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.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Love, hate and bullets - today's pick from the Swedish media

Seems like Expressen had a talk with Castriota at the Geneva Motor Show:

He is Saab's new face
Jason Castriota, chief designer of the new - independent – Saab, has presented his first work. In the concept PhoeniX he combines both history and future, in a totally new way.
- Previously, the Saab concept cars fell very much within what was established as Saab. Now we must learn to think outside the box, and with PhoeniX, we have certainly succeeded," says Castriota proud.

This is the first time Saab displays a car completely signed by the new designer, who took office barely a year ago. Then the development of the new Saab 9-3 was already in full swing, but Castriota did not like what he saw.

Love or hate
- The new 9-3 was really intended as a pure GM product, but we must be innovative and think differently. It's something I want to show with the PhoeniX concept. It should engage, there is no room for gray areas. Love it or hate it," says Castriota determined.
At Saab being head of design however means much more than just hold the pen. There are plenty to do within the walls of Saab.

- I was surprised by Saab's bureaucracy when I joined the company. We have a challenge ahead of us to make Saab smaller internally, but growing. Above all, I struggle to integrate design and development into each other.

Although the new job is located in Trollhättan Jason Castriota lives in New York. However, he sees no problems with the integration of the Scandinavian design in future models.

Passion for the job
- My entire career has been more or less consisted of consulting, but I have a passion for Saab and sees the job as a challenge. Neither Victor Muller, Jan Åke Jonsson or I live in Trollhättan, but I’m there at least once a month. We are a modern company, and the PhoeniX is actually completely digitally designed. So it does not matter if I'm sitting in New York or Trollhättan.
However, he does not see himself as Saab's savior, rather as part of an elite group that together will ensure the future of Saab. And the future is at Saab he says, even for himself.

Over to one of the other new faces around Saab: Dagens Industri’s web edition writes that Vladimir Antonov’s armoured car saves him:

Armored car saved Vladimir Antonov
That the much discussed Saab buyer Vladimir Antonov’s father - Alexander Antonov - was shot in 2009 has been well known for a long while. What few know is that even the son suffered a similar attack the same year. He was saved, however, by his armored car, the newspaper Dagens Industri writes.
The family Antonov’s reputation has not been the best, rumors of criminal links was said to have been a compelling factor behind GM’s refused to sell Saab directly to Vladimir Antonov.
In a recently published book it is revealed that Vladimir Antonov was close to being killed in 2009. When he stopped at a red light in Moscow in 2009, a car pulled up alongside him. Antonov threw himself down on the floor, and heard the bullets patter into the car.
"I survived because my car was armored," Vladminir Antonov says to the book's author, TV4 journalist Jens B Nordström.
According to DI, Antonov said that the attack was done by the same gang who fired at his father - who, although he was hit by five shots, survived. The underlying motive would have been an attempt to take over the family business group Convers Group.

It should be noted that the rumors of criminal links have been proven wrong by at least to seperate investigations.