Saab going more Swedish: cleaner and safer

I reported last night about the Saab 9-4x being on show at the Elmia Subcontractors exhibition in Jönköping.

There’s been some commentary about Saab from that exhibition during the day, coming from some Saab representatives who attended the show and participated in a round-table discussion.

Jakob V has very kindly provided a translation from mentoronline.se

I got a few emails overnight about these developments and I’d like to thank everyone for their attention to it.

UPDATE: Additional article below.

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New Saab buys more Swedish parts

Local suppliers are self-evident when Saab Automobile move it’s base back to Sweden again. – We see huge opportunities in this, says Mats Fägerhag, Saab Automobiles Executive Director Vehicle Systems & Engine Center.

Working with local suppliers in Sweden have previously been impossible for Saab since the owners GM demanded that suppliers must be able to deliver globally to the entire world market.

But with GM selling the company Mats Fägerhag see new opportunities for small-scale and fast deliveries. This he explained in a panel discussion during Elmia Subcontractor in Jönköping.

– We have been controlled by a company that focused on volume. But with the new prerequisites we now look at completely different opportunities. In the future Saab’s cars will be developed and built in Sweden, says Fägerhag and continues:

– Around the factory in Trollhättan, we will have contractors who can supply all the larger and heavier elements, such as complete interiors.

Saab’s new purchasing strategy is also confirmed by Peter Zienau, who is Development Director at Saab Automobile. He says that Saab will continue to have better communication between the various departments, such as the engineering and purchasing departments.

Saab today has around 650 suppliers, of which just more than ten percent is Swedish companies. The ambition in the future is to increase the number of Swedish subcontractors.

– We are looking for suitable components at sub-contractors, which ultimately becomes a car. We will be better at listening to smaller subcontractors and we hope that more and more Swedish companies will contact us. Now that we are a smaller organization, we can make
decisions during the day and implement plans more independently.

Saab’s profile will be environmentally friendly cars and safety. The ambition is that one third of Saab’s cars in the future will have some form of electric drive. The goal is to find technology content that makes the cars clean without affecting comfort.

– Right now we are looking at all suggestions and ideas. We’ll find the best to fit our profile. In addition, we will accelerate our delivery rate of new car models. Previously, this has taken far too long.

What should Swedish subcontractors do if they want to get in touch with you?

– Just contact us through the technology or purchasing departments. We will listen and of course ask to come back. We will be more responsive, it benefits both parties. With Swedish sub-contractors, we will also become more attractive to potential customers.

That Saab welcomes the potential new collaboration with the Koenigsegg Group is in no doubt.

– We have an incredible entrepreneurial spirit among us and it’s a positive spiral that we have started. Our customers will notice the changes, we will be more attractive, says Peter Zienau.

Sweden can never compete with low-cost countries in terms of price and volume. Instead, the Swedish companies has something else that is unique, says Mats Fägerhag.

– Environmentally friendly and safety are our strengths. Often you buy a car just because you want to have specific values. I think that we in Sweden have great potential to become good at producing cars with the environment and safety in focus.

At the same time as they are venturing to find Swedish sub-contractors, Saab is looking outwards. A joint venture is being established in China and on the engine side, they are currently working with contacts with European companies.

– There is nothing I can tell you about the current situation, but that’s ahead of us, confirms Mats Fägerhag.

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UPDATE:

Here is a translation of another article on similar subject matter, from Tompa.

Volvo Aero and Saab Automobile seeking Swedish

During Tuesday’s matchmaking attended, among others, Volvo Aero and Saab Automobile. The aim was to find new suppliers nearby.

– We believe there is good potential in the Swedish industry, “says Anders Wikman, project manager for purchasing at Volvo Aero.

The recession has been known to hit very many, not least the Swedish automotive industry. But both Volvo Aero and Saab Automobile dare to bet on the future and plan long term. And in point of this is needed to find new suppliers, not least of Saab Automobile, which right now is preparing to stand on its own feet.

– We have long been part of the large GM-world with major suppliers. Now we are back in Sweden and looking for smaller companies that are flexible and have excellence. We are making substantial investments in environment and security and therefore need new technology. We believe that logistics costs are an important factor, therefore we are looking mainly for nearby suppliers., “Says Lars Uddh, Senior Advisor at Saab Automobile.

Have you found some interesting sub-contractors?

– Yes, particularly from Sweden, Poland and Latvia. A couple of companies we have met today, we will continue to have contact with.

Lars Uddh believe that many contractors are curious about the new Saab and what changes will occur. Therefore, he says, it’s good to have the opportunity to meet.

Volvo aims for 2011

Anders Wikman, project manager for purchasing at Volvo Aero, agree with Lars Uddh that the benefits of the nearby suppliers are many.

– The nearby suppliers have good quality and excellence, of course, it is interesting for us to enter there. They ought to be good competitors to the traditional Aero industry. Close communication links is one of our priorities today, “he says.

Automotive industry has it tough right now and it makes many subcontractors, open doors, they would not otherwise have done.

– We are working on getting new suppliers for 2011-2015. The good thing right now is that we have room to go for it otherwise we will not have time to, for example, to investigate and find new alternatives, “says Anders Wikman.

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