Saab’s management team cleared of all charges

Sveriges Radio reports that all three defendants were found not guilty.

Their extensive coverage of the case can be found here.

Some of the things discussed:

  • Geers signed a contract using the signature of Saab Parts’ CEO. The CEO later said he had no recollection of giving his permission, but recanted when Geers produced an e-mail asking for said permission
  • Saab received payment in advance for a dealership deal struck in Ukraine. The prosecutor asked if Antonov orchestrated this payout. (never mind that Riksgälden at the time had approved Antonov)
  • Did the management team mislead suppliers, creditors and the public by not admitting how bad the situation was?
  • The prosecutor spent considerable time on dwelling on the previous court case, rehashing the same arguments that won him no favors the last round. Surely an odd thing to do, but some people cannot help themselves I suppose.

I have been tempted to provide a full translation of Victor Jensen’s superb reporting, but I have unfortunately not have had the time. In addition, the prosecutor comes off looking like a complete ass, so I feared the SR reporting may have been biased. E.g. at one point Muller is quoted as saying (addressing the prosecutor) “if you are coming after me, you better be prepared!” (said in disgust several days into the prosecutor’s expensive fishing trip). The prosecutor then wanted to know if Victor was threatening him…

I have in the past hinted that the prosecutor is not playing with a full deck of cards. I stand by my original assessment. At the time I thought the prosecutor wanted a win in a high profile case so he would get promoted into a political career of sorts. I now believe that a win is not really required for that to happen. Good things happen to incompetent men.

On a more positive note, Victor Muller remarked, on the last day of the trial, that former employees had gathered in the Saab museum for an evening meal with both Jan-Åke and Victor invited. He was grateful for the show of support and hinted that it is unusual for former employees to do such things on the trail of a bankruptcy.

17 thoughts on “Saab’s management team cleared of all charges”

  1. LOL “Good things happen to incompetent men.” — so true.
    But, in this case, I am just happy that bad things did not happen to good, competent men.

    • They were more competent then you could think off. Where does your idea come from that these three persons were incompetent?

      • You misunderstood my post. I was saying the three were “good, competent men” and I was happy with the outcome. The incompetent man was the prosecutor.

  2. I must say that now, coming to SU, I feel like I am kind of going to the graveyard to visit the SAAB tombstone. I have submitted a couple of things to be published concerning interesting Saabs either for sale or just for fun, which I think would make this site less depressing to visit. But those have not been published. Why not?

    • Exactly. There’s several good Saab related sites, but only this one seems to be dead. Every other keep posting things we wanna see.
      I really liked SU in the past, but nowadays it’s just nothing here, very badly managed.

    • As previous webmaster of SU, and the one who set up the “Contribute” system here, I feel I need to adress this. I left the position as webmaster here back in January. The board of Saabklubben has appointed a temporary webmaster, who can approve contributed posts here. The moderators may also be able to do this (I don’t remember).

      When I left my position, I made it clear to the board of Saabklubben that SU needs and deserves attention. I don’t know what the current webmaster is doing (and not doing), but feel free to contact him directly at [email protected] regarding this.

  3. With the SAAB affair,it appears that the performance of the Swedish bureaucracy has been consistent from start to finish.

  4. That is perfect news for all three who have done so much for Saab and even for Sweden. That they now might continue there lives without the burden of eventually been hit by another court case.

  5. Justice is slow…and I thought things took forever in the U.S. Wow. I was just driving my 9-5 this morning when I dropped my child off at a friend’s house. On the way home, I was again musing about how beautiful this car still is—-and what a great driving experience too. It’s such a horrible thing that Saab didn’t land with better owners who had more than a nickle in their pocket. And it’s sad that at the very end, Saab was erased by NEVS. What a rotten way to go out. I would have preferred the end to be the Mullermobiles.

    • Angelo, I was thinking the same thing just the other day. A great all round car, the OG 9-5 has a more upright seating position and more erect windshield than most cars. That combined with an engine with a long SAAB heritage, make the 9-5 much more the successor to the classic 900 than the lower profile GM powered NG 9-3 could ever be. The 9-5 shows its age when it comes to interior noise, and the more powerful versions could easily pull the higher top gear a six speed manual could have offered, but my 1997 still looks good and drives well. And despite its age, it continues to be trouble free. Normally, I would have upgraded by now, but I still enjoy this car and with nothing new like it to buy I don’t have any urge to replace it. So Angelo, we will keep enjoying these cars at least a while longer, fortunate to have experienced something most people never new existed. If only they had, things may have gone much differently.

      • The sixth gear may perhaps offer improved fuel economy, but I miss my old 9000 where a gear change was a rare event. Its 2.3T engine could manage pulling the fifth gear from around 40 kph while keeping up pace with lesser cars (before the turbo kicks in and leaves all others in the dust).

        My wife’s 2012 9-3 1.9 TTiD has plenty of torque, but I change gears so often I nearly end up suffering from RSI. I now realize why people keep asking me why I didn’t spring for an automatic…

        • Interesting comment about the 9000 Rune. My 9-5 is rated at 260 hp. A 9000 I owned was rated 40 or 50 hp below that but was noticeably quicker. I suppose the weight of new systems and what seems to be tamer engine management (probably to cure the extreme torque steer exhibited by the most powerful 9000 turbos) are at ;east partly responsible, but I am surprised that that much more horsepower doesn’t give my 9-5 some of the edge of that 9000.

          • I do not know the specs by heart, but yes, weight feels like it is a heavy part of that equation. 🙂 As for the engine mgmt software, the 9000 still had a good old fashion throttle cable. Even the cruise control was cable operated. There was little or no lag present. Passing cars (like five or seven in a row with the odd truck or two thrown into the mix) was a breeze. I keep telling people that my favorite moment as a driver was when I passed a fellow 9000 CS (I had a CSE, and I believe the other was “just” a CS) who employed a similar driving pattern as me. We synchronized for a bit and kept perfect pace. I was only pulled over once in the 9000, apparently the cops needed to remind me the speed limit was 90 kph and “not 100” (sensing somebody latching onto my tail made me wary of getting back to normal cruising speed, but I did not tell the officer that). They let me off with a warning.

            I spoke with a Saab workshop trainer two years ago, and he explained that the new mgmt software ensures fuel economy and low emissions. As a result, you get some lag while the engine software figures out what is what. He was busily perfecting his own engine mapping, collecting data on every drive and gradually adjusting every parameter to get a personalized tune just right for him.

            That the 9000 did not sell more, especially the hatchback, is a mystery to me.

            BTW: this year’s saab festival… The 9000 and the Talladega run will be the main topics! I doubt I will be in attendance all days, but we will try to make it there at least once (probably on the Saturday).

  6. Entirely agree with Angelo and 3Cyl. The 9-5 is a great car. My 2001 is closing in n 300,000kms but still runs beautifully, plus it’s a timeless design that has aged gracefully.

    • I must be lucky. On the speedometer in my 9-5 2007 it reads less than 140,000 kms. I confirm; runs beautifully, especially on long tours.

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