The Saab and the Beautiful

The other day I made some comments “on the side” about how much of a pity I think it is that Sweden’s Saab went ‘game over’. You may remember that the whole process of the Swedes snuffing it was much like an American soap series, in which the poor old grandpa keeps coming back, cliffhanger after cliffhanger, despite what his rotten relatives chuck at him.

In the end Saab finally went K.O. though, and the Dutch company that had bought it earlier, Spyker, had to seek its own future again. But guess what; now the soap continues! I don’t want to know the script writer for this season of The Saab and the Beautiful, because honestly, I think he hasn’t got a life! What a poor inspiration-deprived sod he is, pulling the company back from the dead yet again!

This time it isn’t a flamboyant CEO of a Dutch sports car manufacturer or the chain-smoking head of a Chinese manufacturer of cars, buses and trucks, but a Swede that used to be the head of Volvo, Karl-Erling Trogen. Truth be told, he is working for a bunch of Asians again, formed by a Japanese investment fund specialised in ‘green’ and a Chinese builder of energy plants. The consortium has named itself Nationale Electric Vehicle Sweden AB and its sole goal in life is to procure the stiff remains of what once was Saab. Including the brand rights.

NEVS isn’t aiming just at resurrecting Saab, it’s aiming to resurrect it as a manufacturer of Electric Vehicles, EVs, and as you can imagine the brand name of a world-famed European quality manufacturer of automobiles is quite a handy asset in that undertaking. But NEVS isn’t the only vulture out scavenging. Other interested parties include the also Chinese Chinese Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile – which is a different company from the Youngman Automobile Group that was in talks with Saab before – and Mahindra & Mahindra from India. In any case, Saab’s ownership seems to be moving east.

That is, unless GM blocks it all again. Not sure if they can actually still do that now that Saab has officially gone belly up, but I can’t imagine that all of a sudden they’re fine with their IP flowing to China or the like.

I guess this soap isn’t over yet.

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