I love travelling to Sweden, but I don’t have the words to describe how much I hate getting there and getting home.
Hats off to Singapore Airlines, though. I flew with four different airlines on my trip home (SAS, Lufthansa, Singapore and Virgin Blue) and Singapore are by far the best airline I’ve ever flown with. That’s not a long list, by the way, as I’m not a frequent traveller. But it’s Singapore first with clear blue-sky daylight between them and anyone else.
The wife and dog both recognised me when I got home, so that’s a good start…..
My second task now that I’m back home is to sell my Mazda MX-5. A guys is flying down from New South Wales on Saturday morning to look at it and I had several local enquiries via email while I was away, so it’s looking positive.
Hopefully I can start the 99 Turbo project pretty soon!
My first task now that I’m back home is to catch up on some of the Saab news going around. I was so busy in Germany and Sweden that I didn’t check my RSS Reader even once.
Hence, there’s plenty to cover…….
ctm has emailed me the news circulating in Sweden, stating that Augie Fabela has finally done what I figured he must do: taken up a significant stake in Saab. This was reported a little while ago, with the revelation earlier this month of the Solsken company taking a 42% interest in Saab.
Solsken is a company registered in Holland and owned by Fabela.
Back on September 5th we had the following ownership structure:
- ‘Solsken’ – 42%
- Alpraaz – 24%
- Eker Group – 24%
- Koenigsegg Auto – 10%
It appeared therefore that Fabela had bought out Mark Bishop and some shares from other owners.
The other thing of interest is the minority stake now owned by Beijing Automotive. Auto Motor and Sport have reported that stake to be 20% of the Koenigsegg Group, but I’m left wondering if that’s come about by way of purchasing ownership from existing owners, or whether they’ve injected capital and own 20% of the new entity?
That would be a much more desireable scenario to me.
I had a brief chat with Magnus Nordberg in Frankfurt. The name may not be familiar to all of you but his work should be.
Magnus is the business writer for the TTELA newspaper, which covers Trollhattan and surrounding areas, so he’s been plugged in to everything that’s been going on at Saab. I’ve got nothing but admiration for this quiet Swede, who seems to just go about his business and produce great reports on the Saab affair that are well balanced and full of access and insight.
Some of his more recent work:
Saab to win back customers – An interview piece with Saab’s chief marketing man, Knut Simonsson.
Simonsson sees Saab’s current situation with good doses of humor (the phrase all publicity is good publicity has been stretched too far with Saab) and realism. He believes there’s a lot of pent up demand for Saab’s new product, with people waiting anxiously on the sidelines for greater reassurance in the wake of the headlines written by much of the Swedish media.
Could be the perfect compromise – an editorial on the pressure facing Saab in the coming weeks (with regard to EIB loans, etc) and the recent potential addition of BAIC to Koenigsegg Group’s ownership register.
The automotive industry today is torn between a fear of falling into Chinese hands, and on the other hand, a desire to find an easy way to enter the huge Chinese market. When, as in Saab’s case, they get a Chinese owner of minority interests, it may be the perfect compromise.
and finally…… it seems the head of Beijing Automotive was in Trollhattan at the same time I was!! I don’t know what he was doing that night, but he certainly wasn’t bowling!
Employees from China Beijing Auto has been at Saab in Trollhattan in once a week. On Thursday the CEO was there. The purpose: See if there is technology to buy the company’s manufacturing operations in China.
– They are so far very pleased with what they’ve seen, “says Kjell ac Bergstrom, CEO of Saab’s subsidiary Powertrain Sweden, to TT.
…… The company has promised a minority stake in Koenigsegg Group, but to get the letter of intent to mature into a definitive agreement with spices Koenigsegg Saab Technologies.
– BAIC is prepared to invest what is needed, but want to get something in return. They have not gone into this just because it’s fun to support Trollhättan, “says Kjell ac Bergström.
……- In order to be able to develop its own brand, the access rights from a manufacturer like Saab, who can sell the licenses, “says Kjell ac Bergström.
GM and Saab are still negotiating about the technology owns Saab. It’s just that the Chinese will see. In addition, Saab has taken a lot of precautions.
– They may not take any photos, do not bring any copies, “says Kjell ac Bergström.
He is, like, the management of Saab and Koenigsegg Group, warmly welcomes the BAIC.
– The company feels very stable, with a leadership that has experience in Western car companies, “he says.