I’m a regular reader of many automotive columnists and this week’s Rants entry from the AutoExtremist caught my eye. The article is actually about Toyota and the troubles they’ve suffered in the last few years – some of which were self-inflicted and some of which stemmed from natural disasters.
In talking about the focus needed for success, he mentions the following:
…..there are two ways to arrive at that profitability. The right way, and the wrong way.
The wrong way is to lose your focus, churn out products that lack integrity and aren’t true to your mission, and push for short-term profits above everything else. The companies that choose that path ….. suffer deep consequences for their shortsightedness and loss of focus.
The right way is to build outstanding machines, first and foremost. Vehicles that bristle with leading-edge design and exceptional, innovative engineering that are built with integrity and just the right amount of connectivity. Vehicles attuned to customers’ needs and wants yet imbued with the manufacturer’s personality and above all else are flat-out fun to drive.
Much has been made of our desire to build Saab Saabs once again and it’s something we’re very much on the road to doing. We’re extremely proud of the vehicles that we developed after our former owners renewed their attention on us back in 2005 (when the Aero-X was developed, the revealed in 2006).
But were very excited indeed about the opportunity to show off what we’ve been able to do on our own, with the replacement for the Saab 9-3. Reading the AutoExtremist column earlier today got me thinking more about that. Everything he mentions in that final paragraph above has been a focus in the development of this car and I guess you could say our current circumstances tend to focus your attention on what could be – if things go the way we think they should.
We don’t want to be Toyota sized, or anyone-else-sized for that matter. We just want to build the best damn Saabs we can and sell them to happy customers.
To quote another favourite AutoExtremist saying of mine: the car industry is, has always been, and always will be about one thing – the product.