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  • TTELA: Victor Muller about life after Saab

    Translation through Google.

    Today, three months after Saab's bankruptcy, emerges Victor Muller for the first time in public again at a conference in Stockholm. TTELA got an exclusive interview with him yesterday about life after Saab, the opportunity to spend time with family and plans for Spyker. It's cold at Arlanda airport and Victor Muller tighten the scarf around the neck.

    - It really is a temperature difference between Sweden and Mallorca. Has it been so cold all the time?

    When we packed ourselves into the car for the journey to the hotel in Stockholm - the friend Lars Carlstrom driving his Saab 9-5 - we start talking about the time that was after the bankruptcy. Victor Muller wants to look ahead.

    - I have kept a low profile. I have also been available for the receivers, but the stakeholders have not been in contact for a while now. I think it will change if and when an interested party may emerge.

    He notes that it is a very difficult situation for anyone who tries to start operations in Trollhättan connected to Saab. Do you see any similarity to when you took over from GM?

    - No, it is very different. It's a completely different situation. The brand Saab was damaged after GM started to liquidate the company. But it's still nothing like now.

    - These three months have not been good for the brand. First, you have all the dealers who have disappeared, and you have the fact that hundreds of employees moved on to other companies.

    And not least, says Muller, GM's no create massive problems for anyone who wants to manufacture the brand Saab.

    - Our friends in Detroit has made it terribly clear to everyone that they will not endorse any candidates. And they've done it on a public right and aggressive manner.

    - I can not say why GM has this attitude, it's because they are bound by their Chinese partners, or if it could be due to its partnership with Peugeot or something else. But it will be apparent in due course.

    The companies he counseled, Turkish Brightwell, dropped out after making futile attempts to reason with GM.

    - It was a shame, Brightwell had really been an option. But for an investment firm Brightwell, one must have access to the Saab models. Not least 9-4X has a great value, a strong potential. For a vehicle company Mahindra, one can incorporate the technology and brand in its own operations.

    Victor Muller estimates that it will take a long time if anyone wants to start production in the factory again based on the Phoenix technology.

    - At best, it takes 18 months, but more likely two years.

    But Victor Muller stresses that he is now involved in other projects. Recently he was at the Geneva Motor Show.

    - It was sad, for either Saab or Spyker was there. But I was very efficient and had 20 meetings. And there were no journalists. Next year, Spyker to be on the show, he says with a firm voice.

    So far he has arranged interim financing from the U.S. GEM Fund, but funding to launch luxury brand he is the father again, he will clear his opinion.

    - With Saab, I had to get five million euros a week to get it to go around. To arrange finance for Spyker, I need two weeks of Saab financing.

    He describes the situation and life now as a very much lighter than last year.

    - Now I call with parties that goes nowhere, with time at Saab could go to China and come back with no results. I feel like a vacation now.

    Although private, the pressure eased a lot, he explains.

    - While I was at home physically in Saab-time, I was not mentally. I sat engaged in phone calls all the time. Now I can be present.

    And did he think he landed on both feet again, he says, even if a lot of money were lost in the bankruptcy.

    - I invested 13 million euros in Saab and had another 100 million euros in the back of my sponsors.

    A major financier was known as Vladimir Antonov.

    - He is innocent of what they accuse him of. He became a power, in particular, the Lithuanian government had reason to bring him down. He would not put in as a shareholder in the newspaper, critical of the regime such. But time will show how it relates. It would be well located for any investigative journalist to tackle this. There were many who were digging around the Antonov himself before, it sure would be a task for them.

    We are going into the Stockholm traffic and approaching the goal of the journey. TTELA ask how it feels to the next day to speak in a public context in Sweden for the first time since the bankruptcy. The context is Mass Innovation 2012 which include Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet is the organizer.

    - The Public? Yes, it is perhaps. I have had help on the topic of Anna Petre, but I keep myself never to script. Are you up to the script, you lose the audience, more people should try to speak directly to their audience, he says as if it were a given.

    We enter the entrepreneur and innovator Steve Jobs, the deceased Apple CEO, who also could mesmerize an audience and made product launches to verging on religious occasions.

    - I read his biography and laughed all the time. He was so cocky, but he had it right all the time. Here you can really learn a lot about entrepreneurship and how innovations come about.

    Here we are - outside of Grand hôtel. Victor Muller asks us explicitly that the health of everyone in Trollhättan and all former employees.

    - They are the ones I really cared about. When I went to the town of Trollhattan, people were always friendly and they always called me by first name, "Victor". I really felt that we had a relationship.

    The tall former Saab boss takes his luggage and pass through the doors of the hotel. A shorter, older man passes while rotating doors in the other direction. Although this man has a clear experience of the Swedish automotive industry and also how unforgiving a situation can be when you do not succeed. It is PG Gyllenhammar.

    Read original article in Swedish
    This article was originally published in forum thread: TTELA: Victor Muller about life after Saab started by SaabWorld Bot View original post
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