A lot has been said recently about production restart and some rumors have been floating around about future production but as always, NEVS has remained quiet to some extent. NEVS has always maintained that they will speak when there is something definite to talk about and they will not talk about rumors but real news. NEVS are not the only company out there like this, if we look back to trying to get any info from Mahindra when they were looking into Saab, they would say nothing. Even in Canada, we have Magna who have looked at buying car companies in the past and talk to no one about any plans except to say that they will not talk about rumors. My point being that this is not unusual in any way for a company to behave and especially not in the automotive world where you have seen former employees at North American manufacturers selling top secret information to other manufacturers.
What we do know is that there have been conversations with previous suppliers and that most of those discussions have been positive and it looks like a sooner then expected restart can possibly start in the summer. Is this aggressive to think this can happen that quickly? Personally I would think yes, but then what do we know about what is happening behind the scenes? We only know what we can confirm through press releases or discussions with NEVS themselves. For obvious reasons NEVS will not release future product development information until they have something to show us. Is it important to be secretive like this? Some would think no but you don’t have to look too far for a reason why it is important. Jason Castriota has a Phoenix based 9-3 that has never had photos released to the press yet there have been photos so close to the real thing released that some of his work is available to all for nothing and remember he hasn’t been paid in full for this design as it never made it to production. A designer is like an artist and their work is theirs and they are protective about such things being released or stolen but the manufacturer is even more protective when it comes to technologies and design.
What all of us can look to when trying to paddle through the sea of rumors and opinions of others is we can look to what they are doing and it doesn’t take much to see they are moving forward. There has been a constant stream of job positions coming up and positions being filled. In the last few days, I have seen three job postings come up and the one that has peaked my interest the most has been one of the positions posted today for two positions. These positions are for two full time staff in climate wind tunnel techniques, a brief description of this posting is as follows:
We are looking for people who want to work as a technician in our climate wind tunnel. Responsibilities include, among other things
– responsible for deploying different climatic conditions during testing
in climatic wind tunnel
– detailed plan testing
– responsible for preventive maintenance and technical expertise
on climate wind tunnel systems
– contact with both internal clients and external could
Qualifications We are looking for people who have – knowledge of the control system – experience in preparing specimens for the climate test – calibration of knowledge – used to working with a lot of customer contact – 3-year upper secondary school with electricity / technical school or equivalent experience – Driving license B
From the description of the job, it would seem this is a job for testing products and yes it will take time to get the testing techniques in order but in any case, this is very promising as it would seem they have a need to start testing soon as this is an “as soon as possible” starting dates for the selected employees.
Where does that leave us? Well we have a new Saab logo to the left that was recently released to give brand identity and is thankfully very close to what we had in the past, we also have a team that is being put together piece by piece, we have an agreement for a production facility to be built in China for the Chinese market (this will take time to build and get operational) and with the job postings today, I would have to think that we have a redesigned 9-3 in the process of being designed and I for one can’t wait to see what NEVS/SAAB have in store for us.
There are still questions to be answered about dealer networks and when we can expect to see traditional markets being restocked with Saab product and those answers will come. Before markets are added or replenished, they need a product to offer and they are working tirelessly to get this completed as it is not as easy as to just flip the switch and turn the production line on again.
Recently while speaking with Mikael from NEVS, Till asked the question about the possibility of using the SAAB Parts AB network to re-establish a dealer network for Saab Cars and the reply was that it can be an option, “because there is a big synergy between service and distribution.” So for those that say the dealer network is destroyed, they seem to have a possible solution for that as well. Also when asked if work had been completed on the redesign on the 9-3 Mikael answered “It will not be a complete redesign, but yes, there has been work done for the look of the car.” During their conversation, Mikael stressed that their market would be global and not limited at all to China.