This is more likely a post for industry, but it’s also an interesting thing for Saab enthusiasts who enjoy knowing some of the wider aspects of the business.
Saab has a great deal of expertise in many areas and a new operation, Saab Engineering Services, is seeking to offer that expertise to clients around the world. Saab, of course, is uniquely positioned to do this because we’re all in one fairly compact place. Clients can visit and they don’t have to travel to different countries in order to see both engineering and design, for example. This is a full-service automotive engineering and design business that’s being offered here, and the only other manufacturer with a similar level of competence all in one place is Porsche.
In recent times under our previous owner, Saab was the global center of excellence within General Motors for structural design, electronic management systems, engine turbocharging, transmissions and electric drivelines, chassis development and safety systems. Saab are now looking to combine that expertise with a new entrepreneurial spirit in the form of Saab Engineering Services.
SES is now offering up Saab’s expertise in vehicle integration, electronics, powertrain development, sheet metal, interior design, vehicle testing, analysis, thermal solutions, special vehicle development, prototyping and production engineering (Saab’s prototyping facility was one of the largest in the GM group).
That’s a lot of experience we’ve got to share and it makes good business sense to do so.
The man behind Saab Engineering Services is Per Lindberg. He was there when the whole enterprise started in 2009. Saab were looking to seperate from GM, which they knew would lead to some seasonal surplus engineering capacity in Trollhattan from time to time. Why not perform this work for others in need of that sort of expertise when our excess capacity allows?
The focus is on long term relationships that can benefit both parties in a true win/win situation. Clients will get a full service engineering and design solution that can take them from conception to industrialisation. From Saab’s point of view, it may be possible to not just earn income through providing engineering services. They can also potentially share purchasing with some engineering customers, thereby driving down parts costs considerably.
Achievements of the Saab engineering team – just over the last few years since the decision to separate from GM – include the following:
- Complete development of a working EV framework, electric motor and gearbox, control software, battery control and storage technology. The test fleet is now in production.
- Development of the Phoenix platform which is scalable for different segments from C to E segment, including new fuel tank technology which will be lighter and cheaper than existing plastic tanks, eXWD system and an all-new bespoke climate control system.
- Development of the IQon entertainment system.
Don’t let a 3-point list trick you into thinking it’s small. The items listed there are huge in automotive terms and generally require a great deal of time and money to develop. Saab Engineering has proven its efficiency in bringing these about in minimal time and all are destined for either testing (EV framework) or production (Phoenix and IQon) in the next few years.
The engineering business formally got underway last year (?) and already there’s a good number of clients in the books and a few more waiting in the wings. Some of them are household names in the automotive business, too, and very good potential customers and partners for Saab.
This is just another way that Saab is looking to expand its business and put its in-house knowledge base to good use.