Saab History On Nationalizing Saab Automobile

Posted on 28. Nov, 2008 by in 2000-2009, Sweden, Trollhättan, Sweden

I am proud to say that The Local, Sweden’s news in English, has just published a piece I did on nationalizing Saab Automobile after recently urging General Motors to sell the brand.

This piece is a good follow-up to the piece a professor at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden wrote recently on the topic. In addition, it also relates to the reports that Saab Automobile AB has been talking to the Swedish Government about possible financial support if and when GM goes under.

Please read this piece I wrote below for The Loca or click on the link here. I encourage comments!

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Saab History On Nationalizing Saab Automobile

Since 1947, Saab Automobile has been inextricably linked with its Swedish roots as an innovative and progressive automobile company. The heritage of Saab Automobile originally began in 1937 as an aircraft company. The formation of Saab was in response to the immediate requirements of the Swedish Government during the War, so it’s foundations began as a byproduct of the Government’s needs.

Saab’s connections to its Swedish roots and aircraft heritage has been over the years, strengthened. This can be seen during recent ad campaigns which focused on the ties between the aircraft engineers and Swedish design. This branding has become commonplace during the 19 years of ownership of Saab by General Motors.

While there is no question that Saab is a Swedish brand, the dire straights that the parent company (General Motors) is currently in, could mean the end of Saab. This could effectively end 60+ years of uniquely Swedish innovations, engineering and significant contributions to the automotive industry as a whole. Not only will there be an economic void of monumental proportions, there will also be a total loss of national pride and identity for the country of Sweden.

Across Sweden, industry, academia and Government will all be affected if Saab were to be relegated to the backburner of the GM portfolio. It is clear that reversing this trend is the best way for Saab to maintain its unique Swedish design, engineering, innovation and identity. While there have been rumors that GM is thinking about potentially selling Saab to another car manufacturer, I believe that nationalizing the brand is the proper and most suitable method in order to continue Saab Automobile.

Having lived in Sweden, I have seen first hand, the nationalized public transportation system which is as a critical infrastructure for the Swedish economy to thrive. In this respect, I do not see why a car company like Saab could not be nationalized as well. The infrastructure in which the vehicles travel, has already been paid for by the Swedish Government and are some of the best roads in the world. In addition, the academic institutions, through governmentally funded programs, have also been subsidized by the Swedish Government when collaborating with Saab Automobile’s future product development. Finally, the Swedish Government will be at a significant advantage by owning Saab as it will have the full autonomy to design, build, and regulate the next generation of private transportation which will meet their goals of ending fossil fuel driven vehicles by 2020.

If the Swedish government is truly serious about meeting their goals of economic and environmental security, much like they were back in 1937, they will move quickly to nationalize Saab Automobile today.

Ryan / Saabhistory.com

Sources:

Saab’s Aircraft History – 1937

http://www.saabhistory.com/2006/11/11/the-saab-scania-story/

Government, Academia & Industry

KTH University

Integrated Design Methods for Mechatronic Servo Systems

This research project was a part of the “Gröna Bilen”/FCHEV (Fuel Cell & Hybrid Electric Vehicle) program sponsored by the Swedish government, Saab Automobile, Scania AB, Volvo AB and Volvo Car

Cooperation.

The objective of the project was to develop a model based design and optimization methodology for mechatronic actuation modules, primarily intended for automotive applications, but applicable to electromechanical servo systems in general. The project started in September 2002 and ended in September 2007.

http://www.md.kth.se/research/projects/mda/p8.shtml?sve


Lund University

SAAB-HYBRID

http://www.iea.lth.se/research/index.html

Chalmers University

Swedish Hybrid Vehicle Center

http://www.chalmers.se/hosted/shc-en/partners

Umeå Institute of Design

Degree Show 2003

http://www.dh.umu.se/default.asp?naar=2003&p=1657

Degree Show 2004

http://archive.cardesignnews.com/features/2004/040810umea-show/index.php

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7 Responses to “Saab History On Nationalizing Saab Automobile”

  1. Golfhunter

    28. Nov, 2008

    Amazing !! You did your Job !! Ryan President !! Lol !
    Seriously , your name mentioned in this article is something grant !
    Bravo !
    I hope that swedish gouvernement won’t let Saab down !

    Reply to this comment
  2. Ted Y

    29. Nov, 2008

    I’m not smart enough to know the best course of action, but I sure hope the Swedish government does whatever is necessary to protect both Saab and Volvo through these turbulent conditions. I think a stabilizing investment by the government, at least short term, would be in the best long-term interests of the country. Sweden has long been known as a country which “exports” its excellent engineering. I think the Swedish government needs to protect the industries that are based on that engineering talent. It’s not like the Japanese, Germans, French, et al., don’t protect their industries, Sweden can’t afford to be the nice guy and get walked all over as a result. They have to fight fire with fire.

    Reply to this comment
  3. Ryan

    29. Nov, 2008

    Thanks guys!

    I think something needs to be done, and right now, logistically or not, at least the Swedish Government can appreciate what Saab has done for their country.

    We’ll see what GM does next week with their “business plan” for us helping them out, personally, I think there should be a vote, not just a plan submitted to congress, then a response…

    Saab needs some short-term plan to save them in order to ensure their long term plans.

    Reply to this comment
  4. aeronaut

    01. Dec, 2008

    Good job!

    Reply to this comment
  5. Ryan

    01. Dec, 2008

    We’ll all find out what’s going on either this Tuesday, Dec 2nd or Friday, Dec. 5th.

    Should be an interesting week!

    Reply to this comment
  6. Ian Glenday

    03. Dec, 2008

    Since GM has nearly totally integrated Saab into GM Europe, its sale will be difficult at best. All engineering functions and 99% of design have been moved to Russelsheim, Germany. I4 engines are manufactured in Kaiserslaitern (Opel Werke) and V6 engines in Australia (Holden). Only the automobile manufacturing facility remains in Sweden. The current and proposed new Saabs are on platforms shared with Opel. It would seem that current and immediate future work would still have GM involvement. GM has taken an immense amount of intellectual property from Saab and it seems that they may not include that in the sale. So, my point is, what is really left to sell? Having owned Saabs since 1963 and having a 2006 9-3 SC now I am keenly interested in their continuing as the unique motor car company that I have known for so long! I wish all my friends at Saab all the best in getting through this very tough situation!

    Reply to this comment
  7. Ryan

    03. Dec, 2008

    Ian,

    Great question, that’s just it, what can be sold?

    GM really hurt themselves today finally admitting, they want to “review” Saab except for their Engineering facilities, which is the tell tale sign that that’s all they wanted them for to begin with in their parasitic relationship since December of 1989.

    Reply to this comment

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