Posts Tagged ‘iQon’

Live long and Prosper

Hi

It looks like 25-03-2011 will not go down in history as the best PR day for Saab.
Or it may, as it has generated just as many headlines as the PhoeniX and Iqon.

Lets see. What have we got? Another perfect storm, or natural evolution?

Spyker presents their annual report with a loss of 140mil. or something Euro.
Less than expected, and certainly a lot less than the red figures GM could produce while Saab was selling at their peak.
And still better than or according to the plan
But nonetheless red figures.

New emission of 5.5 mill Spyker shares. Value about 23.1 mill Euro, and the buyers are 3 companies, All either connected to Victor Muller or with russian connections and customers.

The newly appointed CFO decided not to start. Probably because he got an offer from his former employer that he could not refuse. At least his job at Lindab suddently grew a lot larger.

CEO Jan Åke Jonsson announced his retirement. This was the event that made the media world go crazy with conspiration theory.

Theory because all of the above would have been insignificant on their own.

The usual suspects of Car analysts, unfortunately one of them located in Denmark, roll out their general and somewhat antiquated looks at the autoindustry.
They seem to suffer from the same disease as the FIAT Head Marchionne, Which is that NO company can survive unless they are part of a much largeer corporation, due to lack of finances and funds for development, and the lack of large production benefits.
What they miss in that assumption is the fact that most of the Amarican Car industry died from that.
The reason there is an independent Saab is that GM actually died.
AND they are still in even more economic troubles than Saab.

Even though Christer Karlsson should be an expert on Innovation and changes in the car industry, he has missed that there is a paradigm shift making it possible for smaller companies to survive and introduce new models while at the same time reducing costs by sharing and selling technology.

This is big company advantages, but with small company benefits of not being tied into the larger corporation needs to recycle shared platforms and engines between brands.
Crisis either kills companies or create new ways of survival.
The analysts need to face those facts instead of reiterating outdated manufacturing paradigms.

This is where all the analysts fails regarding Saab. It is new ground

There has been a lot of cooporation arranged between Saab and other manufacturers, just check the press releases from Saab over the last 6 months.

The best example of what I am talking about is probably the iQon in-car infotainment system.
I have written something here that tries to describe what I think is its essence, but the general idea is that there is no need to start from scratch re-inventing things that actually is already made, you can use an open system, adapt it for your needs, keep the openness and have interested parties help develop, thereby reducing development costs yet still control and adapt for use in the specific environment.

The influence of this can not be underestimated.
Even though Saab needs larger volume sales to follow the original business plan, the cost reduction lowers the needed new sales to break-even.
What the Annual report shows is that Spyker/Saab is making losses, but still according to plan.
Not much news in that.
The interresting bits in these kinds of rapports are mainly for investors looking for either longterm investments or shortterm winnings.
If the plan is kept on track the losses or winnings are not that important.

And in view of that it puzzles me that there is so much suspicion regarding the new-emmision of Spyker shares.
Someone wants in. Probably longterm investors, as there is enormous potential for growth in Saab.
And of course there are russian connections. Vladimir Antonov wants to be in Saab.

At the end of this post from 20-02-2010 I wrote this.
This is not because I am psychic or a genious. This was clear information at the time.
Things have not changed since then.
Antonov is ready to make the necessary investments to keep Saab running even if the business plan should fail, and maybe even develop a new smaller car.
How could this be a danger to Saab?

Then we have the Major event:

JÅJ resigning.

What is there to say? We will miss him. A lot.
But in view of the above the timing is just about right.

The Business plan is coming along, costs are reduced to give some extra air in the original plan, there is a lot of new technology prepared or in development for production, partners have been found and VA is ready to come in with extra money.

This is also an important shift at Saab, no doubt about that, but there is no need to suspect any conspirations or imminent death to the company.

This is evolution. This is also what keeps companies alive. Changes come and needs to be handled.
I think that Saab is very much ready to handle all kinds of changes.

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Why Saab iQon is mightier than the PhoeniX

Those into cars may have noticed the new Saab Concept Car, PhoeniX, introduced at this years Geneva show:

This car made a statement. Take it or leave it, it is New Saab.

Personally I would love if they stayed at keeping that infamous OG900 out of their design language.

So “Move your Mind”

And this thing has got wings

The funny thing is that this car will be forgotten in a while, even though it has impressive specs, design and technologies like eXWD

The real star of the Geneva show was iQon:

The new in-car infotainment system.

Android based, and what is more important, it taps into a helluva lot of sensors in the car.

The most important feature:

All of this is made available to third party via an API, making it possible for developers to make their own apps, made available though a Saab App store.

I can’t wait to see what would happen if one of the guys at XDA Developer actually bought a Saab with this system.

Hmmm…Custom ROM on a Rooted Saab..

But the real important thing is that this reflects an attitude that IS Saab on a much deeper level.

First off, this reaches A LOT of new customers.

The typical semi-american stereotype of the Saab driver is the Architect/Designer or intellectual of some kind.

Today these people are the Apple people.

Safe, easy, well designed, pleasing, and does stuff without too much effort.And everybody has one.

Probably why a lot of former Saab drivers are now driving Audi.

Either the customers grew older og the world just got a little more uniform.

What iQon does is doing what Saab is best at.

Development at minimum cost, and the most intelligent solution to a problem.

This is why we had the Ursaab, this is why we had 99 Turbo.  This is why we have eXWD.  This is why we had a lot of clever solutions from Saab over time.

Not clever technological solutions because it is technologically possible, but solutions that solve the problem in a creative and new way. Out of necessity and limited funds.

This sharpens the minds of the engineers, and give beautiful functional products

What iQon touches upon is the return to those who dare to think different, the highly educated rebels. Both those who are thinkers and just want something different, functional and easy to use, and the engineer who finds the openness of iQon fascinating.

It is not so much the actual iQon concept itself, but the signals it projects that are moving people.

This is real Saab Saab. Not an american “Born from Jets”  powerrush

I love this quote from a commenter on one of the forums:

I didn’t think about it quite that deep. I agree, Saab is officially not lame anymore.

Move your Mind.

The mind is the Essence of Saab

And the PhoeniX will rise

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