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.

One can gradually guess what is drifting towards the auto industry. The economic slump hits them at an inopportune time, and in the end it will be workers who will pay the bill. It is still relatively calm in Germany. Immediate aid cushions the problems. But they won't flow forever either, and if there is a fire in the roof of our neighbors, 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 them are in Germany, and it is possible that employees will experience wage losses over the course of the year. It's comparatively moderate there 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 looming. In the Saab factory, the belts started again. Despite all the adversities in the run-up, something happened that no one had seriously expected. It was actually a miracle in a double pack. Because Victor Muller and the Saab team not only managed to revive the plant after months of downtime. They could also 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 keep us busy for the next few months. A dose of Saab folklore, garnished with a little hope and sentimentality. A reappraisal, because you learn from crises.

Stay healthy!

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

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

  • 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 man doesn't say; “Small is beautifull”?

  • BERLIN (@ Areo-9-3)

    Complete agreement. The federal government says € 5.000 million for new cars and the state 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 labor market. Crises are also opportunities. For example for service and workshops, dent doctors and painters. Not all jobs in the industry depend on new cars ...

    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.

  • 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 in the automotive industry - the number in the automotive sector will certainly be different at the end of the year. How the energy industry develops remains to be seen.

  • Soon news from Trollhättan, wonderful! I am excited with anticipation ...
    It is said that “you” learn from crises. Sometimes I doubt whether that's really the case. If the possibly federal German car rescue package 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.
    The fact that the German automotive industry is a major 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 employed in the forest and timber industry and in the processing trade.
    So, there are other industries that are relevant !!!
    Other industries will grow and require more people. Cars are not the industrial hub of the world ...
    In this sense, a good new week!

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  • I'm looking forward to this retrospective.

    Speaking of joy, positive side effect of Corona:

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

    Since Corona he has undercut the prospectus by 2 to 3 liters. And that with the current fuel prices. Clutch and brakes are also protected. As stupid, sad and also frightening as the crisis is in terms of social, economic and medical aspects, but my Saab is just really fun ...

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