To buy a new or near new car is most often a big economic transaction for most people/familes, some say investment but that might only apply to limited edition super cars that could increase in value.
Guess most because their owners does not know how to operate that often high powered vehicle. Fortunately that is not the case with most Saabs. They are bought to get around to work, relatives and on occasional longer trips. One important factor for most drivers is to have a reliable car that not only starts every day but aslo is repairable when the unenviable is occurring. Accidents, burglary, severe weather etc.
All parts of the vehicle must be able to be found within at the most a week preferably shorter. And when I say all parts I mean all parts 100% of the parts of a Saab car.
The car is not so advanced in the car world that this in any way should be a problem. It is not a Ferrari FXX made in 20 some pieces. It is a bulk made GM based car wit many world-wide GM parts like the EcoTech engine, hiper-strut suspension etc. This was all in my head before I drove to the press-confernce at ORIO.
I started the trip to ORIO in Stockholm at my S2AB Rally Garage, the 9-5 NG AERO was a little dirty from having been out in the country some days ago. The press conference was announced to start at 2:30 PM. I got there 20 minutes in advance after my one hour trip. When I got inside I was surprised that the factory tour was already in progress. Information given in advance was saying the tour was to take place after the meeting. I was even more surprised that the minister for financial markets Mr. Peter Norman. His department controls the 52 whole- or partial controlled government companies.
This questions came up from TV4 News: For how long will Saab be in the spare parts business? Norman- This is not a business sector the government will be in for a long time, we always have to see for the best for the taxpayers, now the company is in a development phase and we are not to bother or rock the boat them right now, so right now we have no plans the seel the company.
Right after this I had a chance to talk to Norman for a minute and I explained the views from the SaabsUnited international world and some of the issues we are concerned about. He listened but gave no answers. But now it is said and I guess SaabsUnited has once again acted at the very top level. Can not get any higher.
The press conference was the to take place but without Minister Norman. It started with a brief presentation by the Chairman of the Board of Directors Mr. Håkan Erixon. He did not tell anything that was not in the press info sent out in advance. Then Mr. Lennart Ståhl CEO entered the floor and gave his views on the new company ORIO. Broaden the customer base with the aim to have 1600-1800 clients delivering parts. E-commerce and new agreements with car shops. He mentioned the they still care a lot ab out Saab and lite the brand a lot.
Time for questions then: First dead silence, the I firred off my Saabsunited related questions. I asked what ORIOS´s key message to the world of 1 million Saab owners would be to show that the owners could trust ORIO. The answer was somewhat unclear but we should know that 95% of the parts where readily available. But I stressed that the key issue is the remaining 5% that makes cars not passing the inspections can not be driven safely etc. Of course 95% is a good number but 100% is a must to have a car running. So why not go get that 5% that is missing. No clear answer here unfortunately.
I also asked if it would be possible to cross reference all parts that are in common between the other GM cars 2003 and onwards to substitute “missing” parts with for example a XWD system from an Opel or Chevy. No answer on this question. The relation with NEVS was not discussed or mentioned, surprised me somewhat. Guess ORIO would be trying to be the first hand choice for NEVS upcoming product spare parts.NEVS is just now buying a lot of parts to the rampup of production in Trollhättan.
Another question was related to how ORIO controls the demand of spare parts. Since a local shop with a broken down customer car with lets say a faulty vacuum hose system for the automatic transmission in the OG 9-5 sees that the part is listed as not in stock or looking for new manufacturer. So what does the shop owner do? 1. Order a hose from ORIO that will never come. or 2. Searches scrap-yards on the web for hours (at the expense of the customer) in desperate hunt for a hose that just might be as faulty as the on in true customers car. Well the latter and this issue the will go unnoticed by ORIO. ORIO needs to get their ears to the ground and listen what is really going on out there if the do not do it yet.
The bottom line is to get the message to ORIO on the DEMAND for specific parts. That demand must apparently be in such quantities so ORIO sees a business opportunity. But do they know what owners are willing to pay for a specific part making the car road legal/safe/ etc.? Saab owners of more recent year models is to my experience on the average quite well off with good incomes. They just might have a higher point when they scream and refuse the asked price for a part. Is this something ORIO has control over or should i say knowledge about?
Bottom line and end of this posting: ORIO says that they can deliver 95-96% of all the parts numbers. That is a fine figure but NOT good enough we have heard this number for some time now and apparently there is no economic incentives to source the missing 5%. So what should the Saab owners incentive be to keep a car that potentially is risking not to be fixed one time in twenty. I fear it si even worse, with statistics and numbers anything can be proven right. But lets make this mind game, take away all the parts that has a part number but is a standardized part m-size bolt, nuts, washers, cables, etc.etc. I would like to se the new percentage figure having subtracted those parts. But let us also subtract every GM part that can be scouted out of the Generals warehouse. What would then be the number? I do ot even dare to guess. But ORIO does not have to guess they must know this and I believe that is fair and square that the figure could be told so we know what the reality looks like. Why not also post a list of parts that are not stocked any more.
So is the economy of ORIO the issue here is so how can we help out getting things right. I have been thinking about a crazy idea. Why not start an owners co-op with ORIO. Saab owners sign up and pay a fee of lets say 1000 Dollars. That could support production of the percentage of parts missing. Then when the customer needs a spare he or she has already paid up to 1000 dollars or less in many cases. It might be a longshot but I believe that we have to think in dramatical new ways to keep the Saab cars running on the roads. SaabsUnited wishes ORIO best of luck getting up tp the 100% level. That is the only acceptable level and that level must be reached ASAP.