The Phoenix platform is still available to the future owner of Saab

TTELA today brings news on the phoenix platform and its status. Update: I cleaned up the heading a bit to remove ambiguity. My apologies for any confusion caused!

Rough translation:

The Phoenix platform is ready if someone wants it. Many of the brains behind the platform are today employed at Innovatum – the engineers at Lean Nova. Lean Nova is an expanding business employing former Saab engineers who are also advicing the bankruptcy estate on technology.

The 70 employees have on average 15 years of technology expertise and the company is expanding:

– “How many and at what rate is dependent on what happens after the sale of Stallbacka” said Martin Öman, referring to his former workplace, Saab Automobile AB, where he was development manager for the chassis. Today he is lean Nova’s Chief Operating Officer, COO.

– “The rate of growth will probably slow down a bit during the summer”, think Öman.

– “But on the other hand, we employed 70 in three months and we hope to find ten more within one month.”

Lean Nova’s main strength is the ability to create a complete car. The engineers are sourced from virtually all corners of Saab’s technological development domain. In Saabvägen 1 (“Saab Road 1”) skills available for chassis construction are available in the form of technical consultants from Combitech, also former Saab employees. The division is a strategy developed when “Plan B” became reality.

– “The idea that there would be new engineering company in Trollhättan was a bit of an incentive for employees to remain before Saab’s bankruptcy. Plan B was planned in the late autumn, and funding was needed. Saab AB, the defense group that owns the Combitech, needed the knowhow present in the chassis department for their development of airplanes, and Fourier transform was interested in funding a company that took advantage of the skills associated with vehicle development – Lean Nova. In time, we may see a merger of the two, or Combitech becomes subcontractors to Lean Nova in the assignment of vehicle development.”

Lean Nova in a few months gained some heavy names for customers like Volvo Cars, Scania and Jaguar Land Rover – but has also worked for Saab’s bankruptcy estate:

– “We have been helping out with technology issues and presented the Phoenix platform to potential buyers”, says Öman.

– “The platform is absolutely up to date, and is not idly decaying. But how long it takes to completion depends on exactly what a new owner desires. In two or three years, the first car based on the Phoenix platform can be ready, and for new entrants in the automobile industry, it would be a fantastic catch.”

The number of engineering inquiries has declined as the stakeholders come closer to the final phase of negotiations.

– “We understand that it takes time for a buyer – if unable to reach an agreement with GM to sell the current generation products they really have to start from the ground up and break-even is not in the near future,” says Öman.

– “But in the long run, Phoenix offers a huge potential, and the hope is of course an owners with deep pockets, who can afford to let the development finish.”

28 thoughts on “The Phoenix platform is still available to the future owner of Saab”

  1. Saab without Phoenix platform???? So is the company is being sold off in pieces? I honestly give up, time to change brand after 6 wonderful Saabs it’s finally time to turn the page. Shame on you Sweden!!!!!

    • Guys, where in the translation did you get that impression from?

      It is probably a mistake made by my fat fingers, but please point out the passage in question.

      • “The Phoenix platform is ready if anyone wants it.”
        and the headline itself “The Phoenix platform is still available to bidders”.

        Those are somewhat misleading.

        • It may have lost something in translation, but I think what that means is that the Phoenix platform is still a viable technology for a new owner to still pick up and use. In other words, it is not “out of date” because nothing has happened over the last year. The interview goes on to cover at what stage the platform is and how much time is needed to take it from that to ready production vehicles (2-3 years).

        • I apologize for that. My first attempt was a quick retelling of the article and at some point I decided to translate the whole thing as closely to the original as possible, but I missed the abbreviated headline in the process.

  2. Reading the article I do not understand that the Phoenix platform and SAAB are being sold in pieces.
    I understand instead that Lean Nova managed to avoid dispersion of the SAAB know-how by employing former SAAB engineers.
    I also take that if the new owner wants to complete the Phoenix project, Lean Nova can do that by having the people and the know-how ….

    He is saying “We have been helping out with technology issues and presented the Phoenix platform to potential buyers”, says Öman. Buyers of SAAB, not buyers of the platform……

    • I have read the Swedish article and that was exactly how I interpreted it too. It was absolutely obvious for me as a native Swedish speaker, so if anyone reads this article and thinks that the Phoenix platform will be sold separately, don’t worry.

  3. That front view picture of the Phoenix concept seems to be smiling at me, taunting me. “Yes, you know you want the new 9-3 that is based on my platform and technology….”

  4. Lean Nova, now seem to be the ‘owners’ of the phoenix tech…. and all this time I thought Saab Automobile AB owned it.

    This appears to be asset stripping….

    • I don’t think they “own” it (the tech is still part of the bankruptcy estate), but what they have is the knowledge behind Phoenix due to former Saab Phoenix engineers now working for Lean Nova. They are commenting on its viability based on their past experience with it (and I would think, the hope that they would be hired as consultants if work were to begin again on the Phoenix platform).

      • Assumably, ‘ if ‘ a new owner of Saab wanted to make ‘ordinary cars’ again [not that Saab was ordinary], the new owners could not complete the platform without the knowledge of the team @ Lean Nova….

  5. Advice to all failing company that has a last ditch effort to stay alive:
    – Do NOT name anything “Phoenix”

    It’s bound to fail – that name is cursed.

  6. Phoenix was a concept, not a production 9-3.

    The main tech with Phoenix that is available is:
    – light-weight AWD (independant electric rear axle with regenerative braking)
    – low Cd external design

    Have I missed out anything else?

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