Lars Holmqvist on NEVS

On di.se Lars Holmqvist, the former head of CLEPA, gives his opinion on the plan that NEVS has. From the way he talks I feel like he does not know more about that business plan than most of us:

“I’m actually quite confused and I do not understand this electric vehicle consortium. If I’m honest, it’s so bad that I rarely heard anything like it”

His point is that there are so many e-vehicle projects in the world that you may not need another one. But as I understand the plans that NEVS has the e-power only is just for a start before they can build a proper hybrid on the Phoenix platform. Of course there are many unanswered questions when it comes to the NEVS business model but as many stated before we will only see the outcome if they really get to buy Saab.

As for the Saab Parts issue for example, they do not need to buy it to work with them and their network. Since NDO won’t sell it seperately right away NEVS could just contract the services they need without having to spend 2.2 billion SEK. Might even be a wise move to have more money left to invest in the core business.

Further down in that article Mikael Wickelgren, lecturer in business studies, makes a point that is closer to what I imagine NEVS to plan:

“As for the kind of vehicle that Nevs think about so I understand why they are interested in Saab. Saab is basically a front wheel drive car and it’s easy to electrify the rear wheels with electric motors. And there are a number of projects that Saab themselves engaged”

He continues that he also thinks a pore electric car business will not be viable. Which will most likely be true.

On a personal note, Holmqvist has never been happy about any e-car project. A reason may be that he does not expect this to generate much business for the local suppliers because of smaller scales. Still, he was in charge at CLEPA when the suppliers decded to stop supplying and while Saab tried to negotiate for a restart (with the known result). I still feel the suppliers shot themselves in the foot back then but that may be just me. I run a business myself and know pretty well how difficult it is to decide how long to support a customer that is in financial troubles before it kills your own company. But I feel there had been a way that all could have lived with. This is history now so I would not get to deep into this but I feel he has done his part to what we have today.

62 thoughts on “Lars Holmqvist on NEVS”

  1. Am I fed up with “Wait and see”? Mum used to serve that up for pudding every night.

    Nevs clearly see capabilities in the Saab otherwise they wouldn’t be here. I’m sure they’re not in it to throw the baby out with the bath water and start from a clean sheet. We, as aficionados, have to accept that Saab as it was is gone and can never really be the same again. “The only certainties in life are change and death” – we don’t want Saab to die, so we must embrace change. Oh! but the wait is killing me!

    • I know what you mean, but I just get a nasty feeling about NEVS somehow. OK the old Saab has gone and yes we must accept change……..providing that change does not totally destroy the whole concept! I just cannot see how NEVS are going to do it, and more worryingly, they have never even made a single vehicle because up unti l a short time ago, they didn’t even exist. I cannot help but feel that there is a lot going on that none of us are going to like too much, I just hope I’m wrong!

  2. I run a business too and you’re right, it is difficult to know how far to let a customer go before you send in the debt collectors! But in the end one has to protect one’s own business. As far as I’m concerned Holmquist is right to try to look after local suppliers, he wants to make sure that even more people don’t lose their jobs I would think.

  3. Lars Holmquist, the former head of CLEPA :

    “I’m actually quite confused and I do not understand this electric vehicle consortium.
    If I’m honest, it’s so bad that I rarely heard anything like it”

    Like I say before …Lars (nice name btw 🙂 ) u take the word right out my mouth……..

  4. I would love to have some crazy “drive for free hybrid car”, something like 1.5 TTTdi (half of the engine of BMW M50D), plus e-AAM, plus recharging while brake, plus charging from electro socket with up to 200km on pure electricity, plus fast and eco dual clutch gearbox with tones of gears.

    I will buy any saab, until they make safest cars in the world.

      • The 9-3 TTiD is 1.9 L and it’s no sewing machine. All about the performance you’re able to extract.
        Formula 1 allowed ONLY 1.5’s when turbo charged (up to 900 hp) back in the days as naturally aspirated were 3.0 L.
        Give me 400< NM, I don't care where it comes from as long as the car is good in all other areas.

        • No indeed the 9-3 TTiD 1.9 is not a sewing machine at all in fact I had one on loan whilst my Hirsch 93X (xwd) was being serviced a few weeks ago. But I doubt if I should like the TTiD if it was used to charge a traction battery though. I am just not convinced by hybrid/elec cars and I would guess that most of the planets drivers remain unconvinced too, because if they were, then a lot more would be sold.

          • The world has not (yet) seen what Doc suggests. A triple turbo diesel hybrid with range etc. I don’t think he wants a prius-Saab 😉

            • Well if they can come with something which looks like a Saab, goes and sounds like an AC Cobra and does 60mpg then my name will be first in the order book!
              As you can probably tell, I’m not one of the “Green Brigade”, I have never attempted to save the planet, because it cannot be saved. If I won a Prius in a competition I would sell it, as it and most other hybrids look bloody awful and can only have been designed by a person wearing a blindfold. I like cars that look good, sound good, go quick, are practical and if possible don’t use too much fuel. LOL!!!

              • First I want to say that all “save the planet”-talk is mostly crap and CO2 will most likely not warm the planet significantly.

                But try to understand what the SAAB hybrid is about. Have you read any of the test drives? The conclusion was that actually very close to “it looks like a Saab, goes and sounds like an AC Cobra and does 60mpg”, plus that it handled so well it made a BMW feel like a shopping cart . . . .

    • 24,000 euros = $29,980 usd for an two seat, electric powered, 87 mile (140 kilometers) range Smart Car……….just a little bit pricey, considering you can get a New Standard Smart Car for about $12,490 usd.

      Wonder what kind or price range a Saab Electric car would go for when a Volt goes for around $32,000. If you consider the fact that Saab is considered to be a higher end brand, there would have to be some middle ground between Fisker ($100,000 usd) and Chevy Volt range.

      • Sorry, but I don’t even believe that a Saab electric car is going to be built at all. I just feel that something else is really going on, but I don’t know what. I’m not happy about any of this.

        • I have the same suspicion.
          I think they will produce components for the electric car industry not cars of their own (except maybe concepts etc).

          • Yeah that’s definitely a big possibility. If that is the case then I really do hope that Saab AB sticks by what they said and denies NEVS the rights to use the name and the logo.

      • That is another reason why this NEVS plan to make 100,000 vehicles is completely unrealistic.

        Also Electric vehicles will mostly be used in city centres where road/toll charging and tax implications make them a possible choice – that says to me small, light vehicles. Maybe the next 9-3 will be the size of a golf cart 🙁

        SAAB had trouble selling the 9-3 in the $30,000 price range in the US, an electric/hybrid 9-3 will be way more expensive, and with lots of disadvantages compared to a combustion engine for anything outside the city.

        • I get the feeling that this whole mess is some sort of smoke screen. 100,000 vehicles is one hell of a lot of cars. Unless they have cracked some magic formula I cannot see how they could make or sell so many of that type of vehicle.

        • They sold pretty well the first few years. After they became increasingly and then unreasonably followed by ridiculously stale they stopped selling well. Go figure.

          I don’t see the electrification of the 9-3 platform as an interest generating event, but it is probably good R&D. I hope the ePower as a model for sale rumor is just that.

      • If I read it correctly, NEVS is a new startup with absolutely no track records, not to mention having experience building cars! At the minimum, the Indian and Chinese companies are in vehicle or vehicle related businesses and are doing well..

        • Yes it is a new start up, they look more like a bunch of venture capitalists than a potential car maker! I have no idea what the Saab estate is worth as cold assets, BUT if it’s worth more than the bid price then I would never be surprised to see some asset stripping of some sort if they win the bid. I have no idea if this could happen, but it does worry me though.

  5. We don’t know the business plan, but they showed it up the administrators. As they are responsible in doing visible failures and if the rumors about the deal with NEVS is true, than there must be something we don’t know. We could not change the ongoing story.
    But I’m wondering if NEVS could register their name as a trademark or maybe they change the name (Neighborhood electric vehicles, in short NEVs is a common used name – didn’t they check it in front? Wired company).

  6. I hope Trollhättan Stad isn’t THAT stupid to give Saab to a wolf-pack disguised as “Greenpeace”! PLEASE, SNÄLLA! I don’t want to move from such a nice city! And 100.000 EV:s a YEAR?! Are they helt jävla crazy?! Who did their maths anyway???! I hope SAAB AB pulls a handbrake now and kick NEVS’s arsle all the way back to Cayman Island!!

    I DREAMED to see that Phoenix-9-3 on the roads with TURBOPETROL-engine, a fast one and a fuel economical one! But with turbo! Like VW and Audi is doing with their cars now and DOWNSIZED them! Why can’t Saab do that and KEEP their petrol engine?! Stupid jävla NEVS-jävlar!

    • Entirely correct, but AAM would probably be willing to sign partnership deals again with the new Saab. Provided the new Saab has some sort of expertise in the electrification of cars. Things are pointing in that direction so I think it is safe to say that Saab and AAM will be working together again in the future. I hope so anyway. I bought a good deal of AAM stock 🙂

  7. If NEVS wins SAAB, I bet there will be no SAAB. Has SAAB AB even been in discussions about the name and logo with them, doesn’t that have to be done?

  8. Question to NEVS:
    – Where do you get 1.8 billion from.
    – How will you make a profit and pay it back.
    – What have you learned from big GM and small Spyker ownership of Saab.
    – With a clear Chinese connection, what will your presense in china vs. Sweden be.
    – What part of old Saab will you keep and what will you sell off.

    My speculation:
    NEVS could by Saab for 1.8 billion, sell off Saab ‘tools’ (production) to some
    Chinese or Indian company, and focus on R&D and marketing. Independent ‘Parts’ will manage the after market.
    R&D will be completely managed by external engineering companies, the same will be done for sales & marketing.
    Trollhattan plant will only produce small series electrical premium cars while the bulk of production will be done in the developing world / sone where in the americas.
    So what NEVS is buying is really only the Phoenix platform at market value, and the right to licence the Saab brand.
    In terms of expanding markets, to avoid Chinese tariffs, both production aswell as R&D to some degree needs to be located in china… NEVS will easily give some development to Chinese engineering firms.

    Saab will be a new type of global company that in absolute contrast to spyker era will do as little as possible in-house.
    If GM failed in business of scales to turn Saab around,
    Spyker failed by doing to much in trollhattan.
    NEVS might succeed making Saabs attractive by offering them at competitive prices if it only makes it’s small top of the line series electric.

    This text will be stamped on future saabs;

    ” -Designed by Saab in Sweden assembled in China”

    • That is a truly horrible thought! If it should in fact happen like that, well……….I guess my next car will be a Volvo, because if it’s not made in Sweden then it’s not really a Saab. Well that’s my view for what it’s worth and to hell with anyone that doesn’t like it!!!!

      • – would you pay more for à Saab assembled in Trollhattan?
        Or,
        – would you buy à really price worthy scandinavian designed icon assembled outside sweden?

        I think ‘pricing’ is the strategy to à larger market share:
        Saabs have been made in Finland, Austria, Mexico..
        and in sweden there has been saab car production in other Towns and cities than Trollhattan.

    • Re; ”So what NEVS is buying is really only the Phoenix platform at market value”.

      And if it’s only half complete on Paper & the rest of the design is ‘;controlled’ by ex-Saab workers, now working for another design Co’ based in THN, they might be buying ”Not Alot”, as has been said of YM who Laid out 20 mil Euros……

  9. If anyone from NEVS, or any other company who buys Saab, is reading this, please take note! WE WANT PROPER SAABS, BUILT IN TROLLHATTAN, failure to comply will result in a lot of people never buying a Saab again. That’s providing Saab as we know it even exists of course.

    • Globally
      Saab 90 made in finland
      Saab 9-3 convertible made in Austria
      Saab 9-4x made in mexico

      In Sweden
      Saab 900 made in Malmo
      Saab Sonett made in Nykoping

  10. Although everyone is complaining like hell about NEVS I remain confident. This NEVS can´t ignore us customers if they want to earn money and IMO nowadays they cannot earn money only on electric cars. So they have to use fuel-saving petrol and diesel engines, combine it with bioethanol and hybrid technology and later on perhaps fuel cells. Like the former Saab business plan, I think. Well, their skimpy homepage, perhaps only a fingerpost how the wind blows ? Let´s stay optimistic, I believe there are people with brain working, perhaps in cooperation with yet unknown partners and they must have a viable business plan and enough money for the administrators.
    “The times they are a-changing” – roaring 4L V8 engines will be history. We have to build up our ego otherwise – 1.0 L Biohybrid with sound machine instead. 😉

    • Well I just hope someone comes up with an economical 7ltr V8 that goes like stink, sounds like thunder and still does about 60mpg, now that really would be something! As for the NEVS website, well they certainly didn’t waste too much money on it, but maybe they don’t need it long term?

      • 7 ltr V8 Saab? I can’t imagine that. I always liked Saab’s mighty-mouse turbo 4 power plants because they were the antithesis of the big American V8 engines. When I was a kid, I liked the Lotus Esprit more than a Corvette for the same reason. But I also prefer the scream of overhead cams in a Honda engine at 9k RPM over the roar of thunder too 🙂 To each their own. That said, I think an electric rear axle would pair well with a V8 engine. The around town mileage would go through the roof and cruising along at 1250 RPM at 70 mph would be nice on the other end.

  11. I can only speak for myself, but I see no reason to go on judging NEVS before hearing THEM describe what their plans are. (Facts, not rumours from some unknown source, interpreted and the retold by some journalist.)

    Does anyone here KNOW for sure to what extent NEVS whant to go electric? From what’s written about Jiang Kai on http://www.ey.com/CN/en/About-us/Entrepreneurship/Entrepreneur-Of-The-Year/EOY-2008-Winners, it would seem just as reasonable to assume that they would start off with BioPower Saabs and then go gradually more electric, just like before the bancrupcy. (“Jiang Kai started Dragon Power in 2004. In less than five years it has become the leading biofuel company in China. The company has an estimated 95% market share of the biofuel industry in China, being the biggest seller of biomass boilers,and the biggest maker and operator of biofuel power plants, selling the generated electricity to the government.”)

    But this was just wild speculations, I do not even know if everything written about Mr. Jiang Kai is about the same Jiang Kai, so my main point of view still is that there’s someone out there who wants to revive Saab and will get the chance to do so, and as long as we do not even know who the new owners are or what the business plan actually will be, there in not much point in trying to judge whether it will be successful or just another disaster waiting to happen.

    Just my 5 c 🙂

  12. To quote your link, he bought a danish company for the technology and R&D for his business, i think that is the plan here also . Taking into account ALL hybrid sales in the world still only adds upto 300k and the figure is actually falling, not rising. And their going to make 100k a year… I would love to see that business plan! I wonder if Saudi Arabia would like a sand making facility?
    The technology is valuable to licence to others, venture capitalists dream, coin it in with no ongoing costs. 1.8 billion could be a very good investment in the long term. Horrendous in the short and long term for the hard working trolls.

    • The SAAB e-AAM hybrid solution cost no more than a XWD system and for this you get AWD, less consumption, more power and superb handling. People will not buy this to get a “hybrid”, they will buy it because it’s the best car.

      • Both AAM through its e-AAM subsidiary and UQM (the company that provides the PowerPhase system in the 9-3 ePower concept) actively license and sell their technology to a wide variety of car makers. The difference will probably come down to tweaking the software and integrating the drive system with the rest of the car. That’s why I think an all hybrid electric Saab could be so successful. They will be entirely focused on refining electric propulsion and distinguishing themselves from the competition.

      • If you’re right about the price, then that is certainly good news.

        Any sources? Given the price of the Volvo V60 hybrid, it seems a bit unlikely… Still, fingers crossed and all that.

    • If you haven’t done so yet (you being anyone who reads this) go to youtube and search for “e-AAM eAWD 30% Hill Ascent Demonstration.”

      Saab, NEVS, whatever. Someone needs to offer this for sale in a mainstream vehicle and the sooner the better. It performs this well with today’s heavy, inefficient batteries. I for one would love to see it with a future light-weight higher output battery instead.

      • GOOD viewing….

        Personally, I feel the administrators decision to sell Saab’s stake in this system, will end up as great regret & a decision to far….

  13. Waiting until Saab is sold to get an understanding of NEVS business plan might well be too late. Yes it is important that Saab gets sold, but not to the wrong buyer. The fact that NEVS appears unable to afford Saab Parts, really speaks volumes for it’s ability to produce new model Saab cars.

    • Do you have any suggestions how to turn events towards better end? We are not in postiton to put a gun to administrators head and say “ChoosYM/NEVS/M&M”. Its out of our hands, by debating and getting frustrated we are just going in “red RPM” which is totaly unhealty.

  14. Saab has new owners Follow the events of the day at ttela.se Saab deal is should now be complete. The receivers have called a press meeting today and the place promised in both the receivers and the new buyers. In recent days it has been speculated wildly on who becomes the new owner for Saab in bankruptcy and now announces, therefore, the administrators of the transaction is completed. An agreement was reached between the receivership and the buyers of the assets of the companies. The receivers have called a press conference at Saab’s main gate at 13.00 today. TTELA will naturally be in place and report directly.

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