I thought it was frustration

Some weeks ago the amount of bad news on Saab reached a level where many used this platform for venting their frustration. It felt just right that people used different targets for their frustration. Some used the Swedish government, others the EIB, and some the Saab management, specially Victor Muller.

But the weeks have passed by, and the situation at Saab hasn’t changed that much, so I thought that most of the readers here at SaabsUnited had understood the situation at Saab, that they had learned which constraints are keeping Saab in the current situation, and that the management are working to get things sorted out.

But this is not the case, people keep repeating their assumptions ignoring what is happening and what not. People keep blaming other people or institutions for the current situation at Saab. It can’t be frustration any more. Anyone learns sooner or later that things might be moving slower than expected, but things are moving in the right direction, so what do I think is the reason for the current negativism?

Anger

I don’t know why, but people seem to be angry versus Saab. I don’t know what Saab has done to some people, but it is clear to me that some people are concentrating all their anger towards Saab. It is really sad, as the world would be much nicer without anger. I still don’t know why people go to enthusiast sites like this just to try to convince other people that they should stop being interested in Saab.

For me it is very frustrating having to write about this instead of writing about the really interesting and very competitive Saab products, but I know that some of our readers are too angry and some others are to anxious to know the outcome of the whole affair that articles on the product tend to become ignored.

But for the small pack that is still interested in Saab as a car manufacturer, here is a nice picture of the first Saab prototype I saw life in a auto show. It was the IAA in Frankfurt in 2001, and Michael Maurer was presenting how far he thought the Saab brand could reach in terms of design.

This car, the 9x, was way off from the Saab cars in 2001, and some people thought it was not a real Saab, but now 10 years later it feels as Saaby as the 99Turbo.

I think it will be a history repeating with the PhoeniX concept.

ryanonsrc
Member
5 years 2 months ago
the world would be much nicer without anger. Actually, anger is a perfectly valid emotion, that is very much necessary (sometimes even healthy) in situations where one needs to convey a sense of urgency to others, often with the purpose of correcting unacceptable behavior in others. For example: it was perfectly acceptable for us to be angry at “twirix” yesterday, as he was stirring trouble within our community. What I would argue, (and what I believe Red J really means), is that “the world would be much nicer without misplaced anger”. And that is a key distinction here. When Spyker… Read more »
christian
Member
5 years 2 months ago

+1

I fully and completely agree. Thank you.

Sadim
Member
5 years 2 months ago
“anger towards the Swedish government is an entirely different story, as they have been blatantly blocked SAABs management at every turn.” Could somebody please explain what the governement has done wrong? It is the EIB who are blocking Antonov’s entry. Not the government. If and when Antonov pays off the EIB loan he can join SAAB the next minute. Even Lars Carlström seems to have given up blaming the Swedish government. But back to the government. There is another “Swedish” car maker called Volvo with a plant not far from Trollhättan. They are doing fine. So what is it the… Read more »
Leeloo
Member
5 years 2 months ago

Agree completely!

Khrisdk
Member
5 years 2 months ago

The Swedish Government has made serious mistakes in their statements about Saab.
That is what people is reacting to, just like you are reacting to the statements that SweGov has been blocking.
I agree that they are the ones standing as guarantee for the EIB loans, and as such has helped Saab
I also think that they will be Saabs closest friends in obtaining a China deal.

However the general picture from the government statements is not a helpfull attitude

Audun
Member
5 years 2 months ago

+1

Sadim
Member
5 years 2 months ago

I know members of the government have made som comments that I too think were pretty stupid. But what I reacted to was that the government had “blatantly blocked SAABs management at every turn.”.

I think that is a pretty stupid comment too, on a par with some of Maud’s.

Khrisdk
Member
5 years 2 months ago

On that I agree with you.

ryanonsrc
Member
5 years 2 months ago

It was my understanding that the goverment has not yet approved VA. I also thought they were dragging their feet when approving the real estate deal.

Please correct me if I am wrong. But if I am right, well these actions were unacceptable.

Sadim
Member
5 years 2 months ago
Firstly, the government has clearly expressed their view that if and when GM and the EIB approve of Antonov they would do so too. Now we know the EIB will not say OK to Antonov, and he has been aware of this for close to a month. Moreover I can’t see why the G should approve Antonov before the ones who are financial stakeholders present their opinion. Can you please clarify what you mean by the G “dragging their feet” when it comes to the real estate deal? The deal was between SAAB and Hemfosa and required lots of talks… Read more »
RS
Member
5 years 2 months ago
Don’t you think EIB would have shown VA the green light already in April if Minister Borg would have given them a call saying ”- Hey Eva, our Debt Office has just approved VA to become an owner of Saab. Get cracking, Saab’s factory is standing still and BTW so did GM with the condition that you give your approval. I was just on the phone with them”. It’s the Swe govt stalling this whole process. Why didn’t they stop Geely from buying Volvo? This is politics and a power struggle. Nothing else. Politicians are in no hurry. They get… Read more »
Grumpy
Member
5 years 2 months ago
Who is the financial stakeholder here Sadim? is it the EIB that lends money they have 100 % securities for or is it the Swedish state that stands as guarantor and also the sole entity that will have to pay for all the costs (of course not counting the millions suppliers stand to lose) in case of a bankruptcy? The government, could have, and should have in my opinion, have spoken out for antonov as soon as the debt office gave their approval. The Swedish government is responsible for all citizens in Sweden, the EIB and GM are not. It… Read more »
Sadim
Member
5 years 2 months ago
For some reason I cannot comment the on the replies posted by RS and Grumpy so I have improvised and post my reply here. RS http://saabsunited.saabklubben.se/2011/07/i-thought-it-was-frustration.html#comment-147118 “Don’t you think EIB would have shown VA the green light already in April ?” No I do not. It seems Antonov quite clearly is not going to be let in by the EIB, and isn’t it so that this was stipulated in the original GM-Spyker agreement? It’s the Swe govt stalling this whole process. Why didn’t they stop Geely from buying Volvo? Why should they have stopped Geely-Volvo? Geely had lots of cash.… Read more »
rune
Member
5 years 2 months ago

Sadim, just why is it so clear (to you) that the EIB is not going to let Antonov invest in Saab..?

Sadim
Member
5 years 2 months ago

@Rune

I base that statement on the following interview with Clepa president Lars Holmqvist: http://www.gp.se/ekonomi/1.685361-clepas-vd-antonov-godkanns-aldrig

Khrisdk
Member
5 years 2 months ago

You then forgot the following statement from EIB:

“När det gäller Saab följer vi utvecklingen noga. Vi är en bank, ägs av 27 medlemsländer och styrs väldigt mycket av hänsyn till banksekretess. Vi kommenterar inte våra affärsrelationer”, säger Pär Isaksson, presstalesman för EIB, till TT.”

In short. EIB does not comment on their business relations. What the guy from CLEPTA has heard is either breach of EIB Bank secret or misunderstanding.
Both situations pputs one of the parties in a very bad light

RS
Member
5 years 2 months ago

Sadim, you hit the nail right on the head and my point exactly. They should have said right away (by early May) that VA will not be accepted as an owner if that was the case.
That would have put VM on the next plain to find new alternatives.

This feet dragging is what makes it all looks very suspicious. They don’t need months to make up their minds. The Swedish Debt Office did their investigation in a couple of weeks.

rune
Member
5 years 2 months ago
Well Sadim, that being the case, do you not think it would be appropriate for the Swedish government to put the foot down and instruct EIB to not sabotage Saab? My first question to you was more about ‘why?’ EIB should not approve Antonov. (not clearly phrased I admit) Your statement seemed to be that it is ‘obvious’ that Antonov won’t get approved and that this is a dead end. IMO it is still a very much viable route, especially in case the government does their job and intervene. They are a part in this too, seeing as they are… Read more »
Sadim
Member
5 years 2 months ago
@Khrisdk July 28, 2011 at 15:21 “What the guy from CLEPTA has heard is either breach of EIB Bank secret or misunderstanding. Both situations puts one of the parties in a very bad light.” I agree, Khrisdk, and my very own interpretation is that the EIB chairman Philippe Maystadt has been careless. @ RS July 28, 2011 at 15:30 “They should have said right away (by early May) that VA will not be accepted as an owner if that was the case…..This feet dragging is what makes it all looks very suspicious. They don’t need months to make up their… Read more »
Sadim
Member
5 years 2 months ago
From DI (publ 2011-07-28 15:38) No EIB-loan with Antonov onboard The EIB now confirms that the loan to Saab has been issued provided that Vladimir Antonov is not given the opportunity to take over ownership of Saab, says Pär Isaksson, spokesman for the EIB, the TT continues: This was made clear by the EIB to the Swedish authorities at the beginning of the project evaluation in 2009. TT: Why have you waited so long to say this? “The EIB and other banks, have a policy not to comment on business relationships, but in this case we decided to make an… Read more »
rune
Member
5 years 2 months ago

Sadim, which sources of information do the EIB draw from?

And why would it matter to them? They are not the ones running any risks. The Swedish government and Saab are the ones put in a squeeze by EIB’s two year delay.

Are EIB going to spend two years vetting potential russian investors in all cases where an EIB loan is in the picture?

sgns
Member
5 years 2 months ago

I agree on the 9x – I sure didn’t see it live, but it left me with a weird feeling back then. Fast forward (that’s life to you 😉 ten years, and it’s a classic. So it seems there were, and are, new Saabish qualities that were cultivated in the greenhouse even under GM. It just takes time both to cultivate them and nurture them. It’s all simply taking a long-term perspective – and investment.

Mailr
Member
5 years 2 months ago

The difference with the PhoeniX concept is that it feels like a modern, spot-on, interpretation of Saab, whereas the 9-x fells like a (useful) widening of the brand which needs adoption. Witkout badges, the 9-x concept is not unmistakenly a Saab, but the PhoeniX concept is a car that is instantly recognized as a Saab of the future.

sgns
Member
5 years 2 months ago
Yeah! PhoeniX does have this more immediate feeling – when the design finally pops at you, you can really sense the saab lines in it, maybe all at once. The 9-x was more ambiguous design-wise (arguably in a Saabish way – Saab does ambiguity very well IMO), but what finally sold it to me as a Saab was the concept of a really versatile car – a car with a real and new idea. Of course Saab was an early bird with that concept, which didn’t exactly take flight … but better late, and like a PhoeniX, than never –… Read more »
CurtInFalcon
Member
5 years 2 months ago
I can’t speak for the other readers, but what I feel is anxiety. I’m anxious over the possibiity of losing my favorite automobile brand, anxious over the possible loss of over 10,000 jobs and anxious over the long term health of my NG9-5. I paid good money for my car and I don’t want to see it devalue by 50% over the next couple of months. I’m also anxious about the warranty and parts for a car that hasn’t sold many units in the US. So, I’m trying to relax about the situation but each day brings more bad news… Read more »
spyked
Member
5 years 2 months ago

+1

In the same boat but with 2010 9-3 instead of the (gorgeous) new 9-5.

Patrik B
Member
5 years 2 months ago

+1.

All the reports on missing spare parts have added a lot to my anxiety. I do also feel a little bit angry that the management (probably VM) have emptied the spare parts company of money to such as an extent that the spare part company can’t function. To relieve the Saab-mother company of some financial pressure for some 10-15 days they might have ruined the future owner experience for 100 000 Saab owners… That part makes my angry.

It is not easy being a Saab fan these days. 🙁

Patrik B
Member
5 years 2 months ago

Oh, I’m also owning a 2010 9-3.

RS
Member
5 years 2 months ago

My suggestion here would take care of that too 😉

Sorry btw for the typing hiccups in that comment. It was well passed midnigh after an exhausting day.

ANA
Member
5 years 2 months ago
I am a believer that Saab can be saved, however I can see how high emotions have overcome many people as the situation becomes more tense. In fact If I am truly honest, at times, I have also felt both frustrated and a little angry as I feel that Saab has been managed into a position that could have been avoided with better operational and financial planning, however these are my own views and the strength of my emotions are undoubtedly linked to my passion for this iconic carmaker. As I said, I remain positive that a solution can be… Read more »
Khrisdk
Member
5 years 2 months ago
I think you should differentiate between two kinds of reactions. There has been and will be reactions on a more general level against Saab, not really because Saab is important to people, but because there is a strong political history of failed government support of industy in Sweden and the fact that many Swedes thinks that their government is doing very well, and doing the right things for maintaining Sweden as a welfare state. As most US commenters will probably notice, Scandinavian perceptions of how to maintain the rights of the workforce and the general protection level of workers and… Read more »
peeceepeh
Member
5 years 2 months ago

+1
I’d like to add that we should keep in mind that not too far ago SAAB was closed down by external decision. Now SAAB is still alive, and has developed products that are worth it’s survival. So there is hope, and in average, there is progress when compared to that winding down process that was started by GM and holded by VM. Even though things looked better half a year ago than they do now. So I decided to keep my fingers crossed for SAAB and to think of ways how to support my local dealer.

Leeloo
Member
5 years 2 months ago
Most of the more aggresive people here have been Swedes upset by what they see as a direct attack on the government, and a wish for a return to nationalisation of factories just to keep people employed, but not contributing to the country. Sweden has had a hard time for a while, and some people place the blame, rightfully or wrongly, for this on former policies. And when we end up in discussions based in politics there is a tendency to get very bitter discussions. Well, i cal tell you that Sweden as a state, including Government, is doing very… Read more »
Khrisdk
Member
5 years 2 months ago

This is exactly why I will preserve the right not to answer anything you say or argument against it.
You already KNOW.

What I would like to say is hat you are now again pushing the notion that the money have gone into the pockets of VM in a criminal way.
For that I would on my own forum have banned you for life. It is both libel and a personal attack

Unless you provide us with documented facts that the above is the case , it is you that is doing something criminal and punishable

Leeloo
Member
5 years 2 months ago

What i’m doing is as much criminal as you giving the impression of the opposite of my view and believes. Punishable… won’t even comment on that, pathetic.

Khrisdk
Member
5 years 2 months ago

I rest my Case 😉

RS
Member
5 years 2 months ago

I’m sorry but you fail to see the responsibility of EIB. You don’t start demanding -one year after they’ve received the loan- a company in start-up phase to pay a 280 million euro loan back in full or you won’t accept new investors to get the thing going again (and be able to pay their bills).

Sadim
Member
5 years 2 months ago
I think it is important we have the original GM-Spyker deal in mind when disscussing many of the curresnt issues. My understanding of the original GM-Spyker agreement is that GM wanted out before they would accept Antonov. The deal Antonov and GM recently cut supports this. When it comes to the EIB loan, isn’t it so that it stipulates that Antonov would be kept out until at least 2014? For obscure reasons the EIB seems totally unwilling to change their position on Antonov, and they are in a position to do that. One can only assume that they have their… Read more »
Leeloo
Member
5 years 2 months ago
EIB lend the money to Saab on the grounds of the business plan produced by VM. A very unrealistic business plan. The plan failed big time. EIB is a business driven bank and not charity, why would they risk breaching the conditions of the loan if they see the risk is to big? VM and Saab failed to live up to the business plan and then of course they have the responsibility to act there after, to search for other ways to finance the show. Either within the conditions of the EIB loan or to pay off the loan (Antonov)… Read more »
Khrisdk
Member
5 years 2 months ago

For once you brought out something working.

Yes, you could be very right
But what I don’t understand is why noone comes out making this statement in public?
As opposed to having te spokesman of CLEPTA claim that he has asked the EIB and given the information that they will not accept Antonov
That is not very much in concord with the EIB claims of not discussing clients in public

obelix
Member
5 years 2 months ago

@Leeloo
I do remember that the Saab business plan was not written by VM, but by Saab management in 2009 after GM announced the intention to sell Saab. Moreover, I do not know if it was unrealistic, but the involved parties announced that it was a sound business plan (Swade wrote about it in this link http://saabsunited.saabklubben.se/2010/01/memo-to-general-motors-sell-saab.html). Of course there’s much more to be found re: the business plan.

Polle
Member
5 years 2 months ago
GM is basicly the reason for the failure of the business plan. They business plan was created by Koenigsegg and taken over by VM… with a working factory!!! GM was stubborn, closed the factory and ended a lot of supplier contracts, while negotiating with VM. From that point on, the businessplan was not viable anymore as it took a lot more money and extra time to start the factory again instead of taking over a running factory. With the ever changing demands from GM during the negotiations, VM had no choice other than accept the conditions. Agreed, they should have… Read more »
Grumpy
Member
5 years 2 months ago
Now I get it Leeloo, you are only concerned with our well being. You are truly worried that we will breakdown in case, well this is inevitable according to you, saab would close shop. It is truly touching and very friendly of you. But I guess the majority of us still here are so because we actually care for the brand, the employees and for what can be made out of the company. We are not gathere here to convince ourselves it is better to hate Saab than love it. I think your place is back on the DI Forum… Read more »
Leeloo
Member
5 years 2 months ago
@Krisdk EIB can not make a public statement about their business relations unless both parties agree to make a pressrelease right. I’m pretty sure VM (and perhaps Antonov), is informed about the situation and reasons why EIB eventually won’t accept him as new sharholder. From where CLEPTAs spokesman has got his information is irrelevant and not important, he is a third party and can not in this case be trusted more than you and me. @Obelix It doesn’t matter who wrote the physical text or made the calculations in the business plan, it was signed off and accepted by VM… Read more »
Khrisdk
Member
5 years 2 months ago

Now we have the Press release.
Stating that it is the person, not the business plan.
Also stating that they made an exception to their normal procedures.
We have also had responses from NDO and Eric Geers.

Now, tell me honestly:

Do you feel that SweGov and EIB has showed proper conduct in these matters?

Leeloo
Member
5 years 2 months ago

Yes i do. Since when is it the role of the Swedish Government to inform about business transactions between EIB, VM and Antonov? EIB i can not answer for but i stongly suspect they are tied not to comment or inform third parties because of legal reasons.

Now you tell me honestly, do you feel VM and Antonov are showing and have showed proper conduct in these matters and towards it’s employees??

Khrisdk
Member
5 years 2 months ago

Well..EIB chose to inform 3. parties. and breach Bank secretesse.
SweGov is an involved party, standing as guarantors for the loans.
It is SweGov that have been financing NDO investigations into VA on Tax Payer money, not being informed of the fact that EIB would never change their stance.

Actuially EIB have effectively taken over SweGovs rights to decide over the money the are guaranteeing.

emmany3
Member
5 years 2 months ago
I want to add that I don’t understand anger with Saab. I can think disappointed, but angry? I will be disappointed (selfishly) if I never get to buy a brand new Saab. But it seems like the real focus should be on the Saab workers that may lose their jobs at any time. The stress level for them must be awful. Those who have been sticking it out and those who have had to jump ship simply because they need to support themselves represent what I have seen as loyalty to the Saab family. Being angry with Saab as an… Read more »
Leeloo
Member
5 years 2 months ago

@Khrisdk

Why you always avoid my questions? Here it is again.

Do you feel VM and Antonov are showing and have showed proper conduct in these matters and towards it’s employees??

Khrisdk
Member
5 years 2 months ago

Because you are perfectly able to give the answers yourself.
That’s your standard procedure

scand
Member
5 years 2 months ago
I dont think anger is correct – emotional intensity at adverse events at a brand people are passionate about (here at least) may be another way of trying to describe it. I am here, not because I own a Saab – but I find the story totally compelling. I live in the states, but had for a while an ownership stake in a group of companies in Sweden (not that far from Trollhatten), and was on the board. We had a Dutch entrepreneur CEO (sound familiar??) and he also took a storied swedish brand and drove it into a ditch.… Read more »
Chicago Fred
Member
5 years 2 months ago
I have to say that I am both frustrated and angry. I am frustrated that SAAB finally has some great products for the marketplace and they have no money to produce or promote them to the marketplace. I am EXTREMELY angry at the Swedish government, the EIB and whatever agencies or companies (GM?) that have blocked SAAB from moving forward every step of the way. I am also incredibly angry at VM and the people at SAAB who didn’t seize the moment when they had the product to price and equip cars appropriately and more importantly promote cars to the… Read more »
spyked
Member
5 years 2 months ago

SAAB NA are COMPLETE wastes of human cells. That’s not anger – just fact 😉

Iiari
Member
5 years 2 months ago
You’ve encapsuled my frustration as well. When the intial Saab separation went through, I posted something here to the effect of, “I really hope they’re capitalized through to and including the launch of the NG 9-3, because this is kind of a dead brand until then. They need to be capitalized assuming almost no sales for the next 2.5 years.” Well, my “anger” is because that was obviously not the case. And recent events have made it pretty obvious that they were undercapitalized to such an extent that their “business plan” basically assumed a break even or even better first… Read more »
RS
Member
5 years 2 months ago
Well said Iiari. We’re not some dumb VM fanboys like most of the ‘visitors’ here like to believe. In fact many on SU were highly critical of VM running around last year telling all about great things that will happen in 2013 when business lives in todays world and costs must equal sales. But I understand the situation (we’re all humans) as VM must have been on cloud nine after just becoming owner of the Saab. The cash from the BAIC deal should have been protected like the Crown Jewels until the launch of the 9-4x and 9-5 SC and… Read more »
900_S
Member
5 years 2 months ago

We all have our own way of viewing and handling information. Sometimes preconceived notions influence us and we’re unaware. Everyone has an opinion about what’s going on… You just have to be careful with what you’re reading or saying. I’ve never met the management at Saab, nor do I have much information on the parties involved, so I don’t feel angry at anyone. I want Saab to pull through and continue, but business is business–and today’s modern business seems far too complex for me to understand. I’m anxiously waiting for the celebration post that gives the all-clear! 🙂

sgns
Member
5 years 2 months ago
Business is complex today, yeah. Crucially, i think there are very few instances of sufficient and adequate information about why company A does x. We just don’t happen to know the small things that really contradict the publicly circulated stories. Reality is so complex, that even if you ask the main actors you will get contradictory information and no single easy answer to ‘why’ things happen. In spite of this, or rather because of this, we continue to be fed simplified accounts which smooth over the strange things which actually cause reality to run the way it does. It’s all… Read more »
No 9
Member
5 years 2 months ago
I hope this humble post can help to explain the roller coaster ride we have been experiencing. I for one was a little trigger happy in a post earlier today. Listening to the news this evening, we are informed in the middle of the broadcast that an Air Canada flight is reported having problems (smoke in the cockpit, noting less) between Sydney and Vancouver. The regular news broadcast continues and before the end, a very happy commentator announces that the airplane has safely landed back in Sydney (or Melbourne, whatever). When they announced the problem at first, I was pissed… Read more »
Chris Hansel
Member
5 years 2 months ago
Red J and TimR: What you are seeing and continue to see is a lot of frustration, about things that were said and promises that were broken. However, you have also seen a lot of unacceptable posts that should have removed. If you had asked me if I ever thought I would see the level of ranker I saw last week here on SU, I would have said, “no that group is much classier.” Well, guess I was wrong, and maybe have been wrong all along. I remember the open attacks against GM, and it’s management when Swade had this… Read more »
till72
Member
5 years 2 months ago
This rollercoaster has been going on for a long long time and there have always been very tough moments when emotions boiled here at SU. I wrote some time before that the reason we get that emotional is just because we love Saab so much. But in the last week it really went to another level with the absolute low being the attack on Anders. We face a small number of people who show their misplaced anger here, even stating that VM put all the investors money in his own pockets. I don’t think we need them here, we have… Read more »
Chris Hansel
Member
5 years 2 months ago

+1
Chris

hans h
Member
5 years 2 months ago

+1

i. ant. kal.
Member
5 years 2 months ago
Maybe i am a dreamer… maybe i am insane, but i will never give up believing thing will get better. What i do NOT understand is why everythhing came in this position. About 6 hours ago when i tried to fall in sleep i thought about Saab a lot… I asked myself is it maybe that this brand is with the most passioned fans… and why is that. It is a way of living… a lifestyle. Hm… could it be that everything has to be that way… because look… imagine eveything would be like this.. Saab sells 250.000 cars every… Read more »
JST1981
Member
5 years 2 months ago

Apple would be the perfect partner for Saab. At least money would not be a problem. Let’s all email Steve Jobs and convine him of the iSaab idea!!! Does anybody have his cell phone number? 🙂

sgns
Member
JST1981
Member
5 years 2 months ago

Red J what do you think? Let’s all email Steve Jobs!

i. ant. kal.
Member
5 years 2 months ago

i am all in… 🙂

ryanonsrc
Member
5 years 2 months ago

You’ve gotta admit: its gotta be pretty funny that Steve Jobs is likely to get at least 20 emails from us SAAB fans now :-). I admit this idea has serious merit but we might have a better shot just having one of the crew members ask VM to make the call to Mr. Jobs.

i. ant. kal.
Member
5 years 2 months ago

one of the crew members ask VM to make the call to Mr. Jobs

yes yes!

skwdenyer
Member
5 years 2 months ago
I found this from 2005: DETROIT, MI – Saab Cars USA announces a licensing deal with Apple Computer, Inc of Cupertino CA and joint testing with the US Deptartment of Transportation. Saab will revolutionize the way in which cars are driven by applying human user interface tools developed by Apple Computer. Initial prototypes are in testing in the US under the supervision of the US DOT. “Our qualitative data indicates this may be a safer way to drive.” says Miller Frank, Director of Navigational Technologies at the US Department of Transportation. Tests have been run using 4 different Saab models… Read more »
i. ant. kal.
Member
5 years 2 months ago

funny guess its a 1981 born think…. to believe in this

JST1981
Member
5 years 2 months ago

That’s the problem with blogs…it’s kinda hard to express irony 🙂
But whoever wants to email him, go ahead! And just for the record, it was i.ant.kal. that came up with Steve 🙂

i. ant. kal.
Member
5 years 2 months ago

i am thinking about that for a long time… why do we need iqal… if there are so many i’s around…
I love Saab… i have apple’s allaround me day and night…
irony… well… i mean it.

would be to nice to happen…

i. ant. kal.
Member
5 years 2 months ago

please delete the one above..

wanten do write iqon…

JST1981
Member
5 years 2 months ago

ok then…let’s be a blink on Steve Jobs ipad 24/7. Let’s email him all together.

obelix
Member
5 years 2 months ago

because Iqon is open source 😉
Franky, I admire the apple products and the way Jobs has created and marketed them. What you can do with those products, you can do it easily and the products will do it very well. The downside for me is that if you want to add functionality or want to do things your own way (and not the iWay), you’re left wanting (unless you jailbreak your product). For me, Saab and Apple aren’t similar brands at all.

robertp
Member
5 years 2 months ago
The emotions frustration and anger are close together. The last few months we saw lights at the end of the tunnel and then again the light was not the sunlight we were waiting for. I once drove in Norway through the world’s longest tunnel, the Lærdalstunnel. We drove an open 9-3 convertible on a sunny day and suddenly the tunnel showed up around a corner. With no way to park, we had to continue a dark, noisy and cold trip in a never ending tunnel. Every now and then we saw light at (which we thought) the end of the… Read more »
Jos
Member
5 years 2 months ago

Wow robbert, very well put.

However I think we all here but also the crew need to get a grip on ourselves. From a beakon of hope and support SU is turning into a depressing place. Mainly because of comments getting out of control, but also the actual SU pieces are showing signs of too much involvement and their writers not keeping a sane distance on events.. Maybe you should consider turning off comments as a standard, and keep discussions in the forum.

pekko a
Member
5 years 2 months ago

9x is on the road already, as a cheap copy from skoda. Skoda scout is pretty much copy of 9x

tupolev141
Member
5 years 2 months ago
I think a lot of negativity is directed towards VM, but it gets generalized towards the whole company. Within the Saab enthusiast community, he is the savior of the brand. But for many others, they are judging him differently. You can’t deny him having a passion for the brand, and that goes a long way, but on a business level, and this is a business after all, he’s not exactly irreproachable. The thing I worry about most is not the current production stop, but what this bleeding of cash from all orifices does to the development schedule of the next… Read more »
ANA
Member
5 years 2 months ago

On that note I see a report that Paul Åkerlund has called for VM to be replaced as CEO.

ryanonsrc
Member
5 years 2 months ago

do you have a source? I realize you mean well Ana, but I just want to be sure we aren’t starting a new rumor.

Khrisdk
Member
5 years 2 months ago

It comes from here

ryanonsrc
Member
5 years 2 months ago

the way I interpret that is that the union is suggesting a president be named for SAAB while VM remains the CEO of Swedish Auto. From reading the context it does not at all sound like they are suggesting VM should step but instead that there should be a leader closer with the company as VM is busy trying to cut business deals.

Sadim
Member
5 years 2 months ago
ANA
Member
5 years 2 months ago

It has just been published on The Local which usually takes stories from the newswires.

JST1981
Member
5 years 2 months ago

tupolev: Havin spoke to VM in person a couple of times I can assure you that he is just a human being and not a messiah sent from up above. He was a very hard job at the moment but he decided to do so. I respect that he does not surrender and keeps up the fight but we can not expect any miracles. From a realistic point of view Saab cannot be saved at least it would be one of the toughest turn-arounds in automobile history. BUT Saab has always been different. Why not now?

barbedo
Member
5 years 2 months ago

Hello everyone.
I am a Saab fan and i will continue to be even if the times stay very hard.
That said, i would like to state that this site is doing a very good job in covering this incredible times for the brand.
VM is worst our respect.
The only thing i do not undersand, in a comercial perspective, is the reason behind the disastrous press releases of Spyker, turning public details that should remain internal affairs (ex: problems with payment of salaries).
Why do they do that? Other brands probably have faced the same isues but kept them in secret…
Long live Saab!!!!

Razvan
Member
5 years 2 months ago

I guess they have to because they are listed at market.

Polle
Member
5 years 2 months ago
The 9-X is an amazing concept, especially when you see it in the flesh (at the museum). And I think that the idea behind the concept is at this point the missing link for Saab’s bright future. Offcourse, it is a concept and not really usable in real life, but when we take a limp and look at the 9-X Air, we see an evolution of it in a usable car. If they can provide a very strong, sporty design à la 9-X and 9-X air in both open and closed (3/5d) version, it will be a succes. It will… Read more »
i. ant. kal.
Member
5 years 2 months ago

or A8…

Polle
Member
5 years 2 months ago

… mostly politicians that drive (have themselves driven) in the A8 in my country and given the recent events here, I don’t catalogue them as “people” anymore. That is why I deliberatly left the A8 out.

goose
Member
5 years 2 months ago
I really do not understand the current (opportunistic) negativity towards VM. It is simply not an option to have him replaced at this stage since this will certainly be seen as another sign of weakness. Moreover, who would be willing to step in? All these recent events are understandably very frustrating and disappointing and I am sure that a lot of us, SU-readers, know better than the Saab-people involved (including VM) what Saab should do and what they have done wrong. Saab management simply cannot do anything good at the moment but I am afraid that it is a matter… Read more »
Bengt in Scania
Member
5 years 2 months ago

Bear in mind that we all are speculating on the basis of incomplete information which speculations can probably too easily be published on sites like this here.

Hear hear, Goose! Right on spot!

skwdenyer
Member
5 years 2 months ago
If you want to know why people are angry, look at Jason Castriota’s open letter to the community on this very site. Here it is for people to read (link). And look at Swade’s open letter which prompted it. Communities and movements need leaders but, above all, they need followers. VM positioned himself as the leader, but it was Swade who cast himself in the mould of the ‘chief follower’, guiding the movement to support the leader. If you want to see how that works, have a look at this fascinating (short) film on TED about How To Start A… Read more »
skwdenyer
Member
5 years 2 months ago

I can’t delete the above post, and it looks like you don’t want others to read it. What rule have I broken now?!

w3c validator
Guest
5 years 2 months ago
Why should you delete it? I think it is a good and fair post. And I think you touch some things that are very important for all of us. One thing also to understand is that Swade built up this site and started this community some time back. TimR took over in a very turbulent time and let in some other people (me included) to help driving this site forward. There is of course always a glitch then, because people who follows the site are used to one thing and then it changes. We do our best to guide this… Read more »
skwdenyer
Member
5 years 2 months ago

Sorry, it was stuck as ‘awaiting moderation’ for a long time, so I thought I’d delete it rather than giving everybody on the ‘back end’ yet more work to do!

w3c validator
Guest
5 years 2 months ago

That happens sometimes. And don’t you worry about being the only one worried. I am seriously thinking of getting my self a 9-5 SS right now even if my financial situation will be pressed to the limit, but I love the looks of that car. But yes, the present situation makes it more difficult and I also wish for things to get clearer so we know what is happening.

goose
Member
5 years 2 months ago

Amen! Interesting analysis!

I believe this thread is ready to be closed now. What more can be said?

Swade
Member
5 years 2 months ago

Interesting post. Well reasoned.

I don’t have time to respond now, but I’d like to in the next few days if that’s OK.

Iiari
Member
5 years 2 months ago
I agree it was a fascinating post, but I’m not sure I agree with the conclusion. I think it tangentially touches upon some truths, but then heads off into some analysis with which I don’t agree. I do believe he’s right that the relative silence from Saab (be it VM, PR outlets, etc) has been problematic and has been a Saab problem in many ways since day 1 of the new “independent” Saab. When the head of the Saab Canada Club mentioned in a SU post that he had been trying to contact Saab to help get them out to… Read more »
skwdenyer
Member
5 years 2 months ago
Your perspective is interesting. I wasn’t necessarily talking literally; did you view the TED video I linked-to? That was rather the point. Swade was the ‘chief follower’ and ‘showed us how to follow’ by being positive and passionate, and by getting involved. That role is vacant now, and – I’m sorry to say – SU now shows the lack of it. I agree with you wholeheartedly about the ‘feel’ of Saab from outside; this didn’t feel like a start-up, or a bold-new-era business; it felt like a small company struggling not to think like a big company. Some companies have… Read more »
skwdenyer
Member
5 years 2 months ago

I’d be interested to hear your thoughts. Have fun at the Saab GB meet!

Out of interest, does Disqus allow you to see who has commented on IS, or do you not get to build a following if you use that system?

jond
Member
5 years 2 months ago

Great post! I’m glad I was given an opportunity to read it.

whoozy2002
Guest
5 years 2 months ago

i hear negative stories about parts availability and have personal experience of same. if the parts business is the cash cow why is it not running at full capacity?

Polle
Member
5 years 2 months ago

My thoughts: A lot of suppliers connect the contract from production with that from spare parts. Once production is up and running, spare parts will also have full capacity again.

skwdenyer
Member
5 years 2 months ago

Unfortunately, however, if that is so, it means that Saab Parts is worth much less than it was claimed to be; if it cannot buy parts, it cannot sell parts. This may be why there are now new problems getting money – the collateral may not be worth what it once was.

As we saw with MGR / Caterpillar, if Saab Parts are prepared to work with new suppliers to tool up for parts production then all will be well. But who owns the IP to the parts? Who owns the tooling? Who will fund that activity?

Patrik B
Member
5 years 2 months ago

Because the mother company have taken all the money and there for the parts company cannot pay it’s suppliers.

The decision to take the money was extremely short sighted because now the mother company can’t collect the profit from the parts company. And as I have said before; this decision will only give our beloved cars a extremely poor resale value and will give a couple of hundred of thousand Saab owners a really poor owners experience.

This is as I have understood it. I wish somebody with some insight could provide us with the full picture!

Grumpy
Member
5 years 2 months ago

And you know this to be true from where?

JH
Member
5 years 2 months ago

That is wrong, at least according to Saab Automobile Parts AB ‘s CEO. I read an interview with him some days ago, I will see if I can find it again.

Sadim
Member
5 years 2 months ago
The SAAB Parts situation is difficult to understand. In 2010 net sales were MSEK 1700 and gross profit MSEK 569. During 2010 they contributed MSEK 680 to the mother company SAAB Automobile Aktiebolag as well as supplying parts valued at MSEK 315 for which they were not paid (in 2010). I find it amazing that profitability is so good in the parts business so close to 50% of the turnover can be shipped of to SAAB Automobile while still managing to cope and pay suppliers etc. There seem to be different opinions on whether there is a general shortage of… Read more »
StefanH STHLM
Member
5 years 2 months ago

About frustration and harsh written comments.
I believe it is good to add some smileys, glad or sad, to explain or/and emphasize the words. 🙂

When we speak we use facial expressions, the voice in different registers, hands arms and body, to deliver what we mean. Beside the actual words. 😉

Saab still on new registration plus regarding YTD. http://www.bmsg.se/saab_sales.pdf
>10.000 YTD 2010
>15.000 YTD 2011
But it could have been so much more if ……….. 🙁

StefanH STHLM
Member
5 years 2 months ago

About frustration and harsh written comments.
I believe it is good to add some smileys, glad or sad, to explain or/and emphasize the words. 🙂

When we speak we use facial expressions, the voice in different registers, hands arms and body, to deliver what we mean. And to get all that into a text is isnt easy at all. 😉

Saab still on new registration plus regarding YTD. http://www.bmsg.se/saab_sales.pdf
>10.000 YTD 2010
>15.000 YTD 2011 🙂
But it could have been so much more if ……….. 🙁

Marque
Member
5 years 2 months ago

Trouble attracts trouble. When Saab is in the shadow, the dark voices start sprawling around. Then there was a madman making insane comments yesterday. That is pretty much business as usual. Happens tons of times daily on internet.

SaabsUnited ROCKS as it always did!

We are here to stay and no, we never ever give up, as our firmwares just don’t allow it.

sportwagon28t
Member
5 years 2 months ago

SU cant have it both ways, on one hand deeply and aggresively critisising anybody on here who dares post a negative comment about VM or VA, and now as more of us are staring to realise that they arent quite the heros we were being told they were, now SU seems to be begging for support.
this site really needs both sides of the story, in the past it has been far too political and forgetting about the cars that we know and love

gannet
Member
5 years 2 months ago
Anger is valid feeling. there is nothing wrong about being angry if you manage to stay out of rude. everyone has right to be angry, sad, pesimistic. It is one thing about SU I hate: If you are not optimistic, hopeful and write anything different than “It will be ok” you are immediatelly labeled as troll, troublemaker, naysayer and so on. Almost, like Saabs situation is caused by people that are not optimistic about its future and dare to express their opinion. It is like writting something negative if you really think so is bad. It is not. Making anyone… Read more »
Marque
Member
5 years 2 months ago
You may be missing the point here gannet. Of course it is our [Saab enthusiast community’s] firm common interest for Saab to succeed. We all want to see Saab prosper at its best. Therefore you will find the majority of the loyal blog readers being optimistic. No, it is not a compulsory thing. But you may understand that expressed negativity above a certain level is hurting the majority’s sentiments, when they trust in Saab’s success. Besides, if you’re always negative about something, then it is really questionable whether you are really supporting it from your heart? That said, if you… Read more »
gannet
Member
5 years 2 months ago
not really. I only made comment about certain trend that I observed. I was not reffering to myself, so no need to question my loaylty to saab. but if someone express sign of pesimism, it does not equall he or she is against Saab (little too simple dont you think?), probably it only means the news are bad, as unfortunately they are quite often. I am trully sad about Saabs situation. I genuinelly hope Saab will make it and survive and moreover will be succesful. I really do. but at the same time I think chances of this happening are… Read more »
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