UPDATE – This campaign has been picked up by Swedish paper, Dagens Industri. They got the country of origin wrong, but it’s great they’ve got hold of this and spread the word a little.
It’s a worthwhile exercise in that not only do the Swedish government people get your letters and insights, but it encourages others to do the same.
If you haven’t written in yet, I really encourage you to do so. Especially if you’re a Swede. Your letters will carry much more weight than the rest of us.
Ted Y has just shared with me a letter he wrote today to the Swedish Prime Minister, Fredrik Reinfeldt
103 33 Stockholm
Dear Prime Minister Reinfeldt:
I am writing to express my thoughts and wishes for SAAB Automobile AB. I am an American with Swedish roots (my mother was Swedish) dating from around 1900. I am very emotional about SAAB and Sweden in general. Perhaps you think emotion doesn’t count in matters of business, but I disagree.
I see Sweden from the outside, looking in, like most Americans. Not seeing Sweden from our perspective, you may not realize how much respect and admiration that little Scandinavian country has earned abroad. Sweden is seen as a country that punches well
above its weight, much like Ingemar Johansson in 1959, when he was a 5-1 underdog against the great Floyd Patterson.
Sweden has a proud history of engineering achievements and innovation, and no company fits the Swedish profile better than SAAB Automobile. Since 1947, SAAB has showcased its Swedish roots as an innovative and progressive automobile company, also punching well above its weight.
Forbes Magazine recently listed the SAAB 9-3 as one of the safest vehicles for 2009, the only vehicle sold by General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler that made that list, from that little
Swedish company in that little country of Sweden!
SAAB Automobile has new models ready for production, and they are sure to be well received around the world. Please don’t let 60+ years of uniquely Swedish innovations, engineering, and contributions to Sweden as a whole come to an end.
I know that there must be a uniquely Swedish solution that will let SAAB thrive in the future, to the benefit of the Swedish population, helping preserve jobs and that great Swedish tradition for innovation and excellence. You are yourself a very well respected leader in the world, and I know you can find a solution.
Please don’t start Sweden on the downhill road to being simply a tourist attraction. Keep Sweden strong and proud!
Most sincere regards,
Ted’s included a couple of postcards from the family’s Swedish collection for good effect and sent the letter both by mail and email.
May I suggest that a polite letter to Maud Olofsson, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Enterprise and Energy might be in order?
Her contact details can be found here.
Ted’s letter is a very good indicator of the tone and tenor I’d recommend. The Swedes need to know that Saab have support out here in the real world.
Perhaps you could put a copy of your letter in comments as well.
My letter to Maud Olofsson, which I’ve just sent via the link above.
Dear Deputy Prime Minister Olofsson,
My name is Steven Wade and I live in Tasmania, Australia. I own three Saabs and I am writing to you with regard to the future of Saab Automobile.
I listened to Rick Wagoner’s speech today. I downloaded and read GM’s recovery ‘plan’ and I think I understand now why you have been reluctant to provide assurances to General Motors.
Quite plainly, it seems that GM plan to dump Saab, either on their own on the Swedish government.
I would like to plead with you that Saab are a company worth helping. GM have pillaged Saab’s technology and invested very little in the company in return. This is a company with a great philosophical fit for the future of motoring that was never allowed to develop the products that it needed while under GM’s control.
GM have had an interest in Saab for 20 years now and have never allowed a successor to Saab’s 9-5 until now. That car is half of Saab’s range and it’s 12 years old! If you wonder why Saab has not been profitable, the answer is right there: no investment from its parent.
Saab have some of Sweden’s brightest people working for them. I write about the company every day for my website, www.saabsunited.com and I’ve had the pleasure of visiting Trollhattan and meeting many of Saab’s top executives. These are great people within a great company. Both they and Sweden have been let down by General Motors.
I humbly ask that you consider the great history and the potentially great future of this unique automotive company. I also ask you consider not only the jobs that will be lost, but also the tax revenues lost and the support you will have to give many in Western Sweden if the company is allowed to perish.
Thanks for your consideration of this letter and my best wishes for your future.