My own reflections on today's positive news……

It’s a strange feeling, to celebrate entering a process that most companies would prefer to avoid. However, it gives you an idea as to how beaten down Saab has been in the public’s mind (and in our own, to some extent) when I tell you that there were, indeed, some small celebrations here today after the court in Gothenburg approved our appeal and granted us ‘reorganisation’ status.

For us as a company, it means that actions against us by unions and creditors are on hold (or withdrawn) whilst we reorganise our operations. It means that we have a stable climate in which we can get our house in order, organise our operations and plan for a re-start of production in an orderly manner without having to fend off arrows from so many different directions.

For our staff, who have done it tough in the last month but have still turned up for work and done whatever they could to keep things going, it means some welcome financial relief.

For our other stakeholders, who have supported us so much in some pretty dark times, I hope that it’s the light at the end of the tunnel getting a little bit brighter. We have a road map for where we’re going and today’s decision will be of great assistance in getting there.

For me personally, and I think for many others as well, there is the realisation that whilst this decision is a positive outcome (it beats the hell out of the alternative), it also means that the real work for Saab begins now (again). This decision gives us some space and some calmer waters in which to operate, but there’s still a hell of a lot of work to be done in order to bring this company around.

We have to negotiate with, and then pay, our suppliers. We have to get production up and running so that we can supply our distributors. We have to reorganise the company so that it’s more efficient and effective. We have to communicate our message effectively whilst giving the papers nothing to write about.

All of that’s going to require a lot of work, but I know that our people are up to the task. Today there was a brief moment where we could feel some relief, but the processes that will underpin our internal reorganisation are already in motion and this is where the real work begins.

I was chatting with a colleague this morning, and he likened this whole drama to a never-ending movie, with all its ups and downs, underdogs, villains and near-death experiences. We both agreed that it would be nice to write the final scene now, one where the main characters go off into the sunset to lead a normal, outwardly boring existence doing whatever it is that they do.

We design and build great Swedish cars. It’d be so wonderful to get back to doing just that.

If you haven’t done so yet, I’d recommend that you read In Saab’s Corner – a series of posts I did a few weeks ago outlining the many things this company has got going for it. We have a lot to share with the world and we can’t wait to do it.

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24 Comments

  1. Agreed. And by the way, the book on your desk with the green cover, speaks very well about all things Saab. We have a copy here at the dealership. Maybe more can be shed on it’s contents. Coincides well with the good news.   

  2. Swade,
    I have been a fan since your very early Trollhattan days in Tasmania. I start my day in Montreal, pretty much every day, with a visit to your web site because of your passion for the brand.
    Come to think of it, I probably bought a SportCombi 2006 because of you. This was my 40th birthday gift, …, to myself!
    The job of rebuilding will be colossal, e.g. I need a new key fob for my car. They are fetching more than 500 USD on Ebay.ca and the dealers have 2000 pcs back ordered in Canada alone. No availability date from Saab. I know that you know, the real reason for this and you probably cannot publicly state why, but I hope your colleagues handling suppliers and the distribution channel get back on their feet quickly.
    I was looking with envy to a 9-3x or a 9-5 SportCombi, but with this type of very basic support lacking, it is going to be hard not to look at Audi or MB for my next wagon.
    I left a message at SCNA website 10 days ago, no response there.
    Saab Canada doesn’t have a place to leave messages.
    Lots of work ahead indeed. Best of luck
    FB

    1. Francois,
      Give these guys a try.

      http://www.remote-superstore.com/webstore/index.php?cat_path=37

      Your comment though about very basic support lacking, in fairness, Saab was handcuffed when it comes down to providing such things. It in my mind was a negotiating tool used by all suppliers to not supply even the most basic of parts until this was all resolved and it will take some time still to gets parts up and running to replace the orders already in. You say Canada doesn’t have a place to leave messages, send me messages, I know it’s not my job, but if you can’t find a part and I can help I will. I’m sure if Audi or MB were going through something like Saab has just gone through, you wouldn’t find a sales manager on the other side of the country offering to help you. Please don’t mistake my tone, your comments do not upset me at all and I totally get where you are coming from, I just want you to know that there are people out there that will at the very least, try to get you answers and obviously Swade can’t always step in and help from Australia and or Sweden. I hope the link I provided will help and please let people know if it does.

      Jason Powell
      Sales Manager 
      Springman’s Saab-Surrey, BC

  3. I’m simply overjoyed this morning. I don’t know what to say except that I’m looking forward to new generations of wonderful Saab cars and a prosperous future for Saab. And, I’m also looking forward to reading your Inside Saab articles for years to come. 🙂

  4. Any other decision of the court of appeal would have been strange since Saab cars right now better than before (I am talking about my all new 9-5, which I got in January this year!), so keep on working hard, best luck for you all!

  5. This is the best news since April. How ironic that our next platform is named The Phoenix. Like a bird rising out of the ashes.

    Apart from writing comments, I am sure many of us were also praying for an outcome. I recommend reading the Bible story of Ezekiel which tells of a fiery, wheeled chariot, emblazoned with a mythical creature, half eagle and half lion. This vehicle then takes off into the heavens.

    Well the Lord casts his favors on those who save a life. It is no coincidence that SAAB builds the World’s safest cars to save lives. I can attest to that. 

  6. I was hoping for the best but expecting the worst.  Glad my hope was stronger than my expectations!

    As VM and Steven said, there is no cause for celebrations as the real work starts now.  Again!  Wow, what a great company.

  7. Whew, I can finally breathe again – a little, anyway.  This is indeed good news and I hope it’s a new beginning for Saab.  We now need production to restart and get those awesome cars back on the market.  I just hope that Saab’s name hasn’t been irrevocably damaged by all of the bad news.  Saab needs to start a new marketing campaign to announce to the world that it is alive and kicking.

  8. Excited to see your desk, I can tell you’ve got a lot to get through over there and I bet you’re pretty excited to get started. Knowing what you know behind the scenes, you must be pretty damn optimistic (cautiously) about Saab’s next few months.

  9. Glad to hear that things so far have worked out. Now comes the hard work again of getting a clear and consistent message out there that Saab is alive and ready to do business. Steven, I have so much respect for you and everyone at Saab. You took your dream job at what most would say was the worse possible time, but I think this gives you the battle experience to do great things and Saab will be stronger because of it. The last 6 months have sucked, but the next 6 will be better. If you ever need anything, you know how to reach me.

  10. “We both agreed that it would be nice to write the final scene now, one where the main characters go off into the sunset to lead a normal, outwardly boring existence doing whatever it is that they do.” 

    I believe that is the ending to Harry Potter. It’s nice to know your a fan.The nine’s may just start being the number of lives Saab has.Just a thought. (smile)

  11. Swade,
    Well said.  I hope for the very best for Saab and for you.

    From a long time reader (TS, SU, now IS)
    ~Peter (currently) in Kyrgyzstan

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