Ny Teknik on Saab-GM technology sharing

Hopefully it might be a quiet news day today. There’s been enough news already for this week and whilst much of it has been good, the tone out of the Swedish press has become a bit of a drag. A day’s break would be welcome.
Here’s the sort of thing that’s useful in such a climate. Ny Teknik have a good read on the work going on behind the scenes concerning Saab’s future technology sharing arrangements with GM and Opel.
Whilst they were all the one company at the start of this year, they’ll essentially be three separate operations, possibly by the end of the year.
CTM’s been kind enough to provide a translation for use here at SU:
Strength of Saab’s technologyoriginal story here.
The divorce between Saab and GM is far from over. The two companies have hundreds of joint projects together. Now there is a tug-of-war to secure the technology and skills.
This week, lawyer Guy Lofalk, who worked on the reconstruction of Saab Automobile, made public that that that phase is completed. But the separation of GM and Saab is not yet finished. Both companies want to secure the technology and skills for the future – and, at the same time, they need to help each other through the bad times.
At the moment, a time-consuming and complicated work is carried out aiming to divide the responsibilities and costs for the hundreds of development projects which are interwoven between GM, Opel and Saab. These are projects that run for several years and will cover the development of, for example, new chassis, electrical systems, transmissions, engines, and body.
– You can not suddenly close these projects, they require soft transitions, where everyone must pull together to complete the work, says a source within the Saab.
The only problem is that manufacturers no longer exist within the same family. The companies are now legally separated and therefore must write detailed contracts for large and small projects.
– It will be as working with a subcontractor, says a person with knowledge of the process.
At the moment it is important for Saab to retain key personnel and skills. Company management is working feverishly together with GM and Opel to find ways out of this, but according to our sources Saab is also looking for collaborations with other companies outside GM and the new owner Koenigsegg Group.
– After the divorce, we will be free to develop products with other companies, whether they produce forest machinery or cars. It is a line we are working on right now, says one source.
For me, the ability for Saab to use their own technology as and when they please was one of the most pleasing aspects of this separation from GM. Saab are capable of doing some amazing things and it’ll be pleasing to see them appear prominently on Saabs first, instead of Caddys or Buicks.
The ability to co-develop with companies of their choosing will be another major bonus. I think it’ll speed up a lot technological developments given that they won’t have to go through a million layers of management to get things approved.
There’s lots of legal work to be done here, but it’ll be well worth it in the end.

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