SweGov involved in discussions with Asian consortium?

Simon Warburton published an article on just-auto.com saying that SweGov shall be heavily involved in the discussions with the BAIC/Panasonic consortium. He quotes a reliable source – judge this for yourself but he is generally pretty well informed and I’d put more trust in this than I did if it was di.se.

The article states some genral facts we know and claims that BAIC/Panasonic are the third party alongside Mahindra & Mahindra and Youngman. Now to the most interesting part of the article:

“It [consortium] is a really bad thing for Saab and will be a threat for Youngman and Mahindra,” the source told just-auto from Sweden. “They are planning to build electric cars in Trollhattan using the 9-3 as a first car and producing batteries.

“Most likely they will not be branded as Saab [but] they are extremely secret about everything.”
The source added Stockholm firm Springtime was heading the public relations drive behind the Asian consortium bid, with one of the communications company’s co-owners Birgitta Ed, married to Swedish social security minister Ulf Kristersson.

“The Swedish government are heavily involved [in] this situation, it is for sure,” added the Swedish source. “Several meetings [happened] between parties from the consortium, the Japanese government and the Swedish government.

“The government likes [this] kind of environmental electric car which will never fly in the next 15 years. There is no commercial point in this right now. I would not be be surprised if they [Swedish government] put money behind it.”

While I think that electricity has a place in the concept of future mobility I don’t think it is the sole answer. It definetely is not at this point of time. Too much has to be done about infrastructure. Not only that you have to install a serious number of recharging stations, you also need a electricity grid that is designed to take the additional load once the number of electrical cars should increase significantly. As interesting as the project of a major electrical car company may be I agree to the assessment that there is no commercial point in this over a long time.

Another issue is that I personally would like to see the Saab brand survive with electrical cars alongside a portfolio of BioPower models to complete a diversified, enironmentally friendly lineup. So when it comes to the three parties mentioned my clear personal favourite is Mahindra & Mahindra. We got indications that their plans for Saab are very much in line with what we Saab fans would like Saab in Trollhättan to become in the future. They surely are able to provide adequate financing for the process of restarting and developing the brand and from what we heared they just recently strengthened their position in the process.

March is more or less over now. I don’t expect Tuesday’s press conference to give the final answer to the one and only question but we will see a decision soon. Hope you all spared a bit of patience for those last days of the process. No need to panic. Just hope for the best.

JH
Member

I hope for Mahindra too, it feels much better than this consortium! By the way, you (SU) published an article some days ago (I got it in my RSS feed) called “Mahindra believed to be preferred bidder” but when I tried to read it I got an HTTP 404 error response. Why was it taken down? Anyhow, the coming week(s) will be very interesting!

TurboLamko
Member

Maybe they publish it by mistake and wanted to keep it a secret so they took it down 😉

Saabissimo
Member

That short article is still available in Google’s cache for anyone who is curious. Just search for the title and read the cached version.

But since it was taken down again – probably for a good reason – maybe we should not put too much hope in it yet?

JH
Member

I found it – and hope it is true! The article is taken down but Till tells us to keep the hope… Kinda strange!? I still have faith though! 🙂

tianalfred
Member

really want to know who are the consortium? some reports say BAIC/Panasonic consortium while some others say China Environment Conservatoin and Eivironment Protection Group (CECEP, a powerful group directly under chinese gov) and a japanese one. ?????

ThomasJ
Member

SweGov comment:
“A spokeswoman for the enterprise ministry in Stockholm told just-auto she had no knowledge of any government involvement with a consortium bid and insisted the administration’s role was not to play a major part in the process”.
This is a stupid comment if they are involved, BUT it just says that SHE has no knowledge….

All manufacturers for electric cars seems to have problems.

I hope for M&M or Tata.

TurboLamko
Member

Tata is gone, they are NOT intrested!

TonymacUK
Member

Never in

TonymacUK
Member

I agree with your last two comments

Bravada from GMI
Member

This is a stupid comment, because the government and the ministry in particular should be playing a very major role in the process. Sweden was hugely hit by the largest bankruptcy ever wiping out an important part of their industrial base and the government publicly says they don’t care. Why would I want to invest my money in Sweden, even if I were Swedish myself, if the government wouldn’t care?

Coke is it
Member

Swegov, you didn’t care about Saab before so get the f**k out of bringing some electric shit car to replace Saab.

I wil not vote for you again.

Baic/Panasonic, find somewhere else to build your toy cars. Don’t ruin Saab, let someone else buy Saab that wants Saab to be Saab.

kochje
Member

+100

ArchDandy
Member

+101

Troels, Denmark
Member

+

Nate 9-3
Member
The Swedish government just gets more disreputable as this process develops. This party is late to the game and they will likely destroy the SAAB brand. Oh, btw the wife of a government minister works for the PR firm that is promoting this deal? That reminds me of Maud, her son and the windmills situation. What an irony it will be if the one product that brought me to become intrigued in Sweden is the same product that’s death exposes Sweden for what it really is – just like every other country. Dirty and corrupt. I hope that this does… Read more »
hans h
Member

+9000

leriksso
Member

+1000

Angelo V.
Member

+95

hans h
Member

+900

kochje
Member

Hope that if this is true that at least the actual administrators are aware of these discussions;
It would not be the first time the Swedish government has acted, or not acted, which resulted in big harm for Saab.

Mark
Member

BAIC might build a handful of electric cars in Trollhattan as a token gesture, and meanwhile the Phoenix platform would be spirited away to China to underpin BAIC’s next generation of cars. Certainly not good for Saab.

GerritN
Member

Who actually owns the IP for the Phoenix platform? I thought that VM did something clever with a Dutch entity to make sure that the Phoenix platform had to be bargained for separately from Saab?

900 classic cab
Guest

Assuming this is true, how the bankruptcy administrators relate to the government ?
In other words, can the government be pulling all the strings behind the scenes ?

Saabissimo
Member

I would assume the administrators are strong enough to resist political pressure. Otherwise it would amount to a fairly big scandal imho.

Politicians should never influence legal process. That’s a cornerstone of a functioning democracy.

900 classic cab
Guest

you’re right… although lately I’ve been wondering about the “functioning democracy” concept a lot around here 🙂

Trued
Member

Are You referring to the recent happenings the led to the Minister of Defense leaving his office after some issues with a big nation on the arabian peninsula?

900 classic cab
Guest

Not at all. With “around here” I really meant here, a few thousand km southwest 🙂

saabserb
Member
Just another spinning speculation, launched of course by the consortium, or their PR Springtime. As I said before, they were late in the process and must gain momentum. I don’t see any reason that Japanese government would invest in Swedish car factory, and helping Swedish workers getting job. Also Swedish government is in crisis right now, they were secretly involved in arms production factory developing in Saudi Arabia, resulting in defense minister’s retirement. And the whole government is shaking, the social democratic opposition is gaining momentum now. Social democrats criticized the government involvement is SAAB (better said non-involvement with reasoning… Read more »
hilmar
Member

Well, perhaps it´s only about future fossil-fuel free powertrain, partly electric … ?

No 9
Member
rune
Member

look at the price.

The announced price in Sweden is 100000++ SEK more than I paid for my 9-5 Aero. I can drive 100000 km for that money in a car that is simply bigger and better.

Not much of a choice.

No 9
Member

But will pollute more. Sure the price is steep, but we have to start somewhere.

JerseySaab
Member

Puh-leeze!! We have “started” addressing pollution from autos decades ago. All modern cars are very clean and pollute very little. (CO2 is NOT a pollutant!)

I don’t see how anyone can look at the emissions of today’s cars compared to, say, those from 40-50 years ago and say with a straight face that “we have to start somewhere.” Give me a break!!

(The Trionic system in my old Saab 9000 will actually produce output from its tailpipe that is cleaner than the ambient air when driving through a polluted area. That’s good enough for me.)

No 9
Member

My phrase was not complete. Should have read, «start somewhere with diesel hybrids. » Nevertheless, I’m surprised at some of the comments here on fossil fuels, even though I am not an advocate of pure EV cars, except where electricity is produced in a sustainable way. There is no one solution to curve our appetite for fossil fuels but for sure it must be done. We are now exploring in more and more sensitive areas, deeper and deeper into the oceans. Below, an example you seem to already have forgotten. Puh-leeze!!

http://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=deepwater%20horizon%20oil%20spill&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CD4QFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikipedia.org%2Fwiki%2FDeepwater_Horizon_oil_spill&ei=lRF3T4OYFqrn0QGd8smuDQ&usg=AFQjCNHXLbu3DJVHN4dYv1szR5K0iEWLrA

rune
Member

You do realize one could answer that link with links to news stories about Tsjernobyl and Fukushima? (which can then be countered with links to articles explaining how much radioactive particles are spread thanks to all the coal we burn to produce power) Nuclear power is the only realistic alternative to fossil fuels.

It matters little whatever we do in our quest for energy. If we cut corners, people (and nature) are going to get hurt.

No 9
Member

Absolutely! I am a firm believer that we need to cut our needs for energy, wherever it comes from. TBS, passive modes of producing electricity are underutilized. When I transferred flights at the beautiful NEW airport in Barcelona, I couldn’t believe they didn’t incorporate solar panels on the enormous wing like structure facing the sun.

«It matters little whatever we do in our quest for energy.If we cut corners, people (and nature) are going to get hurt.» I totally agree.

rune
Member
And do you see such a cut in consumption happening anytime soon? My understanding is that we have seen great progress in energy-efficiency, but… Hehe… The less power the next new fridge uses, the cheaper it will become to run it and the more demand will increase. (Thus we end up using more energy) To this volatile mixture you want to add vehicles powered by electricity? Those solar panels — who should pay to maintain those? I very much doubt they are economically viable. I am trying to do my bit by slowly convincing my employer that I can do… Read more »
rune
Member
It will pollute less if you take into consideration how those batteries were produced. In addition, the ethanol comes from biomass; Biomass that soaked up the sun’s energy and CO2 from the air to produce the fuel my car runs on. You cannot possibly get cleaner energy than that (sun+CO2)! As for the Saab 9000 (mentioned by JerseySaab), I posted links to a couple of videos here: http://saabsunited.saabklubben.se/2011/05/volcanic-emissions-and-handling-the-twisties.html BTW: Remove CO2 from the atmosphere, and the plants I use for fuel won’t be able to grow. Something is very amiss with a doomsday-prophecy based on the belief that a gas… Read more »
Bravada from GMI
Member

Volvo has already launched a Saab. It’s called V40. It’s slightly uglified in the Chinese way and contains some moderately disgusting and thoughtless details, but all in all, it’s a modern-day interpretation of a Saab.

maanders
Member

Yuck. Not very appealing to look at, but would have to see how it drives. For as radical as it was as a design concept, even the Saab Phoenix show car was better looking than that V40….and the supposed leaked profile of the 9-3 replacement beat the V40 in looks by many miles.

Bravada from GMI
Member

You’re pushing it. The Phoenix concept was disastrous.

Greg Abbott
Member

I’d say “disastrous” is too strong a word. On its own merits, it was interesting. The problem was it was not Saab-like at all. I could certainly see toned-down elements of the front end incorporated into a Saab-like, aerodynamic body. But from the A-pillar back, it was a pure design exercise that should never see the light of day on a production car.

No 9
Member

I concur!

RS
Member

The interior of the new V40 also looks rather familiar:comment image vs. http://www.topspeed.com/cars/volvo/2013-volvo-v40-ar121747/picture439983.html but I’m sure no one is going to complain about the latter and ovloV is already sold to Asia so happy times…

spacy
Guest

Nice style Saab grill as well…!!

Allan B
Member
It’s a really good advert and the car is an attractive package. The interior ambience seems very nice and the interface with the diesel hybrid technology looks slick and functional. Like the V40 and C30, I think the design is a bit fussy and could look very dated (as the 440 did very quickly) but maybe I am just being conservative (spot the irony). Although Volvo are currently under Chinese ownership, their products have “Made in Sweden” written all over them – and that is a compelling reason to buy one should the worst happen. My personal favourite is the… Read more »
Allan B
Member

Oh dear. Actually, the more I look at pix of the V40 and V60 the more I like them… help!

Aero1
Member

We’ve all heard of all the bidders, their proposals, schemes, but we have not heard about the Swedish Consortium that has been mentioned numerous times in the beginning of this roller coaster process. Is it true, is there any information on them?

If the above is approved, what toy cars are they going to base as their version of the 9-3? Will the cars come in a box, will it read batteries not included?

MrTinkertrain
Member

Just heard that Buick LaCrosse will reborn as Roewe 950 by Shanghai Automobile. With the permission of GM of course. Pics here, i call your attentention on the door panels and the back of the front seats: http://totalcar.hu/magazin/hirek/2012/03/30/roewe_950_kinai_luxus_audi_helyett/
No comment…

hans h
Member

What The F*** !!! ???

maanders
Member

Ugh….I agree with Simon’s article that if the BAIC/Panasonic consortium wins this…the Saab we knew in any form is gone for good.

“Help us, Mahindra & Mahindra….you are our only hope!”

Angelo V.
Member
This is really quite simple. It appears we are now at the point where it’s safe to say: Consortium = Failure, game over Mahindra = A real chance at a future for Saab So much damage has been done since December—-because of the length of this process—-I don’t know if there will ever be another “new” Saab rolling off an assembly line. With a sale to Mahindra, there is at least a chance that we’ll see the rebirth most of us want. If the electro-ninnies are awarded this factory and assets—-game over for Saab, forever. One thing we know: If… Read more »
David-SAAB
Member

Couldn’t agree more Angelo. My thoughts exactly.

spacy
Guest

As far as I am concerned:

BAIC/Panasonic consortium = GM influence in disguise

Iiari
Member

For a while there was the suggestion of BMW’s interest as well. If we’re talking 3 serious players now (as listed in the post), is BMW unofficially out?

Allan B
Member
My thoughts also. What happened to 5 or 6 serious bidders? Is this latest snippet just a load of hot air? Who knows. The amount of misinformation that has spewed out of this process since even before the bankruptcy has been Kafkaesque. I don’t know what to believe about anything any more… Sigh. Anyway, I think the truth right now is that nobody actually knows what the hell is going on except the admins and the bidders, and some others vested interests all talking behind closed doors. So we just have to bloody well wait until they make a decision… Read more »
davidgmills
Member

It was reported here a while back that BMW is not interested in Saab. The rumor that it was turned out to be false according to spokespersons at BMW.

M.A.
Member

Please, don’t turn SAAB into a golf carts’ factory 🙁

Angelo V.
Member

Honestly, I’d rather see them produce premium Saab bicycles than crap electric cars. What a damn farce.

xelav
Member

Good comment!

Bryan Kazes
Member
EVs are definitely not a viable solution right now and they’re very far away from that coming to fruition. I’ve made my feelings on EVs known already as the topic arose over the last week+, so there is no need to rehash that; except to say that I hate them, I hate the idea and if I was SAAB AB / Defence I would deny the rights and licenses to any company that wants to do 100% EVs effective immediately. Now, let’s get to the biggest issue of an EV right now/in this current time. Grid STRENGTH Grid RELIABILITY Grid… Read more »
JerseySaab
Member
Don’t forget the issue of batteries. Today’s battery technology is just not up to the task either, even if the power grid were ready. Current batteries are too expensive, have insufficient capacity, too long a recharge time, and too short a service life. This electric car nonsense and the like is deja vu all over again for old farts such as myself, we went through all this 40 years ago. I have a stack of Popular Science and similar magazines here from the 1970s and it’s all there: windmills, solar panels, electric cars (with exotic new batteries just around the… Read more »
Aero1
Member

I spent many summers up in Melvin Village/ Wolfeboro and know all too well about the crazy power grid. We had one freak storm one summer, that was like a tornado, but wasn’t said to have been one, the power was out for 3 day. That was just a storm, many times just with a/c and a computer being used the power would surge.

jouni72
Member

A silly question. In this case, what consortium is actually buying from recievers? Factory is only partly for sale, do they need phoenix platform in that case? If they dont make Saabs, they dont need a Saab brand. My point, if the worst happens, (consortium wins) would there be a hole for for example Youngman buy a Saab brand, and build a new factory to Trollhattan (i guess in order to get a permit to use Saab name, care must be built in Trollhattan) and build Saabs based on phoenix platform?

Carl Andersson
Member
Even though you have a serious crush on Saab Gas/Diesel/Ethanol powered cars we have to face the fact that the fossile fuels is coming to an end. And I think we will see a paradigm shift in a very few years. 90% of all road trips is less then 50km (at least in Sweden) and very suitable for electric cars. Note that very few electric cars today is developed as this. Most often it’s modified gas cars not tuned and designed from the beginning as electric. Some peculiar examples, Tesla or Think, I know but they are not to be… Read more »
rune
Member
Norway’s reserves of oil were supposed to end ten years ago according to what I was taught in school. Now we think we’ve managed to pump up maybe as much as 60%. (I don’t know if that includes the reservoirs located further north) Other sources exists around the world, and newer technology (combined with higher prices) makes it possible to drill even more. Most of us debating here, will be long gone by the time fossil fuels run out. As for ethanol, that is not a fossil fuel. E85 contains 15% gasoline, yes, but that is hardly a deal-breaker. Fot… Read more »
Edis
Member
Norways oil production peaked in 2000 and have been dropping fast since then. New technology have not managed to stop this development, not in Norway and not anywhere else I’m aware of. The worlds production of conventional oil reached its peak in 2006, and a larger portion of the oil is used by the exporting nations making less oil availible for export. Unconventional oil is more difficult and expensive to produce, oil shales can for instance require the use of one barrel of oil to produce 1.5 barrels of oil, that’s far from the one barrel of oil for ten… Read more »
rune
Member

They found new reservoirs off the coast of Norway as recently as last year. Further north there is probably more…

Ethanol doesn’t have to replace fossil fuels. I see it as one of many alternatives that will help while we figure out where to go next. (there is certainly room for more E85-users around these parts)

Edis
Member
I suppose you mean Avaldsnes! The problem is that Avaldsnes won’t really change anything. In 2000 norweigian oil production peaked at slightly less than 3.5 million barrels a day. In 2011 the production had dropped to about 2 million barrels a day, a drop of more than 1 million barrels a day in ten years. So how much could Avaldsnes produce? Optimists say 500 000 barrels a day, but based on the production of similar fields 250 000 barrels a day seems more likely. This means that even if Norways other oil fields stopped dropping, the production with Avaldsnes would… Read more »
Thylmuc
Member

And what all this translates to is significant price increases loooong before we eventually run out of oil.

The only way to stop increase this is reduce the oil consumption. Significantly. Now.

This can only be done by increased electric power production via alternative energy (counting thing like Thorium among those). This electric energy could be used for house heating, for certain industrial processes, for chemical conversion processes producing fuels (bio ethanol being among them for now), etc.

Edis
Member
Running out of oil isn’t the problem. The supply must meet the demand, when you can’t increase the supply, you’re forced to decrease the demand and that will have consequences. I would also like to add that heating houses with electricity is a really inefficient and thus wasteful use of energy. To produce one unit of electricity, normally around 3 units of primary energy is required (electricity has a high energy quality). So when you heat your house with electricity, you use one unit to heat your house and waste the other two units of energy. Using electricity to power… Read more »
Angelo V.
Member

Propoganda. The U.S. oil reserves, oil shale, natural gas—-we’re filled. Other areas of the world also have massive oil reserves. If you want to argue that fossil fuels aren’t good for the environment, be my guest. But stop with the “sky is falling, we’re running out” scenario, which is proven to be false. Let’s keep our internal cumbustion engines please.

3cyl
Member

Given the disaster that the Swedish Government helped along in Trollhättan, they will probably back whatever bid provides the most employment quickly, If BAIC/Panasonic can be up and running well before Mahindra,Youngman or ???, it would not be a surprise to have the Government line up behind that consortium. Over time, it might be better for the SAAB employees if a manufacturer of traditional cars takes over the SAAB facilities, but the Swedish Government hasn’t displayed much of an instinct for looking into the future based on what has happened so far.

saabserb
Member
You must be joking! Electric car manufacturing to ensure most employment quickly? With the current sales of electric cars, they would need maybe 100 people in production lines. I think the sub-contractors will accept this consortium only if they have to. every other plan is better, from the employment view. Even the Youngman “Lotus” plan will provide more jobs then this. Truth is that the consortium is most probably not interested to buy the whole thing. It is expensive for them and they don’t need the whole production facility. They are lobbying around, based on the “green environmental” arguments. So,… Read more »
3cyl
Member

I didn’t say that the consortium would provide the most employment quickly, only that if it did the Government would have a reason to back it. Perhaps the manufacture of traditional vehiles can be ramped up quickly, if they have something to produce.

The initial post suggested Swedish money might be involved, but my reference to “backing” was refererring to the government being a proponent for a plan not financial backing.

In any case, I was not promoting EV’s, but simply noting that the employment situation might influence the Government’s attitude toward different bidders.

amigabuzz
Member
A full electric car is not a solid plan/play agreed. Fisker/Karma’a are being sold for about $110,000 USD and are from Europe..so far the dealer has had nothing but complaints about the batteries in the cars. The do look amazing/concept car reality , price not so much for most of us..&imgrefurl=http://w The dealer sells Jaguars, Aston Martins, Lotus, Fisker-Karmas, used to have SAABs many years ago… I think the Phoenix Car had it been built for around $75,000. would have sold against the Jaguars AX series in the $90,000++ and an Audi R8 well above $100,000. So cash strapped SAAB… Read more »
lundin
Member

In todays article in TTELA Paul Åkerlund (PÅ) is being interviewed by Valdemar Lönnroth (VL).
And when the topic about Trollhättan as a city to live and work in is being disscused, Åkerlund quickly points out:

PÅ -lets see whats happen. I mean, what happen if Saab within 5 years have 5-6000 employees ?

VL-You think that can happen ?

PÅ-I think there will be plenty for you to write about in the future…

Daniel B
Member

Just read this myself, and to be honest it´s hard to misinterpret.
I definately love the last sentance “I think there will be plenty for you to write about in the future…”

But how much of correct information Paul has from the current situation is hard to say, BUT IF he´s “in” the info-stream with the administrators and possible bidders, then this comment made my day.

SAAB UP!!

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