I have no idea how I missed this one yesterday, but while checking on all things SAAB/NEVS this morning I came across another great piece by Just Auto. Simon Warburton has a great article there about NEVS talking to unions ahead of a 9-3 recruitment drive.
That’s right, NEVS says they are talking to unions concerning its 2013 9-3 production that will be its first electric vehicle.
This would seem to be very smart on their part to seek out the unions in advance as these same unions had been burned through the administration and bankruptcy. Don’t forget, the ink hasn’t dried on the Saab deal and the deal is expected to be completed next month. I have to say that NEVS is taking things very serious and as much as to all of us, it may seem that nothing is happening, this proves to be far from the truth.
Some important points from the article are:
Saab’s four main labour bodies were involved in laborious and sometimes bitter negotiations during the Swedish automaker’s slow plunge into bankruptcy that saw its near-4,000 members made redundant, but have now started discussions with the new operation.
It is not thought Saab’s largest union, IF Metall, representing around 1,400 former blue-collar workers is among the initial target of union negotiations, but NEVS is looking to recruit its white-collar colleagues in the engineering sector.
From those two points you can see that as much as there were bitter negotiations in the past, the unions seem willing to enter discussions with the new owners which is a good sign for everyone. One could argue that they have to enter said discussions but either way they are there and participating. The second point seems to make sense too although I wish it could be fast tracked. They are looking to recruit white collar workers in the engineering field before recruiting blue collar workers because the blue collar workers at this time will not be needed with no production starting just yet. The second point is where it becomes increasingly difficult to not lash out at the likes of GM and the Swedish Government for both parties lack of doing just about anything for Saab and the Swedish workers.
They clearly DO have a plan and they are following a carefully thought out plan and process of getting there as you can see from what NEVS are saying.
“At this stage, there is the management team and then engineers [while], further on when production starts, there obviously will be production capacity that we have to recruit. We don’t want to make estimates.”
As far as the ideas of NEVS purchasing SAAB to gut it and send production away, which to me never made sense especially after the purchase back of all of the Saab facilities, NEVS had this to say:
“We have a first class production facility here and we will use Japanese technology – development and production will be in Trollhattan, said the NEVS spokesman.
We all know that China will be a big part of their EV sales and it makes sense. China is a very large market and when you look at where China is headed in EV sales, it makes even more sense.
“We can start from day one. Our market is global, but initially we will focus on the Chinese market because of its progressive investment in infrastructure needed for electric vehicles, charging stations, battery stations. Their [China’s] solution for the future is nothing else than electrically-driven cars.”
NEVS seems to cleerly understand that it will need to mend fences with suppliers that were burned by the previous SAAB and it would appear that they are hard at work doing just that. To be fair, NEVS was not in control when SAAB went into administration or bankruptcy and should be viewed by any potential supplier as a completely new company and one that would make sense for them to do business with. If NEVS had not bought SAAB and was just a new company coming to do business, nobody in a good or bad economy would want to just turn business away.
“This is a new company being built and we will make the 9-3 model in the future,” said the NEVS spokesman.
“Of course we will need good relations with the suppliers – that is obvious.”
Although they will not put a figure on their production forecast, they do understand what is needed to get there. Of coarse this piece still leaves a lot of questions unanswered like anything other then EV’s but we’ve become accustomed to do the wait and see there and we have to continue for the time being.