We’ve all been hanging on the ‘what?’ for so long. We’re all fatigued due to the lack of visible, tangible progress in the potential sale of Saab Automobile.
I’d like to take a moment and think again about the ‘why?’
Why should the sale of Saab be allowed to proceed? Why doesn’t the company, like so many analysts out there, acknowledge that the light at the end of the tunnel is actually a train coming at 200mph? Why do we want to live, rather than pack our collective bags and move on?
Because we have a valid place in this industry, that’s why. Because we care about what we do and the way we do it, and we believe that enough people care about the same philosophy to ensure us a future in the marketplace. Because we believe 200% that we can make this work.
We have a great range of cars that are just one decision away from being produced. Not planned, but produced.
They’re the best cars we’ve ever built. They have better emissions than other full size, full power competitors. They have better design characteristics. They have fantastic build quality and the best thing about our vehicle range is that it’s only getting better.
The Saab 9-3 Griffin is the best 9-3 we’ve ever made – inside, outside and under the hood. It has a new full-power, full size diesel variant that will attract tax benefits in certain key markets due to it’s outstanding emissions figures. All that, with no sacrifice in cargo space or performance. No compromises.
The Saab 9-5 SportCombi is ready to complement the 9-5 Sedan as our flagship vehicle and the combi body is a welcome addition, especially in key European markets.
The Saab 9-4x is just plain outstanding. It’s been getting great reviews and we would love to be able to push this vehicle to its limits.
Read more about our vehicles here: In Saab’s Corner – Our vehicles.
We have incredible people. I arrived into a baptism of fire when I started with Saab in April this year. Day three of my employment coincided with a factory stoppage that essentially continues to this day. All this time, Saab people have continued to plan where they can, to develop product where they can. We’ve learned to do things under pressure, without budgets, without contractor support. We’ve done all of this because it’s been necessary to do it. We’ve done this because we want Saab to succeed.
The Saab dealer tours in Germany, Austria and France have reinforced to me what wonderful people we have at Saab. I’ve been so touched by the emails I’ve received from people, customers expressing their gratitude for these tours, expressing their admiration for the new vehicles and dealers expressing the joy that they had in representing the Saab brand to their customers again.
I’ve had other emails, too, from dealers concerned about their futures. I’m concerned for them, too, and I know that our executive team are concerned about them because they’re the backbone of our distribution network. Many of them have been associated with Saab for decades. They’re family, and we’re all doing it tough together.
One word that you could use to describe Saab people (aside from intelligent, talented and a bunch of others) is resilient. We believe in what we do and that belief gives us some strength to keep on working. Our company took on safety before the marketing mavens made it popular, before the lawmakers made it mandatory. Our company took on turbocharging when fuel was less than a fifth of the price that it is today.
We do some things because we have to. We do many things because it’s the right way, the Saab way.
Read more here: In Saab’s Corner – Factory and People
Saab is still a wonderful brand with a fantastic history and a global presence. We have been kicked around, but never broken. We still have a lot of people in our corner. We enjoy great support from both the enthusiast community and the motoring fraternity. People want to see us succeed.
Saab still has a brilliant engineering crew, innovative design staff and flexible manufacturing capacity.
Saab has fantastic plans in place for future vehicles and progressive technical partners on our side to make those plans a reality.
Right now our executive team are negotiating with our stakeholders and potential new owners to try and get an outcome that will satisfy everyone.
I sincerely hope that everything that can be done, is being done by all concerned. Saab will be a long-term commitment for whoever takes us on in the future, but we’ve got the tools and the plans in place to hold and build our place in this industry.
It’s easy to say we’re small, therefore we can’t make it. We believe that we can. With the right backing and the right partnerships in place, we can finish remodelling our business, build great Saab cars that find their market and build on that market for the future. We’ve already done a lot of work on those partnerships, all we need is the backing and the cooperation of those concerned to get things moving again.
There’s so much riding on this. The careers of so many good, talented people. The cars that are ready to go to market right now, and the cars that will come in the future.
As I’ve written many times before, I cannot imagine that a company with so much going for it could be left to die. It just doesn’t make any sense. We want to get this moving, and I sincerely hope that we can.
For those who haven’t seen them, I’d encourage you to read the full series of In Saab’s Corner articles, prepared back in September.