No future for Trollhättan?

Turning point in Trollhättan. For the first time since the arrival of NEVS in the old Saab factory, the TTELA negative about the future of the site. For years, local journalists were on the run with optimism. And even at the turn of the year there was the slogan that, which is good for NEVS, also good for Trollhättan.

NEVS plant summer 2016

Chinese investors. No future for Trollhättan.

Only a few weeks later, in fact, it seems that what seems to be a good NEVS is unfortunately bad for Trollhättan. It is about the dismantling of the paint shop and the final task of the assembly line in the factory. Gradually, the implications of events seem to be plowing into the public consciousness. That does not like NEVS, and there were half-hearted attempts to counter. A few days ago you could read a halfway optimistic article on the situation in the TTELA. In addition to NEVS communications chief Fredrik Fryklund, who was surprised by the consistently negative media coverage in Sweden, came Fredrik Sidahl, head of the auto parts industry, to speak.

He expressed the hope to be able to fill the factory with new orders. He cited the good infrastructure around the city, the proximity to the port in Wallhamn, and the good facilities of the factory as a trump card.

Probably not reflective that the work of NEVS is already partially dismantled. From the paint shop, only the property has remained. The facility itself is located on the way to Tianjin. Employees who are to land assembly orders with "NEVS Industrial Services" left the company last year.

The situation carries a grotesque drama. The once state-of-the-art automobile plant in Sweden is being dismantled by Chinese investors. An ugly situation, as we only knew it from the 70 and 80 years, when Chinese people dismantled old steelworks into parts and shipped them to China.

Chinese investors. Future for Hisingen.

A few kilometers further southwest, on Hisingen, stands another car factory. It was 2010 in a worse condition than the Saab factory, but there Chinese are investing instead of dismantling. And while Geely owner Li Shufu successfully forms a global corporation, Trollhättan has no future. The expectation of the Saab veterans that sooner or later the Volvo logo would be found at work, has not been fulfilled.

And it seems unlikely ever to happen. Geely does not settle for old, looted factories. Geely thinks long term and builds anew. In China, a Polestar works at its finest, Ghent is constantly modernized. In December, Li Shufu's Geely Holding purchased from Volvo Trucks and last Friday became its largest shareholder at Daimler. An end to the Geely success story is not in sight. At the old Saab location it looks bleak.

In Trollhättan, they are now in doubt about the schedule of NEVS, which seems to be postponing itself for the umpteenth time. 10.000 electric cars this year seem hardly feasible, as the completion of the Tianjin plant continues to be delayed. The future of the Swedish location is the first time that TTELA publishes in public Question, Absolutely right when you see the facts. The old Saab factory is now no longer producible, the NEVS 9-3 project is controlled only from China. Trollhättan has nothing to do with it.

What remains? What are currently the estimated remaining 6-700 Swedish employees working, maybe less? Some work in China, train colleagues in Tianjin and set up assembly. The former Saab testing and testing laboratories are well booked by other companies and generate revenue. However, they are also no longer up to date. On our last visit in the year 2016 was spoken of planned investments in the following year in the plants. One can assume that they did not take place.

The advance development for the DiDi concepts takes place in the stable baking, also the work on the Phoenix E platform. It goes without saying that due to the lack of capital, and also due to the lack of suitable employees, the projects are developing on a low-budget basis. The persistently bad situation surrounding the development of NEVS not only leads to a continuing emigration of top performers, but also to a bad mood up to the highest management level.

How long does Beijing support Kai Johan Jiang?

NEVS is now losing its last, local backing. The patience on the spot seems to be exhausted. After years of announcements that never materialized, investor Kai Johan Jiang seems to have used up his credit. For the Chinese policy that Kai Johan Jiang obviously supports, the situation and the negative media response is not a recommendation. Because what happened in Trollhättan in recent years also damages the reputation of Chinese investors in Europe. This can not be endorsed in Beijing, where one registers sensitively what Western media report. NEVS and Kai Johan Jiang are finally hanging on the drip of Chinese banks. How long are they still watching?

The local newspaper expresses the hope for more clarity in the spring. And that NEVS will succeed in achieving success and economic importance. I do not share that hope.

18 thoughts too "No future for Trollhättan?"

  • I do not share the hope either.
    NEVS is finally supposed to shut down the shop, maybe then something can be done with the sorry remainder of the work.
    But I'm happy for Volvo that probably because much goes in the right direction.

  • Are not bad news - if NEVS is out of the factory (the paint shop goes where?), Then you can handle the factory premises - a buyer will find ...

  • Is probably spoiled. Name ruined, now even off to China with the work. Can only do something better.

  • NEVS has brought a lot of energy and capital - if it finally reaches the store, can not be answered at the moment.

    The prime example Volvo under the Geely flag is a comparison with completely different starting positions - these are now also well known and described several times. In NEVS, the setup is much more difficult and requires much longer periods of time.

    I keep my fingers crossed for NEVS.

    • stop dreaming and live in a different world. Nevs it's a cancer that destroyed everything

    • "I keep my fingers crossed for NEVS."

      For what exactly? Dismantling and shipping? I do not understand the comment. Did you read the article?

      I do not care if China has a car brand more or less. Not quite in this special case (NEVS). I prefer that no Chinese brand invokes SAAB.
      Otherwise, after the assembly line and the paint shop also the reputation and the SAAB story would be shipped to China.

      Good that the SAAB AB has held a protective hand over the name.

      In a few years, SAAB drivers would otherwise be approached in parking lots by younger car enthusiasts as follows:
      "Interesting, your car. What is this year of construction? AHA! I did not know that the Chinese had built such beautiful cars back then. "

      A real horror scenario! I never want to have this conversation.

      • Have read the article carefully - but do not come to your conclusion.

        Do you really believe that a so-called startup (much more NEVS after the amputation by GM at SAAB and other adversities is currently not possible) could start with electromobility elsewhere than in China?

        Take a look at the infrastructure in Europe - apart from a few exceptions (Norway, for example) there is hardly anything to see. Of course they would manage everything here in Germany - I am firmly convinced.

        During your later car park conversations with young people, there will be times when there will be smarter people than the young people from the Valley of the Unknowable - so do not worry!

        • Why the sarcasm?

          Did I claim to get an e-mobile startup outside of China? I admit that I could not get it in China, not even wanted ...

          But is that relevant, the point?

          If NEVS was successful (does not look like this), that would be a startup of your choice. Would that have anything to do with SAAB? That is the point. That's what it's about here. It's a SAAB blog! ! !

          Subject (SAAB) heritage:
          You should be able to distinguish between "knowledge" and "intelligence". I never heard of an intelligence test that involved knowledge of SAAB automobiles.
          Still, are you telling the "Valley of the Unknowing" if a kid knows what a 1993er SAAB was in the future?

          Here's a prediction: By your standards, all teenagers will be completely stupid in the future. Thank God, but only by your standards!

          Otherwise, fathers and grandfathers are more likely to have to justify for the youth, why they not only idly watched the technology and money transfer to China, but also cheered this ...

          But keep on cheering ...

          • I just found out that NEVS is trying to get something done in China (because it's more suitable for the project).

            Why should they stop using energy and capital so far? SAAB cars were amputated by GM in such a way that another investor would not be very interested in the SAAB factories (with or without a paint shop) - but the causer for this condition is not NEVS. I do not rejoice - but somehow understand the action of NEVS.

            SAAB automobiles had neither a future under SAAB AB nor later on GM. I'm just waiting, what with the "leftovers" under NEVS maybe still succeed - other great investors will probably still not appear on the scene. This should be settled now.

  • Why are they still called NEVS anyway if nothing more will come from Sweden? Better would be NEVC. Since only hate and anger comes up when you see how such a traditional company driven against the wall and plundered. I wish them the final departure, that finally peace is.

    • I could not have expressed it better like Heiko

  • All this had nothing to do with SAAB. The only thing that was still SAAB was the bodywork of the old 9-3 from the year 2002 and the ominous Phoenix platform, which is now also being rumored since X years. The world keeps turning. Other car manufacturers are already light years ahead of NEVS. Not even with alternative drives but especially with networking, autonomous driving or complete mobility concepts like Car2Go. Since NEVS can not even offer something. They do not even have a sexy study that triggers a "have will" effect.

    Do not get me wrong, but SAAB will always be SAAB for me. But SAAB has been dead since 2012. And it will stay that way. I've had 6 SAABs myself over the years. For me SAAB has always been an individual brand that has distinguished itself by technical refinements and by a cool, not the general taste corresponding design.
    NEVS alone is not a worthy successor. And who believes that the factory in Trollhättan again sometime tumble cars, is wrong.

    • Absolutely correctly formulated. NEVS is in theory a pure hardware supplier working on more or less old platforms. You can not offer innovative networking from your own home, not even in the beginning. The train of time has rolled over NEVS, in principle one does nothing but 6 years ago.

    • Hello Nico
      That's exactly what I argued years ago and was dubbed a pessimist. But who knows something in the automotive industry knew that the whole procedure around Nevs in Sweden was an air number. Never has a "dead brand" been successfully revived in automotive history. If takeover candidates are not immediately continued with a good concept (see Volvo) nothing will come of it. Nevs waited a long time and had nothing new to offer. Instead, the little that one had was degraded. Too bad, always a pity.

  • I think it's right and important that is reported on the blog about it. Where else can you get this information!
    If the decision-makers had not been so stubborn at the time and BMW had come to the fore, things would have been different today in Trollhättan. Why was NEVS named as the No-Name? Strange!!!
    Nevertheless - who has serious interest in the factory will invest in a new painting line. Let NEVS finally pull the plug to clear the way for a new investor. There has been enough bad news in the last few years. A crucial question will be whether there are any serious prospects for the old factory?

  • That's it!

  • I am good at the lack of interest in NEVS. Now someone else has the chance to revive SAAB

  • Thanks for the update. ME can be congratulated Volvo only to his Chinese investor, who would have thought that a few years ago, here too, the doubts were great. But the Chinese were smart enough to realize that a Volvo made in China would fail in the European market, or you would have to offer it over the price in other segments, but that has been spared us so far. I've often wondered which brand could be considered for a new car - the new Volvo V60 has become fantastic for me. Great design, inside a lot of space. Unfortunately, Volvo has also lost a (small) portfolio adjustment plant, Uddevalla (now with Pininfarina). I hope that Volvo brings out in the future again a sleek C70 convertible with fabric top. Because there are just too few of the 9-3III MY10-12 on the market ... ;-( Who actually owns the property of the Saab factory? The banks or a real estate company? Once the property is empty for a few years, the deterioration begins Right next to it you are probably worried about your future ... I read once that GKN (formerly Volvo Aero) considers a production relocation to the UK ... Then a whole quarter would be empty ... PS: If one of the Main gate to the GKN looks over, so over the large parking lot away, are a few smaller "barracks" - which department was there actually housed in Saab times?

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