Those last few days have been (again) very challenging for a Saab fan. It almost feels like we have been there before – no production, wages postponed, appeal for reconstruction first denied and then granted, even spiced with the brand name issue. From reactions in comments and elsewhere on the net I can see that many fans feel like being in a deja vu right now. But even if I can understand that in some way I tend to disagree. Let me put my thoughts into a few lines. Not so much as a vast editorial, more as food for thought before the weekend.
From all that we have learned from various sources a solution to the financial problems combined with a change in ownership is really that near. Obviously the Vänersborg court also saw that. We should also not forget that the vast majority of suppliers still stay calm. NEVS obviously gained some trust here by giving them some insight in the process. This must not have been easy, especially because of the bad experience some of the suppliers had before. So in terms of a solution being near I would give NEVS the benefit of doubt here.
Another issue that popped up today are the rights to use the name Saab for the cars built in Trollhättan. Saab AB obviously decided to cancel the agreement with NEVS. They did not give any insight in the reasons they had for this but one can imagine a few: it could be a try to avoid being associated with the troubles NEVS is in or even a try to take some influence in the things that are going on. We also do not know if this is a final decision or if the agreement can be revived once NEVS is back in calm waters. In the end it does not really matter. The decision is there so I asked myself what this would mean. And even if I know about the rich history of Saab Automobile and I am hooked on the iconic Saab brand I don’t think that not having the name rights nessesarily means the end of NEVS. Honestly, if I can still drive those fabulous cars that I love I would rather deal with a new name than with a name right owner who threatens to withdraw the rights in any turbulence.
Some may say that the name is one of the key values in Saab/NEVS. But is this really the case? When it comes to cars the name Saab has taken quite a few hard hits through all the trouble, bankrupcy and absence on the market. We were all pretty clear that it needs quite some marketing to get Saab back to proper sales when new models come out. I even dare to wonder if if would take so much more effort to establish a new name than polishing up the Saab name. Don’t get me wrong, for romantic reasons I would prefer to drive cars named Saab for the rest of my life but if the car is still made by the same company, with the same philosophy I would still buy it. And there are quite a few names that could even give us fanatics a cozy feeling. Griffin for example.
Enjoy your weekend, enjoy your Saab.