Communication: New production stoppage today

Yesterday, production at Saab Automobile stopped at lunchtime due to material shortages. We have now stopped again today for the same reasons.

“When we chose to restart production after the long stoppage, we saw a number of risks on the horizon, mostly concerned with the supply of materials. We are faced with more material supply problems this week and have therefore changed plans for the remaining days of this week. During the stoppages that we expect will occur this week, we have planned for various activities at the factory, such as staff training” said the purchasing and production director Gunnar Brunius.

The liquidity situation is still tense, and depends on several different financing solutions falling into place, long-term as well as short-term. Some milestones have been achieved, such as the letter of intent signed with Pang Da and the additional funding that their order of Saab cars means. An example of things that still await a solution is the sale and leaseback of Saab AB Property, which we have addressed in previous communications. Representatives from Spyker and Saab will continue to work with these solutions, while the dialogue between Saab and suppliers progresses.

-Production is sensitive to, and therefore easily disturbed by these events and what direction they take. It may be that the situation changes from day to day, or even from hour to hour. It is therefore very difficult to make further predictions, but we have to take one day at a time. In order to avoid taking on more supplies than necessary, we have decided to reduce production plans this week. We are all working hard to get production running consistently again, and as soon as possible,” said Gunnar Brunius.

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  1. Has the line been running full speed since the beginning of this week? I understood there was a tactical decission taken, limiting the capacity, thus trying to prevent subsequent stops?

  2. This kind of “news” should be prevented in the future; otherwise it will be very hard for SAAB to sell a sufficient number of cars.

    1. 1. Every car-manufacturer has production-stops now and then.
      2. The need to support this unique brand has not grown less.
      3. The risk is very minimal. Spare-parts will be available even in worst case.
      4. Where most cars today seems to be very alike each other, Saab is still different.
      5. If you want a Saab, no other car will do.

  3. Anybody who thought a just in time production line was not going to have some restart issues after a 7 week shut down needs to read up a bit on Kanban lean manufacturing.  It was all but inevitable.  I’m also reading reports that Volvo and a number of other manufacturers are having periodic shutdowns – most due to supplier issues arising from getting product out of Japan after the earthquake/tsunami.  For all we know that may be partly the case with Saab – although their liquidity is admittadly more of an issue than Volvo, Honda or Nisaan.

  4. Thanks gents.

    As noted when production re-started, we expected some bumps in the road.  Many of our suppliers (around 800 or so in terms of parts) have suppliers of their own and there are a lot of talks ongoing.  We are not idle.

  5. Despite this being “normal” in JIT manufacturing, Saab is being examined underneath a microscope by many members of the media. These outlets will likely put a negative spin on it, which will only hurt the brand’s feasibility and viability in the eyes of the consumer.

    With all due respect, why SAAB allows this to be posted on their own corporate site is beyond me, especially in the context of the media’s current sensibility toward the brand.

    1. Jose, sometimes you’re damned if you do and you’re damned if you don’t.  We’ve been criticised in the past for being too quiet.  

      At least with this we get to state the situation as it stands.  We know that others will spin it – par for the course.  But if people want a corporate statement on what’s happening, this is what we’ve provided.

      1. I think Saab and Swade are to be congratulated for taking a pro-active stance on communication rather than reactively fighting media fires.

        Thanks and all the best to the Saab team.