Apparently if I wait a few hours to write this, as I’d like to, then it would have to be approved first by whoever the court appoints as the bankruptcy administrator. Screw that.
Like many of you, I’m going through a whole range of dark emotions right now. There are several individuals and several companies that I’d like to have experience the sort of pain I’m sure all of my colleagues at Saab are experiencing at this moment. That’ll pass, though.
More than that, I’m just feeling a very simple and profound sadness.
Saab is a great company, full of great people, wonderful ideas and technology. We had some incredible things in the pipeline and it saddens me that those products may never be seen. We have the greatest fans and enthusiasts – I’d rank them second to no other automotive company in the world. I’d have loved to see people taking delivery of more 9-4x’s and the 9-5 SportCombi, not to mention the 9-3 replacement that we have under development.
I feel so bad for all of the wonderful people I’ve worked with. I’ve been writing about Saab for nearly seven years now and whilst I’ve poured plenty of heart and soul into this brand, I’m just a babe in the woods compared to most of my colleagues at Saab. There are hundreds, probably into the thousands, who have spent their entire careers designing and building these fantastic cars. Anyone who’s been to a Saab Festival in Sweden will know the kind of family atmosphere that exists around these events and that’s not because we’re simply a bunch of crazies who are into an oddball brand – it’s because the company IS as close to a big family as a large industrial concern can be. That spirit comes out in the people who work here and the people who own the cars.
I also feel bad for Trollhattan, a city I’ve come to appreciate and love since my first visit there in 2007. The one thing I’ve learned is that the city, more than anything else, is resilient. The Swedish approach to life makes it so. They prepare for tough times and whatever happens with Saab in the coming weeks, months and years, and despite the fact that the place may not be the same, I hope the people there bounce back and show their toughness.
I feel bad for Erik Carlsson, Stig Blomqvist, Per Eklund, Bjorn Envall and men and women of their era – all of the pioneers who created what we have today, and the guys at the Saab Museum who care for our heritage.
The easy thing to do right now is play the blame game. There are so many people/groups on my list right now it’s not funny. The saddest part about this whole tragedy is that it was all so very avoidable. What we’ve come to today, IMHO, is the culmination of a collection of short-sighted, ill-considered and opportunistic decisions. Some of them were made by Saab, some of them were made by people or companies outside of Saab. I truly believe that all of them were avoidable.
I can’t profess to know the full legal ramifications of today’s announcement. I heard a guy on Swedish Radio last week say that bankruptcy might not be the final ending for Saab and I would like to maintain some hope that there has been a company waiting in the wings for this to happen. I’d like to believe it, but I fear that today’s announcement and it’s consequences are as final as they appear.
For those asking ‘what happens next?’…… I’ll be seeking some guidance in that regard and will post what I can here on Inside Saab as information becomes available. As mentioned, future communications will all have to be approved by the administrator installed by the court. We will do what we can.
I think I can speak on behalf of my colleagues in thanking all of you for your support over the last months. It’s been a troubling time for everybody and I can’t help but think of the customers who have supported us and all of those who planned to do so in the near future.
For now, we all wait to learn what happens next and see where that takes us.