IMPORTANT NEWS: National Electric Vehicle Sweden has agreed to buy the assets of Saab Automobile and the sale is expected to be finalized during the summer.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

No reason to give up

This week Saab has once again run into production problems because of shortage of supplies. Saab is still negotiating with suppliers about payment and delivery terms. And problems keeping the production going non stop was expected since Saab use the just-in-time principle to produce cars and when one delivery is delayed or stopped due to on going negotiation with the supplier, the whole production line is affected. But there is no reason to give up. At least not according to two former Volvo executives.

The Swedish newspaper Göteborgs-Posten's online edtion has talked to several high ranking people in Swedish industry and asked them if they think Saab should call it quits. The answer is a clear NO.

Sören Gyll, who was CEO of Volvo from 1992 to 1997, notes that a lot of effort has been made to save Saab. It has of course raised the expectations.

"I do not think they should give up. They have spent so much time and attention on trying to find solutions and now have a responsibility to the employees, the dealers and the market," he tells GP.

When asked if it is possible to save Saab, Gyll says "I know too little about the situation to dare to have an opinion about that. But I think they should try once more, there are expectations that they will find a solution".

Sören Gyll, former CEO of Volvo, does not think Saab should give up

Gyll thinks that Saab needs a partner. "The volumes that Saab has are too small to keep an entire organization."

Peter Hanson, CEO of the Gothenburg Opera and previously working in the Volvo Group for 34 years, including as the Nordic Manager for Volvo Cars, says that it is inconceivable for him that Saab would give up now.

"I really do not think they should. The entire organization has shown a tremendous spirit during this difficult time. They have a lot in the pipeline and if it can just be brought to the market it will be good for Saab and good for Sweden," he says.

He mentions both the new Saab 9-5 Sedan and SportCOmbi but also the Saab 9-4X.

"Western Sweden needs vehicle production in Trollhättan. I do not think they should give up now and I would not accept it if they did".

PS: I apologize for the blunder in the head line that said "Now reason to give up"!