Lars Holmqvist at it again

It’s now almost a week since the sale of Saab to NEVS was announced. The dust has settled a bit since then but still many negative comments show up in the media. One example that almost made me angry is an interview that Lars Holmqvist did with Even before the announcement he has not been very positive about a possible sale to NEVS but for my taste he goes too far in this:

“This is a bad development as in my opinion it ends up being within a year, a list of crises, a major crisis and there will be a call for support and jobs that have to be saved”

I have no idea if it is some habit of officials in Sweden to talk things dead before they even started but it almost feels like. Remember Mr Holmqvist when in office had a very disputable role when Saab’s creditors all of a sudden ganged up. He continues:

“There are two hurdles before them still. One, the question of using the brand Saab, that is not yet agreed upon. The other is they need to get a decent partner because there is no chance, no chance whatsoever these guys will be able to build an electric car. They have no idea how to build cars.”

The latter statement is quite bold. Mr Holmqvist may know something about spares, but he has never ever built a car in his life. So what got into him to state something this silly? What is his hidden agenda and why all of a sudden was he promoted to be the best possible spokesman? His reputation and actions most certainly do not warrant that. I’d not dare to say that Karl-Erling Trogen has no experience in the production of vehicles. He has been active within the Volvo group on various positions from 1971 until 2005. As for Kai Johan Jiang, he may not come from the automotive industry but given his track record he has some experience in doing large scale business in different cultural environments. He would not be that naive to get into the purchase of Saab without having a solid plan. That plan even went through the due dilligence at the receivers so the business plan cannot be as stupid as some people, who do not even know half of it, think.

As for the knowledge of how to build cars, the main effort will have to come from those engineers NEVS/Saab is recruiting just now. The key to be successful is to hire the needed technical creativity and some people in the management who can channel it. Trollhättan with engineering companies like Lean Nova can be a very fertile soil for the plans that NEVS has.

Regarding the decent partner Mr. Holqvist asks for – obviously he is not the only one who thought about that. Indications of the last few weeks tell me that NEVS know that, too and therefore surely made such a partnership part of the overall plan. Mr Holmqvist seems to be very well equipped to keep shouting from the sideline, but we sure as heck have never seen anything remotely business-plan like coming from him. It feels more like hot air than something well founded.

It’s a huge difference if you think that such a plan would not give you a car you want or if it does not work in business scale. While I still think there is a missing link in this I would not come up with such a general statement without having proper knowledge. And rest assured, Mr. Holmqvist has not more insight in this process than we have. But being negative has always been the easy way to get into the news, as you don’t need much imagination.

And then finally Mr. Holmqvist completely leaves the path of logic when talking about Kai Johan Jiang:

“He seems to me like he was out there to save the world and I am always sceptical about people [like] that in the automotive industry.”

Honestly, I don’t know what to say on this statement. Kai Johan Jiang stated that he saw how the industry in China destroyed nature and he started to think how things could be done differently. In the end this was just a starter to get onto a business idea that became State Poweer Group. He has been a pioneer in biofuel production and he wants to be a pioneer in e-mobility, too. Not only because he wants to save the planet but also because if you are a pioneer the chance to earn a proper amount of money is pretty high. So he is mainly a businessman but I don’t see some responsibility as a mistake here.

Sure companies like Tesla who are working on electrical cars for over ten years are mostly considered pioneers in this field, but NEVS has the benefit that more technology than ever is available today through partnerships. So they could be among the first to really have a proper lineup of EVs, not just one like some others. Their main task will be to get affordable, reliable and safe e-Saabs on the street.

I hate to say but we have to have some patience again until we see the big picture. Give the NEVS business concept a thought. The visionary aspect in this is something very Saabish: the desire to create something new, something revolutionary. I believe we only just saw the tip of the iceberg. But once it is there it may exceed our expectations.

103 thoughts on “Lars Holmqvist at it again”

  1. Hi, I’m new here. Lots of speculation and negativity indeed, but then that is what you get in media these days – people jumping to conclusions. We’re all second guessing right now and have been doing so for well over a year now regarding Saab’s fate. It is tought to stay interested in Saab amidst all of this uncertainty.

    I wonder what the trend among Saab loyalists is when it comes to NEVS. Could SU put up a poll asking who is content with purely electric cars, and who wants NEVS to come up with hybrids and/or petrol / diesel cars.

    • That poll would be good.

      Something like:

      1, Would you like Saab to only manufacture EVs?

      2 Would you like Saab to only make EVS and Hybrids?

      3, Would you like Saab to make EVs, Hybrids and conventionally fueled cars?

    • Actually he does not even offer alternatives, he just says that everything is bad. This, at least in my view, is the worst thing one can do.

  2. NEVS have no idea about building an electric car ……. that is why the bought SAAB that has top quality engineers and know-how …. simple!!!

    • Almost +1. 🙂
      As I understood it, they bought Saab because they can build cars and they will add engineers from China and Japan (some kind of co-operation with Totota according to soem news snippets) who will add important knowledge on the battery and electricity side.

      But for a more detailed version of their plans, we’ll just have to wait and see how they proceed.

      • Exactly……. although I still have my reservation about the suitability in the medium-term of a full-electric business plan without hybrids.

  3. source:

    Skepticism about Nevs plans

    “Most of the evidence of new losses and a new, painful fiasco.” Dagens Industri Hakan Matson is not afraid to dismiss Nevs plans for a new Saab after the press conference yesterday.

    But there are those who are slightly more positive.

    RelateratI basically were representatives from the Swedish media in place of the Saab showroom yesterday afternoon. The press conference where the purchaser of Saab’s bankruptcy would be presented were the giants to get to Trollhättan in a hurry to watch the historic event.

    And the comments were not long in coming. After a quick review of the morning papers, one can say that Swedish journalists have been seasoned in the Saab Question. It takes more than a business plan and a desire to convince reporters that Nevs plans is a winning formula.

    Many are still wondering what Nevs really going to do? “What is Nevs will develop in Trollhättan – it’s batteries, or command and control system, or is it both? In any case, it becomes expensive of development for Saab in the future,” writes Göteborg Posten Dick Henriksson.

    Swedish Dagbladet Nils-Olof Ollevik do not believe that Nevs will succeed. “The buyers of the estate, electric vehicle consortium, the National Electric Vehicle Sweden (Nevs), has almost nothing that could give Saab a chance to survive. To be honest – Saab Automobile has unfortunately just as likely to survive as an electric car manufacturers as a snowball in hell “.

    But the same newspaper Jonas Froberg can still find something positively within this segment of yesterday’s statement: “It is good for all parties that it is finally ready with a buyer. Engineers and technology developers in Trollhättan will utilize their knowledge and, if everything falls into place, we can get see Saabs are manufactured in Trollhättan again – albeit on a smaller scale. ”

    Dagens Nyheter Lasse Sward agree that the positives of this deal is that Saab will get another chance, but think about how it is going to launch a ten year old car, electric car – about two years. And more questions are unanswered, he believes: “But how will the relaunch be funded? How can new retailers linked to the brand? How will providers believing in Saab again? There we received no response to yesterday.”

    But most are skeptical enough Hakan Matson at Dagens Industri. He questions the whole affair and says that most of the time talking to “new agonies, new disappointments, new breach of faith, new losses and a new, painful fiasco.”

    “I thought in my wildest dreams, not that it could be possible that Saab would be sold to a company that has even less experience in automotive manufacturing than Spyker and Koenigsegg,” he writes.

    • I think that a mixed reaction is to be expected until NEVS state exactly what they are going to build, where it will be built, how many people will be employed, where the cars will be sold etc. At this time we are all pretty much in the dark, this of course breeds fear, anguish and to some extent a lack faith. I wish they would hurry up and tell us all what they are really going to do!

      • NEVS silence creates anxiety and speculation. They must have reported something for the administrators who made them came out as winners. Now as they have won the bid, they must be able to show what the winning proposal was. They create uncertainty that contributes to a loss of confidence in experts and newspapers, this feeling then transfer over to us ordinary people.

        We need to know what will happen to SAAB before we can support otherwise I will create my own reality and it’s not in favors of NEVS in any way. Just want to say I would like the same info from YM if they had come out as a winner.
        NEVS … in order to provide support we need to know.
        Then I decide whether I want to support NEVS or not.

        For me and what I heard so far I can’t give my support to NEVS today
        (Only EV and just for China, doesn’t sound like the SAAB I want to have)

        Now the “boll is in your hands” NEVS and we waiting for your answer.

    • leriksso,
      to dump an article from another news source is (for many reasons) against the user policy.
      If you want to comment any post using information from another article, it’s OK, but don’t dump articles into the comment section.

      BTW, we already discussed this article last week.

  4. I have looked at Tesla, they cost a fortune! I hope that NEVS will be able to make and sell cars that look good, go well, are reliable,and have a good range. A lot of us do not live in cities, so the range of a vehicle is important to a great many people. If anyone can do it well it will be Saab engineers! Fingers crossed.

  5. About bloody time someone smoked out that Holmqvist person. Remember he was fronting for the spareparts industry when the shit started hitting the fan. And we all know that amongst others this problem actually was the cause of Saab finally having to declare bankrupcy.

    Was this two faced person actually gambling on purchasing Saab himself, just didn’t know where to start? To me he has always been tarnished, very quick at trying to keep himself in the spotlight, but with nothing more to say than hot air. In my opinion, it would have been beter if he had filled a balloon with it. That way someone would and could have had some fun with it.

    It is the sign of a very bad looser in a game, to be this negative. Furthermore, what does never have seemed to have been brought to the surface, was the rather peculiar relationship this Holmqvist had with Maud Olsson. What exactly was mr Holmqvist’s role there? He has been quite well equipped to be in the role of the troublemaker, quickly trying to dismiss whatever idea or initiative that was launched. He is also quite good at feeding the Swedish press with negativity. As if it was forbidden to rejuvinate this wonderful Swedish brand.

    I do share the anger with the author of the piece above. I also share the anger regarding the Swedish government’s handling of the Saab case. I also share the anger regarding jobloss and a fairly bad kick in the stomach of the city of Trollhattan.

    I do sometimes do wonder what possessed people. I do however hope Holmqvist will find another hobby to be negative about. He (should he know what is best for him, which I do doubt) should shut the …. up. He is way past his sell-by date.

  6. The main thing that Saab needs to survive is money and vision. They don’t need another car company like M+M to tell them how to build cars. They are a car company (albeit a shell of a car company)!!!! NEVs is already hiring back the core nucleus of engineers and managers that help made Saab what it was. NEVS seems to have a vision, a vision very different from what may be our vision, but a vision nonetheless. Along with a good business plan (and these are good business people), they could well succeed beyond all reasonable expectations. We all seem to have an idea of what Saab should be. That’s fine, but truly creative people and visionaries can bring us things we can’t imagine. As Steve Job’s once said “People don’t know what they want until you show it to them.”

    • “The main thing that Saab needs to survive is money and vision”
      People like Holmqvist thrive at obscuring visions.
      I almost think it is a tactic done on purpose; If he (and his friends) can talk down NEVS like Maud managed to talk down Saab, they will have “won”.

      I just hope that the readers of that column are capable of seeing through the BS.

      • Yes agreed! I just wish they would tell us exactly WHAT they intend to build and what they DON’T intend to build. They are doing themselves no good by saying almost nothing. We want to believe, but at the moment we don’t know what are supposed to believe in! If the product is the right thing and is a first class product, being sold at a reasonable price, then I’m sure they would get much support and many customers. I am getting so sick of waiting though!

    • How was he supposed to ‘help save Saab from bankruptcy’?! He represented the suppliers. The suppliers had already helped by extending credit way beyond their supply payment agreements. What more were they supposed to do ? Work for free? Look at how much the suppliers lost with Saab business – not only with the bankrupcy, but the first time it went into administration, in 09.

  7. till72,

    I understand that your are upset with Mr. Holmqvist’s opinion, but I find your wording in the post misleading.

    “…if it is some habit of officials in Sweden…”

    Holmqvist is not a Swedish official or politician. He has not been “in office” in a position within the state. He is a senior adviser to a PR company working out of Brussels. Before that, he was (I believe) CEO of CLEPA – the European Association of Automotive Suppliers.

    “Remember Mr Holmqvist when in office had a very disputable role when Saab’s creditors all of a sudden ganged up.”

    When the crises hit Saab Automobile hard in 2009 (remember the first reorganization lasting 6 months and then GMs decision to close the company), the suppliers were all behind Saab. Many of them took huge risks, gambled with their companies, and supported Saab. The kept the tooling and stayed ready to start production if Saab got back on line. Many of them took huge economic losses during the first reorganization to show some goodwill. In 2010 the delivered parts but the volumes (and their income) were nowhere near what they had been. In 2011 the trusted Mr. Muller’s word again and again and again – months after months. They supported this for almost 2 years. You can hardly blame them to finally be fed up with broken promises, unpaid invoices, etc. They themselves have companies to run in a cut-throat business. They have employees to take care of, bank loans to pay, owners that demand a viable business. There is a point in time where you (as a company) can no longer show support without an agreement that means something for real. They just can’t sit with tooling, floor space, and inventory ready to produce sometimes in the future, when they can produce to other car manufacturers today *and* get paid on time.

  8. I must admit that I don’t like the new direction SAABSUnited’s crew has taken recently. As soon as NEVS had acquired SAAB’s factory, they started giving NEVS their unconditional support. This reminds me much of the situation last year, when SAABSUnited people were protecting Victor Muller unconditionally, and every step and move he did they hailed as the ultimate wisdom. We all remember articles like “Without Victor there is no SAAB” (just paraphrasing, I don’t have time to search for the article, but I can do that if needed).
    I would like to have to see discussion with more arguments and real facts. And these are the facts I have so far:
    1. We shouldn’t talk about SAAB electric cars, since we don’t know yet if NEVS will get to use the brand. We can only speak about future electric cars made in Trollhattan. That is the current very hard fact and we should be aware of that in order to not get disappointed in case, God forbid, NEVS don’t get the right to use SAAB name.
    2. I am sure that NEVS people know what they are doing. But is that what we want? Is the eventual technology drain from Trollhattan to China something that would be appreciated by us? Everything seems to be so secret, and we are waiting for some news to come. I agree with Swade’s open letter, we need more information on the future plan, that’s it.
    3. Business plan of transporting electric car technology from Japan to Trollhattan in order to make cars for Chinese market, makes very little sense, everybody admits that. Except in case NEVS are hoping to get a share of Swedish and EU developing funds for the new eco-technology. And that might be the final piece of the puzzle, and this makes me very suspicious about the real NEVS intentions.

    • You know, its pretty simple. Whoever is in charge of factory, workers, product-rights etc is what we call Saab, we will support.

      I told Victor on several occasions what I thought that he should and shouldn’t do. I know that he listened to that advice more than once!

      There is no point for us to make that kind of advice public but I can assure you that we will support the current owners to 100%. Once we know more about what they are planning to do and if we have any suggestions, providing that they are willing to listen, we will provide such suggestions.

      Regarding what makes sense and doesn’t make sense in their business-plan is not for anyone to judge yet because you don’t have all the facts and details. Only once you have that, can you give an honest opinion on the matter.

      1. Regardless of what the cars are called, I will still support them. Saab is in the end just a name, the cars and what they represent, such as the people, ideas and vision is the important thing. They’ve got 2 more years before the cars hit the streets, plenty of time to talk about the name! =)

      2. We are not paying for the factory, wages etc. So its not up to us to decided, if you would have bought the place then you could have decided to do what you want, but now NEVS has bought it and its up to them to decided, we will have to stand by and watch, if we like what we see is another mater. Just because you one bought a brand new Saab does not give you the right to decided how the next product will look like. Same thing goes for Audi or any other brand customers etc. Saab tried to build conventional products and they were not able to do so for even 12 months, that clearly shows that Spykers plan did not work, the support for Saab was not strong enough, so we need to try something new.

      Just because you are a car owner does not give you or Mr Swade the rights to any details of any business-plan. Such things are top secret and for a very good cause. If you or swade or anyone wants to get more details I suggest applying for a manager position at NEVS, they are hiring 😉 (sorry about the irony).

      Regarding your point number 3, I have learned that NEVS did in fact look for production opportunity in China but could not find anything close to the state-of-the-art facility in Trollhättan. I’ve also said it before, one can not design and develop cars in one country and then build them in another, the link between engineers and production is what makes a car-company strong! Ongoing change and improvement can be implemented fast! At Saab all the engineers have to do is walk 300 m to get to the production in order to see how their new ideas are working out in real life, that is just one piece of the puzzle that makes Saab great!

      • Well Tim, it’s up to you and the rest of the SU-crew to support whomever you wish.
        If you guys are fine giving NEVS your 100% support on the base that they now are the owners of the factory and the IP rights, that’s okay with me.

        I still think it would be good, however, if us the SAAB-fans openly could discuss NEVS on SU, even if the picture is not as 100% supportive as the SU-crew.

        No we don’t have the full picture as of yet, and we have not seen a complete business plan. Still there are number of evidences on NEVS future direction based on their presentation last week, their corporate background and their proposed direction for SAAB moving forward. And in all honesty a lot of commentators here, myself being one of them, just cannot see the rationale in the NEVS set-up, hence the discussion.

        Please don’t make SU to a forum where everyone must share your total support for NEVS, it’s much better off when everyone can share their thoughts. There are lots of good commentators here.

        So why not let us discuss “what makes sense and doesn’t make sense” in their business-plan regardless if we don’t have all the facts and details.

        • I agree, I love the brand (as it was) and do not like the things we hear so far from NEVS. In some comments by the SU-crew are comments called foolish and I think that it is without eny respect for readers/members to do that. In this way does the SU-site get less interesting.

        • Well said. SU is free and should support NEVS -before we know better- but in all honesty I have no blind ‘love affair’ with Saab cars. I’ve supported the company because the products they made filled MY needs. I couldn’t buy anything from SWAN as the they didn’t offer the only thing we’ve could have bought (a big frugal station wagon) – although it came close.

          If NEVS stop making cars that has that edge over the competition I will move elsewhere ones the Saabs that are out there are gone or someone else fills that void.
          If a company headed by former Volvo people/consultants stops making real Saabs, I can assure everyone the replacement won’t come in the form of Geely.

      • Tim,
        Earlier you replied to a post requesting a poll as to who does or does not support NEVS/Hybrids…as if somehow that would change anything about the direction SAAB is moving towards.

        This is yet another example of people who are still grappling with the idea that somehow, we the public, can possibly effect changes to a reality that is in cement…a reality that SAAB is going “wherever it is going to go”…period. We have no say in the matter.

        I understand the need for people to want to get a handle on what is happening to our beloved SAAB, now and into the future. It is perplexing however, under the guise of an “open discussion”, that repeatedly…and I mean over and over again, some posters still will not give up their desire to bash what they do not like about where SAAB is headed.

        This should not be hourly news, it is done: It appears that NEVS is going to go “wherever it goes”.

        I for one am on my 5th SAAB (a 2002 9.5 Aero). There is a huge probability that I may never again get a chance to drive a SAAB similar to the ones I have owned. That is really a sad thing for me because as we all know, these cars are unbelievably fantastic.

        But reality dictates, If It is the case this occurs, then so be it. I will have to live with that possibility. (I am also still grieving the fact that Studebaker no longer produces automobiles). The good news in this NEVS situation, is that we have a continuation of SAAB production of some type, whether is is hybrid, or all electric, it does not matter to me. I will stay invested in its future. There are many here who understand this…electric/hybrid is where auto transportation is headed.

        If, this reality is not the cup of tea that others demand, please then, I urge you to post your sadness once, (just once) and then stop…or go elsewhere. I apologize for the tone, but I think this needed to be said.

        • I will reply to this, as it was my suggestion for a poll that you referred to.

          Is it a vocal minority who think that eSaab is noSaab, or how many of us hang around here in the hope of news of a hybrid or combustion alternative? Even the crew here are suggesting that a future portfolio may include hybrids. Is that false hope or reason to believe? Until we have a business plan to rely on, the topic stays warm. If everybody were to post their sadness or delight once, we could take care of that in a poll and not have the disease spread upon every thread. Not that I’m any different from you really – I don’t care too much and know that I will have to look for other makes for my transportation needs in the future while nurturing my hope for a bit longer.

          • Dagen Runt…
            Thanks for your thoughts.
            I believe you are correct.
            It might be useful for someone to want to know how many folks here think:
            will it be an electric, or a hybrid .

      • Tim and the rest of the SAABSUnited crew, this is your blog and you can of course support anything you want. You can even ban all of us who are not enthusiastic about the NEVS. You acquired this blog from Swade and you drive it which takes a lot of your time, and you have any right to say “if you don’t like this blog go somewhere else”. But this all would make me, and not only me, very sad. Because I am still considering this blog as the nr. 1 source of SAAB news on the globe. And I still think that it should remain so. What I would like is toned down, more analyzing approach to this new direction. Maybe I am asking too much, because this would require someone to work full time on this blog. But anything is better that this “NEVS are clever, NEVS have plan, NEVS will surprise everyone with the news that will come”.
        I am of course very happy for people in Trollhattan that someone has been and is planning on building cars. One hundred new jobs is still better then none and if NEVS manage to employ thousand of people, that is just great! But here we are talking about SAAB cars, and for me, and I think for most of the readers here, it is extremely important that electric cars that are built in Trollhattan are SAABs, period.
        Of course, I don’t have any right to decide which kind of cars will be built directly. But you must admit that indirectly, I as anyone else have at least some power by buying a certain brand and model and/or by influencing other people and giving recommendations.
        And finally I can agree with you in this: It is probably so that there is no place left for conventional SAAB cars on the global car market. Many have tried, SAAB-Scania, GM, Spyker without success, for many reasons. It might be that the cars we loved were doomed from the start, simply because they couldn’t attract broader audience. It is maybe for the best that SAAB takes new direction, but I am worried if the new direction with the new business plan will provide SAAB the future we all wish for. That’s all.

      • Hi, Tim.

        As a long time supporter of Trollhattansaab and SaabsUnited your statement about your full support about whatever name the new SAAB will take brings up at least one question that should be interested to highlight:

        – If the new car name would be, let’s say NEVS and not SAAB, will this site then continue as a support blog for NEVS cars (NEVSUnited)? I guess you have a strategy on this.

        Please don’t get me wrong, I can fully understand that you want to officially support NEVS as a Swede – and I wish NEVS and Trollhättan all the best as well as a Norwegian, but the main reason why I several times a day visit this great site is the fact that SU is my main waterhole about SAAB. Now I am a bit worried that this great site will change to be more of a support for our beloved factory in Trollhättan and not necesarilly only for SAAB…..

        For the record: rest assure that I won’t leave SU as long as it will be closely connected and open minded about the breathing and soul of SAAB.

        SAAB ain’t dead yet, Griffin UP!

    • As soon as NEVS had acquired SAAB’s factory, they started giving NEVS their unconditional support.

      Given the circumstances, who should SU be supporting? For the continuation of Saab cars in any form NEVS is now the only game in town. It’s a done deal, for better or for worse. I’m skeptical but hoping for the best, it is going to be a while before NEVS’ plans become clear and we see what the outcome will be.

  9. What you do as a blog is not objective the last few days, people can and may have their opinion and feelings. If you constantly try to steer and evangelize the (in your view) sinners, you’re loosing a major part of the Saab addicts. People owning and drving Saabs are free minds. What this website tries to do is put on boundaries.
    As long as NEVS does not make clear that they want to build Saabs (which they didn’t: they want to build electric vehicles, the brandname Saab is not yet sure) and build them for ‘me’ (especially my market and at least with some Saabiness), it’s not going to be Saab anymore. In that case it’s a different car maker that just acquired tools and knowledge to build a form of transportation. I’m very happy for the former Saab employees that/if they have work again, happy for the city of Trollhattan, but, please, please, please, stop trying to convince us that Saab has been reborn. Move your Mind!
    If this website is about the city of Trollhattan and the new future for the factory at Stallbacka, please reconsider the name Saabsunited, since it does not unite Saab anymore until it brings us back our beloved Saab brand and identity. When Spyker did its best to save Saab, they saved Saab (for a while at least, we enjoy driving a Spyker Saab 9-5). They were very clear about that. Now I only see a one way attempt to get positive in NEVS. How much news did you get from the NEVS, how much communications to the Saab community? I guess nothing, that shows how important we are… we’re not at all, despite what we hoped for.

    • If you are not happy with the content of this website, there are many other websites out there that you can feel free to visit. SaabsUnited is about the cars, technology and the company, we do write about more stuff than just the company, as I hope you have noticed.

      We present the ideas here that we have discussed and that we as a group feel is the right way, not everyone will agree and it is well within their rights to disagree with us. We respect that and we are open to people presenting their ideas if they have merit!

      We are in contact with NEVS, they took the time to talk to us shortly after the announcement was made and believe me, they have a lot more important things to do right now and we don’t want to waste their time, not yet at least! =) It has not even been a week since the sale was completed, please have that in mind…

      • Tim, how can you say this to your readers?! I have been reading TrollhattanSAAB from the beginning and always felt that it was about SAAB. I understand your relation with Trollhattan and the people that work there and I wish them the best but I hoped that they were going to built SAABs again. But if you think that people that dislike your opinion, should take their business elsewhere that that is fine by me… Consider me not as a member of this community anymore, I am going back being a SAAB-enthousiatst again. I wish you all the best and hope that there will be SAAB-SAABs again in the future.

  10. who the hell is this lars guy? sounds like a complete idiot like cain from GM. With officials like that, sweden doesnt deserve to have companies in their turf. At least in the US obama and bush bailed them out, but condemning them?

  11. L.H. is right about NEVS: they need a strong partner without whom they will not success. Incomes Statements of company such as Tesla show how much equity fundings are required to developp EV and how hard it is to be profitable.

    NEVS should be considered more like an anonymous go-between of a strong industrial partner who wants to keeps secret its discussions with key-company in Saab’s assets management. Otherwise I consider them just like brokers.

    And it is not for the 200 promised jobs for THN people or their “Guizmo businessplan” that we can today be happy. It is more about something that we still hope (like a reasonnable meaning of the price paied by NEVS) but did not YET come out. Saab is neither yet “saved” neither has a future. On that part, L.H. is wrong because NEVS has never pretend to save Saab. Which could be a humble attitude regarding the future or a bad news for us: time will speak. Wait and see.

  12. Pardonnez-vous my french, but what sort of cock constantly says such things without recommendations for further action?

    In the US, we call these people “Republicans.”

    I thought narrow-minded morons like this didn’t exist outside of my country.

    I was fooled.

    • In the US, we call these people “Republicans.”

      We also call them “Democrats.” That both major parties in the U.S. stink to high heaven is pretty evident to anyone who is not a partisan. (But this is not a political site, not even a US-based one, so that’s all I’ll say about that.) 🙂

      • What? You mean we have two parties? No, I swear that if I look back at the period from 1920 – Present that we only had the same party pushing off the same cliff. I think that you have your facts wrong 🙂 We have one party and they are purple.

  13. A bit of patience is needed, a bit of kindness and tolerance. NEVS has to organize its business, so let them do this. Some people on this planet probably don´t like what NEVS is doing, such is life, or there is fear of competition, the e-power 9-3 with its battery system is an interesting car. 😉

    • +1
      Couldn’t have said it better. Why don’t we wait to see what NEVS has up its sleeve and withhold our judgement until then?!

      I for one would be stoked to get a Power-split/Series hybrid Phoenix 9-3 or even a REEV Phoenix 9-3… although my ’07 9-3 is pretty awesome as it is currently

  14. Lars Holmqvist has ‘been around the automotive block’, as it were, (and certainly around Saabs turf) so his opinion shouldn’t be summarily discounted, just because it is negative.

    I know he’s not with Clepa anymore, but if they, or the supplier industry thinks the same as he does, then NEVS will be facing an uphill battle to produce any vehicles. Unless of course they want to pay high prices, in advance, for any sub supplier parts.

  15. If Scania, GM & Spyker all failed to make Saab grow….
    Maybe the conventional businessplans were all flawed.
    What Nevs is doing is opposite to all previous attempts.
    – small nr employes.
    – no focus on an expensive large range of vehicles.
    – no attempt to sell cars all over the world, focus on a few markets.
    – not follow other makers, set new trends.
    – maybe import cost effective parts from asia, assemble premium vehicles in scandinavia, sell back a more exclusive product to Asian consumers.
    – not do everything in-house, use talented japanese engineers.

    • Shaking head…
      The lack of investment and model/engine range was the cause of financial trouble all along. Why don’t they make pure EV’s for China (and Norway) and put a BioPower hybrid on the market for the rest of the world before you get reliability, range and space in an fully electric car.

  16. To discount what Lars is saying is -to say the least- unwarranted.

    He knows much more than the writers and readers of this site. He knows Saab. He knows Clepa, He knows the administrators, and he knows Youngman. Now lets please stop discounting and ignoring what people say if we don’t agree with their views. Who cares if he doesn’t have any alternative. Do you have an alternative to NEVS? Thought so. So stop calling the kettle black.

  17. This website isn’t a blog anymore (as in a place where people can freely and openmy express their various opinions).
    It used to be, but it is no longer….

    • (as in a place where people can freely and openly express their various opinions).

      If this is true, I guess your comment wouldn’t be here….. but it is.

        • terry9000k, it was a point, 2T is free to say this….. Never said it would warrant removal, just saying if 2T wasn’t free to express his opinion, why would it be there? if 2T wasn’t free to say what he wanted, as the comment says, then why would his complaint or opinion show up? My comment was a statement not a threat and 2T knew that hence the lol in the follow up bellow. Seems the back and forth we were having is what 2T likes because we are conversing and being civil in the process.

  18. lol, that simplistic and easy one JP…
    You know what i mean. People that express an opinion other than that of the SU writers recently often get talked down and their opinion beaten-up, and not always with the most rational arguments.
    That’s not my idea of a blog.
    But to use your sarcasm, if this message makes it to the board, it’s getting closer to the real thing.

    No personal offense meant.

    • Nope wasn’t trying to give any personal offense at all. I think a blog is one that the owners of the blog will post about certain things they believe and feel a strong connection to and then people converse about it. If you or anyone feel beaten up by any of the writers, I would find that odd because in reality, I have had more name calling my way then I have ever dished out since being a writer. I personally don’t believe that name calling in anyway is needed to get a point across. If you don’t agree with my points, that is fine and I’m ok with that as I obviously don’t agree with yours if we’re not in agreement. If I say something that someone doesn’t agree with, they always tell me so I don’t see how it’s different is all I’m saying…. Fair?

      • Jason,

        I think everyone on SU, is still rather shell shocked that their SAAB is no longer & never will be again.

        Sometimes the writer gets all the flack & frustration from those feelings……ie: ”Hey, I’m only the messenger”, type thing….!!.

  19. Sadly, our SAAB is no longer……

    NEVs is a private Company and has no obligation to tell [Old Saab’s] enthusiasts anything & I think that is what we will get.
    We do not know their plan & beyond ‘maybe’ the odd snip it, I doubt we ever will.

    Obviously THN will get ‘some’ employment from this deal, but as is noted it is the Tech guys that are wanted now… The Blue collar workers will not be wanted for some considerable time & then in maybe 100s, hardly 1000s.

    To Chinese/Japanese are not stupid & they will learn all there is to learn from SWED; and then take the tech home, that’s the way it works.

    My fear is that as a ‘western Co, fotrmed in Sweden they will be able to get all sorts of assistance from the EU for development & then poodle off Home with it for virtually free….But time will tell!!.

    • Quote from: Pearl Harbour [original]

      ” I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.” Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto…


    • Oh, you’re not the only one to fear that. Many here fear the same thing and maybe deep inside feel it will be the case which will affect them, their family or friends in one way or another.
      I couldnt stand comments about Saab in TTELA (between bankruptcy and announcement about NEVS), just becouse ppl brought up my fears, that i deep inside knew they were right, but i wouldnt admit it. I know that feeling.
      Actually i needed a closure of that chapter in my life. And NEVS gave it to me. I cant support NEVS becouse i dont belive in their business plan, no matter what ppl write on SU. NEVS itself has to show for me what they go for .
      Sure, i could work for them again as team leader on door line, but, man, it would be just a work…no fire, no passion, no looking forward to new working day…and no day dreaming about those wonderful cars.
      Thats how i feel at the moment about all fo that, given what i learned so far. So, NEVS,its youre move now.
      Ppl who worked at Saab Automobile AB prior to bankruptcy, they were like family. Burned for brand and there is a piece of ppl’s souls built in those cars. Thay was loyal to their employer due to fact their pay checks was late (oh, many times), many were forced to take a loan(!) from bank to pay bills while waiting for pay chacks to arrive. But they still stayed and fought.
      Why? Becouse they believed in Saab.

      I will always be a Saab fan, who knows what to expect of a Saab car and never turn into Saab fanatic who will gladly buy whatever rolls out from factory as long as it has word “saab” on its front.

      • “Burned for brand and there is a piece of ppl’s souls built in those cars. ”

        And it shows!

        That is why my wife and I own three Saabs now, despite Anna’s lack of a driver’s license.

        A big ‘thank you!’ from me to you and your colleagues!

        • You make a good point Rune. Lettting a driver’s license (or lack thereof) get in the way of enjoying SAABs would not be in the SAAB spirit.

    • If you look at what is going around in the world right now you will notice that there is a massive asset grab going on between the east and the west. Battle lines are being drawn for a change in the global dynamic in the next five years.

      This intellectual property and tech will likely end up in China after the two sides close rank. I cannot help but wonder if Sweden is trying to get in good with the likely leaders of the remainder of the 21st century.

  20. This is the reason why I don’t trust NEVS (at least yet).

    Things always go astray.

    I always think back to the Press Conference back in ’89 when Saab-Scania and GM announced their collaboration on Saab Automobile. I think of all the promises GM made (about collaborating on vehicle electronics, keeping Malmo and the Finland factories open, keeping Saab’s Swedish identity, competing successfully in the luxury segment, and being pro-European when operating in Europe), and how they were broken.
    Link to press conference here:

    But I understand times changed, the economy changed, GM changed. But one thing GM (and Spyker) did do, is reach out to the fans. They made time for a quick interview, they made it clear from the beginning their intent, they actually wanted old buyers to buy the cars. They gave worthwhile press conferences.

    Now fastforward to NEVS, they have not made any meaningful communication in the press conference (unlike GM and Spyker). They didn’t do anything other than what was absolutely required. The door was completely shut compared to Spyker (and even GM somewhat). My point is, they didn’t even acknowledge the fans exist. That is a hard pill to swallow. I know it has only been a week since the announcement, but I can’t believe NEVS hasn’t even come out to say a single word to us, or let anyone know their goodwill towards our brand. I feel left so cold thinking about it. Its like they don’t even care about Saab’s accomplishments, or the hard work we’ve done with over 60 years of experience, the turbocharging technology that most brands STILL don’t have (or at least without lag like us), or the community we built.

    That hurts.

    • +1

      Thats coz they bought the tech and not the right to use the name. It’ll all go pear shaped in two years time and the whole ‘show’ will be moved to China. Its obvious.

      Saab died on 13 June 2012 IMO but Im not gonna let that stop me getting another. 🙂

    • I think Saab is just convenient stepping stone for NEVS. A pawn in a much bigger game plan you might say?
      That’s probably why Saab’s history, it’s customer base and it’s fans mean so little to it at this point.

  21. Sorry to follwo the debacle about can or can not. One of my employees on the US West Coast took me to the local Tesla store more than 2 years ago to test the fully electric Roadster and what a thrill ride. After the test ride she immediately paid down a few tousand dollars to reserve the Sedan that comes out in June. She is a mom with kids and most of her every day driving is in the city. I am attaching Teslas latest presee release that she send me, so her Honda Accord retires in a months time.

  22. I just wondered what happened to that test fleet of SportCombi 9-3s that were intended to be built. There were even reports on a special section or compartment of the production facilities in Trollhättan that was dedicated to the production of that fleet. Will this be taken up by NEVS?

    Apart from that, I think we will have to wait and see. And remember all those bold statements of Mr Holmqvist in a year from now.

    • What else? This must be the basis of the car that NEVS wants to release first. 35 kWh battery etc. Hopefully, they find a more powerful battery till release.

      • At one point we were visiting Saabs R&D, it was some sort of activity for that day due to production stop, and we ended up in “EV department”. I could see several 9-3 and couple of 9-5, being “worked upon”.
        In those 9-3’s there was no middle rear seat. In its place was a battery. So practicaly those 9-3’s were 4-seaters.

  23. Maybe VM is just a financial cowboy who rides into town and saves it from the claws of bad guys, and maybe he just wasn’t the right man to run it after the save, but one thing is obvious all the time. He has a passion for cars very much like the passion that existed in the company of Saab.
    That passion, that, spirit wasn’t built into the walls of the factory, but existed in the people who worked there.
    My fear is that the best of the key-people, the leading engineers, the hearts of Saab, has found other challenges elsewhere, and are not so willing to return and put their souls on the line for something that only looks like a politically correct businessplan, made by suits, and not so much more than that.
    The owners of NEVS may have some admirable overall passion for enviroment, but where is the passion of cars as a concept, as objects for design and construction, I ask myself.
    If there is a “saab-force”, it is with the workforce. And I think many of us now feels there is a serious disturbance in that force. 🙂
    But maybe there is a person in the background of NEVS that has invented a new flux-capacitor that will surprise us all and take us back to a future with exciting cars with hearts of electrickery…

  24. Why do so many people believe that NEVS needs to provide a more detailed business plan, has no clue etc.? To me, the statements were clear:

    -First product will be the ready-to-go 9-3 ePower
    -Since the production is not to start in 3 months, but in 1.5 – 2 years, it follows that the ePower will undergo further modifications
    -Applying logic, one of the modifications will be better batteries, and as those are not available yet, NEVS will wait for them, hence the rather vague schedule of 1.5 – 2 years.

    -In the meantime, development of the 9-3 Phonix will be continued.

    • The fear is that 9-3 Phoenix will also be an EV with no engine what so ever. They could of course come to their senses after a few chats with the Saab engineers ones hired.
      Vol… has put in the biggest diesel they’ve got (2.4 L) in the new hybrid (D6). How’s that for saving the planet?

      PS. I miss the edit button, again.

      • What’s the problem with an engine-less Phoenix? Put in that 500 kWh battery (range 1200 miles, weight 150 kg, full recharge time at 170 kW DC outlets (sytem Mennekes, Combo variant favoured by EU car industry) 3 hours) that came on the market in 2014, and you are go. It does not exist? Maybe it will, maybe it won’t. I can’t tell, and you can’t either. The two things I know: billions are now spent on battery research, and NEVS must be up to something, since otherwise, they would not base their concept on a long-range car like the 9-3 Phoenix. Maybe they are going to use fuel cells and a 700 bar hydrogen carbon fiber tank?!

        • I thought Phoenix was going to be a premium (expensive) city car? Sure hope you’re right about long distance cruising capabilities. I doubt we’ll have it in two-three years, hence the desire for an engine to get us back home. As I’ve said before. It’s a Saab if it drives like a Saab and acts like a Saab. Don’t car what it runs on as long as it’s not too expensive.
          Hydrogen: I’m all in. All we need is some infrastructure to fill up the tank.

      • I have the same fears as you. With Phoenix, Saab might finally have had a platform that put it on equal footing with Audi, BMW etc., instead of having to try and upgrade second rate GM platforms that could never properly compete in the premium sector. Just imagine a road tester saying “With this innovative new hatchback, Saab need make no apologies about ride and handling or anything else in this sector. First rate”.
        But I guess with NEVS at the helm, we’ll never know?

    • RE; ” The brand Saab shared that is, between the defense group Saab, Scania and Saab Automobile. ”

      Therein lies the answer.

      We must not forget [and neither should NEVs]. that they have NOT bought Saab Automobile AB, what they have bought is assets that belonged to that Company, nothing More.

      They did not buy the Company out of administration, just the fire sale of the assets,

    • It’s SVD’s Jonas Fröberg writing this. Normally he is well informed on SAAB.

      What confuses me is that he also writes that the full deal might be in jeopardy on the naming rights. The Administrators and NEVS apparently do not believe a go-ahead from SAAB AB (defense) is necessary.

  25. Ok, since this is a free blog and diverging comments are welcome (sorry JP, couldn’t help a bit of sarcasm…) here’s my 2 cents on the actual content of this post.

    Unfortunately, I feel that Mr Holmquist is spot on. The SAAB we know is dead, it probably died well before dec19. But for a miracle that none of us can predict (i.e. M&M doing a deal to build conventional Saab cars), I don’t think SAAB can be revived.

    NEVS is an interesting venture, one that will be fascinating to watch. I’m personally not optimistic and don’t think it will be a success. To that extend I share Mr Holmquist’s opinion and certainly wouldn’t call it silly. But that’s not really relevant.

    However, the NEVS venture cannot be seen as a continuity of SAAB. Not in inspiration, not in market, not in volume, not in employment, not for the sub-contractors, not in brand awareness, not in it’s ‘swedishness’…etc.

    The curtain has fallen on SAAB and the play is over. We’re still in the same theatre and the curtain has been reopened, but make no mistake, this is a new play alltogether, not a new chapter in the SAAB play.


    • Good one, Carma !
      Took me a few moments to place it.

      Guess many have trouble recognizing a dead parrot when they see one.


  26. It may be too early to know, but NEVS may never reach out to SAAB fans. After all, it has been demonstrated that there are not enough of us to sustain a car company (or at least not enough of us willing to pay a high enough price for SAAB’s cars). If NEVS instead wants to reach out to a new market. the opinion held by a large number of SAAB fans that NEVS is crazy is probably not be of much interest to NEVS.

    • With all due respect, it has NOT been demonstrated that there wouldn’t be enough of us out there to buy a Saab, HAD they offered cars we COULD have purchased.
      Just look what they put out there -or should I say didn’t.

      a) No small/entry level model
      b) No small(er)/entry engines
      c) No Hi-Po engines to compete with the Germans on paper
      d) No proper hatchbacks in 20 years. The NG900/OG 9-3 could have been made so much better and then we lost even that. No 9-5 hatchback ever.
      e) No flagship models or premium interior in the OG 9-5 since GM took over
      f) NG 9-5 sold as sedan only and it was huge and much more expensive in comparison to the old one
      g) NG 9-3 SC way too short for a Saab wagon
      h) No Saab SUV in Europe
      i) No big diesels in Europe when everyone were buying them
      j) Adaptive chassis and 4WD a decade too late
      k) 9-3 TurboX half baked when it should have been a S4 rival
      l) Questionable marketing to say the least. No mentioning of reasons to buy a Saab. It was left for customers to ‘find out’ about the cars by accident (test drives sold them).

      I could go on for a long time.

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