Don’t Fear What You Don’t Yet Know

It’s obvious from comments that there are many disappointed SU readers today. The Saab we knew is essentially history, and a clean start focusing on future technology is what’s ahead. The extent to which NEVS plans to go to full electric has not been elaborated on, but I have a strong feeling that they will be going the hybrid route as their own graphics discuss PHEVs (Plugin-Hybrid Electric Vehicles). What I find most heartening about the new owners is that they are looking to pursue cutting edge propulsion technology to contribute to the most economical, environmentally sound, and best driving experience. This isn’t unlike the first Saab engineers using a two-stroke engine, or the addition of a turbo to a mainstream vehicle that made the 99 so damn enjoyable to drive. Electrification has come a long way and will continue to rapidly improve well before the first new Saab is sold in 2013-14. 

For those of you who remember my earliest comments from when Swade was around, you might know that I’ve been pushing Saab to get into the EV/PHEV space for some time (as far back as 2009). To me the argument is simple: with the right business model and scale, a manufacturer can just as easily charge the same for an electrified powertrain as a premium or near premium car such as Saab, while giving the consumer the benefit of added reliability, stronger off the line performance and much more insulation from fluctuating fuel prices. It’s clear that the entire industry isn’t going to switch over night, but I’d rather be with one of the companies embracing the technology and innovating with it early. To me, Saab should own the innovation in this space, and it’s clear that NEVS shares this goal.

As I’ve been so interested in electric cars the past few years, I’ve followed the research and design of battery and propulsion technology. The through the road eAAM hybrid was truly exciting to me, as it delivered high payback with low cost. However, as I described in my dream of a Hybrid Performance model for Saab last year, I could see electrification taking a much stronger role in the new Saab. Imagine turning a knob that goes from hypermiling performance that gives you 600km per charge to a high performance boost button that summons up 500+hp. That’s the kind of instantaneous and flexible performance electric motors gives you. All the talk of variable compression ratios that Saab had been working on for years becomes a software, not hardware problem, as battery chemistry continues to be refined to deliver stronger charges and densities. From NEVS own statements it’s clear they will be going with Japanese battery companies, which leads me to think Panasonic. Their cylindrical batteries are the gold standard for EVs now, but there are several new companies, notably Envia, which are promising much stronger and cheaper batteries. No doubt the Japanese are hot on the heels and have their own top secret innovations, and hopefully now that Saab is so intertwined with them we’ll see them first on a Swedish made product.

For those of you who haven’t had the opportunity to drive an electric car or PHEV using the latest lithium ion tech, I’d strongly recommend you find a way to try it. Realistically imagine yourself owning one and fitting it into your daily routine. I think most of us here would agree a hybrid that allows us to go unlimited miles is preferential to an electric car, but if the added cost to fit a motor generator adds cost and decreases range, would you be able to get by with an electric car and simply rent the PHEV? Is there a business model you could see working for you before you just go and trash the idea of an eSaab completely? Think before you react, is all I ask.

Frank Wulfers
Member
4 years 3 months ago

Everybody assumes they also acquired the Saab brand and name. They haven’t yet, according to their press presentation and official press release. If the NEVS 1EV is going to be called just that, is it still a Saab? Is the factory in Trollahattan going to have the Saab name on it? If not, will we still care about Saab or is it just a Chinese company with a factory in Sweden? Too many questions about the brand, no answers yet. The 2014 NEVS Saab may not even look like a Saab.

Joshua Daily
Member
4 years 3 months ago

Maybe they didn’t finalize a deal on acquiring the name because they werent 100% sure they would win the bid?

hilmar
Member
4 years 3 months ago

Let´s hope so. Although I get a curious feeling about that. Saab should be sold on the whole they told us.

dacer
Member
4 years 3 months ago

“Everybody assumes they also acquired the Saab brand and name”

They can not do that. “Saab” brand it is not part of saab automobile. They can negotiate with Saab AB (airplanes and defense) use this name, but they can not buy.

Henric Tungström
Member
4 years 3 months ago

Not quite, the Saab brand is co-owned by Saab Automobile, Saab AB and Scania. NEVS need to get an ok from the other co-owners. They have stated that they are ok with it if production continues in Sweden and they have the same view of the brand.
To me this is only a technicality, I´m sure the cars will be branded as Saabs. I hope they look and drive like Saabs to, but I´m not sure.

Frank Wulfers
Member
4 years 3 months ago

It will be even more confusing when Saab AB, Saab Parts AB and SAAB NEVS AB use the same Saab name but are three entirely different companies. I can’t think of any reason why Saab AB would let NEVS use the Saab name.

quickbird
Member
4 years 3 months ago

If Saab AB doesn’t allow the the name Saab, they can use eSaab, LOL…

alyeska2112
Member
4 years 3 months ago

Why did Saab AB and Scania let Spyker use the name and logo? They formed an agreement, which both Saab AB and Scania have since said they would be willing to consider for any new owner of Saab Automobile. What does Saab AB stand to lose by withholding the name? Their favorability in Sweden would plummet. They know it’s in everyone’s best interest to do as they did with Spyker, and license the name to NEVS.

Ronald Goodspeed
Member
4 years 3 months ago

I really do not care what the new company calls what ever vehicle they produce, I just want my extended warranty that I paid for with the purchase of a “certified” vehicle to be activated again! Want to bet on that one!!??

bpsorrel
Member
4 years 3 months ago

Excellent, well said!

I’ve driven a Nissan LEAF and found it a great drive. Instant power (up to 350Nm, immediately!) very, very smooth and sooo quiet. I liked it and even at 109 miles maixmum range can see a place for it in my family’s life. But, if Saab can do better (and I’m sure than can) then I’ll wait on buying a LEAF and hopefully buy an “eSaab”, be it an EV or a hybrid.

Personally, I can’t wait to embrace the future.

alyeska2112
Member
4 years 3 months ago

+99!

Joshua Daily
Member
4 years 3 months ago

Everyone is complaining about how NEVS is going to kill Saab and run it further into the ground. I say this: Obviously the old way Saab was run was not working since they went into bankruptcy. So if the old way doesnt work (cars costing too much), then throw all that away and start fresh. New business plan and new goals.

maanders
Member
4 years 3 months ago

And EVs are going to cost less? Certainly not ones with more range than a Chevy Volt.

hughw
Member
4 years 3 months ago
Sadly, there is no way we could live our lives without a petrol or hybrid vehicle, until there’s a day where a charge, or a battery change, takes about the same time as filling the tank. We drive from New York City to Martha’s Vineyard, a distance of 250 miles (400 km), almost every other weekend. Around New York, we drive several days a week and an electric vehicle could work. But there is no way that I’m going to rent a vehicle 20 times a year for my regular trips, and trips that I value being in my Saab… Read more »
bpsorrel
Member
4 years 3 months ago

But what if one of the Saab options is a hybrid? Would you look at that?

Nikola
Member
4 years 3 months ago

So far it looks like you would only be able to look at that if you live in China.
Does not look like NEVS has any intention to go globally or to US in near future

Thylmuc
Member
4 years 3 months ago

Normally, I would agree to you. But I don’t, for the mere reason that you live under US legislation (while I live in Germany). And that means you will not drive faster than 60 mph, right? Well, then the car you asked for already exists. Its the Tesla Model S with 85 kWh capacity. According to the Tesla website, at 60 mph, it has a range of 300 miles.

Probably, you will now reply that this car is very expensive. But this is a different argument. 😉

alyeska2112
Member
4 years 3 months ago
Great follow-up to this morning’s exciting news, Jeff. I think the possibilities of both EVs and PHEVs are huge, and it’s a major leap forward that Saab is being placed so squarely in front of these innovations. In the end, thew new Saab is much like the old Saab – where form follows function, and technology, inventiveness, engineering and efficiency are treated with the respect they deserve. I’m thrilled by these announcements, and am very much looking forward to watching Saab’s bright future unfold. Most importantly, I’m incredibly heartened to see the Swedish focus on Saab will remain intact, and… Read more »
SPG900NY
Member
4 years 3 months ago
To me, Made in Trollhattan means one thing, whether or not they get the “name” Saab. This will be an innovative company producing quality products ahead of their time. That’s all that matters to me. Saabs were always about innovation and common sense. I think they are in good hands. It’s clear that those of us who bought Saabs were not enough to sustain the company. It needs to broaden its market to survive. Some of us might not like those changes, but they will be necessary. I say job well done on the administrators’ part and welcome the new… Read more »
hilmar
Member
4 years 3 months ago

I just imagined all the EV´s at the roadside, empty battery, people looking for a breakdown truck to get to the next plug. Perhaps a new business concept for the future, I should re-educate. 😉 Just a joke – long live Saab and don´t forget BioHybrid !

SaabKen
Member
4 years 3 months ago

Hoards of Saab 9-3 drivers chasing after a petrol tank …….. [wink]

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bmf-HCCZYOg&feature=related

Taras
Member
4 years 3 months ago

i agree with all the comments here, will only buy it as a hybrid.. have no desire to get stuck with dead battery 2 miles away from my house…

Christof Rytz
Member
4 years 3 months ago

Long life Saab. Curious to see what is coming up. But the new NEVS-products must have the name SAAB!

Alex740
Member
4 years 3 months ago
Innovation, engineering and design are what makes Saab. Saab and we enthusiasts have held onto the fruits of these ideals as if they were what described the company, not the actual idea of innovation. Cars like the NG 9-5 and 9-4x were almost a joke, large, full of GM parts, a start button where there use to be a key (for a very practical reason but totally moot with a button) but absolutely nothing innovative. And Turbos are no longer Saab, everyone does them, they are old news. Spyker seemed poised to do interesting things with Saab but it was… Read more »
GerritN
Member
4 years 3 months ago
You’re completely right Jeff. A lot of people don’t seem to understand that electric motors give you the same, but even better, high torque feeling as a turbo engine does. The only issues to solve are the energy storage and the energy distribution. There seems to be some doubt that the electric grid will be able to sustain the charging of (at least) 1 EV per household. Well, in the US a LOT of households use AC to refrigerate their home. Switch off your AC, divert the power to your charging station and you’re all set 🙂 The battery packs… Read more »
JoPlSe
Member
4 years 3 months ago

+1. An electric motor will have kick as torque all the way.

saabdog
Member
4 years 3 months ago

Yes, but for how far is the question.

Saab_Lurker
Member
4 years 3 months ago

Torque is nice, but without the sound or turbo kick where’s the fun?

JoPlSe
Member
4 years 3 months ago

Where´s the fun when there is no oil? Karl-Erling Trogen explained that the total oil production in the world would not even cover the Chinese demand if the Chinese had the same percentage of cars per capita as America do. It’s not a viable way forward.

But perhaps we can run on ethanol and other fuels while we wait for the batteries to be more efficient. I would also like to see a hybrid.

rune
Member
4 years 3 months ago
I felt that argument was somewhat of a straw-man argument. If 800 of every 1000 Chinese owned a car (the American penetration rate as per his slide), would they even be able to fit them all on the roads in China? I did some quick calculations, and the answer is no. Add 100m of road that you’d like to drive on, and the answer is definitively no. You won’t burn much oil if you can only drive a few meters before the eternal gridlock sets in. I strongly suspect China will moderate themselves just like most other nations have. Meanwhile…… Read more »
rune
Member
4 years 3 months ago
FYI: My source for the total road length in China: http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=china+total+road+length It is a bit outdated (2006). According to wikipedia, China have doubled the length of their expressways since then (from ~45000km). Finding room for a billion vehicles (especially since the Chinese market adores BIG vehicles, effectively dwarfing my 5 meter long 9-5) still remains a challenge. (you’d need 5 million km roads to make room for a billion 9-5s — which I’m sure would be a beautiful sight to behold, just not very practical if you want to go anywhere fast) I hope NEVS will tone down the doomsday… Read more »
JoPlSe
Member
4 years 3 months ago

Sure, but even if China introduce cars with moderation they will still need a hell lot of fuel, which may not be there. They need to invest in EV. Check out the slides on Swades site http://www.swadeology.com/2012/06/slides-nevs-saab-acquisition-press-conference/. No one can turn away from the strain on the environment if we double the amount of fossil fueled cars over the next ten years. I still think this is the way to go, but it’s a long way and we need many alternatives during this time, like ethanol and hybrids.

rune
Member
4 years 3 months ago
Check out the slides? Why do you think I made my comment in the first place? Some guy comes along, gives you a few “facts”. One of them turns out to be wildly inaccurate, but you still choose to trust his other “facts”. Why on Earth would you do that? EVs are not the only game in town. Over the past couple of decades, the western world have moved to smaller engines (even some of the yanks) and this development continues. We have also adopted more hybrids (I drive at least 50000km/year now, compared to 0km in 2007, but I… Read more »
JoPlSe
Member
4 years 2 months ago

Some guy comes along……We´re talking about the previous president of Volvo Trucks. Those are guys to take serious from my point of view.

Steve C.
Member
4 years 3 months ago

Well put, Jeff.

Could you better explain the context of “economical” in your sentence, “What I find most heartening about the new owners is that they are looking to pursue cutting edge propulsion technology to contribute to the most economical, environmentally sound, and best driving experience.”

Your post explored the environmental and driving experience aspect but economical has to be in a certain context or multiple contexts. I (and others) would be interested in what you were thinking.

Allan B
Member
4 years 3 months ago
Jeff, what you have written sounds good to me, and what you say about batteries is of course the really key part and demonstrates that the battery “arms race” is going to result in some swift advances. But the second line. “The Saab we knew is essentially history,” well I think that is both right and wrong. History in that the old company structure has been dismantled and replaced with something new, sure. But if we think of the spirit and indeed the bricks and mortar of Saab, then both are in fact cemented into this new structure. NEVS now… Read more »
alyeska2112
Member
4 years 3 months ago

Very well said, Allan.

bpsorrel
Member
4 years 3 months ago

Totally agree!

sonett71
Member
4 years 3 months ago

Not agree.

RAnderson
Member
4 years 3 months ago

Hear hear! Furthermore, how many of us, at least here in the US, own only one car? We’re in the same boat as we drive almost every weekend from Upstate NY to the Lake in Vermont, but for that trip we need an Xterra (24mpg!) for the amount of tools and construction stuff we carry anyhow. Still, an eSAAB wold fit in great as a 2nd for now, and if they drop in a gas/diesel gen set, very easily done, it could become a primary vehicle as well. Embrace change!

bpsorrel
Member
4 years 3 months ago

That’s exactly how I feel. I have my Saab convertible for fun in the sun (and my wife!), my CLS for clients and long distance cruising and I can see an eSaab for my daily running around town and cities and for short business trips. A win-win I think! 🙂

maanders
Member
4 years 3 months ago

What about those of us who have a 9-3 hatchback with a sun roof for….fun in the sun, long distance cruising, and daily running around town – to work – the store- etc.? 🙂 That is why I bought the multipurpose Saab. I needed a new multipurpose Saab soon, but it does not look like they will build one for me.

Quijote
Member
4 years 3 months ago
I’ve been THIS CLOSE to replacing my Viggen with a Lexus CT200h. I know, sounds unreal, but I’ve test driven the CT on several occassions. The dealer was even kind enough to let me drive it on my own for a good half hour. Obviously, it leaves a lot to be desired performance wise, but its come SO FAR from the first crop of Prius and Insight vehicles I recalling driving a few years ago. I haven’t committed to the CT200h because the Viggen is still chugging along, albeit after nearly $3,000 in repairs last year alone. I’m waiting for… Read more »
saabdog
Member
4 years 3 months ago

If NEVS is planning on a hybrid option, then why haven’t they said so? If this is their plan, they should get in front on this and explain to everyone. Either they are not going to offer a hybrid or they’re PR & marketing people have already fumbled the ball. I could at least live with a hybrid Saab.

GerritN
Member
4 years 3 months ago

🙂 My youngest daughter has told me never to buy a Toyota, Honda or Nissan (well, with the exception of the GT-R). I’m afraid the Lexus name plate won’t fool her.
Disclaimer: She’s not NipponoFoob, she does like Mitsubishi’s, dunno why, I think the current crop is pretty ugly.

I think there are plenty of, relatively cheap, Viggen alternatives popping up. I’ll even consider a Ford Focus when my Viggen goes to Valhalla (assuming that the Focus ST will be available in the US). In Europe I would have a closer look at the Renault Megane RS.
But Lexus? Nope, overprized das boring.

Quijote
Member
4 years 3 months ago

The Focus ST won’t be available here, sadly.

To many, Lexus is overpriced and boring. I’ll admit, perhaps they lack the “soul” of a Saab, but they are fine and very reliable vehicles of high quality. In fact, I’ve spent more on my Viggen last year than I have on all my Lexus in their entire lifetime. No joke….

Doesn’t mean I wouldn’t take a new 2014 CT200h over a 2014 Saab 9-3h though! 😉

WM
Member
4 years 3 months ago

The Focus ST will be here in the states in less than 6 months. You can already design one on the Ford website. Looking forward to it–it’s going to replace one of our 9-3s.

Quijote
Member
4 years 3 months ago

oh wow you’re right! there is an image of the turbo gauge up to 1.2 bar (how weak, Viggen is 2.0 bar… lol)

Niklas G
Member
4 years 3 months ago
My best wishes for NEVS to have the money and the right ideas to pull this thing off. For those who think that a Saab wihthout turbo is not a Saab, I would like to revive an old saying from the computer industry: Kill your product before someone else does it. IF electric cars one day will replace old technologies and if Saab aim to be among the first to make this new technology available in “ordinary” (but very safe and comfortable and fun to drive), cars, just like they did with the turbo, then the cars wil be very… Read more »
Nikola
Member
4 years 3 months ago

Move to China and maybe you would be able to buy an eSAAB next year. NEVS guys do not seem to be interested in US or global market. As for us in USA for example we will just have to see leftover dealers shutting doors down or switching brands.

Roberto A.
Member
4 years 3 months ago

Great News, still saving for my 900 Turbo Convertible… Bet it´s gonna be the only one in Mexico!

Steve C.
Member
4 years 3 months ago
scand
Member
4 years 3 months ago
Here is the current problem with pure electric vehicles (aside from range anxiety) A (US) Nissan Leaf costs $32 – 40 000 . (before the $7500 tax credit, which will probably go if Romney gets elected). The similar looking Nissan Versa costs around $13 000, If it averages 30 MPG, and gas is $4 a gallon. You can drive almost 100 000 miles (150 000 , if you take out the tax credit) before the leaf makes economic sense . And that assumes the Leaf “costs nothing” to run; ie free electricity. Its little wonder the Leaf is now selling… Read more »
Piet-Hein S.
Member
4 years 3 months ago

when my Saabs go to the scrap yard (which, i hope, will take some time before it actually happens), i think i will change back to Citroën.since Saab is not planning to produce any normal vehicle (i.e.: pertrol-powered and/or turbo-charged) anymore, Saab is as dead as a door nail.

changing back to Citroën means going back to driving an XM or Xantia…
(or should i buy a Nissan Stagea?….)

Daryl
Member
4 years 3 months ago

Really sad about this outcome. I either work from home or travel across the country (which I do regularly) in my Saab for business reasons. I have just back from an 800 km round trip today and I don’t imagine an electric car will meet my needs. A hybrid – maybe, but I’m not inspired. I will hold out for a new Saab, but unless the design and performance is consistent with previous expectation I’ll be driving an A5 within the next year or so.

leriksso
Member
4 years 3 months ago
When: 1. I can “Load” my car …. Today, it is impossible, do not know a place that it goes on. (Can not sell something that you can not run) 2. The car has the same performance as my current Saab 9-5, (I bought it because I love the engine power of 260hp). 3. I can drive 500 km without the problem of “low bat” (Use the car in my work) 4. I can “Load” fully without it will take me hours (Not done in a hurry I guess today) 5. The manufacturer supplies parts for the goods they sell… Read more »
Niklas G
Member
4 years 3 months ago
Best wishes for NEVS to have the money and the right ideas to pull this thing off. For those who think that a Saab wihthout turbo is not a Saab, I would like to revive an old saying from the computer industry: Kill your product before someone else does it. IF electric cars one day will replace old technologies and if Saab aim to be among the first to make this new technology available in “ordinary” (but very safe and comfortable and fun to drive), cars, just like they did with the turbo, then the cars wil be very much… Read more »
sonett71
Member
4 years 3 months ago

R.I.P. SAAB 🙁 For me Saab in Thn and Sweden is dead. The only Saab car I know about is BAIC in China. I will forever drive the Saabs 1950-2011. Never another swedish car for me. Only have to say, “Too much monkey business”. Bye.

JTMav
Member
4 years 3 months ago

It seems to me that their market is China and let’s face it that market can monopolize their business for the foreseeable future. Maybe in Sweden and some of the other European countries they may have plans to market and sell cars but for us here in the US I would say we are a long shot to ever see a car again with the Saab marquee. The factory can only produce so many units and I would think they will all be spoken for in what is now, or soon to be, the largest car market in the world.

JTMav

Baver
Member
4 years 3 months ago

What ticks me off is both NEVS or the Swedish government could have given some hope to present owners of 2010-2011 Saabs by saying “We will take care of you.” Neither did that and that’s really too bad. I want to know were us 2010-11 owners (and other creditors) can file suit against the SweGov. There was a bid which potentially could have taken care of all of us and it was rejected.

Christof Rytz
Member
4 years 3 months ago

In one way this is a great day for Saab (and all the people that have worked for Saab) and all the loyal Saab-Fans arround the world. But just waiting for some EV-Cars will not bring back the Saab-buyers (as they can actually order the new Volvo Plug-In Hybrid or many other real EV’s). So my wish to NEVS is: Restart production of actual 9-3 portfolio asap in Trollhättan.

leriksso
Member
4 years 3 months ago
Could been better Any re-employment does not looking promising … only 100-200 person of 1200 still unemployed. EV-cars only…………… shame that it only bites on environmental chasing governments with fat bribe account, but they will provides grants from the EU and * Swedish government * (read our tax money) so I guess NEVS make a good deal on it anyway. Remain convinced that YM had been able to handle this better than NEVS. They had car knowlege and even the employee could have the jobs back. They put the bids under Admin’s instructions Produce regular SAAB side by side Hybrids.… Read more »
adde
Member
4 years 3 months ago

And those 100-200 are engineers and designers. Lots of ppl are production personell, that will not see any employment in 1,5 years more.

JoPlSe
Member
4 years 3 months ago
I think many of us have our minds locked on today’s solution. What NEVS is trying to do is to take a real step into the future. Fossil fueled cars will be around for a while, but will not be the future. Look where the money is going right now, straight into electric solutions of different kinds. Where the money goes, also the progress goes. Soon we will have fun to drive cars with the same driving range as we have today or even better. Cost will also decrease by volume and innovation. It will probably go faster than we… Read more »
rune
Member
4 years 3 months ago

The crux of the problem is this: Will EVs become viable in 2020 or 2040? NEVS should try to deliver solutions that aren’t ahead of their time by 50 years.

JoPlSe
Member
4 years 3 months ago

I think it will go faster than we can imagine today. Let’s wait and see.

Dave
Member
4 years 3 months ago
“What NEVS is trying to do is to take a real step into the future” By producing 9-3s with batteries instead of an engine as soon as 2013… lol, it’s a joke, how could it seriously be any more advanced then whats on the market today?? Are the battery cobblers and electricity farmers gonna outdo the entire automotive sector in a years time?? Really? (Btw, i might have a nice bridge for sale wich you may find interesting…) Considering where they are registerred, i say this time next year, they’ll have looted (tech wise) what they we’re after (ready to… Read more »
sonett71
Member
4 years 3 months ago

Totally agree R.I.P. SAAB

TonymacUK
Member
4 years 3 months ago

+1 Now I`m really nervous.

saabdog
Member
4 years 3 months ago

Didn’t you hear? NEVS is gonna miracle their EV’s to run on sustainable fairy dust & unicorn farts.

Chris
Member
4 years 3 months ago

I hope the best for the former employees of SAAB and the community but I understand that today for me SAAB is officially dead. The fat lady has completed her song and has left the building. When I heard the news I thought of Solyndra – failure and Chevy Volt – failure. This deal as I have read will not work in any shape or fashion.

Good memories no great memories but time to move on. BMW 3 series, Audi A4, Mini ? Choices Choices.

Doctor Donk
Member
4 years 3 months ago

And here is the small clip for safety engineers to work on future SAAB.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UAmJPNV4ma4&feature=player_embedded

That car was audi, occupant died

Troels, Denmark
Member
4 years 3 months ago

Thanks Jeff for your well written article. I agree with you – even though I still hope to see the new 9-3/Phoenix available as a hybrid.

PatrikH
Member
4 years 3 months ago
This will be extremely interesting to follow. By focusing on a future solution the new SAAB can design cars without compromises. I see this in the tradition of SAAB innovation , the ability to look ahead and chose a different view than the others. It was not long ago everyone claimed that a premium car company could not survive without an 8 cylinder, then later it was 6 cylinder and meanwhile SAAB was perfecting small fuel effective motors that would give the driver the power when it was needed. I think and hope these ambitions are behind this new owner.… Read more »
3cyl
Member
4 years 3 months ago
Having owned SAABs since the oil burners of the 60’s, I will miss the SAAB we knew. At this point however, perhaps it is best for the former SAAB employees if the company that employs them goes in a different direction. After all, SAAB has never been much of a financial succeess and the traditional automobile market is if anything more competitive now than it was throughout SAAB’s history. NEVS may not fare any better with its products than SAAB did with traditional cars, but it may be time to stop beating the same old horse and try something new.… Read more »
Michael Specht
Member
4 years 3 months ago
Ok, they say they want to make electric cars in Trollhättan, using the 9-3 that already is in electric configuration, and using Phoenix base that already is equiped with rear electric powertrain. Why not after all, that’s a good idea for china market, as the EV market is expecting to grow. None knows if the brand SAAB will be used or not to sell these cars, I think it has chances to be used as soon as Saab AB and Scania may be seduced by the idea of making “green” cars under Saab brand and Grifin logotype. Electrical cars are… Read more »
davidgmills
Member
4 years 3 months ago

To paraphrase Bill Clinton: “Its the batteries, stupid.”

We are not there with the batteries. Not even close. Every time I try any electric powered tool with batteries (and many with cords) I end up hugely disappointed. If you can’t make simple small electrically powered tools that have anywhere near the capability of a similar gasoline powered tool, how on earth do you expect the public to think you could make an electric car comparable to a gasoline one?

saabdog
Member
4 years 3 months ago

I don’t fear the news as much as I just don’t want or like what I’m hearing. Time will tell.

goofy
Member
4 years 3 months ago

Will the assets of the former Saab Automobile AB and its sister companies (minus Parts) be reconstituted into a new AB with NEVSAB as its “holding company” or majority shareholder, or will Saab’s assets just become the assets of NEVSAB? May have a bit to do with whether NEVSAB can/will use the Saab trademark…

SaabLife
Member
4 years 3 months ago
Just out of random curiosity; are those of us who live in downtown apartments just going to be out of luck? If I leave a cord out in the open you can bet it’s going to be cut in less than an hour by some random kid. Or what about the heavily congested areas of China where outlets aren’t going to be openly available? Seems like plugging in would be a big issue for China. When I was over there a year ago I could see the exceptionally high number of people who live in apartment complexes and didn’t see… Read more »
Baver
Member
4 years 3 months ago

+1

logan
Member
4 years 3 months ago

Great article, Jeff. I whole-heartedly agree that Saab, being known for innovation, should jump on the chance to be a technological leader in the next automobile revolution. PHEV and EVs (in my opinion) are the future of auto tech and Saab is placed not as a niche, but as a mass-market deliverer with the new strategy that is planned. Exciting!

Kevin McClaughlin
Member
4 years 3 months ago

I am guessing that the customer profile for these products will change. The vehicles (if they compete) will need to be mass produced and sold in volume to acquire a return. If too many people drive them they will become common/popular and not individual and therefore may not be palatable to the existing Saab customer profile.

maanders
Member
4 years 3 months ago

If they end up being twice the price of the 2010/2011 Saabs then they will not be affordable to the existing Saab customer profile either. Long range EVs are pretty expensive these days.

AeroDanny
Member
4 years 3 months ago
I think we all figured that the Saab we knew was gone when they filed bankruptcy. It’s just a matter of time before we see what this new company becomes. In the meantime we need to hold on to our existing Saabs (or go out and buy another one if you have the means) because we don’t know what’s coming up next. Everyone can speculate and what if this, what if that, i heard this, etc but nothing is true until it’s reality. I for one plan on looking for a 2011 9-5 Aero next year to compliment my 2006… Read more »
OddJob
Member
4 years 3 months ago
Ooh…. I was devastated with today’s messeges and press conference, after waiting so long for this day to come. But with some afterthought I have tried to read between the lines and like to present the positve sides of the deal, lets forget the electric vehcle mumbo-jumbo for a while: – Saab will remain an indepedent car manufacturer, with an Independent mindset. – There are stilll investors who believes in what Saab has accomplished and what it is. – NEVS has realised the strength of the Trollhattan world-class production efficiency and even refers to Toyota spokesmen about it. – According… Read more »
Chris Ivory
Member
4 years 3 months ago
My take on it all. It’s been a soap opera! GM vetoed just about every offer that was proposed, since it did not want to lose its ‘intellectual property’, which it had taken off Saab, in the first place. Undoubtedly, IMHO, GM saved Saab in the 1990′s, but it ended up a cherrypicking exercise, with a taste of divide, kill and conquer – GM have a track record of this don’t they? Many GM owned marques have gone in the US, and Opel’s future still looks rocky. Saab technology design and know-how has gone into other vehicles – for example,… Read more »
100%Saab
Member
4 years 3 months ago

Must check Saab status:

2 Saabs in garage tonight.
All Saabs started and ran today.
Gas station on corner still there tonight.
Wife didn’t sell her Saab today.
Have money to buy gas.
Mobil 1 still makes 0W-40.
So, I’m still 100%Saab, until I’m not.

Just a thought.

derek
Member
4 years 3 months ago

When I hear about NEVS, it is not much different from Eastman Kodak, RIM (Blackberry), or Enron getting a life line. Great for that company!

However, it is bad for the loyal Saab owners. We are loyal because of the Saab product, not because some company has a 4 letter name that starts with SA. (I was about to write “a 4 letter name that starts with S” but people might think of dog poo!)

spikeieos
Member
4 years 3 months ago
Here is my problem: I am very against hybrids / electric vehicles. Why? Because I believe in green technologies. Batteries that are used to power these cars are far from green. The reason all of this happened is because the Swedish government pulled some strings and had Saab make windmills, sorry EV’s. Now the set of people in office can say they did something great: they made a green car manufacturer in Sweden, and that will help them come next set of elections. Do you guys know what it takes to make a nickel hydride battery for one of these… Read more »
davidgmills
Member
4 years 3 months ago

Yeah but ethanol is taking up land that is used for making food and causing food prices to rise. Huge problem in the US with corn being converted to ethanol rather than sold as food.

rune
Member
4 years 3 months ago

Given the low-low prices of grain at the time, I would be inclined to believe that corn too was dirt cheap before they figured out how to make biofuel from it. Before that point, wasn’t many farmers contemplating throwing in the towel? (why farm a piece of land if there’s no profit..?)

Grain prices also “soared” during that time, not because anyone turned grain into ethanol, but because the price of oil made it more expensive to grow and transport.

Thylmuc
Member
4 years 3 months ago

Do a calculation, and you will change your mind. I did (and I started with Biodiesel in 1999). Look up how much ground is needed to produce Ethanol (including, of course, the ground needed to produce the Ethanol needed to produce the Ethanol, i.e. fertilizer production, harvesting,transport, fermentation, destillation, etc.). 4 litres of Ethanol are needed for one litre that reaches the tank.

This is the ultimate goal: Replace 4 billion tons of mineral oil, and five billion tons of coal. Each year.

Enjoy.

Scire
Member
4 years 3 months ago

I hate to be the fly in the soup or the “prophet” but the future (closer than you think) is not the electric car or the PHEVs… it is solar and bio fuel unless you like to workout like the Flintstones. 🙂

marcus
Member
4 years 3 months ago

it´s not fear that we feal, it´s frustration!
never will be an electrical vehicle in two years be the match-winner in the market, never!
perhaps it will be in 20 years – i then will be 75 years old and it´s not really interesting for me…

sxv
Member
4 years 3 months ago
What strikes me as funny is all the comments on how good the EVs will be in the future. I mean, today there are no EV that are of any interested to me and I was looking at around 50 different vehicles yesterday and non was of any interest for my kind of driving. And since batteries are about to be so much better in the future, why shouldn’t diesel and petrol engines also be improved? Zero emission engines are possible today and I can’t imagine that oil and engine company’s just will roll over and die because there are… Read more »
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