One of the stranger stories going around in Saab-land at the moment is that circulated by Vladimir Antonov about Saab production in Russia.
For those who don’t know, Antonov is a former shareholder in Spyker Cars NV and was forced out of his share of the company at the insistence of GM in order for the Saab sale to go ahead.
Since the transaction was finalised, Antonov has given several interviews where he’s referred to plans to produce Saabs in Russia. In that linked piece, he stated that the signing of a memorandum of understanding to do so was imminent.
What’s strange about it is that Antonov is the only one talking about this, as if he’s a de-facto spokesperson for the company. There are no plans that have been mentioned by anyone in the actual Saab executive group and the idea runs contrary to the need to have maximum production in Saab’s plan in Trollhattan.
E24 recently spoke with Saab’s head honcho, Jan-Ake Jonsson, and one of the issues they covered briefly with him was the question of production in Russia.
– Of course, Russia is an emerging market which is interesting for Saab. But I can not comment on the substance of what he has said. I have just read what he said and has not spoken to him myself, “said Jan-Ake Jonsson.
I think Antonov has a lot to offer Saab in the longer term, but I just wonder what’s going on with the interviews he’s given.
They also spoke about the coming Saab 9-2, which is a priority for the company after the new 9-3, and about distribution in Canada, which is an issue that’s progressing.