the new NEVS website gives an outlook and answers questions. NEVS faces the no small challenge of generating awareness and desirability for the brand. According to today's judgment, Saab is not coming back - which does not change anything about the enthusiasm and love for the brand. You can take two things with you from this: The excitement for the future, and for everyday life buy the best Saab that money can get.