Large and small dramas in the automotive industry. How forgetful we are.

I published one here about a year ago Post with the heading “Automotive Industry. The perfect storm is coming ”. Looking back, I was wrong. Corona had no one on the radar in summer 2019. No storm is coming, but a big, difficult to estimate drama. The corona crisis resembles an iceberg. You can only see the smallest part of him. The bigger one remains hidden under the water.

Trollhättan 2010. Drama 10 years ago.
Trollhättan 2010. Drama 10 years ago.

The great dramas are coming.

It is gradually becoming clear what is drifting towards the auto industry. The economic slump reaches them at an inopportune time, and ultimately it will be the workers who pay the bill. It is still relatively quiet in Germany. Emergency aid cushions the problems. But they will not flow forever either, and if our neighbors have a fire in the roof structure, sooner or later the fire will affect the entire European house.

Example Spain. Nissan closes the plant in Barcelona. 3.000 jobs are lost, an additional 20.000 in the vicinity of the factory. Or France. Renault will have up to 15.000 jobs Streichen. Jobs at suppliers, which will also be affected, are not included. The German ZF Group has between 12.000 and 15.000 jobs in the crisis and the transformation of the industry dismantle. Half of this is in Germany, and it is possible that employees will lose salaries over the course of the year. It is comparatively moderate Munich to. 6.000 jobs at BMW are to be eliminated on the gentle tour in a socially responsible manner and through fluctuation.

The reports are a small cross-section from 48 hours last week. More would be possible, but you do not need to understand the seriousness of the situation. With the great dramas of the present, you almost forget the smaller ones of the past.

10 years ago in Trollhättan.

In the early summer of 2010, a miracle really seemed to be happening. The tapes started up again at the Saab plant. Despite all the adversity in advance, something happened that nobody had seriously expected. It was actually a miracle in a double pack. Because Victor Muller and the Saab team not only managed to revitalize the plant after months of standstill. They were also able to produce the new Saab 9-5 generation.

Unfortunately, what happened in Trollhättan was just a utopia. One of the smallest manufacturers in the world dares to restart. All alone, without a potent partner in the background. With contracts that weren't fair and were supposed to drag Saab down like a millstone. But with big ambitions. Electric car, hybrid - the plans for it weren't just in the drawer. A Saab world of experience on the green field in front of the factory, development work for other manufacturers.

The ideas seemed too fantastic to be true.

We quickly forget. Hardly anyone remembers what happened at Göta Älv in 2010. The contemporary dramas are too important for that. They overlay everything. Where will we be in 10 years from now, 2030? And how will we judge?

Trollhättan and what happened in 2010 will occupy us in the coming months. A dose of Saab folklore, garnished with a little hope and sentimentality. A reappraisal, because you learn from crises.

Stay healthy!

7 thoughts too "Large and small dramas in the automotive industry. How forgetful we are."

  • I'm looking forward to this retrospective.

    Speaking of joy, positive side effect of Corona:

    In normal times, my Saabenziner adheres to the brochure details for urban consumption, even in rush hour traffic - which I find very honest, given that cars from other and current manufacturers like to approve 20 to 50% more than promised ...

    Since Corona, he has undercut the brochure by 2 to 3 liters. And that at the current fuel prices. The clutch and brakes are also protected. As stupid, sad and scary the crisis is from a social, economic and medical point of view, but I really enjoy my Saab ...

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  • Soon news from Trollhättan, wonderful! I'm excited with anticipation ...
    It is said that “you” learn from crises. Sometimes I doubt whether it really is. If the possibly German car rescue parachute means that the dumps are emptied with “old” cars and then masses of “old” technology comes onto the streets, then good night, nothing understood in Berlin. I still hope for a better, cleaner, healthier future.
    That the German automotive industry is an important employer (with dubious products) is often mentioned as a mantra. The currently almost as many people are employed in the entire (!) energy industry is ignored. The fact that tens of thousands of jobs have already been lost in the solar and wind energy sector is often overlooked. A similar number of people are also employed in the forestry and wood industries and in the processed trades.
    So, there are other industries that are relevant !!!
    Other industries will grow and more people will be needed. Cars are not the industrial hub of the world ...
    In this sense, a good new week!

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  • The passage with the energy industry seems a little too high to me.
    A short investigation brings the following results:
    At the end of 2019, just over 250.000 people worked in the energy industry, but around 832.000 worked in the automotive industry - the number in the automotive sector will certainly be a different one at the end of the year as to how the energy industry will develop.

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  • BERLIN (@ Areo-9-3)

    Complete agreement. The federal government says 5.000 million euros for new cars and the country wants fewer cars ...

    Corona has given Berlin a number of new (pop-up) bike paths that should remain. Parking space and lanes are systematically removed and rededicated.

    Crises are also opportunities. If the federal government also wants the quiet and clean (inner) city of tomorrow, it has to say goodbye to 4 million new registrations every year.

    Regarding the degree of constipation, it does not matter who prevails in the grocery store. Be it the group of EV supporters or the group that wants to see € 5.000 million distributed to new burners.

    It would certainly be good for the environment to continue driving the cars we already have and less in the future.

    And I'm also skeptical about the effects on the job market. Crises are also opportunities. For example for service and workshops, dent doctor and painter. Not all jobs in the industry depend on the new car ...

    On the contrary, the relationship between material, energy and personnel expenditure for service, repair, maintenance and repair seems to me to be clearly more positive for people and the environment than for production.

    Of course, investors see it differently. There is no listed saddler or Saab service.

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  • Thanks Tom, a good but very embarrassing article. It's a shame that it works in our world. Also a pity that only very large companies can survive. If Saab didn't lose the struggle to survive in 2010, we might still have been able to buy Saabs because they could continue to manufacture small volumes of great cars.
    Of course, the price was higher than these cars produced by the world giants, but the man had to accept it.
    Now it will be a real drama for these big manufacturers and therefore for the employees who lose their jobs.
    Saab wasn't big in numbers but doesn't say man; "Small is beautifull"?

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  • “… Where will we be in 10 years, 2030? … ”
    Hopefully we can still read the blog then ... 😉

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