My view.

The few days since NEVS finally closed the deal have caused quite a bit of turmoil within the community. Discussions were very emotional and as I feel it there is a lot of scepticism towards Saab 2.0, its owner and the plans for the future. But do we really have the knowledge to judge them? I don’t think so, not yet.

A regular demand towards NEVS is that they shall be more open on their plans, if not to make their business plan public. But can one really expect that? No. It would be foolish to give the public and by that the competition too much insight. Additionally you have the yellow(car)press, especially in Sweden, that would only wait for them to be a day late with something and jump at that, stating that they failed. Having been in a few businesses myself I know that a businessplan is a vivid thing – despite there are goals set the route to reach them may change. Be it due to changes in technology, legislation or partnerships.

When Spyker took over Saab Victor tried to walk a path of giving the fans more insight and in a way let them feel even more connected to Saab. While this at first did work out well it very much turned against them when things got tough. Hight expectations turned into deep disappointment. Too many promises were made and too many dates were set, most of them were never met. This caused even more turbulences and made SWAN and Saab even more vulnerable. It was surely just one mistake among many but in times it surely made things worse.

The stance that NEVS are taking right now is that they rather let their actions speak than make huge promises up front.
To me this is a good strategy as critics would tear down any of NEVS’ announcements anyway, but it also means we have to wait for things to develop. Getting a product ready for sale will take some considerable time. I am sure we will get to know more about the tech and the plans in the meantime so we can start discussing on facts rather than on guesses.

As you could already see back in April I am not a blind supporter of electricity as the one and only solution for future mobility but when it comes to NEVS I’d rather see people take an open minded attitude than the current “thy end is near”-view.

From the contacts I personally had with people from NEVS I can say that they are definetely aware of the heritage they took over by acquiring Saab. It’s been a tale of innovation, of taking a different road and sometimes a tale of looking beyond today’s boundaries. And this last point is an important one – we may not forget that NEVS are creating a product for a market that shall be there in two or three years. You can hardly judge this by today’s standards. And one thing is for sure: wherever electricity is available, big machines are driven by it. Just a thought.

I surely can’t turn you into stong believers in electric cars and that is not my mission here. I’d just like to see the discussion about NEVS take place in a more open minded, a more saaby way. The mere fact that NEVS have come that far tells us that there is more in this than hot air. They paid in cash (and this is not Chinese Government money as it had most likely been with Youndman) and they secured the right s to the Saab name, to mark only two recent positive aspects. So, for now, let’s follow the dvelopements to get our own picture of what NEVS will deliver. I am open to see what they are after.

And for those who wonder if I keep hearing those things about India – yes I do. And I still have faith that the big picture will fit us well.

saabserb
Member
4 years 19 days ago
I also agree with you Till on keeping the NEVS business plans top secret. And for the reasons you already listed in the article.I never liked the “big mouth” approach of VM and Spyker. VM all the time acted like a salesman wanting to sale his SAAB vision and not businessman driving a famous car company forward. It is 100% true: NEVS payed in cash. NEVS got to use SAAB’s name, which I think is extremely positive and crucial for this affair and should mark that there is people outside NEVS that believe in NEVS plan. Cause it seems that… Read more »
Angelo V.
Member
4 years 19 days ago

Is it really worth trying new technologies? Or would it be better to do something better and more affordable with older technologies like gas, diesel and turbos!
http://news.yahoo.com/insight-gms-volt-ugly-math-low-sales-high-041323264–finance.html

Niklas G
Member
4 years 19 days ago

In my opinion, going on with old technology is more GM and trying to be the first brand to really master some new useful technology would be more Saab. 🙂

Angelo V.
Member
4 years 19 days ago

Did you read the article? You might be right about GM being better served with old technology. Problem is—-look at the enormous costs involved in their development of the Volt, and the fact that they are losing tens of thousands on each one sold. Since the U.S. government presumably won’t be pouring billions and billions of taxpayer dollars into Saab’s pockets—-I have to wonder how they’ll manage to be profitable with all EVs.

Andrew M Dodds
Member
4 years 19 days ago
Yes give NEVS a chance to prove them selves, at least they have paid for the privilege, but I still believe that other than the Chinese market which few of us understand, for Europe and most of the SAAB buying world they are barking up the wrong tree with purely electric cars . Only time will tell – but unless they produce something truly exceptional they just won’t sell in sufficient numbers to make it a viable project. Let us all keep our fingers crossed for those in Sweden who have served us all so well and given us the… Read more »
hans h
Member
4 years 19 days ago

I agree. With both of you.

SaabLife
Member
4 years 19 days ago

As long as they come back to the United States with a practical car that doesn’t cost some ridiculous price, then more power to them!

If they can meet those three simple points, then I wish them all the luck in the world getting things going in the secret Saab 2.0 bunker hidden under Trollhättan.

Angelo V.
Member
4 years 19 days ago

You and I might be in the minority here.

kochje
Member
4 years 19 days ago
Good writing Till. I am most happy that after a long time of no activity Saab is not trying to catch up with the automotive market we are in today but have a complete new strategy. There are too many classical car manufactururs already and so this new direction can put Saab again on the map as an inovative good quality car maker; as we all are faliliair with. As long as they keep Saab Parts AB alive so that we can drive our actual Saab cars till the farest possible end and give us new developped Saac cars that… Read more »
xelav
Member
4 years 19 days ago

+1, i do feel the same about the nevs adventure. Although an ev will not suit my transportation needs right now. Last weekend I drove 650 enjoyable km with my Turbo. No stress to wonder if it could make the distance.

dezzer
Member
4 years 19 days ago

get yourself a cordless extension lead !!!!!

kochje
Member
4 years 19 days ago

We will see at that time if it is a needed investment 🙂

xelav
Member
4 years 19 days ago

Lol!

Dagen Runt
Member
4 years 19 days ago

“I surely can’t turn you into stong believers in electric cars and that is not my mission here. I’d just like to see the discussion about NEVS take place in a more open minded, a more saaby way.”

That’s hard to do given the lack of information about NEVS’ business plan. If you support their stealth mode, pay the price: People will speculate and the speculation will eventually polarize around hopes and fears. In other words, there is nothing to talk about. If you hear something about India: Do share friend, what is supposedly happening? I don’t hear anything.

Angelo V.
Member
4 years 19 days ago
Yes, I’ll parrot what others have already said and I have said before—-it would be nice to know if living in the U.S., I’ll have a chance to test drive a NEVS and consider buying one. Tim, if they can’t even share that vision/possibility, what exactly am I supporting? I know you’re supporting employment in Trollhattan and that is admirable—-and I support that too—-so if the factory was converted to a Puma sneaker factory, I’d support it as well. Making cars destined only for China vs. making Puma sneakers that I might be able to buy in the U.S.? I’d… Read more »
wfg
Member
4 years 19 days ago

Yes, Angelo V., you nailed it down. I am 100 % with you and, with all respect, NEVS shoudl consider your words very seriously and change their information policy accordingly.

Bernard
Member
4 years 19 days ago

Angelo,

They did give those assurances in the interview last week. I’m sure you read that article because you commented on it.

wfg
Member
4 years 19 days ago
Dear Bernard, no, unfortunately, they exactly failed to do so. Was it not Tim who wrote that he would not put his money on NEVS? Saab enthusiasts around the world have to put their hope on something that sounds reasonable and trustful. Its too long from now that we are waiting whether or not we ever will be able to purchase a car from Trollhätten, and, yes, I bought a new one and would do it again if the car convinces me no matter the engine as long as its economically designed. Honestly, forget about all the past what we… Read more »
phermansson
Member
4 years 18 days ago

Well I wouldn’t buy shares in the company, I would certainly consider one of their cars if it fills my needs… and if it does is just something we’ll have to wait for…

I’d rather be impressed by not knowing what is to come than to be disappointed that certain specifications were promised and not delivered…

Angelo V.
Member
4 years 19 days ago

What assurances?

Keith
Member
4 years 19 days ago

You want them to announce that their new electric cars will ship everywhere, cost no more than conventional cars, and by the way just for goodwill they’ll make some petroleum burners too, at Korean car prices.

Saab’s last leader was brilliant at telling you what you wanted to hear, but not so good at delivering it.

Apple might be a better PR example. They don’t announce anything until its shipment and availability is certain. It seems to work.

saabdog
Member
4 years 19 days ago

But comparing Apple’s PR strategy is like comparing apples to electric toasters…

Saab has been and is in trouble. They MUST address the issues all of us are concerned about. Frankly, if Saab ditches the US market, why would I continue to be a Saab fan? Yeah, I still love their old (and current) cars, and I’m glad T’hattan’s employment situation is improved, but I WANT a NEW SAAB that’s NOT 100% EV!!!!! How much more can I (we scream this!!!). Please NEVS, give us some information!!!

Angelo V.
Member
4 years 19 days ago
Keith: I don’t want them to announce that unless that is their plan. If that is NOT their plan, I’d like to know that too. A lot of people who like Saabs are interested in timetables for leases, how long they can keep their current cars running, etc.—-thinking toward a future with a new Saab. If that is absolutely not in the cards, it would be nice to know that. As for the petroleum cars at Korean car prices—-that isn’t for goodwill to me—-that’s so they don’t fall flat on their face and make total fools of themselves—-and start sucking… Read more »
Keith
Member
4 years 19 days ago

Hasn’t NEVS announced they will make EV cars? And rough timelines? At this stage in their young life it is quite likely they don’t have firmer details to share.

They are not keeping you hanging re a future gas or diesel auto. They have said they will make EVs.

Distribution will have to be started again from scratch. How can they announce details on that now?

Angelo V.
Member
4 years 19 days ago
Who’s asking for details on distribution? I’m asking for intentions of where they plan to sell their cars. If I’m going to open a new pizza restaruant that delivers food—-I better damn well have an idea of how large the delivery area will be. I should know what I WANT to do and figure out the details later. And I should also figure out if I want to offer wings and subs too, in addition to the pizza. As for the EVs vs. Petrol—-you’re right, NEVS has said they will build EVs. We’ve read here that there might be other… Read more »
Keith
Member
4 years 18 days ago

Announcing what you are not going to do. Hmmmmm.

OK, you’d like NEVS to make frequent announcements shooting down false forum rumors. You may find support for this – it would create jobs. The more rumors ginned up, the more Senior Level Rumor Extinguishers that would have to be hired.

Angelo V.
Member
4 years 19 days ago
Oh, and Saab’s last leader didn’t tell me ANYTHING I wanted to hear. I wanted to hear something about making it a priority to develop a smaller, entry level hatchback to “put a Saab in a bunch of new garages.” I didn’t want to hear about cars selling north of $50,000 without a sunroof. I was reading here recently about 4 different windshields and three coming available and one not—-heads up displays on some, rain sensing wipers on others—-expensive gadgets, gratuitous at best. Here’s an idea for the windshield: Tinted safety glass. Inexpensive. Available.
phermansson
Member
4 years 18 days ago
The problem is that if you look at Saab’s history, they have always strived to go “one level up” with the next car. Which they have done to a certain point but not all the way… The 9-5 Sedan was not the work of SWAN or Spyker. VM was handed two finished products called the new 9-5 and the 9-4x but sadly they were created for an environment where you can have four different windshields since it calls for a huge supply-chain and endless resources. SAAB / Spyker could not provide that type of environment… NEVS have given you, your… Read more »
JTMav
Member
4 years 19 days ago
Angelo makes many fair points. One of the challenges is they are so far away from actually having anything to sell that announcements now of where they will be sold could become problematic. If they are too detailed it could set them up for disappointment, too vague and then credibility. It wont be easy to relaunch Saab globally within 18-24 months and I was under the impression that the first deliveries will be China’s. The American market, Saabs best at one time, is quickly fading into oblivion. I have a 2010 9-5 Aero and having increasingly hard time finding up… Read more »
baas900i
Member
4 years 19 days ago
indeed it is one big ask for nevs+saab to build a new car co from next to nothing in 18 months but who will sell the product for you. Here in Australia SAAB was [to me] a disaster kept afloat by new arrivals [mainly from the british isles] and stoic australian customers. In 3 years Great Wall Motors have gone from nothing to 25,000 sales, Skoda from nothing to 10,000 sales in 18 months, the newly launced Opel Australia are aiming for 15000 sales per annum within 3 years. ultimately anything will be better than what saab/management/gm were dishing out… Read more »
zippy
Member
4 years 19 days ago

Saab Turbo – you cant have one without the other. 🙁

Angelo V.
Member
4 years 19 days ago
I think you can have a Saab without a turbo—-but variety is the spice of life as they say—-and most manufacturers who are serious can walk and chew gum at the same time—-offer the tried and true—-the proven technology most drivers are still most comfortable with—-while working on the car of the future. The Saab we grew up with is gone now. I know that will never come back. But the new Saab—-represents a chance for Saab to be BETTER than ever. My idea of better would be a broader product line, more price points, a full line carmaker. It’s… Read more »
phermansson
Member
4 years 18 days ago
There was a lot of thought about creating a smaller Saab for a very long time, actually the idea came and went many times. I’ve spoken to a lot of people at Saab about this but one problem always haunted them, profitability. A small car requires massive volumes in order to become profitable and as I understood it, Saab never had the amount of dealers nor the capabilities to sell / produce the volumes needed according to the business calculations. If you make expensive cars, you don’t have to sell as many to make money… the problem in the end… Read more »
Angelo V.
Member
4 years 18 days ago
I could go along with a cheaper version of the 9-3 with less in it—-but Tim, Mini turned a profit immediately (at least in the U.S.) and it’s an entire line of small cars. Yes, the cars command a premium price—-but they can be had for low 20’s, which is what I’ve suggested for a small Saab. Suzuki’s entire line in the U.S. is small cars. Are they profitable? I know they have a pathetically small dealer network, but they have been here since the 1980s, still selling cars. Toyota, Honda, Nissan/Datsun, Subaru, Mitsubishi, Mazda—-all of them started with small… Read more »
paddan
Member
4 years 19 days ago

Well, don’t tell that to the thousands of owners of naturally aspirated engines, including the strokers and V4s. : )

Angelo V.
Member
4 years 19 days ago

I agree with that. My vision for a new Saab would have been for the entry level car to come equipped with a normally aspirated four banger and perhaps be available with a non turbo diesel engine.

RS
Member
4 years 19 days ago

Tiny correction. The diesel engine doesn’t really work properly without a turbo. That was one of the reasons why it made so much sense for Saab. I believe all diesel Saabs ever built were charged because of the benefits. An non turbo diesel is really pedestrian in performance.

Angelo V.
Member
4 years 19 days ago

There is still a market for a simpler diesel with no turbo—-a small station wagon for example—a family hauler that will last for 300,000 miles. I know the turbo gives it the kick—-but it does come with problems too and on a lower priced car, cheaper and simpler might serve them better.

RS
Member
4 years 19 days ago

Better leave the small naturally aspirated diesels (15 sec from 0-60 mph) business and the $15k before incentives price range to the Asian manufacturers.
The turbo related problems have been minimal at least in our TiD’s. Both have over 250.000 miles on the clock and going strong.

Bullnose
Member
4 years 19 days ago

GM loses $49 000 on every Chevy Volt.
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/gm-loses-over-49000-every-chevy-volt

What does this tell us about the likely future for Saab with NEVS?

Niklas G
Member
4 years 19 days ago
With the same logic we would have to conclude that Mahindra & Mahindra, Youngman and any othet potential new owner would surely have failed on making oldfashioned petrol/diesel Saabs, because GM lost money on making them. So my main conclusion would be that a new owner should not make Saabs the same way that GM makes and market cars, no matter what power source is used, But sure, making pure electric Saabs is a big challenge, and I can understand that it would make most of us more calm if NEVS went for a more mainstream petrol/diesel/hybrid technology, but it’s… Read more »
Bernard
Member
4 years 19 days ago

They could have run the same article ten years ago, about the Toyota Prius.

GM reportedly lost $8,000 on every car with airbags in the 1970s. That doesn’t mean that the technology wasn’t worth pursuing.

Angelo V.
Member
4 years 19 days ago
Bernard: Didn’t GM only offer Airbags on the mid-70s Oldsmobile Toronado and a few others, sort of as an experiment (as always, GM experimenting on their customers)? I don’t think they went into it expecting to make money on airbags. They don’t make money on seatbelts either, or reinforced doors or safety glass. But now that airbags are mandated, they pass the cost along to us. And no, Toyota was never losing that much money on the Prius per unit sold. This is GM we’re talking about—if there’s a record to be set losing money due to stupidity, they are… Read more »
Bullnose
Member
4 years 19 days ago

So, it tells us that NEVS needs a lot of finance behind it and a willingness to sustain heavy losses until it can get Saab back into profit. I hope that they do have deep financial pockets and that we do not eventually see a repeat of the Spyker purchase.

Bullnose
Member
4 years 19 days ago

“GM reportedly lost $8,000 on every car with airbags in the 1970s. That doesn’t mean that the technology wasn’t worth pursuing.”

Are you sure? In the UK you could buy a top of the range Saab 96 for £1000 in the early 70’s (or $2000 at those old exchange rates). And US car prices always looked decidedly cheaper than the UK/ Europe.

Angelo V.
Member
4 years 19 days ago

Yes Bullnose, Saab’s were known to some Americans as “The $2000.00 car” and when Volkswagen later promoted their Beetle for “$1995.00” a good many people said getting the Saab instead will be the best $5.00 you ever spent! Of course, by that time, the Saab’s had gone up in price. But your point is a great one. Those Saab 96 models are what established them as being unique—-and a good value. They stayed unique, but sadly, they lost the “good value” that would have had them selling enough cars to stay in business.

Bernard
Member
4 years 19 days ago
A top GM executive at the time reportedly joked that they should sell the airbags and give the cars away for free. My point, of course, was that the first instance of any new industrial technology is always sold at a loss. As an analogy, the first few bars of soap to come out of a new Unilever production line are sold at a tremendous loss (assuming they don’t go to some sort of soap museum). That’s a fallacy, of course; if you follow that reasoning, then the next Volts sold would have a huge profit margin (you’ve now written-off… Read more »
Angelo V.
Member
4 years 18 days ago
No Bernard, what paved the way for GM’s current profitability was billions and billions of our tax dollars squirted at them—-or I should say, gushing at them—-along with very favorable tax policies for GM put in place by the current administration in Washington, including waiving of corporate taxes. Yes, billions of free dollars and tax breaks do help profitability. As for the Volt—-it did not bring a lot of new people into GM dealerships. But I will admit that they might use that platform and the technology involved with it for more cars in the future. I know they are… Read more »
Baver
Member
4 years 19 days ago

Off topic here, but just thinking what might have been if Saab had the advertising budget in the US that Audi currently has. 🙁

Angelo V.
Member
4 years 19 days ago
Baver: Having the biggest advertising budget in the world won’t help you if the advertisements/commercials/promotion carries a silly message that doesn’t attract your target market. For sure, I get your point—-but Audi’s ad campaigns the past couple years have been really good. “Born From Jets” didn’t move the ball toward the goal line at all. Historically, Saab hasn’t had effective advertising since very early in their existence. I honestly believe what they were doing in the late 50s and early 60s was effective—-really told their story in a minute—-captured what the cars were about and what the company was about.… Read more »
tianalfred
Member
4 years 18 days ago

has Youngman paid 2.3 million euros to Spyker?

Angelo V.
Member
4 years 18 days ago
In response to Keith, above——–All joking aside—-typically, in situations where multi-million dollar (billions in fact) businesses are being launched, there is the need for “buzz” to create excitement. I get it—-stay calm and carry on and all of that jazz—–but seriously, do you not think there would be some value in a spokesperson for NEVS who could say a few words to help build some momentum for the brand? The absence of that depresses me—-I feel as though the reason they aren’t saying anything is because they know most of the world wouldn’t like what they’re hearing. Public Affairs is… Read more »
wfg
Member
4 years 18 days ago
Dear Saab-friends, I think its time that I say “Goodbye” to our beloved company Saab and to realize that this great company does not exist anymore. And will never exist again. All this conversations are discussions between the believers and the realistic guys who both are united in their frustrations that Saab did not got the chance to survive under the hood of another car manufacturer (Mahindra) like Volvo. After years of irrational hopes we got misguided by the people involved in the Saab-sale. By their job, they only had to care on the net money raise but not the… Read more »
Angelo V.
Member
4 years 18 days ago
I share your frustration. And I have to wonder if the bankruptcy receivers really did take “the best deal” to capture as much money as possible—-or if there was something else at work, such as pressure to “give the green company a chance because it’s the right thing to do for the Earth.” Where the money is originating is also a curiousity—-but I guess it’s there to make the payments now, so that is a good thing. I don’t believe for a moment either—-that this start-up, well funded or not—-will use Japanese technology or any other technology to outflank huge… Read more »
wfg
Member
4 years 18 days ago

Unfortunately, I have to agree with you…it’s a shame.

Quixcube
Member
4 years 18 days ago

Such a pessimist. If you’d been in charge of the Apollo missions we would have never even tried for the moon.

Angelo V.
Member
4 years 18 days ago
Yes Quixcube—-If I were the President/Dictator of Chad, I would never have tried for the moon. I would have left the task to a bigger, richer nation and I would have used my resources for things the people of Chad wanted and needed. Instead of “going to the moon” I might have provided more pedestrian things for the fine folks in Chad—-that they needed more. Like a nice small hatchback, with a turbo-diesel engine—-available in some mod 60’s/70’s colors like cornflower blue, olive green and orange-orange. I’d offer it at a competitive price too. I’d let the “bigger/richer” fools dabble… Read more »
davidgmills
Member
4 years 16 days ago
NASA hasn’t perfected a good battery yet for deep space that wasn’t atomic. And those batteries don’t need much juice. I guess I could hope that Saab will find a way to do batteries better than NASA, but I think I will put my “hope” reserves elsewhere. Next new car won’t be a Saab. I might as well face the music. I am beginning to wonder if this website will just die a slow agonizing death like the car it champions. As each day goes by, there is less and less of a reason for me to click on “SaabsUnited.”
Angelo V.
Member
4 years 16 days ago
David: I disagree with your last sentiment. I think there are still plenty of good reasons to visit the site. If NEVS’ purchase of Saab’s assets has done anything, it’s created enough buzz for most Saab enthusiasts to want to follow the drama. This is the best place I have found to follow the storyline. I don’t think this site is dying a slow death at all. If Saab was indeed dead forever—-I think you’d sort of be right. The site would devolve to oldtimers waxing nostalgic about the Saabs they once owned and loved—–and like WWII veterans, they would… Read more »
davidgmills
Member
4 years 14 days ago

My basic point was that I don’t see a battery operated car in my future. Maybe for my kids but not for me. We simply won’t have the grid in my driving lifetime. I am 62 and will be lucky if I can drive another 12 years or so. I can’t see an electric car being viable in the middle US in that time frame. At least not one that can travel long distances over middle America.

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