I’d love to write about Saab interest stories, tech pieces, or launch competitions, but for the next few days while this cloud is over us, I’d just like to remind everyone how important a positive decision in favor of reconstruction would be for Saab’s future. Whether or not the Court of Appeals grants the reconstruction, I’m confident Saab will make it through one way or another, their staff just won’t give up. Hopefully the Court will see this spirit and help to remove any obstacles from Saab’s way so they’re on the right side of history.
Frederick Sidahl, Managing Director FKG (the Automotive Suppliers Group) and Christer Palm, Chairman FKG, authored a letter in support of Saab in Swedish magazine Ny Teknik. They emphasize points we’ve heard before, on how shuttering Saab means losing a very crucial industrial company. While they focus on the enormous loss of technical expertise Sweden would suffer if Saab were to shutter, they also mention the loss of exports.
I have to echo their sentiment, and if anyone from the Court is reading this, please understand that Saab is for me and many others around the world, the most recognizable positive export Sweden has besides Ikea and H&M. Trying to stifle Saab is like cutting off a major artery in your national circulatory system, it may not seem like a lot of jobs or industry on the surface, but the company is a vital and unique link for the rest of the world into your Swedish identity. If Saab didn’t exist, I’d never have developed an affinity for Sweden so deeply.
Read their letter after the break.
We, the Scandinavian trade association for the supplier industry, Automotive Suppliers, FKG, supports a reconstruction of Saab Automobile AB, since this approach is preferable to a bankruptcy.
In our view, an abandonment of the Saab not only have immediate effects on employment, industry and regional growth in direct connection with Saab in Västra Götaland, but we also see a long-term risk of eroding the Swedish automotive cluster with Sweden, but the Saab Automobile.
The automotive cluster that is under development can be described as the engine for the Swedish automotive industry. This is where research and manufacturing. With a smaller partner, Saab, the cluster would suffer adversely. This would in turn have consequences for both industrial development and for Swedish exports.
The erosion can also cause unwanted effects due to an exodus of supplier industries as well as a more conservative view of Sweden as a vehicle to land long-term investing in.
FKG’s recent structure study points to a slow exodus of the supplier industry to other countries, and this increased diversification into other markets outside the automotive industry. In itself it is good to recognized talented Scandinavian suppliers develop their business, seeking new markets, which is a direct consequence of the global automotive crisis in 2008-2009. But there is a slow exodus of industry is by no means good.
With a reconstructed Saab, a Saab Automobile, which is still alive, would supply the industry continue to evolve. To develop supply chain, all the Swedish vehicle manufacturers and thus all the Swedes from – the automotive industry is one of the leading Swedish export industries.
There are approximately 1,000 automotive suppliers in Sweden (big global players, SMEs, regional and national actors) that employs over 70,000 people and a turnover of 154 billion, 25 percent of this is exported. 97 percent of all suppliers in Sweden.
Of these, 97 percent carry 70 per cent some form of Research and Development, that is, almost 5000 people are engaged in research and development in the automotive industry.
We, as representatives of the Scandinavian supplier industry, like with this letter to appeal to an assessment in a larger perspective. We also have some advice – please feel free lesson in how to successfully handled similar situations in other vehicle-producing countries, the U.S. administration’s rescue of General Motors during the crisis or Kurz Zeit Woche in which German state went in and supported the automotive industry and took part in the wage cost as that the skills could be left in the companies.
For the Scandinavian supplier industry and the Swedish automotive industry a reconstruction of Saab Automobile is therefore preferable to bankruptcy.
Managing Director FKG – Automotive Suppliers Ltd
Chairman FKG – Automotive Suppliers Ltd