The airfield Trollhättan Vänersborg. Just now a Saab 340 has landed, the winter sun is shining and everything seems to be the same as always. But that's not it. The pictures from Trollhättan show the last days of a 69 tradition.
The Saab logos have already disappeared from the factory buildings, only the familiar sign is still on the northern entrance to the factory. Cars with the Saab brand name have been built here since 1947. There was an initiative in the city to keep one of the signs and leave it in its place. This procedure, perhaps in combination with an information board for visitors, would have been an appropriate way of dealing with the story. But the idea didn't catch on.
NEVS shows responsibility
After all, NEVS proves a lot of responsibility, and for one of the logos the continued existence is assured. In the coming days, the Saab sign will be handed over to the museum in a ceremony at the northern driveway. There should be his future location. A good alternative with symbolic power. The industrial development of Trollhättan began at the waterfalls. Turbines and locomotives used to be built on the current museum grounds, and the Saab exhibition is housed in a former production hall. The phasing out of one technology in the city was always connected with breaking into something new. What happened now, Trollhättan experienced several times in the past decades.
After 69 years
What remains for us after 69 years beyond our cars that we like and care for? Which are increasingly expressing automobile individuality? Ultimately it is the hope that it is not over for all time. That it comes again to a departure.
Saab comes as 2017 system supplier back into the auto industry. And at NEVS there is more than justified hope of preserving the thinking behind the brand. Our visit to the R&D Center in October showed a lot of new things, but also encouraging continuity. The new models, which are announced for 2019 or 2020, should not only contain visual Saab heritage. Together with state-of-the-art technology and new mobility solutions, things could get moving. But there is still a long way to go before then.
What's new at the former Saab factory? The certification process for China is ongoing. The receipt of the license for the Tianjin plant and the start of production of the NEVS electric car will be very important for further development. Let's stay curious.