Loss of Goodwill? Excuse Me?

According to the Court in Vanersborg,

“The current stops in production are likely to have resulted in considerable loss of the goodwill of the company and an impairment of the Saab trademark.”

This couldn’t be more from the truth. The Saab community is one of the most passionate, outspoken, and willing to go to bat for the company they love. The only goodwill that has been lost, in my opinion, is my and countless other observer’s view of how the Swedish government operates. I can honestly say I would avoid doing business in the country after having seen how they treat their industry. I had to get that off my chest, and I’m sure thousands of others would agree with me. We may start a petition to show just how much goodwill still exists for the brand.

Instead of going off on the court here, I channelled my energy into something positive that should help reignite some of the passion we all feel for Saab. It is, after all, about the product.

There’s nothing quite like a good photoshop job to cheer up the community. The beautiful 9-5 Hirsch that Tim posted yesterday got me thinking, it’s about time we explore what the 9-4X might look like. I’ve done a video of it in the past, but I worked on a more detailed front and rear this time. Imagine the goodwill for Saab if these were on the streets? Click past the break to find out.

As you’ll remember, the 9-5 as outfitted by Hirsch is gorgeous.

By using similar bodykit parts, this is what I came up with.

And just so you can see a side by side of the Aero to the Hirsch, here you go.

jouni72
Member
5 years 21 days ago

What a car! I want to see this in flesh! Good luck Saab, VM and others! All this is why we support You!

900 classic cab
Guest
5 years 21 days ago

Petition ? Bring it on. Back in late 2009/early 2010 we seemed to had a more active role in saving the company.
I wonder if it would be possible for them to set an account for donations that could be later transferred to company shares…

till72
Member
5 years 21 days ago

Great work, Jeff. Who’d want a Cayenne let alone X5 if he can have that?

moose
Member
5 years 21 days ago

I’m quite sure that loss of “goodwill” is not referring to Saab fans losing their goodwill (thou this has happened too to some extend…), but the general public (around world, not just in Sweden!) losing their “goodwill”. The general public opinion is currently rather negative, and has shifted from “Go, Saab!” to “Get it over with – we are sick and tired of these “is it dead, is it not”-news”.

The truth is that outside the fan community Saab has very few supporters left…

Norwegian Blue
Member
5 years 20 days ago

Actually I think it refers to public lack of confidence. It happened to Studebaker, too, years ago. No matter how much you may like the car, if you’re not sure the company will be around to provide spare parts, etc., do you really want to buy a car from them? How many people here are still waiting on cars ordered months ago? Where do you go if your key stops working and you need a new one?

moose
Member
5 years 20 days ago

The lack of public confidence is also mentioned separately as “impairment of the Saab trademark”. In other words Saab’s brand is not as valuable as it used to be, as people do not trust it to be around.

In my opinion the “lack of goodwill” refers to the fact that there is no support neither from the “common public” (there really is not!), nor from the companies working with Saab (suppliers, agencies …).

xlx
Member
5 years 21 days ago

exactly. that was the one of the big “wtf” in the press conference video

RS
Member
5 years 21 days ago

What a fine job Jeff!
Speaking of Goodwill, how about the backlog of orders Saab still has. If any that should be the proof that people believe in the brand despite everything. If this had happened to a lesser company there would have been zero orders coming in after the line stopped. What happened to Saab? The order book exploded.

Was the Court informed of this?

aki
Member
5 years 21 days ago

Absolutely gorgeous….good work Jeff….and talking about that court it must be joke of some kind. I have the feeling that Saab is most probably being channeled in to the arms of investors we don`t know yet about. It just does not make economical and logical SENSE..

Eleven
Member
5 years 21 days ago
Frustrated, yes. Nervous, yes, but ‘Loss of Goodwill’ no That could have only ever come from someone who hasn’t got any kind of insight into the SAAB community. I’m absolutely stunned by the the constant B.S some of these people come out with. What’s more, when I speak to friends less ‘in love’ with SAAB, they literally have no clue as to any kind of problems with SAAB or their production stopages. ‘Loss of Goodwill’ couldn’t really be further from the truth, I am still putting my complete faith in the brand, after all, to me and my family, SAABs… Read more »
Belfast_Saab
Member
5 years 21 days ago
Yes looks good, particularly the rear – actually quite like X5 ina good way? RE: goodwill, I think in reality I wouldn’t disagree with the Court’s statement – we are tempted to wear rose tinted glasses sometimes here. Supplier goodwill – In fairness, I’m sure many suppliers have had their patience truly tested by Saab – many took a major write-off in the last restructuring and are facing a second ……. we can not blame them if they have lost good will, not for the brand, but for the commercial decisions that have been made and worse, for the statements… Read more »
Belfast_Saab
Member
5 years 21 days ago

Oh, and in terms of impairment of Saab brand – absolutely – take at a look at used values right now. I just got my 2008 9-3SW 2.8T Aero for same price as a new Kia Picanto. That’s impairment. Suits me, I buying and keeping it long-term. Will not please people looking to trade-in or sell privately. It’s all over for private sales to less-than-committed Saab die-hards IMHO. 🙁

Pedro
Member
5 years 21 days ago

Your assessment is very straight-to-the-point, and very accurate…

Motoradd's Cat
Member
5 years 21 days ago

With this will it / wont it situation going on, residual values are at an all time low.

So if you’re in the market for a second hand Saab then this is probably the best time to buy privately or from a non Saab dealer.

Once it is over (survive or fail) the residual prices will rise in time to be equal to equivalent models from other manufacturers.

This was the situation with Rovers when Rover went belly up. But now a used Rover 25 sells for about the same as a Vauxhall Astra for the same year of manufacture.

JeremyP
Member
5 years 20 days ago
As a dealer,we are paying VERY strong money for late model low mileage Saabs (at least compared to current book values and past purchase patterns). The typical pipeline for these cars was cut off when GMAC stopped leasing in August 2008 and the subsequent restart of Saab leasing last summer has not and can not fill that gap unti 1) those leases come to fruition and 2) there are enough cars coming off lease to fill dealer demand for late model cars that are a staple of dealer lots. Clearly that will not happen for some time so we are… Read more »
Thylmuc
Member
5 years 21 days ago

Unfortunately:

Potential buyers’ goodwill: 9-5 sedan a failure so far, as 2010 has shown, even in the US. 9-3 maybe too old, maybe too small irt its competition. Even after all the fanfares with the Spyker purchase, Saab is off the radar of potential buyers. Goodwill: 0-10%

phermansson
Member
5 years 21 days ago

I said I wanted the 9-4x when I took it for a spin 2 days ago… after seeing your pic Jeff, I REALLY WANT IT!!! =D

E
Member
5 years 21 days ago

We’ve had our premium Moreland Bronze 9-4X a week now, put on 1K miles already, and love it!

NJ8
Member
5 years 21 days ago

Beg to differ. And regret to differ.
The average Joe car buyer doesn’t have SAAB on his short-list any more.
As much as a SAAB enthusiast I am, I think the loss of goodwill observation is a realistic one.

Belfast_Saab
Member
5 years 21 days ago

+1 sadly agree

Peter, Sweden
Member
5 years 21 days ago

I still think the whole situation looks better today than it did right after Spyker’s purchase of Saab. There’s been lots of work regarding marketing, and that combined with great reviews of the 9-5 and 9-4X has set a positive spin on the brand. Sure, there is some lack of goodwill and confidence, but it isn’t nearly as bad as it was just 18 months ago, imo.

SPG900NY
Member
5 years 20 days ago
Disagree. I think the situation is *much* more dire now. A year ago, there was all the optimism in the world that customers would come back once the brand was on a sure footing. They didn’t. In fact, most mainstream folks didn’t even know the brand had been “saved.” Now, not only was it not saved, but it is in trouble again and the only news reports people other than the real fans have heard is that the company might not make it. That’s the kiss of death for sales, and they’re not likely to return unless Victor pulls another… Read more »
Norwegian Blue
Member
5 years 20 days ago

Practical people don’t spend $40K on a car whose manufacturer might not be around in a year to service it.

Bingo!

aop
Member
5 years 21 days ago

Loss of goodwill is hard to evaluate when the company is at standstill.
With no advertising and no cars on the dealers’ showroom, most people just know what they heard on the news – i.e. Saab is banktrupt and didn’t pay salaries for 3 months in a row. This is nonsense and false !
If someone is to blame for this, it’s surely not SAAB and it’s not SAAB.

Any type of support SU can bring in from the comunity to be shown to the court I think it is welcome.

Audun
Member
5 years 21 days ago

+1

nafuente
Member
5 years 21 days ago

If the swedish court took the tough decision in just 24 hours means that Saab’s accounts are on high alert, much worse than in 2009. As much appeal Victor Muller, the plight is not correct because the numbers do not add up. I think Saab will end in bankruptcy and in the last minute you will see a savior (Chinese for example) to buy the company for a nominal fee. A euro, for example.

Too many vultures are scavengers be waiting for this premium brand … Saab Force!

Bravada from GMI
Member
5 years 21 days ago

I do hope somebody buys the company and the brand will continue (I am not sure it is in Saab AB’s interest just to lease the brand to whoever to put on whatever product made wherever) – after all, even if the remnants of Rover were fought over by multiple buyers, the brand itself died and it took almost a decade to get production back rolling in Britain, in rather limited regard.

The fact that a lot of goodwill was lost is indisputable. It is also inexcusable to have acted so that it was lost.

Thylmuc
Member
5 years 21 days ago
Who needs another assembly plant? Nobody. Inside the automobile industry, the most probable outcome now looks like the machinery is sold piece by piece, as spare machines for other assemblies, all the tooling and rights for the 9-5 are bought by Opel who can produce them on their Insignia line without problems and need a halo car anyway (new Omega), 9-3 stuff is scraped or sold to China, the museum is dissolved, since the community of THN can’t buy it, and the plant is converted to, well wind mills.? Hope can only lie outside the car industry. As I previously… Read more »
UWb
Member
5 years 21 days ago
The loss of goodwill, or rather credibility, is the main concern and which costs the Company millions every day production is standing still. It has been stated that between 10 and 15 000 cars are in the backlog (including the Chinese ones), but no-one knows how many of these initial orders (which was mainly put in during Q2) are still in there. Even here on SU it has been stated that members have cancelled their orders. I also think that many persons here are lying about not loosing credibility (goodwill) in the brand. It is one thing loving a brand,… Read more »
Romac
Member
5 years 21 days ago

loss of the goodwill of the company and an impairment of the Saab trademark

This is accountant-speak, and relates to the valuation of the company. Sadly, in the cold hard world of business, it would be difficult to argue with that.

Let’s hope “Plan C” works. VM is like the Cat-in-the-Hat, but hopefully we won’t have to wait for “Little Plan Z” to clear up the mess 😉

A-RO 95
Member
5 years 21 days ago
Please also look at this from a suppliers point of view. This story has to come to a conclusion! Some of them are sitting on material and components that are dedicated to Saab applications, This is costing money and every month they have to make a decision and justify this as whether to hold on to the material or scrap it. Also the rpoduction planning probably no longer has any short term capacity available should Saab want to resume production and with some suppliers I am sure the long term planning also excludes any capacity for Saab. This is the… Read more »
JH
Member
5 years 21 days ago

I don’t think that the suppliers have a lot of parts stocked, since those should have gone to Saab Parts (the spare parts division).

A-RO 95
Member
5 years 21 days ago

I am afraid that that is not true!

Pedro
Member
5 years 21 days ago

Which would mean that an unnoffical restructuring would not stand much of a chance of gaining traction… CLEPA played the “good-cop” role, the individual suppliers will probably (most likely) play the “bad-cop” role and try to get whatever they can.

A-RO 95
Member
5 years 21 days ago

I think the problem is that because of the time that has elapsed many suppliers would require a plan where they are also convinced that it will have a good chance of success. As I stated above, this story has now been dragging on for quite an extended period of time and as they say in German “Rather an end with pain than pain without an end”. What ever happens now, it must happen quickly and be final.

Pedro
Member
5 years 21 days ago

Exactly. It’s not just about “hang on; we will pay you soon”; it’s abou a payment plan plus going forward with delivering parts/systems and collecting those future bills, i.e., trust that the business plan is sound, both operationally and financially.

CLEPA did its job well of opening the door to serious negotiation. I think individual suppliers would be a tough nut to crack.

Mark
Member
5 years 21 days ago

When GM was preparing to close Saab and only half-heartedly saying it was try to sell it, we had a world wide “Save Saab” campaign. Perhaps it’s now time for a “Sweden Save Saab” campaign?

Carma
Member
5 years 21 days ago
Regarding Saabs goodwill; here’s a good example of that. You can’t buy commercials like this. Too bad it’s a little late. of 50 9-5 stationwagons. They, the police, seemed very very dissapointed. Quote: ”Nya saab 9-5 har hyllats av hela landets poliser som en av dom bäste bilarna för deras verksamhet nånsin. Med fyrhjulsdrift och miljöklassning är den ensam i sitt slag. Det kändes inte bra, för det vi har hört om den här bilen, och vi har provat den själv, fast inte under utrycknings-förhållanden, är att den har ett grymt chassi, för att vara i polisbilsutförande, en av dom… Read more »
Carma
Member
5 years 21 days ago

The story was about how the swedish police had to cancel their order of 50 9-5:s.

http://www.nyheterna.se/tv?videoid=1990721&treeId=5050101

Daniel B
Member
5 years 21 days ago

Even the customer is SCREAMING OUT how fantastic the car is (thanks TV4 for at least one positive thing about Saab-The cars)..
I wished more could do this,since the public opinion seems to be that the car is no good, which is so wrong…

nixschel
Member
5 years 21 days ago
Reading this sentence: “The current stops in production are likely to have resulted in considerable loss of the goodwill of the company and an impairment of the Saab trademark.” I cannot but up to a certain point understand what is being said. It is possible that the situation as has arisen, may have caused a drop in whatever is meant by goodwill, and perhaps even the value of the brand as such.The press has done quite some damage. That is why we as Saab Club Nederland are doing our utmost to get back into the press (and with some succes… Read more »
marcus
Member
5 years 21 days ago
the decision of the court in vänersborg is only one thing: stupid! they don´t see, that it´s not about victor muller, it´s not about the enthusiasts and it´s not about a carmaker – it´s only about the swedish people from the west and perhaps of all of them. how will this area have an future for the people without saab in trollhättan, what includes also vänersborg. when volvo closed the facillity in the town uddevalla nearby some years ago, you were able to see the problems everywhere there. you cannot bring tourists to this area from september till april of… Read more »
ANA
Member
5 years 21 days ago

I understand that there will always be support from hardcore enthusiasts (like most of us) however anyone who thinks that there has not been a loss of goodwill among the wider community in my opinion is completely deluded. I am sorry to be blunt but this is a fact.

hans h
Member
5 years 21 days ago

Yes. It is quite obvious. People only see Saab in bad news these days.

rune
Member
5 years 21 days ago
Yesterday an A6-driving colleague complimented my car (a Saab 😉 ) and said “well, if the worst happens and Saab goes under, then you will have a rare car like no other!”. Earlier this week a customs officer stopped me at the border. After a five second inspection of my trunk (“here’s the booze and I got a carton of cigarettes somewhere” was met with “it all looks to be in order!”) he then said he hoped the factory would be ok and that a number of his colleagues swore by Saabs. There are still individualists out there that appreciates… Read more »
ANA
Member
5 years 20 days ago

Rune

Of course people don’t want Saab to die but, the fact remains that they have lost a great deal of brand equity. In the eyes of the consumer there is a great difference between supporting a brave underdog and feeling sympathy for a well-beaten loser.

That said there is still a chance…..

WM
Member
5 years 21 days ago

If the court is basing decisions on intangibles, then it’s probably over. How provincial. Aren’t courts supposed to deal in facts? This is saying to a capital crimes defendent “you may or may not be innocent of the charges, but you’ve taken a real beating in the press; the people don’t think much of you right now. Therefore, I’m going to sentence you to death.”

Is the judge perhaps a career politician?

Sadim
Member
5 years 21 days ago
Firstly. I believe he is a judge with zero political ambitions. Secondly, it is up to SAAB to submit sufficient plans, argumentation and evidence to support their application showing clearly that the company would have a profitable business following the reconstruction. Evidently the application was mainly hopes and wishes. If we scrutinize one fact – the deal with Pangda and Youngman – there will have been no firm date mentioned for Chinese approval. What’s more the feasability plan has yet to be submitted. If that was to be seen as the core of the reconstruction it was all very shaky.… Read more »
rune
Member
5 years 20 days ago

there will have been no firm date mentioned for Chinese approval.

Why does that matter?

Belfast_Saab
Member
5 years 20 days ago

Are you serious? It is surely the crux of the whole problem. The only firm offer of money into Saab, but no clue as to how long it will take – could be weeks, could be a year (Peugeot) or could be never. This is THE questions to be answered. Without this it’s over in the current form and into a new world of who knows what.

rune
Member
5 years 20 days ago
I am serious. As I asked somewhere else: Is it the norm in Sweden that a company must be able to state (and prove) “we will get funds x days from now, but meanwhile we need protection”. From the description of the protection process, it was my impression that this is not the case. I.e. you have to present a reasonable plan, but you don’t have to prove beyond all doubt that the plan will succeed no matter what. There is a signed contract. Of that I hope there cannot be much doubt. It will be put into motion as… Read more »
Sadim
Member
5 years 20 days ago
@ Rune September 9, 2011 at 17:18 The purpose of the reconstruction process is NOT to provide protection, the purpose is to see if a viable company can be the end product. And yes, the norm is that you must prove beyond reasonable doubt that there will be adequate funds at a certain date. There is a signed contract, but there are conditions that involve the OK of a third party ( the NDRC). There is no guarantee that the contract will be fulfilled and there is no knowing when it might be fulfilled. Finally, yes I did read what… Read more »
Khrisdk
Member
5 years 20 days ago

@Sadim

Isn’t the normal procedure to evaluate if there is a possibility for a viable company within 3 months, with a possibility for prolonging that up to 12 months?

Isn’t the real question:

What is beyond reasonable doubt?

Pedro
Member
5 years 20 days ago

@ Khrisdk: I know your question was directed at Sadim, but the answer is, I believe, quite simple. A Court of Law requires documentation instead of “we will flood the Court with information” statements at press conferences after the Court’s decision.

Sadim
Member
5 years 20 days ago

@ Khrisdk September 9, 2011 at 18:39

Pedro has said much of what I would say, but I would add that the process can be given 3 or even 12 months to evaluate. But the documentation submited in the first place must show there is substance behind the plans.

The court did not believe in the plan.

Khrisdk
Member
5 years 20 days ago
@Pedro Yes they do. But it is still an evaluation of what is beyond reasonable doubt.inside a defined timeline. Which to me just indicates that it the reasoning is open for translation. And that is what people are doing As I have said earlier, I was personally not impressed by what i have seen of the first application. Unless it was a stalling manouver, where the Saab law people expected the court to ask for clarification. I would expect the next application to be very thorough..aka. “Flood the court with information” I am still in Schrödingers Cat mode, so until… Read more »
Sadim
Member
5 years 20 days ago

I trust you are joking……and trying to make me irritatated….so I blow a fuse and get banned..? 😉

“..Why does this matter….”…? C’mon Rune, nice try.. 🙂

Pedro
Member
5 years 20 days ago

Well, Sadim… Obviously it is the Court of Law who has all obligations on its side, notably to ask all questions without even reading anything so they can have a basis to start asking questions. It is therefore obvious that it is not management’s responsibility to submit well-supported motions before a Court of Law. Quite straightforward (and interesting) reasoning, eh? 😉

Sadim
Member
5 years 20 days ago

Pedroa, when you apply for reconstruction YOU must prove your case. if you can’t you get a “No”. It’s quite simple actually.

Pedro
Member
5 years 20 days ago

I know… I was being sarcastic… Sorry 🙁

Being serious: I am amazed (and actually fascinated!) at how people refuse to understand that a Court of Law needs more than “the money is coming” written in a piece of paper to grant SAAB a ‘yes’.

Sadim
Member
5 years 20 days ago

Correction: Sorry Pedro, you got an “a” added to your nick. If I add any futher A.s I will make it AAA+ 😉

Pedro
Member
5 years 20 days ago

Moody downgraded Portugal to junk; I’m Portuguese, so… No AAA+ status for me LOL

No problems there with the extra “a” 😉

Khrisdk
Member
5 years 20 days ago

Correct.

I was not really impressed with what I have seen from the application.
Unless it was designed to serve another purpose than get a yes.

I am very curious about what will be in the new application on monday.
I still like those old Bugs Bunny movies

mnztr
Member
5 years 20 days ago

While I think it is fair to say that SAAB’s goodwill is diminished, it is utterly stupid and illogical to say there is NO goodwill. Clearly a great deal of goodwill has been demonstrated by the unions, suppliers, dealers and customers of SAAB. Just the existance of SAABSUNITED is evidence of this goodwill, and the many, many enthusiast forums and press. I really hope the appeal is granted. After all, what on EARTH is there to lose by giving SAAB one more chance to reorg? That puzzles me a great deal.

Audun
Member
5 years 20 days ago

Same here.

Lance Cole
Member
5 years 20 days ago
Something stinks in the state of Sweden. How, how on earth can a perceived, unquantified, unframed, ‘loss of goodwill’ be a sound rational, legally sound and intellectually rigorous basis of a factor in a decision? Who says there is a loss of goodwill? Such claim is simple a perception – notably framed by media froth and cheap gossip headlines. There may be a greater perceived loss of goodwill in or around the region of the plant and the Court, but not in the key UK, USA, and other markets. My Uk Saab dealer friends have lots of new cars or… Read more »
KaiC
Member
5 years 20 days ago

Nice job Jeff !I really love the style of 9-4X but i am afraid i would n`t see it some day here in my country.Cause the NDRC`s permission is no timetable.Especially when court say no to Saab.According to the analysis of the local news.There was no quickly approval happened before.Even if a company will go to die.So VM can not give court a definite prove.God bless miracle coming up.

900SEB
Member
5 years 20 days ago
I found an article today in the Swedish newspaper SvD (Svenska Dagbladet). It’s written by Jonas Fröberg, who has a rather deep insight in the Swedish car industry. The article, “Saab reminds more and more of closed Rover”, begins commenting how Mr Muller received, besides a 600.000 euro salary, a hefty bonus of 616.000 euros just before the Chapter 11 filing in the Vänersborg court. It continues with a recall of BMW buying Rover, the decision to close it (just like GM decided to shut down Saab) and how the investment company Phoenix, helped by the British Government of Blair,… Read more »
900SEB
Member
5 years 20 days ago

First of all: My apologies, the article is dated April 4th 2011 and updated on September 9th.
By that time JÅJ was leaving the company and Fröberg was referring to him when he said “he is not taking a cent for leaving the company.
So, we should read “We should add that Jan Åke Jonsson doesn’t get a cent as a compensation now (then, 2011.04.04) when he leaves the company.”

Jonas Fröberg was doing some tea leaves-reading then. It all winded up being a mess, with a discredited VM (in my eyes).

Apologies 2: I forgot to post the link, here it is: http://www.svd.se/naringsliv/saab-rover-svdse_6062925.svd

twirix
Guest
5 years 20 days ago

This couldn’t be more from the truth. The Saab community is one of the most passionate, outspoken, and willing to go to bat for the company they love. The only goodwill that has been lost, in my opinion, is my and countless other observer’s view of how the Swedish government operates.

You are missing the point, you are only focusing on the fanatics of Saab but they are far from enough. You have to focus on the potential customers.

Khrisdk
Member
5 years 20 days ago

The average potential customers have an average memory of 6 months.
The leasing companies just need 3 and a little push
We are the only ones bothering with navel gazing and overanalyzing

saabaudi
Member
5 years 20 days ago

I my opinion in the past Saab lost a lot of its public image due to the endless discussions on unpaid delivieries of their suppliers, unfulfilled loans to their employees, new lacks of money and specially fantastic stories of VM without any financial background. Promises of Chinese investors are not the basis to trust in.
Of course there actually exists the goodwill of Saab enthusiasts. But this is not enough. Where have been new customers in the past?
In the last two years Saab´s general situation didn´t invite new interested people to buy a Saab

ThomasJ
Member
5 years 20 days ago
The goodwill is here dispite the badwill these months of production stoppage. Confidence (goodwill) in the cars should be greater than ever, because the new cars are better than ever. That’s a fact stated by several independents around the globe. The design of Saab cars have often been in a class by itself, and several classics have been created, 900 is one and current 9-3 another. 9-4x will be one and more will come… New 9-5 SS is not only beautiful, especially with Hirsch dress, it is also a great ride. I know several persons who are planning to switch… Read more »
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