Currently Swedish news services are covering the crisis for SAAB and Volvo. This morning SAAB applied for a reconstruction at a court in west Sweden.
Heartless as this may seem it does seem pretty obvious to me that manufacturing cars has nothing to do with Sweden in the new world of work. It could never be our edge and really hasn't been for many decades. Even when the two companies were sold to American giants Swedes somehow contuined to take pride in these companies. And they have sold many cars in the local Swedish market – especially Volvo. But I would say that this was more out of tradition than from intelligent consumer choices.
I have yet to meet someone who is enthusiastic about his/her Volvo or SAAB. And that says something about their true status of these cars and probably quickly turned to a big liability these last couple of months. Sales have more or less halted. Of course cars in general aren't selling well. But the problems for Volvo and SAAB are spectacular. And the old slogan "buy Swedish" doesn't work anymore… Who wants to sink good money into the gigantic black holes of GM or Ford?
So let us quickly get out of the mental slavery of having a "Swedish" car industry. Let us cover our losses and quickly discuss which new exciting businesses and industries we can build instead.
In case you wonder – yes I have owned a Swedish car once. In the early 90's I inherited by grandfather's old SAAB 96 from 1967 and drove it for a couple of years. That was an insanely cool car. But not much has happened since then.