The Swedish financial newspaper Dagens Industri (the Daily Industry) have today posted two positive and interesting articles on the car company from Trollhättan now known as Nevs. Considering how Saab was treated by Swedish media many times, this is really nice to see.
The first article “Planen som ska få Nevs på rull” (the plan that will get Nevs rolling) starts out explaining that the Saab branding on the Stallbacka plant is gone and the production has stopped, with another negative fiscal year to be expected for Nevs.
DI asks “how can Nevs employ 900 people and keep growing?”.
Today Nevs has 900 employees in Trollhättan, with 230 consultants as well. They’re still recruiting more people, mainly engineers within electronics and software. This year the personell cost is expected to reach 500 million SEK ($56 million USD) and it’s all currently funded by the owners of Nevs.
The new factory in Tianjin, China will be ready next year. In order to get the necessary license for EV car production in China, it will be a complete car plant. This factory will produce the Nevs 9-3, based on the Saab NG9-3. The Stallbacka plant will support the Chinese factory and the next generation of Nevs EV cars for Europe will be built in Trollhättan.
A more throughly analysis/editorial from the chairman of Saabklubben will follow here at SaabsUnited soon, but for now we have a Q&A (questions & answers) with NEVS along with a large number of pictures from the meeting. These are questions from us and from the readers of SaabsUnited.
TTELA recently posted an interesting article that sheds some light on the development work and progress of NEVS and their new electric cars. In “Här skapas Nevs nya bilmodeller” (Here the new car models of Nevs are created), TTELA got access to three out of four development rooms at the Stallbacka plant.
According to Frank Smit, project manager at NEVS, the whole company is involved in their projects, with 8 people being responsible for different main areas. They work with a large number of engineers in Trollhättan, while close to 80 people are working simultaneously in China (among other things with the new plant there).
As mentioned, they didn’t get access to one particular development room. That room might contain a new Phoenix based electric car.
One of the current projects at NEVS is the development of the third generation NEVS 9-3. “We are working on a new battery and a new electric engine”, Frank Smit says. Even though these cars are based on the Saab 9-3 from 2002, they have basically been built from scratch. There are about 30 NEVS 9-3 in existance in Trollhättan right now and approx. 10 NEVS 9-3 in China.
They also discuss transportation of the cars from Trollhättan to China, where NEVS claim that the Trans-Siberian railway is faster than transport by boat. Tests of the train rails in the Stallbacka plant has therefore recently been made.
Finally, there’s a clock counting down above one of the doors to the development rooms. It’s marked “Time Remaining” and at the time of TTELA’s visit (last Saturday), it was at 334 days. This is most likely a count down for the first car in China. According to Frank Smit this will happen in the second half of 2017.
Believe it or not, it´s 40 years since the Saab Car Museum opened its doors for the first time at Tunhemsvägen in Trollhättan in 1975. Come and celebrate with us Saturday October 24 between 11.00-16.00! We celebrate with open house, cake and coffe! Bring your Saab and your memories of 40 years of Saab enthusiasm!
I know many of you guys has been to the Saab Car Museum (and for you that hasn’t been there – you have something to look forward to) in Trollhättan, and this year the museum actually celebrate 40 years!
Of course haven’t our dearly loved museum been at the current location since 1975, there has been some changes since then. When the museum opened the doors for the first thime it was locates in the basement of the old Saab-ANA building, in Tunhemsvägen. For you guys that has been to Trollhättan and know the area, we’re talk about the building where Brandt sell Volvo cars today, near Hjulkvarns Camping. After some years the museum was moved to the current location, and some years after the relocation the exhibition area was doubled. The next big step was in 2005 when Saab gave the the museum a makeover and opened it up the way we know it today.
As we remember from a couple of years ago, it was not obvious that the museum could celebrate 40 years – so my challenge to all of you is to visit our museum. Not just at the big events such as the Saab festival, but why not spend some hours at the museum in the weekend or if you have a day off with no plans? Gather some friends and/or family and take a road-trip to the museum in your Saab, and just enjoy… Sounds like a perfect day for for me!
So the short and direct invitation from the museum goes as this:
Believe it or not, it´s 40 years since the Saab Car Museum opened its doors for the first time at Tunhemsvägen in Trollhättan in 1975. Come and celebrate with us Saturday October 24 between 11.00-16.00! We celebrate with open house, cake and coffee! Bring your Saab and your memories of 40 years of Saab enthusiasm!
If you want to read more about the history of the museum, check out the Saab Car Muesum webpage I also want to remind people about the Saab Car Museum Support Organization, that is a nonprofit organization whose purpose is to promote Saab Car Museums business. You will find more information here about this great way to support the museum.
As I promised you a couple of weeks ago, I have a clip of the Saab-peoples way to honour Erik Carlsson. Not one minute silence – we do it the Saab-way and honour Erik with three minutes of two stroke music.
I want share a story and some pictures with you. Since I have vented the interest for my old Saab some people had wondered what I’m up to, here is the answer…
Five years ago I bought a M04 9-5 Aero sedan (actually I got it just in time for Saab festival 2010), and thought I was going to have this car for 3 to 5 years, and by then trade it in for a newer, but a used Saab. The original plan that came to me after a year or so was to buy the new 9-3, that from rumours was going to be about M98-M09(M10 SC) 9-5 in size, and my hope was of course that Saab decided to do a 3 door variant. I was at this time not considering the new 9-5, because of its size and a preview during the winter there I didn’t like the interior – or more specific the quality of it. But the time went on, and the 9-5 was growing on me at the same time a new 9-3 getting longer away from production. At this time we have summer 2012, and at this time ANA Trollhättan had a lot of used Saabs, so one day I decided to drop by them. I was not looking for anything special, but a test drive in a 9-5 was “the mission”, since I only had tested the 2.0 TiD 160hp at this time. So after a talk with one of the salespersons, he said he had the right car for me. That was a 2011 220hp 2.0T BioPower XWD, and I took it out for a spin. As some of you guys know I have a thing for red cars, so it wasn’t bad at all that the colour was just laser red! I took it from ANA and headed down to Grästorp and back to Trollhättan before I drive through the ciry centre on the way back to ANA. I was a bit disappointed when I parked the car at ANA, for the first I thought the 220hp engine didn’t had enough power in combination with the XWD, and the standard comfort seats in textile/leather didn’t suit me at all, the seats was far to flat so my legs didn’t have the support I wanted.
So after this I change my plans a bit and start searching for a M08-> 9-3 SC – 2.8T Aero or a TurboX. 2.8T because I know the 2.0T wasn’t a alternative for me, but it was hard to find a car that meet my requirements for equipment and colour. So in spring 2014 I still drove my 9-5 Aero, and was still searching for a suitable 9-3. But during summer 2014 a friend with a 2010 9-5 Aero XWD introduced me to the 260hp software update from Hirsch, and that can I tell you – it is a HUGE difference from the standard 220hp program. Suddenly the 9-5 was the hottest candidate to a new car, and I start the search for a suitable car. But what about the car from ANA? A few weeks later from I had my test drive it was sold to a local man in Trollhättan, and every-time I saw that car later I sent it admiring glances, and from time to time took a picture… So it was decided, I was now official looking for a new 9-5 Aero, 2.0T BioPower in laser-red. Unfortunately isn’t laser-red the most common colour for 9-5, so we wrote December before a car came up for sale. This was a FWD that not have so mush extra equipment over standard, but I decided to give it a chance. Unfortunately was the seller that was a dealer with just used cars not serious at all, he didn’t pick up the phone or answer my emails. So after a short time that car was sold, so I continued my search. So after a few weeks a red Linear came up for sale, but that was not a alternative – so in March this year I found a new red 9-5, this time a Vector. But there is something that says “history repeats itself”, and that was what happen this time. Got respond on my first email, after that it was silent on mail and phone… The car was removed from the classifieds after a short while, but it is still registered to the same owner as it was – and on the used car dealers website it’s still out for sale, they even adjusted the price a few weeks ago… 😉
But at the same time there came a other red 9-5 up for sale – and this time it was “my” car, or more correct the car I test drove. OK, it was not a Aero, but it had the Hirsch software upgrade and was great equipped with a “Active” package and some extras over that as HUD, lane departure warning (LDW), Traffic Sign Reading (TSR), key-less go and Bluetooth. So after some emails with the seller (that was absolutely a serious seller) I decided to go for it. Got a friend of me in Trollhättan-area to inspect the car since I live in Norway, and to make a long story short it ended up with that I make a agreement to buy the car. So last Friday I travel to Trollhättan by plane and train to pick up the car and close the deal, and that was for sure a great feeling! The only thing what is better then a used Saab is a new Saab, and since the things are as it is a the moment we have to manage ourself with the used ones… My new Saab is a two owner Saab, ANA Trollhättan had it first as a company-car for one of their employees, and the second owner was the man I bought it from. So this one is absolute a Sab that can be called a Trollhättan-Saab! So this weekend I drove about 11-1200km in my new Saab, and the only thing that disappoint me is the “comfort”-seats. That was something I know about, and one of the most important upgrades will be to get the sport-seats that Aero have as standard fitted. On the other side was as I already mentioned the Hirsch program something that impress me, the car itself is also handling like a Saab. It feels secure and it handels very well both on minor roads and on the highway. At this moment I’m not allowed to drive it since it not registered in Norway, I have to wait for a time at the Norwegian Public Roads Administration, so they can approve the car for Norwegian roads. Then I’m “allowed” to pay duty for it, and when that is OK I can go back to the Norwegian Public Roads Administration to collect my plates.
Further plans for the car is to add some Hirsch details, and the front and seats from Aero. Maybe will there be something more later, but time will show. Finally, some pictures from Trollhättan, and the way back home. As you see we stil have snow in Norway!
In the days before the festival I was walking around in Trollhättan, and on one of my trips to the popular Spikön in the central Trollhättan, in the middle of the channel I saw some interesting. The city of Trollhättan has during the last years done a great job to make Spikön a nice place to be. A refurbished marina for leisure boats with new service facilities replaced the old marina, and where the service facilities was built there was a outdoor restaurant earlier. Next to the new marina has they built a new playground for the kids, and this was the thing that make me pay attention. Inside the building fences I saw something I recognize immediately – something with a Saab-grille. Later I found out that the playground had a grand opening a few days after, on Saturday 6th of June – the same weekend as the Saab-festival. The day after my first visit I visited Spikön again, this time while there was people working there. I get a better look of the ting with a Saab-grille, and that was a hybrid between a car and a plane!
So this weekend did I visit Trollhättan again, just over the night (more about that visit later!), and I went over to Spikön for a closer look at this hybrid. The thing was a plane with a cabin and front inspired from a Saab 96, and it was placed in front of a hangar named “Flygmotor” after the old company “Nohab Flygmotor” (Nohab Aircraft Engine) I belive. Nohab was a company that mainly produced steam locomotives and diesel electric locomotives, but water turbines and Aircraft Engines was some of the other products. The Aircraft Engine was later sold to Volvo and get the name Volvo Aero, and after about 60 years Volvo sold it to the GKN-group. The GKN factory is the neighbour to the Saab-factory at Stallbacka. Another Saab-Nohab link is that in the Nohab buildings (that now is named the Innovatum area), is the Saab Car Museum located, and it is actually located in one of the old Nohab workshops.
So the fact that kids in Trollhättan get used to Saab in early age is well known, and this is one more thing that prove that! And if you visit Trollhättan, I highly recommend a walk to Spikön if you have time over for that. If you live in the city center of Trollhättan it takes approximatelya half an hour to go around Spikön from the hotels and back. And are you are a little too old to use the playground, you can always play some mini-golf in the evenings, eat some ice-cream or just enjoy the silence and a nice view over the channel!