Saab Snippets – 100 Cars and Saab = ANA

Saab and ANA

Well, hasn’t there been some hoo-haa in the last few days, eh?

There was an article posted at Saabs United, written by Jorgen Trued, with a sensational headline saying “ANA Group Takes Down The Saab Flag!” (now changed) and it caused a reasonable sized storm in a teacup.

The claim – based on unlinked stories at TTELA and Swedish Radio – was that ANA were letting a number of people go (true) and the inference in the headline, and the included editorial, was that ANA would let their Saab business die (untrue).

“Today, the ANA Group’s connection to Saab is over”, it said.

Thankfully, a few other websites actually sought comment from ANA’s Joachim Lind and published the real story. I contacted Joachim tonight, to ask some questions myself and he simply pointed me to Saabblog.net, which was carrying his key quote.

ANA will keep the SAAB flag high for as long as there is a single SAAB left on the face of this planet. ANA is SAAB

Saabtala also did the right thing and sought a direct comment:

We have not taken down any SAAB flags but are infact in talks to buy some of the newly completed SAAB 9-3 Aeros from NEVS

ANA’s Saab business is less than what it was. We all know that. ANA is selling other brands now and quite appropriately, they’re giving marketing resources, showroom space and service space to those brands. That’s business. That Saab might be taking a back seat is perfectly understandable. To suggest they’re going to stop servicing the Saabs in their considerable local market(s) is more than just a little stretch of the truth, however. It always smelled a bit fishy.

So what’s the lesson here?

I editorialised plenty in my days writing about Saab. Editorials should be confined to opinions, however. If you’re going to include facts, confirm them. If you’re going to include a statement as definitive as “Today, the ANA Group’s connection to Saab is over”, make sure you get your story straight. If it means you’ve got to delay publishing your article while you wait for someone to call back, so be it.

The choice is pretty simple – confirm the facts and print the right story, or go out on a limb and look like a hero (if you’re right) or a knob (if you’re wrong).

Saabs United is a good website. Stuff like this is beneath them.

And well done to Saabtala and Saabblog.net!

——

Those 100 cars NEVS are ‘building’

Time for my own mea culpa

My opinion on NEVS has been pretty harsh for some time now, so when I read that they were completing 100 cars on the production line, I wondered why. And I wondered why in no uncertain terms:

I’m a little perplexed as to why they’ll spend money and time building more cars that are highly unlikely to sell.

The source stories online were a little mischievous in that they led readers to believe that production lines would be rolling again, etc. This was my main beef – why spend money on production staff to build 100 cars that were likely to be a very tough sell?

I’ve since had some contact with NEVS and found out the following in relation to this story:

  • It’s not a production re-start. The 100 cars are simply those that were completed and remained at NEVS. They were intended for China, but stayed in Sweden because the Qingdao deal fell through.
  • There will be a little work needed before they can sell them in Sweden (the cars were made for the Chinese market) but the work does not mean a production line re-start in any way.
  • As you can see from the quote from Joachim Lind, dealers in Sweden are already interested in taking the cars on.
  • The sales will raise some cash, which can go to reduce finance obligations and interest payments.
  • The cars will be sold as MY2014 vehicles but will carry a suitable discount to reflect this.

So there you go. It makes more sense than I first thought as there’s already interest in them and far less work involved in preparing them than was first hinted at.

Mea Culpa.

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30 Comments

  1. We are all looking for news, good or bad, to have some degree of resolution to this tiresome saga. The story may have been ill-advised, but the vigor comes from an emotional bond. I can’t be too hard on anyone that still has that spirit.

    1. Exactly.

      None of the people I know covering this stuff regularly are professionals. We all make errors to some degree. It’s just that he seems to be remarkably consistent at it and it’s becoming a real credibility problem for what is still essentially a good website. It’s harming relationships and it’s just poor form to be putting stuff out there that’s so inaccurate.

  2. I actually thought SU had shut done in January for it seemed to be gone for days when I happened to visit it. It’s a weird blog nowadays. There seems to be an emphasis on articles disguised as advertising for different companies and promotion of products, and a general bashing of everyone/everything that do not conform to the SU crews opinions on NEVS, Saab and the automotive industry. Fact (and reality) checks seems to be nonexistent, and what other media outlets and blogs report on the subject is of course wrong. There was a really weird post a few weeks ago (IIRC) where this “Trued” person (the one that thinks he knows everything about automotive technologies) spilled his opinion about the new Volvo XC90. It was just pathetic, and I think he got an appropriate response via the comments. The other person “Tim” (does he still own SU, or? I don’t get it) seems to have seriously inflated ego. It’s in their full right to do what they want with the blog and I know that the whole situation makes it hard to find things to write about, but it is still sad to see this sour and hostile attitude from the writers. To me it seems like they are just hanging on to it for some other reason than a genuine interest/knowledge about Saab/NEVS. and a desire to spread facts and form opinions based on reality. Maybe it is generating money in some way.

    1. I have to agree.
      I’m not bashing Trued or Tim but they seem represent a fairly singles sided part of the Saab community, at least that’s how they appear in posts.

      They are all about the “latest and greatest” and seem to consider anything older then three years of the production line as something else then “a daily driver”, hence not worth much and not worth writing about.

      I KNOW Jörgen has older Saabs but the articles about them are lacking, they have been mentioned but you could write so much about a full car restauration if you wanted to.

      Now it feels like Jörgen is promoting his company, other ventures/views while Tim has had enough of everything and really needs (a well earned because he has done a tremendous job, no question about that) a break from everything, find his motivation (which understandably could be hard considering everything) and get back “in the saddle” if that’s what he wants to.

      Because as of now, Tim just comes of as irritated and with a short fuse towards things or views he doesn’t agree with. I have had a “run-in” with him resulting in me leaving the site from being a daily reader and frequently commenting to deleting my account and giving up totally on both the site and the brand actually, I left and bought another brand.

      If I get the means and resources one day I would like to go back and get a older Saab and restore it but as of now I’m done with it. All it does for me is leave a bad aftertaste sadly.

      1. Till seems like a good guy. He is the German who produces the SU calendars, right?

        It’s true that Tim has a seriously over-inflated ego. Don’t want to waste time even discussing Trued. It seems Tim has left SU?

        Sad times for a, dare I say, historic SAAB website. It was really only brilliant under Swade’s care though — if we are to be honest.

  3. Trued is a dedicated Saab lover just like the rest of us. He holds the International NG 9-5 Facebook site pretty well stacked with information the last that I checked. Perhaps the true story might be that they did take down the flag and after they took heat for it put it back up and said they never mentioned those things to Tella, or whomever.

    Swade no need to give a Saab lover a hard time over this, the guy is trying to bring news to the people when NEVS inst saying jack Sh**! Nor is M&M.

    1. Am happy to see someone giving him some support, but I disagree with what you’re saying. Not once did I think his story was about the physical act of removing a flag from a flagpole and then reinstalling it. The flag was a metaphor.

      Bottom line – and just my opinion – his articles are irresponsible and ill-considered. He’s not helping SU or its readers, which should be his primary consideration.

      1. I’ve deleted my account there a couple of months ago. I’m still reading other bloggers though…:) That’s why I’m here.

  4. I have an account where I can publish articles over at SU (I mightn’t after this post). I have had it since Tim took over from Swade. I posted about 15 articles (see http://www.saabsunited.com/tag/brendan ) in the first couple of years, however the site drifted away from what I was interested in.

    I feel that any Saab news site needs to focus on the cars as news rather than the business. The news about the business is really a bit boring. I’m sure there’s a club event happening somewhere in the world every week of the year. There are people restoring Saabs. They could even create content. I was watching a TV show here in Australia where this guy passionate about HQ Holdens had managed to put together a couple of episodes for TV. He bought a HQ Monaro and was taking viewer feedback on restoration paths. He visited another bloke with a HQ Ute, HQ 2 door Monaro, HQ 4 door Monaro, HQ Kingswood and a HQ statesman (He’s almost got the lot!). He also talked about HQ engine options and upgrades. If someone can create content for HQs it shouldn’t be hard for Saabs.

    1. Ditto on what you say. Saabblog_dot_net and saabplanet_dot_com find plenty of interesting, Saab-related content to post every day. It helps keep the spirit alive and might even pique interest in others who don’t know what Saab is all about. If you go to bmwb.se, I think you’ll see where Tim and Trued are investing their time—plenty of daily articles there. Sad.

  5. Strange thing about Jörgens NG 9-5 FB site is that all since I´ve been a member you had to be an owner of a NG 9-5.
    Now. He sold his about a year ago so I guess his involvment has deminished a bit. It is rarely I check in on that group anymore but I go to the NG 9-5 Connection group instead. Much happier note and spirit in that group and you don´t have to own a NG 9-5 so more people can contribute and discuss things about their Saabs.

    Now. I feel just like Brendan. SU could be so much more about the cars and what people do with them and how we live with them.
    I thought Jörgen as a admin of the Facebook NG 9-5 club, would promote these kind of things as a SU-writer, but no. Yhere are so many things to be learned and shared about our cars that I feel would be discussed and promoted at SU.

    I miss stories about what happened about the PhoeniX Concept etc..

    By the way. There is a car company in Sweden now selling what I have to guess is JAJ-company car. Hirsched NG 9-5 Aero. Fully spec 2010. Beautiful car and it should have a story just like VM´s car had last summer.

    /Daniel

  6. The business side of Saab and the cars side of Saab can both yield exciting and informative articles, just as either can engender dross that would bore the pants off a dead badger.

    Swadeology is the first place I come to when I want to know what it is actually going on with Saab. Or indeed the machinations of Australian parliamentary democracy.

  7. Swade, could you use your connections to find out exactly how a MY14 9-3 and lets say a MY10 differentiate?
    All I keep hearing -via SU- is how there will be no more parts for newer Saabs in the future, but if the two are very similar and you don’t get into accidents I see no reason why you couldn’t pick up a Nevs assembled 9-3 as most engine parts should be identical to Opel’s anyway.

    Frankly I rather drive a 9-3 sedan for an other 10 years than some crazy expensive ‘get out of my way’ thing.

    1. According to SU and expert Trued, it’s all a mess with spare parts and you can’t use a Saab in your day-to-day life anymore… So stay clear of Saab! 🙂

      I have looked at a few test drives carried out be Swedish media about a year ago. Changes for the MY14 9-3 that are mentioned in those articles are electronics components, fuel tank, the front seats, and (of course) all the logotypes. About one hundred items changed.

      In December Orio AB (former Saab Parts AB) acquired all the tools located at suppliers and used for producing Saab spare parts for all existing Saab models. There is also an agreement between NEVS and Orio about spare parts for the 9-3 model produced by NEVS. It has also been stated in media that the plant in Trollhättan is constantly producing spare parts for Orio even during the current reconstruction.

      In fact, I don’t know of any issues in Sweden with spare parts. A friend of mine was hit from behind about 6 months ago in a MY05 9-3. Nothing serious (could drive the car until it was repaired a few weeks later). Had to change things like tail light, plastic covers, rear parking sensors, etc. No problem at all getting spares. Also heard the same about parts for the engine in the 9-3 and 9-5. I don’t know of any Saab workshops here in the souther part of Sweden that has stopped service Saabs.

      Obviously, it could be a different story in other countries. But then I guess it has always been since Saab was such a small brand outside Sweden.

      1. Thanks for the info Pingu. To get a bit more detailed I have a recollection that they were going to use the newer 2.0 T version -found in the NG 9-5- for MY12 9-3, so the question is which ones did Nevs put in last year?
        Don’t know if it makes a difference or not but if it’s not the same as the older one and there are vey Saab specific modifications to parts that need regular service (which I doubt), it could become a problem down the road.

        From the picture Tim posted last year I’m 99% certain that it’s the 9-5/Insignia turbo engine.

        1. NEVS bought a bunch of GM engines (I have seen figures of 2.000) from the Saab Automobile bankruptcy estate, and it’s those that are being used. Looking at pictures I agree with you that it looks a lot like the NG 9-5 engine.

      2. Pingu:

        Remarkably enough, SAAB Parts N. America was recently able to provide my daughter with a new bumper cover for her 2002 9-3 – a car that’s been out of production for 13 years. Admittedly, a lot more were made than of the NG9-5; still I am somewhat sceptical of the claim that parts are not available.

  8. Tim’s most recent post says it all from his point of view. “Its like a love life with no spark left in it… I’ve kept things going for 3 years since the bankruptcy out of principle and hope… but what was, was, and it was good and its not coming back, time to let go and move on.” On the one hand, I get it, He’s moved on to his BMW and why look back…OTOH, he was the guy who knocked everyone when they questioned NEVS business plan and constantly intimated that there were good things happened, but he couldn’t break any confidences. Either someone was feeding him a load of crap, or was living in never never land.

    1. Re; “Its like a love life with no spark left in it”……

      Well you would feel like that, if you don’t have a Saab any more…………………..

      1. Well I’ve picked up my first 9-5 ever today, a 2009 2.3t Griffin and I don’t have the feeling to take a risk. We still can find good Saab for a daily use. I keep the faith and I’m sure that Saab will be back soon. And Orio is the perfect partner. So keep calm

  9. 9-3 MY 2014 had a price tag saying 289900 sek if I recall correctly. Since the the belt halted in Trollhättan they have been on sale, and still are at asking prices around 25th but now I just found a company advertising at blocket.se asking 209900 sek for cars produced this year. Automatic transmission, aeros, 220 hp with leather interior. .. and still the three year full service included. Finally a tempting deal 🙂

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