Friday Morning Snippets

Consider this the morning edition of snippets, short and to the point. There were two noteworthy stories from overnight and a few updates from the Swedish government this morning. As we’ve said all week, the situation is complex and they’re extremely close to a solution. Keep your F5 keys handy today.

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Depending on who you trust more, DI and TTela have similar but different takes on how quick the decision will be regarding letting Vladimir Antonov in as an owner of Saab. Both quote Maud Olofsson’s office and state that they’re working around the clock to expedite the process.

We are handling the matter expeditiously, but the material is quite extensive and we can not now provide any information about exactly how long it takes,” said Johanna Martin, Maud Olofsson’s press secretary.

DI goes further and states we might hear an answer about the short term finance solution today (doubtful but if it does happen today you’ll have a strong indication of how deeply involved the Swedish government plans to be) updated: they made the announcement that the collateral for the loan is freed upโ€“ you can see just how important they think Saab is and understand the urgency.

“We’ve been working evening and night and will make an announcement as soon as we possibly can,” said Maud Olofsson’s press secretary Eric Bratthall.

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IAC, who supplies the dashboards for Saab, had to lay off 55 temporary workers due to the production stop at Saab. From the Wall Street Journal:

“We work under the assumption that production will resume by the end of this week,” (Svenake Berglie) said. “If Saab does not solve this (liquidity problem), we’ll have to review our structure again, but I do not wish to speculate on that.”

Sad to see the cycle complete itself where it began, with the suppliers. Saab is still not commenting until the deal is finalized and approved, a good move in my eyes. No need to give anyone else morsels to speculate with.

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I hesitated posting this, and since it’s completely based on behind the scenes rumblings, I’m giving the disclaimer that this is more from the don’t believe it until we get more details column. That said, it’s coming from an extremely reputable source, so it’s probably true. Hilton Holloway at Autocar is suggesting that Saab is going to buy the current mini R56 platform from BMW (which means moving tooling somewhere else, Trollhattan, Latvia maybe? ;)). If they can pull this off, and launch a new 9-3 on time despite the supplier mess, and break even in 2012, that would be a herculean achievement. As optimistic as I always am, I don’t know how pie in the sky this whole thing is. My caution: Saab needs to get it’s core models back together before it goes building new platforms, it’s got its hands full as it is. And yet if they don’t think long term, they won’t be able to grow their business in the medium-long term. Quite a conundrum.

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For all you Edmonton, Alberta residents, you finally have a place to buy a new Saab.

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Autocar and Auto Express have reported their findings (and taken some sexy pictures) from their drive in the 9-5 estate.

As Cerulean said in his tip to us, it looks promising. Their basic takeโ€“ Saab has done a great job adapting the magnetic Drivesense system for UK roads, but the diesels are still not quite as refined as the BMW or Mercedes competition. That they’re coming in so much lower in price than their rivals will make them a very interesting choice though. The test used preproduction units, so we’ll still hold off on reporting about real world impressions of the interior or true road tests.

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I’ll have a post up later in the day about some exciting marketing going on in the states, led by the head of the US Saab Dealer Council, Kurt Schirm. Stay tuned.

Carmania
Member
5 years 5 months ago

OT: Don’t forget to make a post about the test drive of the SAAB e-AAM system in the Swedish AutoMotorSport. They say some extremely nice things about it in this article. +200 hp, AWD and 84 gram CO2 per km are amazing numbers. In addition they say it’s the most fun they ever driven!

If SAAB had this system in the present 9-3 now they would easily sell 100.000+ of this model alone.

Audun
Member
5 years 5 months ago

Yes, let us hear more about this new e-AAM system, and how it works in real life.

andyb
Member
5 years 5 months ago

If the mini platform news is right I hope its more than a mini with a SAAB grille and a few tweaks as per 92X.

Jos
Member
5 years 5 months ago

I trust they’ve learned that lesson by now. They’re no part of GM’s rebadgeing scheme anymore. I’m kind of excited with this news, this could become a hot seller with minimal effort. Just as long as it is exectuted right, and the price is sweet enough.

andyb
Member
5 years 5 months ago

I could not agree more ,if its done right .I would buy one .

Bravada from GMI
Member
5 years 5 months ago

The MINI platform isn’t bad per se, it’s actually a good one. If Saab can upgrade the upcoming Prince to solve the reliability issues, I think they have a winner here (I understand the plasticky unergonomic and uncomfortable MINI interior is out in favour of a Saab interior a la the current 9-3).

I am looking forward to seeing it implemented in Trollhattan or perhaps somewhere east of it… There was a time Saab fed on Porsche leftovers, hint hint ๐Ÿ˜‰

Grumpy
Member
5 years 5 months ago
Well Jeff, I am not sure how you reach the conclusion that Saab needs the mini platform to launch a 9-3? The development of the new car is probaly less affected by the current crisis than we think. Even if they would get their hands on the platform I seriously doubt they could turn it around into a brand new car in only a year and a half. More likely then that it could be used for the 9-1 or whatever it would be called and that we would see a new model in two years, the earliest.. Could be… Read more »
kaiger
Member
5 years 5 months ago

Update 12.05: http://ttela.se/ekonomi/saab/1.1184792-saabfragan-allt-narmare-beslut
Decision from government may come today because of the urgency…

Heard that so often these days, i don’t believe that. But a minimum of hope is still there for a today-solution ๐Ÿ˜€

Bravada from GMI
Member
5 years 5 months ago

As a total sidenote, Google Translate came up with “nutrition department”. I wonder how would Maud Olofsson feel as the Head of the Department of Nutrition of His Majesty’s Government.

Jos
Member
5 years 5 months ago

Good reading. The car in pics is the same license (LGC 777) plate as the one spotted earlier, so that’s what they were about.

Jos
Member
5 years 5 months ago

Excuse me, this ended up under the wrong thread. It was a reply to a comment with the links to two reviews of the new 9-5 Estaate in Britisch magazines, but I can’t seem to find that anymore ๐Ÿ™„

Alex L
Member
5 years 5 months ago

According to “reliable sources” talking to SvD the Gov. will agree with Saab’s plan, probably today. The question about Antonov as an owner will be answered next week.

http://www.svd.se/naringsliv/beslut-under-dagen_6094019.svd

Red J
Member
5 years 5 months ago

I think Jonas Frรถberg should bring a second book on Saab’s affair.
With a happy ending, I hope.

gijzje
Member
5 years 5 months ago

press conferece 13:00 CETSwedish Governm.

gijzje
Member
5 years 5 months ago
saabonaut
Member
5 years 5 months ago
autocar didn’t even use the photo of the current interior but still shows the interior of the MY10 sedan in its worst configuration with the monochrome display ….. geeezz, one should provide them with newer photos … needless to say their “tests” are for litter, I still remember their saying that one should safe the bucks and buy a skoda (skoda’s great anyway but just incomparable to saab)……. I wonder what they would write without their beloved german’s….? or the final conclusion at autoexpress – even without testing the A6-avant: “The new A6 saloon has just arrived and the Avant… Read more »
BoeBoe
Member
5 years 5 months ago

that is the car they recieved from Saab. So if anybody is to blame it is Saab UK.

saabonaut
Member
5 years 5 months ago

Well this doesn’t justify their use of false images. the least they could do is to make photos of the actual car and not “rebadge” old pictures and resell them as new. But I agree how could Saab UK have provided them with these models?

Cerulean
Member
5 years 5 months ago

It is unfair to criticise Saab UK. As they point out, these are pre-production models and not indicative of the finished product. This appears to be an exercise to show that the model is on it’s way, is a handsome beast and that they are prepared to get the car’s ride and handling right before launch. After all they could have carried out the testing behind “closed doors” and we’d all be none the wiser….whether we’d all be out buying Skoda Superbs though is another matter.

saabonaut
Member
5 years 5 months ago

this relates to the previous sedan from their test last year, and the interior-picture autocar still reuses for the current test, and who knows, they’re gonna be using for all the future-publications about the 9-5…..

Graeme Lambert
Member
5 years 5 months ago
Not sure what the problem is with the Auto Express conclusion? We’ve just spent over a week and hundreds of miles in the new Audi A6 saloon – 2.0TDi model. The Avant might not be around at the moment, but for all intents and purposes much of the saloon will be the same. The front and middle cabin is leagues ahead of the Saab in terms of quality, while the engine is super smooth, revvy and much better in terms of refinement. So valid conclusion if you ask me… And the Skoda comparison is on the money – there’s a… Read more »
Ken H
Member
5 years 5 months ago

From Autoexpress:

Here the tapered tailgate and wraparound-style windows owe more to the latest generation of sport tourers, rather than traditional boxy Scandinavian estates.

Errr…. is the previous 9-5 already forgotten? It’s when you guys write things like this we go facepalm…

Graeme Lambert
Member
5 years 5 months ago

“traditional boxy Scandinavian estates” NOT “traditional boxy Saab estates”

/Facepalm

Ken H
Member
5 years 5 months ago

…owe more to the latest generation of sport tourers, rather than..

This is the part ignoring the previous 9-5. If anything the new 9-5 owes most of it’s combi design to the previous 9-5 and not “the latest generation of sport tourers”, whatever they are… Please.

saabonaut
Member
5 years 5 months ago

just clarify how saab fits into this: Audi -> VW -> Skoda / Seat …?
?

Graeme Lambert
Member
5 years 5 months ago

Surely Saab is an individuals choice, and it crosses over more than other brands? For me there is a direct link/rivalry to Audi and Skoda for the Saab brand – on one side it is prestige (Audi) and the other is different/quirky but good value (Skoda).

Red J
Member
5 years 5 months ago

Graeme,
what you have written is a good and fair analysis of the current situation, but maybe on the last sentence you could have added, that Saab is updating the interiors, and a fair comparison can only be done when the production cars hit the streets.
(Just a thought)

Graeme Lambert
Member
5 years 5 months ago

I didn’t actually write that piece of copy Red, it was a colleague. Personally, I think we’re all aware that even with some extra fascia re-work the cabin does not have the quality to compete. The Audi for example is supremely built with materials and switchgear as good as those in their A8 model.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the 9-5, but even those who don’t drive its rivals for a living cannot be blind to its (limited) shortcomings.

Graeme Lambert
Member
5 years 5 months ago

Absolutely right Jeff.
However, you and I know about the forthcoming updated interiors, thanks to SU, but I’ve yet to see or hear anything like that communicated from Saab to the press as of yet – they’re not exactly shouting about it.

Red J
Member
5 years 5 months ago

Hi Graeme,
Sorry for my bad English, but my you refereed to autoexpress and not to you personally.
There is a reason why Saab isn’t shouting about the interior updates, they want to sell some more MY11 cars. ๐Ÿ˜‰

magnus gunnervik
Member
5 years 5 months ago

Message from the Swedish government at 17.30 according to ttela!

http://ttela.se/ekonomi/saab/1.1185471-extra-presstraff-om-saab-kl-17-30

Audun
Member
5 years 5 months ago
richard
Member
5 years 5 months ago
Good on Saab of Edmonton! I commented in an earlier post that the cars were coming in by the truckload, but it’s even better to see that this is made known in the local media. While at the dealer a couple weeks ago I was told that once they had all their stock delivered, new signage up and the demo cars ready to roll that they would be doing a media/advertising blitz. I believe the author Tim Yip will be test driving one of the new 9-5s soon, so there should be a review coming from him as well. Go… Read more »
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