Vladimir Antonov has given an interview to the Russian website (or is it also a Newspaper?) Gazeta.ru during the Geneva Auto Show.
It is really a very interesting interview, and I hope that the Google translation is not too bad. Still I have a problem with one point. In that interview VA talks about Saab as if it would belong to him. On the other side in Sweden he talks about willing to be allowed to be part of Saab.
I don’t know if the reality is just in-between of those two statement, or if Russians are a little bit too proud (not trying to offend anyone) and like to see things a little bit differently.
As I’ve said, beyond that the interview is worth reading. Here the most interesting answers from Mr. Antonov.
Saab – a niche company, we can not compare it to corporations such as Volkswagen, who works for the unification of models between brands. Plan for production – 125 thousand cars in 2012. But we also understand that the unification within the company needed. Therefore, our new platform PhoeniX – a development owned by Saab, although it is a modified platform GM. Saab will be able to build on it from multiple machines in length from 4.3 to 5.4 meters, including the SUV. The entire new model range, already saabovsky own, will be built on one platform.
Since now it was only known, that the Phoenix platform was quite flexible, now we know that Saab can build cars from a small Sonnet to a presidential Limousine, I would call it a 9-9. Still, a Mini sized small Saab needs a external platform.
When the Saab back to Russia?
Just had just signed an agreement with Armand, which will become the importer of the brand. So what will soon resume selling Saab in Russia.
Saab has to confirm this, but I think he is right with that.
There are plans for further expansion? Maybe even buy some brand, create a group of companies?
– Imperial sentiments do not lead to good. You yourselves have seen what happened to GM!
Didn’t we just heard that VA has bought Bowler Offroad ??
All in all the interview is worth reading, and it shows that Antonov is seen differently in his home country than here. I will be a little bit cautious over the next two or three years about his plans, but only because he is telling two different stories here and in Russia.
Many thanks to saabdroid for the link.