There is only ONE possible future owner of SAAB Cars and that is SAAB AB

Skärmavbild 2015-01-18 kl. 11.04.21

Making the future cars SAFE and filled with the needed technologies needs SAAB Technologies AB, Picture above from SAAB AB

Once upon a time SAAB was on par or even in front of many competing brands. In the `70ies with the 99 Turbo Saab could strike a blow against BMW, Volvo and others. In a way one could say that cars where not so complicated then. Quite simple electrical systems and lack of what we today take for granted in a premium car. Saab took a big step forward in 1968 with the 99 model a car that more or less lived on through 900 all the way to 1994. That was possible through the great basic engineering that started in 1964 in Trollhättan. Chassis with dual wishbone configuration just like a Formula racer car. Disc brakes all around a sturdy rear axle with a Panhard stabilizing rod. All in all a great wide-shouldered Swede. That was in last millennium. Now mankind has taken giant leaps forward in various technologies, material, computers, communication and more.
A premium car of today must be able to compete with stuff that was unheard of in the old Saab heydays.

For the last 15 years I have been working for the Swedish National Defense Research Agency. I have seen the present and future technologies the great SAAB AB people have developed and has in the pipe for the future. Many of the areas they excel in has products and technologies that can be adopted to a modern car. As I see it the ONLY company that can supply cutting edge technologies for a future SAAB car is SAAB technologies.

Some technology areas where SAAB Technologies AB has great expertise and knowledge:

– Light weight constructions: Carbon fibre and plastics baked in autoclaves. This is crucial technologies for making efficient cars.
– Aerodynamics including active aerodynamic & flow control
– Laser technologies: SAAB AB has this knowledge, in targeting and visualization systems.
– Infrared sensors for making sense of the surrounding.
– Systems-of-Systems datafusion to understand the surrounding making refined information for the driver/pilot to support the decision making.
– Communication systems, between cars (near-field) and other longer range
– Making of specialized secure computer systems in the car.
– Safety systems, theft & burglary.
– Man-Machine-Interaction, making high advanced work environments for super efficient handling of the car, utilizing 3rd generation HUD etc.

– Still there is a lot of companies in Trollhättan with skilled engineers (but for how long)
– Lots of skilled blue-collar technicians in the wider Trollhättan region.

The list cold be made even longer. My botton line is the technologies above and more are crucial if one has the ambition to be competitive on the international car market.

SAAB AB should step in and take control of the “Car Division” again, the development cost will be quite low since many technologies can be take off the shelfs at home so to speak. Making a truly Swedish car with all the latent values that the brand SAAB stands for. A launch of a great car with peak technologies will support the efforts to sell Defense Technology Systems like the 39 Gripen as well.

I hope that SAAB Technologies owners sees the great possibilities in making truly HI-TECH cars, just like the others stuff in their advanced products portfolio.

Nevs #002; (future) model choices

After the photo session, Rikard and I had a brief chat with Frank Smit, Vehicle Program Manager to clarify a few things.

Nevs are currently targetting China. There is currently only one model on the line, and that is the 9-3 Aero 220 bhp sedan. There are no Biopower or XWD options. XWD adds weight and drives up fuel consumption and adds no clear benefit in warmer climates. Plus there is no ethanol framework in place in China. So two of our favorite Saab technologies have currently been shelved, but may resurface at a later date. Finally, there is no demand for diesel in China, so I guess we won’t be seeing the 1.9 TTiD again any time soon either. “We have to start somewhere”.

The upcoming facelift is designed in-house in Trollhättan. No names were named, but Frank emphasized that they are doing this locally.

This new and slightly improved Griffin comes with a greater number of non-GM parts. Frank pointed out that they have involved Orio when designing replacements, so Frank says a number of these components will fit older 9-3s and this should help ensure that parts for the 9-3 will be readily available in the future.

Oh, that convertible mentioned in one of the slides? There will be an EV version of that too. The EV versions no longer removes a third of the backseat and they will have similar weight distribution as their petrol cousins. “Around 50-50, with a little more weight added to the front probably. These are, after all, FWD.”

A few pictures after the jump.

Read moreNevs #002; (future) model choices

Trollhättan Could Get Busy

With the rumor of a very large sale of the first EV’s yesterday that could potentially be a whole year or more of production, believe it or not there is further speculation of increased production coming to the Trollhättan factory.

Today Simon Warburton at Just Auto has written that if given the green light to start producing the gasoline and diesel versions of the current 9-3, NEVS say they could be hiring as quickly as winter.

“We are evaluating the possibility to start production of the existing 9-3 model with the existing powertrain next summer,” a NEVS spokesman told just-auto from Sweden. “That would give us some benefits as we could start the recruitment process earlier than planned.”

There is nothing really new in the above statement from NEVS but that they could start recruiting as early as winter is a ray of hope to the many workers who have not found employment.

Read moreTrollhättan Could Get Busy

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