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.