Avatar of Tim

by Tim

SAAB factory could become a warehouse…

October 21, 2014 in Editorial

After having talked with a couple sources in the past weeks I’ve learned what might become of the Trollhättan factory area if the reconstruction of NEVS was to fail.

First of all regarding the new business plan of NEVS, focusing on the point of letting other manufacturers build their cars at the Saab factory. This is a scenario that nobody I’ve talked to believes in and there are some well founded arguments regarding this so lets put this in context. There is a huge over-capacity in car factories in Europe today. SEAT is not selling well and in order to keep the factories running the VW group are moving production of Audi cars into these factories to keep meaningful production. Most french factories are running on government aid at the moment and almost every manufacturer in Europe are looking for more stuff to do.

So lets say that you are an asian manufacturer looking to enter the European market. Due to high tolls and the soon coming high environmental taxes on shipping its logical for many to place production in Europe, but where?

Option 1. You go to a company called NEVS: They are a company in reconstruction, close to bankruptcy, they do not have any production staff employed at all, they don’t produce any cars themselves, they have zero experience in high volume production and their production capacity is limited to 120k cars per year. NEVS will also not write a long term deal since if their own plans actually become reality they will need the majority of the capacity at the factory for their own cars. Normally production deals like these are written for a full series production spanning 4-6 years. NEVS plans to have a big output of their own cars in less than 3 years.

Option 2. You go for one of the other established manufacturers who have trained production staff, peak capacity of about 3-500k cars per year, a high level of competence and are actually production cars so you can get good contracts on part-sharing. With these manufacturers you can get a long-term deal at a competitive price that NEVS can not match. Right now there are about 5+ factories more or less actively looking for partners to produce for all with a capacity of more than 120k cars per year.

Which option would you go for? Exactly, I don’t think any business man with a sense of reality would go for option 1…

I don’t think there is a chance that NEVS will land a production contract for any other manufacturer unless its actually Mahindra or Dong Feng themselves who would go in as owners in the company thus guaranteeing the financial survival of the company. Question is, is there a demand in Europe for the products that Mahindra or Dong Feng offers?…

So whats up with the headline? SAAB FACTORY COULD BECOME A WAREHOUSE?

Yep, there are actually real plans of this happening and these plans were made back in 2011 when Hemfosa was offered to buy the production facilities from SWAN. This was the backup plan for Hemfosa in case Saab Automobile AB was to go bankrupt, this was also the plan that was to be put into action if the bankruptcy administrators were unable to sell the estate and I’ve learned that this plan is still very much a reality at the moment if NEVS were to fail.

So warehouse? Yes, exactly… There are two big ports close to Trollhättan, Gothenburg 75 km south and Uddevalla 45 km west, both ports are situated fairly close to the center of the city in areas that have high land value. In Gothenburg housing companies are paying big money to get hold of land to build luxury apartments on and a large area of the former ship-building harbor or Eriksberg has already been converted into high-priced luxury condos. Eriksberg is currently one of the most popular areas in Gothenburg. In most cities in Scandinavia the big port-warehouses have been moved outside the city and are serviced by either rail or lorries but not Gothenburg nor Uddevalla. Trollhättan is situated perfectly close to both Gothenburg and Uddevalla to support both ports on short-notise.

The total area of the factory floor and the well built delivery and arrival hall for lorries make the area a perfect warehouse. The ironic thing that a source disclosed to SU is that the plans for conversion called for a big number of employees to be hired, working in 4 shifts around the clock. The newly built high-way system going to both Gothenburg and Uddevalla from Trollhättan are in perfect condition and provides a quick way to transport products with a just-in-time concept as ships arrive at the ports. The warehouse would also boost a lot of jobs in the transport sector which has had very little to do since Saab Automobile AB closed down, a large number of truck drivers and loaders would have been employed, them too working around the clock. A source told SU that as many as 800-1000 people in total could be employed working with spedition, storage, security and transport.

In retrospect I think that the administrators did the right thing by giving the Saab brand a 2′nd chance and that 2′nd chance is far from over, its still very much alive and kicking and I know that everyone regardless if one believe in NEVS or not are still hoping that they will pull through somehow and that we’ll see new cars coming off the production line in the factory! But in all honesty I found myself asking, would the past 2 years really have been so bad if the warehouse plans would have happened instead?… Perhaps NEVS could introduce this idea into their businessplan and provide a part of the factory as a warehouse until the facilities are needed for car production?

Avatar of Trued

by Trued

What I drive now while waiting for a future swedish sportscar.

October 21, 2014 in News

As Tim Rokka mentioned in his last posting here that he has ordered a BMW 428i Xdrive. For the last two months I have been the happy owner of a BMW M4 Coupe. Last week I had a pilgrimage to Germany visiting BMW Welt + Museum and production facility in Munich. From there to a racing course at Sachsenring via a stop at the Audi Museum in Ingolstadt. The M4 is for me that Saab 9X or AEROX that Saab never made. The former owner Spyker had some racing cars but they where in my opinion sort of kit cars with an Audi engine and 100% impractical and just space for 2 people without any luggage. My present M4 has enough space to go to the BMW dealership and pick up a set of 255/40/18 wheels inside the car. Just folding the rear backrest and all the wheels fit.
It is my first rear driven car ever and I really look forward to this new relationship. Handling wise it is a supercar german motor magazine drove it on Nürburgring in 7:53 minutes. I managed in my very first timed slalom drive at the Sachsenring circuit get the best time. First time for me in a slalom in a rear wheel driven car.

IMG_2770
At Sachsenring Circuit near Dresden, Germany

IMG_2570
At the BMW welt (World) with the BMW Headquarters and Museum in the background

_DSC4465
MY favorite racing car of all times the BMW 3.5 CSL in the original M livery that has inspired me to att the racing colors to my M4. Swedish Formula 1 driver Ronnie Peterson raced BMW when not in the Lotus or March cars.

Now I am off to pick up newly blasted chassis part for my Saab 99 Turbo 4 door car. I will post more on that project here on SaabsUnited. All You guys know where the SU crew hearts are!

Avatar of RobinM

by RobinM

SOTW , Gunter goes for many drives

October 18, 2014 in Sotw

Last year I visited Intsaab in England and Mr. Saab, EriK Carlsson, took the time to admire my 9-5ng.
When I offered to take a seat in the car he said he didn’t dare because he was afraid he wouldn’t get out anymore, funny.
I love this car and went on holiday in it several times, twice to the south of France, to Intsaab 2013 and recently to Malbork, Poland for Intsaab 2014.
In august it took me and my family safely to Portugal and back to Belgium, we drove about 5.000km in 2 weeks.
On the way back we stopped in Bayonne (in the south of France near tothe Spanish border) to see the Saab 900 speedster prototype by Leif Mellberg.

Kind regards & keep on Saabing,

Gunter Van Oost

(aka Saabgun on SaabsUnited)

Thank you for these great pictures.

As always there are a few more pictures from Gunter on my flickr page

A Rare Opportunity!!

October 16, 2014 in Classics, Fan Stuff, Saab's for sale

A good friend of mine sadly has to sell his low mileage 900 Ruby Edition. It had previously been listed and sold on Ebay but the buyer then declined the purchase due to not having the money to buy it!!  It is now relisted but with only 20 hours left to go!

(00 Ruby

I am mentioning it here because it is a fantastic opportunity to own what is fast becoming a sought after model and hope it can be purchased by somebody within our community or a Saab fan who will cherish it as it so deserves.

I originally sold this car brand new from the dealership I worked at to a chemist who sadly died. His wife then kept the car in the garage for many years until she then sold it to my friend who coincidentally was also a salesman at the same dealership.

The time has now come for it to find it’s third loving home. The car can be found on eBay (see details below) but only has 20 hours to run (at time of writing). Apologies for the short notice but I have only just found out about it being relisted.

Only available in the UK, the Ruby had the 185 bhp (138 kW; 188 PS) ‘Carlsson’ engine but no body kit. All were in ‘Ruby’ Red and can be distinguished from other 900s by the colour-coded bumpers and grey (rather than silver) alloy wheels. They also had the unique air-conditioned interior of buffalo leather with Zegna pure wool inserts in the seats and door panels. There were 150 examples and were the last classic style 900s sold in the UK.

This example for sale is a genuine 2 owner car with only 69,000 miles on the clock from new and has a full Saab main dealer service history.
It is in fantastic condition as you would expect and has 4 new tyres, also new brakes and discs all round.
It also drives perfectly to match its condition.
This has to be the best example of a classic Saab 900 Ruby available in the UK at this moment, this is indeed a great investment opportunity for somebody to own a piece of motoring history.

If any of you purchase it please let me know. Incidentally it is listed on eBay as a T16s which of course is incorrect.

View it here: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Saab-900T16S-Ruby-Edition-VERY-RARE-low-miles-INVESTMENT-OPPORTUNITY-no-reserve-/221574233668?pt=Automobiles_UK&hash=item3396da7e44

 

Avatar of Tim

by Tim

RBM Performance teams up with FedEx

October 15, 2014 in RBM Performance

Today rbmperformance.com is proud to announce our new partnership with FEDEX, this partnership is part of our unceasing  international expansion focus. International customers may be delivered by FEDEX priority the next morning after shipping, at affordable prices if we need to precise :)

rbmetfedex2en

Avatar of Tim

by Tim

My last day as a Saab owner… for now…

October 14, 2014 in Fan Stuff

At 10:15 today I officially sold my last Saab. It was my 2010 Saab 9-5 Griffin that I bought brand new in february of 2010. For 13 years its been an absolute privilege to support one of the best brands in the world and I’m still keeping my fingers x’ed that I once again can some day can walk into ANA in Trollhättan and place an order for a brand new 9-5, even so a few weeks ago I walked into ANA and placed an order for a new BMW 428i xDrive Coupe instead. It feels good to support my dealer who has been so very faithful towards me during my 13 years of Saab ownership and I’m sure I’ll continue to get the same kind of support with this new brand.

I can tell you that it sure feel strange backing out of the drive-way this morning knowing that it was the last time I’d be doing it in a car that I bought brand new and that has served me with excellence for 134’400 km. Its always felt a bit sad to sell a car but this one was really special and it felt extra sad, but time goes by and I know that this car now has an excellent new owner who’ll care for it more than I have time for. Its a strange feeling to move on to another brand, but considering the uncertainty that has prevailed with the brand since the bankruptcy and the uncertainty of spare-parts availability in the future, as well as the big drop in residual value of the cars right now I felt that it was the right move.

All I can say is that its been a privilege to own a Saab and I sure hope that one day I can experience that privilege once again!

IMG_7745

IMG_7748

Avatar of Red J

by Red J

Plan B, my thoughts.

October 13, 2014 in Editorial

As I wrote in my Post one week ago the english version of the reorganisation plan was not published. So all of I wrote was mostly based on the Appendices 2 and 3. In the meanwhile I was able to read the reorganisation plan in English as posted by Tim and this are my thoughts about it. This is only my view, an engineer that has worked for the automotive industry for the last 16 years and loves Dilbert, the comic stripe, so you can imagine what I think about management.
Read the rest of this entry →

Avatar of RobinM

by RobinM

Free Winter Battery Check (UK)

October 12, 2014 in News

Here is an offer from The Saab Service Club in the UK
Free Winter Battery Check
Winter’s a tough time for any vehicle, even one designed to survive harsher seasonal conditions than ours. And a flat battery is the last thing you want to catch you out on a freezing cold morning. Yet it’s the most common cause of breakdown calls throughout winter. So now’s the right time to get a free battery check at your nearest Saab Authorised Service Centre. There’s no need to book and it only takes minutes to diagnose whether your battery and charging system are ready for winter’s worst.

£99 Fixed Price Battery Offer including fitting
Remember your car’s battery is the only power source you have to get everything up and running. So if our check proves it’s raring to go, you can drive off without worrying. But if it confirms your battery is under the weather, we can install a brand-new one as specified for your Saab and fitted by trained Saab technicians for only £99.00 which includes a 3 year warranty.

Get off to a good start this winter
To claim your free winter battery check, simply register with Saab Service Club and download your voucher. Existing Saab Service Club members can download a voucher directly by entering your membership number where requested. Simply take the voucher to your nearest Saab Authorised Service Centre and hand it over at reception. Click here to find yours now.

Claim your voucher now!
Avatar of Red J

by Red J

Not SAAB related

October 11, 2014 in Technical

I have been long thinking about starting a series of posts about news in the automotive industry that have no direkt link to Saab or NEVS but could have an effect on the way we look at future products from Trollhättan [sorry guys I don't want to start a discussion about the brand, so till next notice I will call the cars this way]. So if you like it I will try to deliver a “Not SAAB related” post each week.

My first post is about a,quite funny in my opinion, article about the BMW i3 in the USA. The original article is from consumer report although I’ve found it somewhere else.

bmw i3 rear engine bay

BMW i3 rear engine bay

The guys at consumer report summarise the problem with this sentence

Relying on that gas engine when the main battery is depleted works well in most cases, including high-speed steady cruising, but not, we’ve discovered, if you demand more of it.

They’ve discovered? C’mon even some BMW manager talked about the drawbacks of such a range extender configuration at its presentation in Munich.

So let us talk about range extender and its problems.
Read the rest of this entry →

Avatar of RobinM

by RobinM

SOTW, JJ 1 & 2

October 11, 2014 in Sotw

Hello

In April this year, a number of car dealers in Sweden got the first new Saab cars for their showrooms and for test driving. But the situation changed at Nevs, and I think some dealers are tired of waiting for Nevs to start production again, so they are now selling these cars at a discount. I decided to replace my 2011 9-3 SS Vector, and a couple of weeks ago, I found one of these cars, driven 1000 kilometers, and I bought it at a good discount.
I send you some pictures, where you can also see the Sotw from April 19, 2013, my 2012 9-3 Convertible Independence Edition.

Now I am just waiting for a miracle to happen, so I can continue working. I started working for Nevs in January this year, but had to leave in June, when all consultants were dismissed. I am 65 now, so if no more job at Nevs, I will retire.

Best regards,
Johnny Johansson

Thank you very much JJ, as always there are a few extra pictures here.

 

A special thanks to the Swedish police – Axel the stolen and found Saab 90

October 9, 2014 in Classics

Axel Saab 90 '85

A picture of the police officers with Axel the Saab 90 ’85

 

My sister’s (though it’s registered on my mother) Saab 90 was stolen during the night to today in Skara, Västra Götaland Sweden (9th of October). We found out about it this morning at 06:00 when my sister called my mother. And of course we reported the car as stolen shortly after we received this call. My sister was devastated and heartbroken, and it didn’t take long before we arrived in Skara to start the search after the car. Unfortunately we couldn’t find him anywhere and started the trip back home again. On the road halfway between Skara and our home we glanced a cirrus white Saab, stranded right next to a river far out on a crops field. We pulled over and I ran towards the car, belive me, I ran like I’ve never done before. And there he was, – stranded on smaller hill of grass and rosehip bushes, beaten down, dirty and a very sad looking Axel.

The police shortly arrived and started examine the car. They were extremely nice and understanding, handling their job perfectly fine. They also had a great sense of humor which made the whole situation less depressive. After the examination they asked us how we were going to get the car out of there, and since we had no idea if a tow truck would be able to drive in the soaking wet soil, we couldn’t really answer their question. But these two lovely police officers actually offered to drive it home to us if we could get the car to start.
My mother turned the chewed up ignition on, and like a true champion he started right up – wounded but never defeated.

During these few hours we’ve been to a certified Saab dealer who did a full inspection and examination of the car.
It breaks my heart to say this, but the future for our beloved Saab 90 doesn’t look too bright right now.
We’ll have to wait for the insurance company’s verdict and just go from there.
But we will do everything in our power to save this rare and beautiful car, and we will never stop fighting for one of our Saab family member.

I want to thank the police officers who helped us through this heartbreaking journey. For doing a great job and for also helping us to drive Axel home to our house, with a police escort for maximum safety.

I also want to thank each one of my friends who helped me share the stolen report post on Facebook early this morning.