I thought about trying to tone down the title of this post, but I couldn’t think of something to replace it with that would get my feelings out right. In the past few weeks I have been watching as the sale of Saab takes shape. In that time I have witnessed some truly remarkably sad comments from various comments and blogs that have left me somewhat stunned and shocked that we can pass judgement so quickly with nothing to base it on. Like the saying goes, don’t judge a book by it’s cover, hell we don’t even have a cover yet. When it was announced that NEVS was the purchaser of Saab, I saw comments like Saab is dead and predictions like this will never work. What will never work? How is Saab more dead then it was a day ago? Other comments like an electric Saab is no Saab, says who? One can never underestimate the engineers, designers and the absolute know how at Saab.
This all got me to thinking again about what Saab is. To me Saab is a car that is built from the inside out and all about the driver, comfort and safety with a hell of a lot of performance. To build a car like this, you need great engineers and an unbelievable talent pool to achieve the achievements they have over the years. Many of these workers have worked for Saab for too many years to count and have been a part of all the success that Saab has had over the years. I will never forget delivering a NG 9-5 and posting on our dealer Facebook page about it and having someone from the Saab plant comment and say “I hope we did a good job”. To me things like this show the commitment and dedication to the brand that the workers at Saab have and is not something easily duplicated.
These workers that in my mind are a part of what Saab is as much as the car have been building beautiful cars in Trollhättan since 1948 and will continue to build cars there for the foreseeable future. Some workers have found other jobs, true, but there are still plenty of skilled workers to take spots within the Saab factory.
We sit here and judge just based on the little bits of information that we have seen and I ask myself, why or better yet how are we judging anything? Through the last year with trying to sell part of Saab to Youngman, the bankruptcy process and all the “factors” that stood in the way, we craved information and rarely got anything concrete or definitive. Within the first few days of an announcement, we were told of some of the plans of NEVS, we were told of the plans of Saab Parts under the direction of the NDO, we have had confirmation of body panels for the NG 9-5 being produced again and NEVS has even posted a job listing. We have had more real news and good news in the last 5 days then we did through the whole bankruptcy process. How do we pass judgement so quickly when it seems like the ball is already rolling?
Things are starting to fall into place and I’m sure there are still some big news items to be announced shortly. Considering where we’ve been and where we are, I consider it to be like a slap in the face to the people of Saab that put their everything into the cars we love and enjoy to even think for a minute that Saab is dead or that a car built by NEVS will never be a Saab. How can we think that way when we haven’t seen a single thing produced by them and who do we pretend to be in think that we are the be all to end all in what is Saab? I hope I never come across as someone who thinks they know it all or that I can see into the future because I don’t and I can’t.
All I know right now is that we have a buyer in the form of NEVS and they seem to be doing things in a way that I would have hoped them to do. NEVS through the deal, also bought all of the production facilities back and if I remember from the Spyker days, the facility was hugely under utilized and had room for a lot more then just the cars they produced. What does that mean? Maybe nothing, but maybe that is a huge piece of the puzzle. I strongly urge people that even as others may make decisions to leave the Saab world or watch from a distance, don’t be swayed, sit back and watch things unfold. We won’t know until we know what this company will look like going forward and I will continue to be an optimist through it all and thankfully, I am not alone.