• Sweden's news in English

Saab suppliers recall redundancy notices

TT/The Local · 24 Feb 2010, 13:34

Published: 24 Feb 2010 13:34 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

At supplier IAC, 121 staff can now expect to continue in employment after the firm announced it was pulling back their notice.

In December a total of 159 were told that their jobs would go from plants in Färgelanda, Skara, Gothenburg and Trollhättan in connection with the announcement of US firm GM's decision to close Saab down.

Employees were told on Wednesday of the news.

"It is positive that the deal has been concluded. Now we hope that this will be a successful solution," Marcus Nyman at IAC Group told the TT news agency.

IAC, which employs around 1,000 staff, still plans to make 38 people redundant, mostly office staff.

"There is still an insecurity in the market which means that we need to tighten things. We do not dare believe in a major recovery," Nyman said.

IAC, which manufactures instrument panels and inside doors to Saab, is meanwhile all set to resume deliveries.

"As soon as Saab is prepared we will meet their needs," Marcus Nyman confirmed.

He revealed that he had been forwarded information which indicated that production can start gradually during the week beginning March 22nd and be at full capacity by April 5th.

"But if it happens quicker, then we can adjust."

Nyman forecast that Saab could thrive as an independent niche car maker.

"It will make Saab lighter on its feet, more flexible, and in control of its own destiny, which is very important in a tough market. But of course they have a laborious process in front of them."

According to Svenåke Berglie at sector interest group Fordonkomponentgruppen, Saab will take a "couple of weeks" to return to normal production.

Now it is just a question of getting sales going again, he explained, following Tuesday's confirmation that Spyker Cars will in fact take over the Swedish firm.

According to Berlie, hope has returned to hard hit suppliers within the industry.

"Among Swedish suppliers there is clearly an attitude that they should help out, but it is really a question, for all parties involved, of doing business that is profitable for all."

Saab retailers across Sweden welcomed the news of Spyker's Saab takeover and hope that sales volumes will climb by next year.

Story continues below…

"It is now a question of getting production going and starting to sell cars and restore faith among customers," said Peter Hallberg at the association of Saab dealers.

Hallberg confirmed that Saab dealers have a stock of around 600 cars - primarily old model 9-5s - and hopes that production of 9-3s starts to roll off the production line within three-four weeks.

Henrik Sjödin at the Stockholm School of Economics says that the drawn out saga of the Saab purchase will demand hard work from the company to restore confidence in the Saab brand.

The road to Spyker Cars' takeover has been long and rocky, Sjödin observed, with the several death sentences, reprieves, Koenigsegg Group's withdrawal, Chinese BAIC, Spyker's sudden appearance, rumours of mafia contacts and a slew of damning media reports.

It will take time, Sjödin argues, before consumers dare return to car showrooms and buy a Saab, in Sweden anyway.

"I can imagine many will want a little more solid ground under their feet first," he said.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

14:53 February 24, 2010 by Eagle63
No, we won't wait for 'more solid ground'... we will order a new Saab ASAP !

The coming years is gonna be a grand adventure for Saab and I as a buyer wanna be part of that...

Luckily Saab didn't end up in Chinese hands, or worse.
15:53 February 24, 2010 by Scotsaab
How true. Great news for all concerned with Saab. UK dealers are marking the change with a national open weekend starting on Friday - they will welcome the boost.
16:36 February 24, 2010 by StockholmSam
Yeah, definitely better that Saab wound up in Russian hands since, as we all know, the Russians make much better cars than the Asians. *rolling eyes*

It seems pretty obvious, Eagle63, that operations will be moved out of Sweden and into Asia when Saab decides to ramp up production and pursue the profitability that comes with economies of scale and lower input costs. If production remains in Europe, Saab will never turn a profit and this "saving of Saab" will prove to have been merely a delay of the inevitable.
17:23 February 24, 2010 by Scotsaab

I intrigued how you "know" the latest Saab news is "merely a delay of the inevitable". Why so boringly negative? Most industry professionals and fellow analysts are very upbeat about the prospects, though in no doubt that the future is fairly uncertain.

However, a market as precarious as that of Saab depends not just on good management and proper funding, but also on an upbeat and confident PR. You clearly do not subscribe to this and seem set on helping bring this excellent Swedish car maker to its doom and relishing its demise. Why? Doom-mongers like you do nothing to build public confidence and can undermine a firm's position by peddelling inuendo and rumour

How do you know so much? I've been directly involved with the industry as an analyst for more than 40 years at fairly high level, though not with Saab, and the buzz among my colleagues, some working for the compteition, is that Saab has a good chance given the proper support.

Is it too much to ask you and your Doubting Thomas clan to offer that vital support? Come on, help this fine marque get back on its wheels.
18:23 February 24, 2010 by Nemesis
This is good news.

I am glad to see jobs saved.
20:44 February 24, 2010 by StockholmSam

I am actually not negative on Saab's prospects. My post was mostly a reaction to Eagle63's comment about it not going to China "or worse," which I found rather narrow-minded. If you want the company to survive, the marquee to prosper, then you do what has to be done. If that means sacrificing local jobs, so be it. If, however, you want to save local jobs temporarily, then perhaps a slow, decades-long meltdown of the brand is the route to choose.

I am actually upbeat about the company's future, but it is pretty logical that in order to earn profits, drastic changes will have to take place. Either production will have to be moved out of Europe or the brand will have to be totally revamped. I am betting that, if they want to get Saab profitable by 2012, then they will either reduce their line of products and focus on three or four highly specialized models manufactured in Sweden and sold at very high prices (Porsche prices); or they will cut costs by moving production to a lower labour-cost area and increasing production. Given that Spyker specializes in miniscule production numbers and very high prices, I am tempted to bet that that will be the direction they take. But the smart money is probably on a shift of production outside of Sweden. If Antonov is interested in laundering mob money (which many fear), this will be easier with a profitable, high-volume product than with a boutique brand.

I don't doubt that you have more expertise in the car sector, but stating that you and your colleagues believe "Saab has a good chance given the proper support" is not a particularly convincing argument. The same could be said for the Yugo.
21:12 February 24, 2010 by d_s
Yup, I do think that the logical thing is to move towards higher prices/lower volumes, e.g. Saab Aero X kinda thing. And I do think Saab actually has good prospects because it is not - or hopefully not has become - completely the generic-opelo-toyoto, despite of the mightiest corporate efforts towards that.

However, I do think there is a couple of very strange things in these car discussions that just keep coming back like a bad case of herpes.

Obsession on moving production to China. I guess if technology starts moving back towards the 1800's, I guess we go labour intensive enough so that its China ad infinitum. How many people does Saab employ in the first place these days?

Another thing is the fact that so many people struggle with the fact that communism ended already. It sounds astounding, but its true. Russian actually invest in businessess. Astounding. And when it comes to mafia - have a chat with anyone who has done business there. They'll tell you the realities.

Summa summarum, I'm glad for the jobs, and I'm also glad for the market. Its rather boring if you can only get T model in all colors, as long as they are black.

To Saab I'd say: bring back teh bachelor Sonnett, a light sports car with a compact but powerful engine. And I'm buying :)
22:06 February 24, 2010 by Scotsaab

No the same could never have been said of Yugo - politcal and financial considerations were on another much lower level. What Saab needs is widespread positive support - that's not to say blind alleigence. Market building and confidence return are key factors is the rebirth of Saab.

I am the first to agree the process will be long and hard. But most motor industry business I've been involved with has faced similar struggles. Given good management and a positive market some business oddfellows can and do survive - Saab is one condidate I'd be happy to support.

It's a difficult one - certainly not cut and dry, But the prognosis is good.

I do think there's a strand of nagativity towards Saab's success. That's sad. None of us can predict the financiers ultimate aim, but they'd be daft to do anything obviously corrupt with the eyes of the world watching a company with the profile and following of Saab.

All any of us can do is hope and, dare I say it, offer support. I'm not gung-ho enough to say they will be a roaring success - but if they stick to the core values of the orginal Saab I'm convinced they will have a good market.
22:55 February 24, 2010 by StockholmSam

i am not convinced that Saab can be turned around by market-building or confidence-building. The economy is such that even the most successful and stable carmakers are struggling. To try to remake a brand in this climate is madness. How does one even start to instill buyer (or investor) confidence in this situation?

Neither do I see an obvious niche for Saab to corner. It is slightly sportier than Volvo, but beyond that it caters to much the same buyer, and Volvo is in much better position to steal market share from Saab. It cannot really compete with BMW or Audi for sex appeal or luxury; and, for a lot less money, one can get a better-performing, more reliable Honda or Toyota.

I think that if you are right and that market-building and confidence are the keys, then Saab will first have to go through a long, painful, and comprehensive brand retooling. They were struggling to compete when they were at their healthiest...it won't be any easier now if they don't alter themselves from the ground up.
23:05 February 24, 2010 by Scotsaab

That's not true. In the 1960s Saab did very well indeed - as a niche producer. Changed days, but let's remember that the economic situation we are in today is not like that of the 1930s or even the 1990s. This is a complex global recession that does not play by the same financial rules.

You are right to suggest Saab needs to rethink its place in the market and its appeal. But before that happens they need to consolidate under the new regime and develop slowly and steadily. Anyone looking for a quick fix is being unrealistic.

The firm will not e trading in a buoyant market - but careful cost analysis, careful management and good decisions on market and meeting potential customer expectations can succeed. We can't stay in recession for ever - if we do it will be curtains for everyone! Saab need to build up strength and be ready for the upswing. That might mean an entirely new range, a more eco-friendly car - who knows. But provided it meets market expectations and has the character and technical innovation of Saab of old it is something people will want.

I know it's a long shot - but so was Eurocopter when they started. Look at them now.
23:19 February 24, 2010 by repat_xpat

You missed a great opportunity to show your 40 year of experience. You could have provided some data (links) from the experts you claim have great hopes. I know they are out there, but you should back up your words with data. Leave out the personal attacks and replace it with data.


Bravo on not returning the insults. You kept professional. And see the results. Scottsaab's following comments did not include the insults.

There is one essential element of truth that must be considered: Maybe it wasn't only GM's mismanagement and underfunding that cause the problem with SAAB. Maybe the leadership at SAAB needs to open its eyes and be more responsive and less protectionist. Blaming others will not solve SAAB's problems. I fear that blaming GM is the only lesson that is being learned.
23:32 February 24, 2010 by StockholmSam

Both labor and technology can be had more cheaply in China, and the technology is not 1800's era, either. Hence a production move to that area would be worth considering and is, indeed, why many companies with profit as the primary aim tend to outsource there...or to other Asian nations.
23:51 February 24, 2010 by Scotsaab

What's the point of tabling any factual data? I suspect you will either dismiss what does not suit your views or distort and challenge anything that seems to suggest a way ahead. I can't give you data because the context is wrong.

What I object to in this blog is the volume of unsubstantialted data and make-believe that masquerades as "fact" from some people who feel the business world is populated by crooks, mafia and charlatans. Believe me although there are some questionable people in the higher echelons of the motor industry it is not exclusive to the car business. And for every problem area there are people out there at senior level, both men and women, who are doing a superb job in a positive frame of mind to rebuild Saab. I know several of them.

Maybe the time has come to draw down a veil on this stream and let time take its course.
01:16 February 25, 2010 by patrickbruno
I think some of you are missing an important component...that being Spyker! While at a recent Saab showroom I spoke with the sevice manager who said it is hoped that every Saab dealership will also have at least one Spyker. The plus will help both Saab and Spyker and increase interest. The network of dealerships now available to Spyker opens doors that would have been unthinkable and the image ruboff for Saab has to be positive.
08:32 February 25, 2010 by rahpor
@ patrickbruno: it is hoped that every Saab dealership will also have at least one Spyker... LOL, that will be a good one. That means that Spyker has to produce more cars in a few months then it ever did in it's 10 years lifetime. Might be good for their numbers tho, although I doubt having a Spyker in every of the 1100 showroom would be a good idea.

Beside that, all rumours of Saab-production being moved to other countries... I don't think it's a good idea. I like my Saab to be build in Sweden. And with me, most other Saab owners will. It's part of the Saab thing, although I noticed most Swedes are not sharing this feeling at all. Well, the world outside of Sweden thinks that a Saab has to come from Trollhattan!
09:40 February 25, 2010 by Twiceshy
I have to wonder how Saab will be profitable if they have never been profitable since GM bought them.

If they do become profitable, what will be the driving force behind that? Will they change production facilities or cut salaries? Are their new cars so good that they will get them to a better sales volume than they've had for two decades, even though the world economy is in bad shape? Were they terribly mismanaged for these two decades, so that there's an enormous amount of waste that can be cut out of the company?

It all seems very doubtful. I'm not saying it's impossible, but the odds are definitely against Saab.
09:53 February 25, 2010 by repat_xpat

You don't provide data to satisfy your critics, you provide data to substantiate your input. Shooting down an opinion that is not supported by data is like shooting fish in a barrel, easy. Data provides an opportunity for valid debate. 40 years of experience is meaningless without data.


The new 9-5 is that good. It could be a game changer for SAAB. The real question is how good will the next 9-5 & 9-3, * 9-x be? Only time will tell.
10:05 February 25, 2010 by rahpor
@twiceshy: There's one aspect you miss in your analysis. Saab was part of a bigger company. GM has not proven to be profitable in the last 10 year either and a lot of the deprivation is spread among the subsidiaries. Not always on an even level.

Beside that, GM has an rather heavy weighted staff (indirect) organisation on top of the holding. All these costs were also spread on the daughters.

Without the internal market of the GM world, the accounting tricks and being the small daughter under the weight of the enormous GM mother, Saab can in fact become profitable again.

Don't forget that most car manufacturers now are part of a bigger conglomerate that doesn;t just have advantages, specially not for the smaller parts.

If you can get your parts from a number of suppliers, you can tender them to make a great offer. When you're obliged to use GM parts, you just get the parts they offer you to internal prices (not always the best price). Specially when there's a lot of overhead included in these prices.

Salaries in Europe are high, nevertheless some factories in Europe are the most efficient in the world. Think of Ford in Genk, Belgium and Skoda in Czechie. So, even with the higher salaries, we can still be competative in the world market.
10:38 February 25, 2010 by Ghostrider
Its hard to see how a late paying loss making Spyker will be able to make a late paying loss making Saab succeed. I understand the new models are good, so are everyone else's. Saab is a good brand, it's competitors are as good if not better.

Saab has signifcantly higher leverage (100%) than any competitor.

Muller seems charming but he Antonov connection will not help.

Where's the beef?
10:42 February 25, 2010 by Twiceshy
rahpor I don't think it's true that Saab would gain any advantage by establishing contracts with suppliers on their own. In fact I recall reading that Saab will continue to get parts from GM. Not surprising since suppliers always give better conditions to customers who buy in big quantities, which is one of the reasons why car conglomerates are so common right now.

You could be right on the matter of GM's overhead... That's what I was referring to when I mentioned possible waste on Saab's corporate structure. But still, looking at the big picture things don't look easy for Saab.
10:44 February 25, 2010 by d_s
@twiceshy: The profitability questions is another of the odd ones appearing time and again.

I worked for a global IT corporation for many years. My unit, or company, was one of the many many companies comprising this entity. And each unit would need to be as cost-effective (or profitable) as possible, even though you pay for internal services the price that is set for you. It may or may not be the same as some other units are paying for it. You would get it cheaper on the market, but you cant do that. Thus, I would be rather careful about making any comments on its profitability.

Someone there mentioned that there is a negative strain in terms of Saab publicity, and I think the profitability question is one of them, and maybe the most damaging one as well.
10:54 February 25, 2010 by Twiceshy
@d_s: Obviously there's some lack of transparency on Saab's profitability, but if the prospects were that good, many more companies would have been interested in buying Saab.

In the end, an unprofitable company ended up buying another suffering company. The pair doesn't look promising, I certainly wouldn't bet any money on this ending well.

Just my two cents.
12:46 February 25, 2010 by ylorand
Knows everyone, when production of 9-3 and new 9-5 starts?
13:12 February 25, 2010 by Scotsaab

You miss the point - this is a blog, not a professional exchange. Do you really expect me to publish data I have in confidence? It's meaningless to present facts and figures without being directly involved and knowing the wider picture. Good heavens man, this is a complex issue!

I though this facility was to allow Saab fans, and doubters, to discuss general points - not to set themselves up as judge and jury on others.

My experience is long and widespread in the motor industry - I'm happy to offer my opinion, but don't try and cross-examine me an expect me to lay down facts and figures.

All I want to see is for Saab to succeed - it is my opinion, and that's all it is, after 40 and more years of experience that the marque can survive. Can't you be content with that and stop nit-picking?
13:42 February 25, 2010 by rahpor
@ Yoriland:

Yes, Saab production will commence on March 22 and should reach full capacity on April 4 again.
15:00 February 25, 2010 by Scotsaab
@Yoriland and rahpor

That's great news - I believe first European 9-5 showroom cars are expected around June.
15:31 February 25, 2010 by ylorand
really good news!!!
14:49 February 27, 2010 by harrylatour
Do not let people put you off lads,,,,all this make it in China,,,why do you all think that the best Nissan,Toyota,etc are all made in England??
Today's headlines
Injured Swedish photographer protected by 'guardian angel'
Swedish photographer Paul Hansen on another occasion. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Photographer Paul Hansen thanked his lucky stars for surviving sniper fire while covering the battle for the Isis-held city of Mosul in Iraq.

How Sweden is trying to smooth relations with Saudis
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven meeting Saudi Arabia's Trade Minister Majid bin Abdullah Al Qasabi. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has visited Saudi Arabia a year and a half after relations turned frosty in a major diplomatic row.

My Swedish Career
'Swedish people love it, but they find it quite odd'
Scottish entrepreneur William Macdonald. Photo: Michael Campanella

Meet the web developer and entrepreneur using traditional Scottish ceilidh dancing to break the ice with Swedes.

Swedish photographer shot near Mosul
Hansen was being operated on in the Iraqi city of Erbil on Sunday. Photo: Nora Lorek/ TT

Paul Hansen, a photographer working for Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter, has sustained light injuries after being hit by what appears to be a sniper while covering the battle for the Isis-held city of Mosul in Iraq.

Trollhättan remembers school attack victims
'It was an attack on all of Sweden,' Education Minister Gustav Fridolin said. Photo: Thomas Johansson/ TT

Hundreds of people on Saturday turned out for a torchlight procession in the small town of Trollhättan in southwestern Sweden to honour the victims of last year’s deadly school attack there.

Sweden wants emission- free cars in EU by 2030
Photo: Jessica Gow/ TT

Sweden's environment minister on Saturday urged the European Union to ban petrol and diesel-powered vehicles from 2030.

Hundreds protest Swedish asylum laws
Around 1,000 people protested in Stockholm. Photo: Fredrik Persson/ TT

Hundreds of people on Saturday demonstrated in Stockholm and in many other parts of the country to protest Sweden’s tough new laws on asylum-seekers.

Swedish terror suspect ‘planned airport attack’
Swedish terror suspect Osama Krayem. Photo: Facebook

Swedish national Osama Krayem, linked to the deadly attacks in Paris on November 13 and in Brussels on March 22, is now suspected of having plotted to attack also the Schiphol airport in the Netherlands.

Dylan removes Nobel-mention from website
The American musician has more or less responded to the news with silence. Photo: Per Wahlberg

American singer-song writer Bob Dylan has removed any mention of him being named one of this year’s Nobel Prize laureates on his official website.

Refugee crisis
Asylum requests in Sweden down by 70 percent
Sweden's migration minister Morgan Johansson. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

Sweden received 70 percent fewer requests for asylum in the period between January and September 2016 than it did during the same time last year, the country’s justice and migration minister Morgan Johansson has revealed.

Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
People-watching: October 21st-23rd
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Here's where it could snow in central Sweden this weekend
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
People-watching: October 20th
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Property of the week: Linnéstaden, Gothenburg
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
People-watching: October 12th
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
Property of the week: Triangeln, Malmö
Sweden unveils Europe's first elk hut
People-watching: October 7th-9th
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
Missing rune stone turns up in Sweden
jobs available