Victor Muller addresses Saab workforce

Saab Chairman, Victor Muller, addressed the assembled Saab workforce at 12:30pm today.

UPDATE: Notes from Victor Muller’s address are now posted below.

Notes from the address by Victor Muller to Saab employees – Tuesday 17 May

– Victor began the address with a heartfelt apology to staff for having put them in this position. He mentioned a commitment made to Jan-Ake Jonsson when they made the Saab purchase that they would not let this company slide and he is very mindful of that commitment. Of course, this is a different situation to the purchase, however, because now Saab are their own masters.

– “I got us here. I’ll get us out”. There was a definite feeling of personal responsibility in the address.

– VM was heartened by the good news that Saab has received through this situation, the reviews of the Saab 9-4x from the drive event in Washington DC, in particular. Whilst it’s been a bad time for Saab, there have been encouraging things happening on the product side.

– In speaking about press coverage of the situation, VM said that whilst the press have applied a high level of scrutiny to Saab, the only reason they’ve been able to do this is because we gave them the opportunity to do so.

– On the collapse of the Hawtai deal, VM indicated that there were a number of potential suitors at the time the deal was done. Hawtai had great potential but the deal was ultimately thwarted by the regulatory structure and the challenges that would provide to getting the deal done in a timely manner. Indicated that Hawtai executives were heartbroken when they had to advise that they couldn’t complete the deal.

– The collapse of this deal was quite unfortunate, but it did give Saab the opportunity to learn from it and construct a better deal second time around.

– Pang Da will make for an incredibly good partner and their focus on sales and distribution should mean more business for Saab, plus the opportunity to execute parts of the deal straight away such as the commitment to purchase cars straight away. Buying cars is Pang Da’s business and does not require regulatory approval, which is the benefit of this deal for Saab at this time.

– It is too early to say what the medium-long term ramifications of the recent stoppage will be for Saab, but as well as challenges, there are also opportunities and the deal with Pang Da presents such opportunities.

– The required negotiations with suppliers, as well as supplier ramp-up time mean that it could take several weeks for production to recommence.

– VM is mindful of the fact that Saab operates in a glasshouse environment, where everyone is watching what we are doing. We have to take steps and build strength in the organisation so that we are protected from this sort of situation ever happening again.

– As with the sale process from GM, the recent situation has demonstrated the loyalty and commitment of Saab employees once again. VM expressed a profound gratitude for their loyalty and vowed to reward it with a healthier company. He will continue to source deals and partners that can assist in building stability into the Saab business.

– His final words: “Never, ever give up”

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31 Comments

    1. you´re absolutely right arild!
      there should be more like us, especially in germany, whre also the saab-drivers are very pessimistic.
      victor muller is the best ceo for this times!

  1. Victor Mueller is an incredible person.  I admire his “never give up” approach.  I hope everyone who is addicted to Saab keeps the faith.  As someone once said, “this too shall pass”.  Long live Saab! 

  2.  Interesting combination of character. I felt early on that VM was more show than substance, but it’s appearing more and more that he has the right stuff: charm, smarts, tenacity. The problem is which motto to use for him.

    Nulla tenaci invia est via

    or……

    Keep Calm and Carry on.

    Both fit him admirably,

  3. Dear Swade,
    as working for Saab in sales it is crutial for us to know what means production can start in several weeks. If this is 1-2 week we can survive but more than that part of our client will be gone forever and dealers will lose pace builted last year. 

    1. We can’t place a date on the schedule, Saabd.  That just invites criticism if it’s missed.  I’m optimistic, though, that the outer timeframe you mention can be achieved if everyone involved plays their part in a timely manner.  We are doing everything we can.

      1. Thanks. It is difficult for us seeing customers goes away. But after this I suggest VM make medals for us veterans of Saab wars:) 

  4.  Looking at these photos and reading  these words, I get a strong sense that Saab is a dedicated team rather than just a company. And I sense that Victor Muller has a strong sense of duty to the team members that he is in charge of. I don’t think he will ever let them down.

  5. For each day I get more and more convinced that Saab would not be in business today without Victor Muller. Even his worst sceptics must admire his tenacity and dedication. 

  6. I just hope it all turns out well, for the sake of all Saab employees and everyone involved.
    And for all those who are waiting to take delivery of their ordered new Saabs.
    Victor Muller shows great involvement here and he deserves some good press now.

    As they say on Saabs United: Griffin up! Saab up! VM up!

  7. There is a very positive test about the new 9-5 in one of Germany’s biggest papers tody, the “Süddeutsche Zeitung”, in the net via: “www.sueddeutsche.de/auto/2.220/saab-das-wunder-der-fliegenden-tonne-1.1098378”, that makes hope as well as the postive test about the new 9-4X

  8. I am happy that it seems as though VM takes a personal sense of responsibility to this matter. To many CEO’s (Like Everyone at GM), Saab was just a number on a piece of paper.

    I believe VM is passionate about the brand and compassionate about the people that work for the brand. His willingness to continue to try and make this work, instead of giving up is very commendable.

  9. Man, how much more can my respect for this man grow. Tenacity, perseverance, personal responsibility. The trolls will have less and less to say. If anyone lives by Nulla tenaci invia est via. It’s him. If anything, this situation has made us more and more a community. We share a feeling of what Saab means to us and what it stands for. We are many, we are Saab

  10. I hope it works out.  The new 9-5 is a phenomenal car and I can’t wait to start seeing them in ubiquity!

    Asher

  11. I really do hope that they fix negotiations with supplyers, all the car reviews that I’ve read on the 9-4X have been outstanding. All of them applauding their hard work and hopefully it’ll attract more people to SAAB. We must all help SAAB by showing these reviews to anyone we know who is shopping in the copact premium section. Help me and SAAB steal away customers from BMW, Audi, and Mercedes. 

  12. It’s really nice to see than VM is the best choice for Saab. I trust in VM from the beginning. He will he can bring Saab back on track. Full respect to him. Never, ever give up.

  13. My wife & I met Victor Muller at the SOC in 2010.. He is a very compassionate man who genuinely wants SAAB to grow to it’s full potential…His continued efforts to insure that growth are inspiring…Thanks Victor…
     

  14.  All good news today, but Saab needs to start selling cars. I have driven Saabs for over 20 years, and the new 9-5 is very nice, but it needs something to push buyers to choose it over other brands. I think they should do a 5 year 100,000 mile warranty. Look what it did for Hyundai. If they are going to be priced near BMW, Audi, and MB they are going to need to go the extra mile. It is a competitive market especially in the US. I want to buy a new Saab but I need to know it is a quality product, that will be reliable, from a company with a solid financial future. Hurry my 2004 9-5 has a lot of miles and I am ready …….Saab please deliver.

    1. David,

      I wanted to respond as a “newbie” to Saab that, yes, they do need to do something to get sales going in the U.S. The incentives on the new 9-5 did persuade me to purchase one at the end of March. It now has 2200 miles on it and it is performing wonderfully. I like having something unique but having not seen another single one on the road makes me sad, knowing that a good product is not selling. Hopefully with the 9-4 and 9-5 SC, there will be enough to attract more people to the showroom. Then the burden will be on the dealers to turn the prospects into customers.  

  15. Good to see, let’s get things going. We cannot afford this to go on for too long. Mr Muller has done a brilliant job. Even I was getting more and more negative about all this. Now, as the funding is in place I do hope all the suppliers have learned their lesson and will start supplying asap. No more upheavals please, let’s get going!

  16. Really Hope “This is it!” At least on the short term. Can´t wait until we get a confirmed start up date of the Trollhättan factory. I think this is a very important signal that must be sent to all stakeholders and especially the (potential) customers! 
     

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