You have to give it to mr Victor Muller, he make things happen. I have understood from my Dutch friends that it doesn’t always happen in a social correct way…but it does happen. He is an achiever.

SAAB was on very close to be shut down, which would have been the only natural call for GM (which I did write another post about for some time ago). But instead it ended up with mr Muller and a bit unclear financing. And now, after the introduction of the new SAAB 9-5, they also got a new engine supplier; BMW.Going from low graded GM engines to the one of the best engine manufacturers of the world is an achievement.  It also shows how co-branding is working at its best.

SAAB wants to be one of the top dogs among european car brands. They could end up there, if they  had the engines and drivetrain for it. Honestly, the engines and transmissions available for the new 9-5 is a vibrating catastrophe from the 1980′s.  Audi, Mercedes and BMW are lightyears ahead in performance as well in comfort and culture. And as long as you don’t have the premium horsepowers, you’re not premium.

So what does mr Muller do? Well he calls up BMW and get new engines for the forthcoming 9-3. It’s probably just a start and it’s a start with right supplier. BMW is really in the forefront of engine development…for many different fuels. The deal for BMW, measured in Euros, is probably not that big, the amount that SAAB will buy over a year is most likely assembled on half a day in Munich. But BMW actually get paid to  get a good insight in the small Swedish car manufacturer that aims right at…BMW.

With the PR SAAB got from it, the co-branding work is already done. The images presented on this blog unnecessary. But they visualize where the co-branding takes the SAAB brand. And that is in a good direction. I hope it all works out for them in the future.

Ford has risen from the ashes and declares that it will become “one Ford” with similar models will be the same all over the world…more or less. At the same time Volkswagen seeks world domination and goes the opposite way. Several generations of the Golf are being manufactured at the same time in different parts of the world. In Canada they have a MPV van which actually is a version of the Chrysler Voyager…and with a quality that wouldn’t even make it to the cafeteria in Wolfsburg. VW says that they adapt to each market. I call it badge engineering.

Will Ford be able to create “one Ford” with a strong global Ford brand? Will VW be able to keep track of all these models and will the obvious lack of quality in some of them damage the mighty VW brand…and by that affect the financial result in a longer perspective?

I have my guess here…but let’s see.