Exact today before 5 years was probably the darkest day in the history of Saab. The first hints reached Mark and me shortly before 9 clock, a little later it was certainty. Victor Muller made his way to Vänersborg bankruptcy petition for the Saab Automobile AB.
I let this day, 5 years later, review, then I remember a few things especially in memory. There was the last conference call with Victor Muller. The Saab blogs were at that time - at the height of the crisis - very closely involved in the action. It was about avoiding misinformation and providing facts first-hand.
In the afternoon of the 19. In December, Muller held his last international conference call. The Saab leadership team and he was visibly battered and at the end of their strength arrived. Nevertheless, at the end there were words that should provide comfort and hope.
According to VM, Swedish insolvency law allows companies to get back to market after the procedure. There was hope among the employees. Christmas crises had been recurring in recent Saab history. The employees left their offices with the intention of returning to work in January.
At the Saab branch in Frankfurt, the Saab Germany team had set up provisional offices on the first floor. A makeshift temporary solution after leaving Rüsselsheim, with far too little space. Until the last day, the plans for the future ran in close coordination with Trollhättan. The end was also a shock in Frankfurt, because only a few days earlier, the plan had been approved to build a strong, German sales organization.
The vote between Saab Germany boss Jan-Philipp Schuhmacher and the bloggers was particularly tight these days. It was all about mitigation and support for dealers and Saab drivers. Do not leave the Saab driver alone, take care - that was the watchword. In interviews, the situation of Saab and the spare parts supply was explained. In Frankfurt, people immediately started planning for the future. Securing jobs and maintaining the brand in Germany were in the foreground.
Today, 5 years later, Orio Germany employs more staff at the Eschborn site than Saab Germany 2011. A provisional branch has become a state-of-the-art logistics company with a national central warehouse. Orio is a German - Swedish success story, created from the most difficult circumstances. Managing Director Jan-Philipp Schuhmacher continues to guarantee continuity and reliability.
Somewhere in Germany
After the 19. In December 2011, many people headed for Trollhättan. It was about possible to quickly secure the Saab remains. There were visitors from China, Turkey and also from Germany. The finance director of a German manufacturer flew one day after the bankruptcy with the last Lufthansa machine to Gothenburg and then on to Trollhättan. In one of his company's design studios was the model of a new, compact Saab that was supposed to run off the ribbons in the Stallbacka along with second-brand cars.
The platforms would have been identical, the engine provided a well-known 1.6 liter 4 cylinder with turbo charging. The plans for the Saab takeover had been in the drawers for a while, and yet they were breaking up. The board had a plan for rationalization in their luggage. Both the traditional summer holidays and the complete break in production would have been canceled. That was rejected in Sweden, and the Germans were out of the race in January.
Trollhättan 5 years later.
In Trollhättan, the situation is estimated positively, 5 years later. The city on the Göta Älv has remained an automotive development location and is better and stronger in this regard than ever before. Many new small and medium-sized enterprises have emerged, the structure in the region has changed and dependency on big employers has fallen. The expansion of the connection to Gothenburg has provided further positive impulses. Everywhere in the municipality, construction cranes are turning.
Only among the workers is unemployment above average. Some have been able to stay in Hisingen near Volvo, but many still have no job prospects. If cars are built again in the Stallbacka around the year 2020, then under the NEVS brand name, it will be too late for many former Saab workers.