Auto industry. The change is accelerating.

A new definition of mobility and alternative forms of drive. Digitization and revolution in manufacturing. Everything announced and not far away. On the contrary, we are already in the middle of it, and the change accelerates more and more. An example of how fundamental the upheavals will be was delivered last Friday.

VW ID3 Photo: Friso Gentsch / Volkswagen

Actually a normal, unspectacular day. No big headlines, once you see the tweets of the 45. President of the United States. In the din, which can damage all world trade, other events went under. It is worthwhile to listen closer. Because every single person has potential for a drama.

Let's start with Wolfsburg. Volkswagen fully relies on the electric car. On the battery-electric. What could become a problem in the medium term, because the competitors in China also diversify and promote other concepts. In addition to battery electric drives, the fuel cell is accepted as what is ignored on the Mittelland Canal. VW started selling the ID 3 last week. The pre-production of 200 vehicles in Zwickau is already under way, and after the summer break it really starts. 10.000 Vehicles were reserved within 24 hours, and Volkswagen's IT infrastructure reached its limits. Interesting because for the first time the Niedersachsen address their customers directly. And the dealer remains out of the reservations for the first time.

More exciting than the success of the ID 3 is a Friday speculation that concerns VW. You could be different from the traditional brand Bentley disconnect, a relic of the piech era. And instead invest in a new brand, for a young, urban audience. Bentley outside? It would be possible. British luxury brands seem to be moving in heavy seas. There is the unexplained Brexit and the fact that one seems to have no real answers to the current issues of the time.

Jaguar Land Rover to the PSA Group?

Because, also on Friday, there was another speculation. Jaguar Land Rover is far from the former zenith of success. The diesel scandal plays badly with the company with its heavy off-road vehicles, and in China, the sales figures, due to lack of quality, under further ran. Owners Tata is fighting for survival in India, so the brand is once again on a potential sales list. The PSA group, which integrated only Opel, could also take over JLR, reported the trade press on Friday. Maybe for a more or less symbolic amount, because the uncertainties of the brands are high.

Pre-order phase. 10.000 orders in 24 hours
Pre-order phase. 10.000 orders in 24 hours. Photo: Volkswagen

Bentley, Jaguar, Land Rover. Not enough for a single day. Because, as a Sweden-affine blog, the view always goes to the north. And there a storm is brewing. Not entirely unexpected, because whoever wanted to see the dark clouds could already discover them. Volvo, the flagship investment of the Chinese, is reaching its limits. The sales figures are excellent, but the profit collapsed by 19% in the past fiscal year. A few weeks ago Volvo therefore announced to the 1. May both a hiring stop, as well as a flat-rate reduction the fees of consultancy contracts for 5%.

Volvo pulls the handbrake

Volvo, the job and prosperity engine for Gothenburg is weakening. For the first time in years. Which also has to do with the problems of Volvo's mother Geely, which currently exists in China. In principle, the Geely Group is the only international success story that China has in the automotive world. So far, because even for the spoiled by success group, the sun no longer shines every day. After rapid growth over the years, the sales figures are falling dramatically. Alone in April almost 20% and thus stronger than the overall market.

The Geely group has to save, and the sweeping cuts in consultancy fees in Gothenburg do not seem to be enough. On Friday, Volvo released the storm and announced the dismissal by some 100 external consultants. Exact figures does not call the company, the assumptions in the Swedish press are speculation.

The party is over

If you just look a little closer, then one discovers almost every day messages such as the last Friday in the international press. The party of the car industry is over. International, and the new times will not come sometime. They are already here, and the industry is undergoing a major upheaval.

Pre-production VW ID.3 in Zwickau
Pre-production VW ID.3 in Zwickau. Photo: Volkswagen

It is under fire from all sides. In terms of environmental policy, it has a difficult time; innovative startups question the status of the established. China is pushing power and money into the mobility business, and the next day's vehicles are nothing more than networked devices - which, incidentally, have 4 wheels.

Surviving becomes who has lean structures, the best software engineers, and is capable of fast adaptation. The industry is getting more uncomfortable, but also more exciting. Whether the fabulous returns of the major car manufacturers are finally past, is open. But probably.

Pre-production in Trollhättan

From Gothenburg and Volvo further north. To Trollhattan. The city, like no other, anticipated the transformation of the auto industry. The bankruptcy of GM left visible traces until today and ended in the end of Saab. What followed was the creation of smaller, innovative companies with state help. Trollhättan remained in business despite all the bad predictions.

Maybe because the industrial city has a talent for reinventing itself. Steam engines, turbines, diesel locomotives and airplanes. Everything was there once, big and important. And nothing lasted. There is a lot going on in this city, and not only in Zwickau a new time is breaking.

As it seems, the slumber of the former Saab plant can come to an end this year. After almost 8 years, one does not include the short-term production for the model year 2014. The pre-production of at least one OEM product will enliven 2019 the factory, from 2020 should then run two product lines from the tapes. And if things go well in this unpredictable change, then at the latest 2021 could already be three brands whose vehicles are produced in the former Saab factory.

28 thoughts too "Auto industry. The change is accelerating."

  • Once again an exciting article on Monday, and free of charge without a payment barrier! Especially the situation in Sweden is extremely exciting and something that you do not even notice in Germany.

    Let's see what really happens this year in Trollhausen, the last paragraph sounds really interesting.

  • Great written. Every sentence a hit, a part of a thriller ...

    In 100 years, historians will work it up and classify it all. And I would like to read that today. For now, the SAAB blog is the best you can get. Thanks for this good article, which I digest first and whose information I first have to classify.

  • The storm in the car industry is turning into a cyclone ... exciting, exciting and moving times.
    Each of these "Tom's Rearview Mirror" items is worth its donation! Thanks for this current (!) Reporting!
    Fast is almost impossible.
    Who remains of the car dinosaurs at the end / survived is apparently z. At the moment completely open.
    No easy decisions are made ... and success and failure are obviously close to each other.
    When something new arises, there is always uncertainty at first. Not everyone likes this. But it will come. To shut it off just makes things more complicated.
    So: like more info from this extremely exciting business!
    I stay curious !!!

  • The prospect of difficult times and out of the car will be mobility you can book. By subscription or something, Volvo does that. Is this going through? With a great deal of political pressure, the lobby behind it, perhaps. Maybe not, and the mature customer just does not pull along and drives the old burners on.

  • I read in a recent report that VW alone would need 130.000 tons of cobalt a year to produce the targeted amount of e-cars, but 123.000 tons are only mined / mined worldwide. To mention the other very rare raw materials. How should a complete electrification of the masses work? The change is intentional, but by whom?

    • Hello!
      Yes, the change is intentional. He is a political issue. Another scrapping bonus. Customers should keep the hamster wheel economy running. I've heard from a credible source in the auto industry that this is only a temporary solution. The next "scrapping premium" should already be in the drawers of the industry. I do not think this topic is interesting. I drive young and vintage cars in the future. Where nothing is in it, nothing can break. And I do not have to do any updates and pay.
      All Saab drivers a nice time

      • I decided that for me too. Nevertheless, I find the topic interesting ...

        I do not go to school any more, I'm not a soldier, farmer, board member of an energy company, geriatric nurses, foreigners, welfare recipients or whatever, and yet I can be interested in all sorts of socially relevant topics. Especially for the environment that affects us and our children ...

        Are you just looking at your own finances and looking for the party whose electoral promises fit in the best way with your personal life circumstances?

        I do not think so. Otherwise, you would not have commented at all. Perhaps you also find the topic more interesting than your statement suggests?

        • Hello!
          No, I will not do that. And I can no longer hear these statements about the future of our children. These arguments I hear since 45 years ago. Everything just lipstick. What does this have to do with finance? Nothing at all. Only with reason. If the policy is right here, it has only deceived us in the past. We should all buy diesel cars, and Euro 4 was environmentally friendly. A few years later this should be devil stuff? We are all well advised to drive our Saabs as long as possible. This is saving of resources and not the consumption of high-stress batteries.

          • We talk past each other ...

            As I said, I drew the same conclusions and conclusions.
            Nevertheless, I'm interested in "this topic" - assuming you meant the article.

            And you, too, still seem to be moving. Otherwise, you would not first comment and secondly to an echauffierten AW on an AW can be carried away, without having understood this at all and arranged. Again and as I said, I have drawn the same conclusions and conclusions and see no potential for conflict between you and me ...

            If you make one thing anyway, then it must rather be because that "this topic" not only not (!) "Not at all interesting", but on the contrary, so much moved and excited that you are not even more brothers can recognize in spirit ...

            Does that prove credible and final your disinterest?

  • The party of the car industry is over. Future is uncertain. But surely we can and will continue to drive our Saabs. These cars are so well produced that most of them will continue to drive for years. Who knows that in 2030 there are old-timer only Porsche, Mercedes and Saab :).

  • Extremely interesting insights, many things would not have expected or thought so

  • I was most surprised by the paragraph about Volvo. I would not have expected such measures in Gothenburg. In general I am curious how some changes (speed limit 180, no pure burners etc) are accepted by the customers (especially in Germany). Such decisions can quickly backfire.

    And who is racing for the fuel cell? The market for battery-electric vehicles is as good as distributed, for new companies (including NEVS), it is increasingly difficult to penetrate the market. Companies like BYD, Tesla, Nissan, Kia and now also VW are more likely to increase their shares.

    I mean, who would have thought that VW 4 years after the diesel scandal in not even 24 Std. 10.000 pre-orders for an e-car can generate?!.

    The next big thing in the automotive industry is no longer the battery car. It will be the technology that will connect! I would have liked to know which way SAAB would have gone. This time has been the most innovative in automotive history for a long time. And the Swedes have always been innovative and different.

    • 180? ? ?

      Interesting. Recently met a friend with a new XC90. His comment: "The last Volvo Diesel ..."
      The man is a frequent driver and that was probably his last Volvo.

      If the 180 without exception (such as Polestar) would be true, there would probably be no more Volvos in the country with the Swedish police. The young Vikings would make long noses with their old souped-up boxes and new motorcycles ...

      And if I look at how many a Volvo driver in D is traveling on the BAB, then 180 in this market pure suicide. But even in countries with speed limits many buyers squint into the data sheet and value high-end speeds. Whatever, but it's just that.

      Maybe Volvo does not trust its own strategy? Maybe you feel bad advice too? "The dismissal of some 100 external consultants" and "the flat-rate reductions in consultant fees" are perhaps also the first signs of a change of strategy, which then could actually only be a role "backwards"?

      I would not be surprised if Volvo soon announces that the time has not yet come for carsharing, autonomous driving and a number of recent slogans, that we have a firm vision of the future as a progressive and forward thinking company in the technological forefront of technology Automotive would be that you continue to explore the future of the automobile and visions intensively and drive forward ...

      But that is why, like no other company, it is possible to develop and deliver modern, environmentally friendly and active burners. Scandinavian, unique design and safety thinking included.

      We will see, but it is quite possible that one or the other manufacturer (especially with decreasing sales figures) comes to the conclusion that he has gambled more market potential than gained with his announcements on the future of the automobile and its brand. Who knows today who is going to revise something tomorrow, or at least put it into perspective?

  • How nice that we can still determine our actions and actions ourselves.
    But what possibilities will we have in the future, an old-timer or youngtimer
    Unlimited use in road traffic?
    I am very critical of electric mobility - environmental protection is somehow different ...
    Are our passion for driving old cars and getting them destroyed as cultural assets broken?
    So now buy a Saab, why not as a diesel?

  • The speed 180 from Volvo is just a gag and Augenwischerei. E-cars do not drive better faster, otherwise the battery is empty so quickly. (Have you ever been outdated by a Tesla S. Whenever I see one, those with max 120 are on the way.) So the fleets are designed anyway at a lower tempo, everything else makes no sense. And just because of the German market to have to be fast, so synonymous for most brands rather pointless. That'll stop anyway ... anyway.

    E-cars are too expensive, the batteries would have to be replaced instead of charging, if that makes sense, who lives in the city center, can hardly anywhere its car load, except a private parking is available. And most of them are looking for another car park every evening. Many of them are illegal, they never get power. For 50% of motorists an electric car is out of the question and that will not change that fast.

    These are not competitive technologies - they should be seen as consumers and manufacturers, as well as politicians. Much ado about little - big announcements like VW are rather counterproductive. Or the economical small car because of it. Also mischief. And the incompetent policy drives this madness forward, instead of planning cleverly and keeping calm. Also applies to the diesel maze.

    What will become of Trollhättan is important to the region, but for the Saab brand it will not work unless Orion benefits. That's why I'm dispassionate here.

    Until the infrastructure for autonomous driving comes, my two diesels have been 20 years in use - or even 30. If this ever works, new roads and highways will have to be built using networking technology. Instead of wanting to turn every car into a mainframe - that too is a mistake.

    So - do not be fooled, preserve the Saab, support the Saab workshops and drive on for as long as possible 🙂

    • CRAZY

      Full approval and good conclusion, especially since I see no practical solution in the battery change. Today's EVs are well categorized under bridge technology.

      At some point they are just as obsolete and worthless, as the ugly and filled with toxins energy saving lamps have been through the LED technology within a few years. The comparison has something for itself. The classic burner is like a light bulb. And many today carry brand-new energy-saving lamps in large numbers for recycling, annoyed not to have waited for something better ...

    • In fact, first of all from a Danish model S. Went some time in convoy at speed above 170 km / h on the left lane. At some point, the Tesla went right over. Whether out of respect for the 9k or the hot drivetrain, the answer will remain open forever.

      Such a speed can not be withstood for such a long time, but even a 30 years old SAAB is still superior 😉

  • For me, in this whole buzzword boom of the auto industry is still not so clear what it should be good for you to zukleistert the cars with an annoying and pointless layer of electronic waste. An automated collision brake on its own is a beautiful thing, even the Lane Keeping Assistant makes sense on the way home from the inn, but that you want to transform the driver to the idiotic worthless, the only-serve debil-infantile luminous touch screens and not even get a steering wheel, I think breathtakingly outrageous. Since they have to grow up only a few new generations who are willing to accept such a miserable-Asian existence.


    Quote: "The ID.3 will be given to the customer CO2-neutral."

    This is impossible to my knowledge. If anything, the electricity for the assembly and the production halls comes exclusively from wind and solar energy. But even that has a CO2 record, albeit a cheap one.

    Since I do not need to start here from the mining and transport of raw materials and other links in the chain to the finished ID.3.

    If VW wanted to prove the CO2 neutrality of the production completely, they would have guaranteed a huge problem. But the Wolfsburg lean back with cocky promises yes even too far out of the window. Way too far. And that's honestly true and not a lie ...

  • CO2 neutral production will be one of the future topics. NEVS will only use regenerative energies in the production of the SION. I find this part of the future positive and exciting.

    • I also do not want to have said anything against CO2 savings - be it in production or in operation.

      On the contrary, I am in favor. That's why full-bodied advertising promises are put to the test. When you pass the fact check everything is fine. If not, they are fake news ...

      The ID.3 can not be produced CO2-neutral for this reason alone, because the raw materials for it can not be obtained CO2-neutral or transported. I have never heard of a CO2 neutral excavator, truck or cargo ship ...

      And as I said, CO2 balance sheets exist even for wind (better) and solar energy (worse). It does not exist without a reason. From a CO2 neutrality we are still very, very far away.

      You may like to find everything exciting (I do that too) and for my sake like to see positive, but please be realistic and stay critical. Not every (political or promotional) promise will last. If we really want to save CO2 and resources, ultimately only honest (!) And complete total balances count.

      Unfortunately, we are still very, very far away from them. The ID-3 is certainly neither complete nor honest ...

      • Seriously: Do you really believe Volkswagen puts such Dine in the world, without being able to prove it. Especially since the diesel scandal is still very present?

        Of course you have to watch these things with suspicion. It is expected, from an independent third party, and often the result is not to 100% comprehensible. But the road is the right one, and if Volkswagen wants and can operate the factory in Zwickau CO2 neutral, then that's good.

        Note: I am not a fan of Volkswagen and do not drive any.

        • Seriously, even if you introduce the concept of "faith" into the debate, you have unwittingly pinpointed much of the problem ...

          I want to know it and not believe it. That's the point. And to my knowledge a CO2-neutral transfer of an ID-3 to the customer is not possible. Nevertheless, it is claimed. You can feel that way. I will not do that for the above reasons.

          An honest and complete overall assessment of the ID-3 could have been positive and, on the bottom line, could result in significant CO2 savings. Who knows? I would have applauded ...

          Unfortunately, this balance sheet is not available and Volkswagen, the PR department and commissioned agencies rather fancy the story of absolute (!) Neutrality. Why and for what? And who should believe that? And then find it good, even though it is complete nonsense ...

          Yes, of course, there is also no ID-3 to the ecological zero tariff. If you know better - sorry, if your belief is different - then you will let VW such slogans go through without being contradicted. Can you do it that way? All a question of faith and good faith ...

      • VW will have calculated how much carbon dioxide is produced by the use of materials and energy for the production of an ID.3 and then buy certificates from a compensation agency for the amount of carbon dioxide produced by the production. So far so good.

        Now you can ask yourself, what has flowed into their calculation everything. Did you break down all your fixed costs on the ID.3, or did you leave that because you would have them without the ID.3? Of the sort, there are certainly more tricks than I can think of.

        To the certificates of the compensation agencies then arise the next questions. In a TV documentary that I have recently seen, the question of the reliability of these certificates has been investigated. It was wondering that the compensation of the same amount of carbon dioxide at different agencies caused significantly different costs. This could, of course, be due to the respective projects for reducing carbon dioxide emissions. When one looked at some of the projects listed on site, it was concluded that they could hardly bring the promised carbon dioxide reduction.

        In any case, VW wants to look ecologically good and therefore I can not imagine that you knowingly make false representations. On the other hand, it is still a company that pursues the purpose of generating the greatest possible profit. Therefore, it is already conceivable that you calculate the amount of carbon dioxide produced within tolerances and gray areas as low as possible and buy the cheapest compensation certificates.

        Whether one now assesses this as environmental protection, whitewashing, better than nothing or fake news, first of all it is up to you. Until proof of the contrary ...

        • CERTIFIED

          That's exactly what hit me immediately when I read that the ID-3 was produced CO2-neutral.
          Technically not possible, but maybe still neutral negotiated and certified. Of course there are questions.

          If one company issues CO2, which has saved another, how much CO2 did humanity produce less overall?

          If polluters of CO2 emissions can buy and certify the factually false promise of their own CO2 neutrality on the world market, what influence does that have on the political and public debate?

          What influence does it have on consumer behavior and technical developments and solutions?

          If the emissions trading and the certificates work in the same way as you suggested, yes, then that would clearly be "whitewashing" and not "environmental protection". He would be part of the problem instead of the solution.

  • Fear is always with us

    Probably because of the consumption and range display ...
    Since a few minutes of speedy ride are immediately punished with eternal loading times - provided you even come to the next pillar. A yellow angel could do nothing because no diesel or gasoline in the batteries, not jump start give ...

    A Talladega Challenge with a Tesla would be funny. If the batteries lasted at all 100.000 Km, the average speed due to the load times at the end should be just under 200 Km / h among the fastest SAABs. The long run would be a real long-term project, lasting around 5.000 hours and therefore 208 days ...

    The 9K is still a fantastic car. Or again? He is one of the last to be free of bridge technologies and software updates for navigation systems, connectivity and cell phones that are free of annually obsolete gadgets and inexpensive bulbs, without the extra weight and additional cost of a ballast (xenon) get along.

    As you like to overtake a Tesla and waving happily. Autonomous driving in pure culture.
    And that also sustainable. Perfect …

    Jan_HH, you made my day. Now I just need an 9K Aero ...

    • ... and why an Aero? So SAAB has not denied Talladega, nor does it match what you like to praise otherwise. Not that the readers think, according to Hürsch, only an Aero would be worth preserving and possessive.

      • I can not follow ...

        What else do I like to praise?
        And how do you come up with the absurd idea that it could be worth considering for "readers",
        what "after Hürsch" "preservation and possessiveness" was ...

        "After Hürsch" every produced, mobile or repairable car is a shame to throw away.
        "After Hürsch" everyone should drive, cherish and maintain what he wants ...

        Her comment has a very strange and very bitter note, for which I do not feel that it is causally causative.
        I'm afraid you'll have to look for causes in the mirror.

        But the question of the 9K Aero, I can answer you gladly.
        I just like him and would like one. Is it that bad?

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