September 6, 2014 in Sotw
Hey it’s me… Dennis from Singapore …. I want to submit some photos for Saab of the week
My 9-3 Combi X
Quite a few Saabs are qualified for tomorrows races in the Swedish Nation Touring Car Series STCC in Stockholm at the Solvalla Trotting track rebuilt into a racing and rallycross circuit.
More to come here in pictures from day 1.
Tomorrows races will be publish ASAP after finish tomorrow.
Need to go to sleep now so I can perform tomorrow for You loyal international Saabers!
I have sold my NG 9-5 and had it replaced with a M4. But my garage is till full of historic Saabs.
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More than two hundred cars, around four hundred participants – these numbers sum up the annual international meeting of the fans, users and lovers of Saab cars.
This year’s event, held from 8th to 10th August, was organized by Saab Club of Poland and the designated location was Malbork – a town in the Pomerania region, home to the largest European medieval brick castle.
The participants came from all over Europe. The largest representation came from Sweden and Germany, there were quite a few drivers from the UK, but there have been also guests from more exotic destinations. The brave travelers included Carlos from Catalonia who drove by himself all the 2500 kilometers from Barcelona; Ægir from Iceland, who came with his leg in a cast, so eager was he to meet other Saab-maniacs, as well as Valery from as far as Moscow, owner of a beautifully decorated 9-3 Sport Combi. The meeting’s sensation were the visitors from New Zealand – unfortunately, they did not bring their own Saab, but a rental Peugeot proudly decorated with the “Saab Club Down Under” insignia. Many participants voted for this car in the “custom” class during the Sunday beauty contest.
Friday started with a slight impediment – the town authorities promised that the freshly renovated Parkowa street leading along the castle moat right down to the sports and leisure center where the meeting was held would be open for traffic. It was indeed, but the road was blocked by a huge construction crane, which came to put up the stage for the town’s Saturday event. Fortunately, the rapidly organized “rescue missions” brought all the lost drivers to the camping site and we were able to really get the party going.
The two hundred beautiful cars, parked on the grass sports field, looked really impressive. Almost all models were represented – from the oldest two-strokes from the early 1960s right down to the latest 9-5 NGs. Their owners – after the official welcome by the representatives of Saab Club of Poland – engaged in entertainment, meeting new friends and sampling Polish food, quite exotic for many of them.
September 3, 2014 in Editorial
Thats a question that has been pondering me for a while with regards to NEVS business plan. Sure China had big goals of selling a huge amount of electric cars in the country but those plans have not become a reality. So why not look at the markets where electric cars are actually being sold and focus on those? I’ve been looking at this issue for sometime and today it was announced that Norway is exceeding its electric car goals by 300% for 2014, and those figures only reflect the first two quarters of the year. So why on earth does NEVS insist that the Chinese market is to remain the main market for their electric car production? I think they should think again!
Plug-in Electric high-way capable cars sold in 2013:
Several sources were cross-referenced to arrive at these figures. Without drawing too many conclusions if I were NEVS I’d look at selling cars in the west, rather than the east! And if you look at the market share for the top 10 countries that increases its electric fleet the most, China does not even make the cut.
So a message to NEVS from yours truly is to shift focus from the complicated Chinese market and look to the home of Saab which has always been Europe and North America. Even Japan has 4 times the amount of electric cars on the road than China. A quick internet search for highway capable electric cars makes it pretty obvious which markets are actually selling. The United States has a 45% marketshare of all electric cars in the world as Q2 2014. And NEVS only has to travel 2 hours westbound from the Trollhättan factory to find the city with the most electric cars in the world: Oslo.
September 1, 2014 in Sotw
Sorry this is a few days late but I was in the depths of France with no wifi to talk off. But Simon’s Turbo X is worth the wait.
I hope this e-mail finds you well.
As you can see, I’m not the only one in the family to love the Saab Turbo X.
Simon Matte, Montreal, Canada
September 1, 2014 in Editorial
Last week I spent two days reading what is a very interesting book that was released just a few days ago written by no other than Jens B Nordström who is the main financial reporter at Swedish Tv4. Now I have to say that I have in the past been very skeptic towards Mr Nordströms form of reporting which he himself admit did not put him in good relations with for example Victor Muller. But this latest book of his is actually well worth reading.
I have myself talked to Victor about this book and its contents as well as to many other sources that worked at the top layer of SAAB Automobile AB and my conclusion is that Jens is about half-way to the truth in what he writes and he makes a fair estimate on another 25%. The remaining 25% is something that is open to speculation but I know I have more information regarding than he does on many issues in the book. His summary of Saab from 2009-2011 is made on aprox 250 pages and I did a count of the number of pages our articles would have filled up during the same period and ended up at roughly 6000 so to summarize 6000 pages into 250 you obviously need to disregard some stuff, even so Jens has created a book with a clear red line, he stays focused in the book and has overall created a good read! Jens is trying very hard to stay impartial in the book which is a very good thing and one he manages to do. He gives credit where credit is due and questions issues where they should be questioned, he does make a number of assumptions which one perhaps should be a bit skeptical about but in general the story is there! He praises Victor Muller on several occasions, which is something I was surprised about given the history between the two of them and I have to give credit to Jens, I’m impressed by the work that he has done!
But whats most interesting about Jens book is that its mostly built upon interviews in which he publishes the actual interviews and that gives a big credibility to the book. During 2011 and after I have frequently talked to most of the people that Jens interviewed and I can hear these persons voices speaking the words as I was reading them which to me also is a big confirmation that this is the real thing. Many people have a certain way of saying things and this is clearly reflected in Jens book.
ANDERS BORG SAVED SAAB
Thats what I wrote in the headline and it happened in April 2011. Spyker had borrowed a lot of money from the EIB (European Investment Bank) with the help of the Swedish Government when buying Saab from GM. A clause in this deal was that the EIB could demand its money back from SAAB immediately if there was any proof of Saab being insolvet. In april 2011 when production was stopped due to unpaid invoices this was clearly the case.
By misstake an internal e-mail was distribute outside the EIB in which the issue about demanding the money back from Saab was discussed, this came to the attention of Anders Borg, which is the Finance Minister of Sweden. He then traveled to Brussels as a representative for the Swedish Government for an unscheduled meeting with the EIB and basically told them: “give Saab some breathing space, DO NOT demand repayment of the loans” and also explained to the EIB that it was important that Saab be allowed to test different solutions in order to save the situation.
The EIB did as Anders Borg requested and the threat of immediate bankruptcy of SAAB Automobile AB was removed. The story of Spyker and SAAB Automobile AB could have ended abruptly in April 2011, but thanx to forces at work outside Saab, the company was given another chance. If you think about it the impact Anders Borg did on the EIB was so strong that regardless of desperate the situation became at Saab, the EIB never demanded their loans repaid at any point up until after the bankruptcy.
This story is confirmed in Jens book by Philippe Maystadt, President of the EIB and I have also confirmed the story from other sources.
This save could not have been done by anyone else, to influence the top politicians in the EU it needs a man who himself is a top politician. “No businessman could ever have accomplished this” one source who wants to remain secret told me.
There are many more cases in which the Swedish Government actually Saved Saab during 2009-2011 some of which are written about in Jens book, I’ll bring some of them up here on SU in the close future.
August 30, 2014 in NEVS
In February we found first pictures of what could be a new and modern navigation system for the 2014 9-3.
It was not until April that we found an official reference to a new infotainment system in the Chinese spec. sheet of the 9-3 2014/15.
Those two posts where more or less based on rumours with some confirmation from NEVS, but still we had no real pictures of the system and we had only some rumours about the hardware-platform it was based on, but those where not 100% right.
It was not till the presentation of the electric 9-3 that we saw the first real pictures of this infotainment system (we have talked in the past of it as a navigation system, but the it is more capable than a simple navigation system, thus I will talk about an infotainment system). The guys at Teknikens Värld took some better pictures of the interior of the 9-3 EV the same day, and have been kind enough to let us use them.
With this post I will try to summarize all the information we have, partly confirmed, about that system, and talk a little bit about why NEVS has made a right option for the future with this system.
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August 29, 2014 in News
Those last few days have been (again) very challenging for a Saab fan. It almost feels like we have been there before – no production, wages postponed, appeal for reconstruction first denied and then granted, even spiced with the brand name issue. From reactions in comments and elsewhere on the net I can see that many fans feel like being in a deja vu right now. But even if I can understand that in some way I tend to disagree. Let me put my thoughts into a few lines. Not so much as a vast editorial, more as food for thought before the weekend.
From all that we have learned from various sources a solution to the financial problems combined with a change in ownership is really that near. Obviously the Vänersborg court also saw that. We should also not forget that the vast majority of suppliers still stay calm. NEVS obviously gained some trust here by giving them some insight in the process. This must not have been easy, especially because of the bad experience some of the suppliers had before. So in terms of a solution being near I would give NEVS the benefit of doubt here.
Another issue that popped up today are the rights to use the name Saab for the cars built in Trollhättan. Saab AB obviously decided to cancel the agreement with NEVS. They did not give any insight in the reasons they had for this but one can imagine a few: it could be a try to avoid being associated with the troubles NEVS is in or even a try to take some influence in the things that are going on. We also do not know if this is a final decision or if the agreement can be revived once NEVS is back in calm waters. In the end it does not really matter. The decision is there so I asked myself what this would mean. And even if I know about the rich history of Saab Automobile and I am hooked on the iconic Saab brand I don’t think that not having the name rights nessesarily means the end of NEVS. Honestly, if I can still drive those fabulous cars that I love I would rather deal with a new name than with a name right owner who threatens to withdraw the rights in any turbulence.
Some may say that the name is one of the key values in Saab/NEVS. But is this really the case? When it comes to cars the name Saab has taken quite a few hard hits through all the trouble, bankrupcy and absence on the market. We were all pretty clear that it needs quite some marketing to get Saab back to proper sales when new models come out. I even dare to wonder if if would take so much more effort to establish a new name than polishing up the Saab name. Don’t get me wrong, for romantic reasons I would prefer to drive cars named Saab for the rest of my life but if the car is still made by the same company, with the same philosophy I would still buy it. And there are quite a few names that could even give us fanatics a cozy feeling. Griffin for example.
Enjoy your weekend, enjoy your Saab.
August 29, 2014 in NEVS
The District court of Vänersborg, Sweden, today August 29 approved the application for reorganization from National Electric Vehicle Sweden AB.
The District court has appointed Mr. Lars Eric Gustafsson, Attorney at Hamilton law firm in Stockholm, as administrator during the reorganization period.
August 29, 2014 in News
A few minutes ago the Vänersborg court decided that NEVS fulfills the requirements for reconstruction. So NEVS gets the time they apperantly need to finish their negotiations.
The PDF with the official statement from the court can be found here.
August 29, 2014 in NEVS
Just as I published the last post saying we won’t have to wait for it too long PV Väst announces that NEVS are at Vänersborg court with a revised Version of their application.
NEVS states that they have secured a loan of 20 million crowns to get through the first 3-4 weeks of the reconstruction. They also stress that the reason for the reconstruction is not to reduce the liabilities to the creditors and that NEVS intens to pay it all in full.
NEVS expects to have an agreement on a development cooperation for the Phoenix platform in place that will generate obe 1 billion crowns of cash for NEVS. That will be enough to pay off the debt of 400 million crowns and fund the company for another year. My educated guess is that this Partner will be Dongfeng.
The deal with a possible new owner has been negotiated for six months now and according to NEVS the board of that prospective owner has decided to fill this deal with life if some last requirements are met. As I see it, this will be Mahindra.
The decision by the court is expected for this afternoon.