fredag 20 november 2009
Why Swedish Car Industry Has Been Sold Out
The first Saab 1947: Masterpiece of Swedish engineering!
The first critical steps towards the end of Swedish car industry were taken when Investor in 1998 sold its remaining half of Saab Automobile to GM, and Volvo in 1999 sold its car division to Ford, the reason being that Swedish engineering no longer was competitive. The end of Saab now seems inevitable since it is being dumped by GM and the end of Volvo Car in Sweden is also within sight as Ford gives it away to Chinese Geely.
Volvo unions met Geely representatives yesterday seeking to assure that development and production will remain in Sweden. To make this credible, arguments must be made that Swedish engineers and car workers are better than Chinese, and quite a bit better since their salaries are much higher. Is this true? If not, development and production will move to China, since Geely is not buying Volvo just to support Swedish car industry.
What is then the quality of Swedish engineering education? Is it possible that with a better engineering education, Swedish car industry could have been saved? Yes, I believe so.
German car industry is surviving because German technology has high quality.
When I approach Leif Johansson, who took the first step by selling Volvo Car to Ford,
in his role as chairman of Teknikdelegation with the objective of improving engineering
education, with the information that Swedish engineering education is oldfashioned but can be modernized and thus become more effective, I get zero response.
I find this remarkable. Isn't it completely clear that without high-quality engineering education
Swedish industry will collapse to packing furniture for IKEA? Why is not LJ as the most influential industrialist in Sweden interested in preventing this to happen? By improving the quality of Swedish engineering. What is preventing him to take initiatives in this direction? What will be the effect for all of us of a Swedish industry in free fall?
Or is it too late to do anything? But why not try at least; it costs peanuts compared to Björklunds hundreds of millions wasted on grassroot mathematics reform. And we have a responsibility for coming generations to not sell out everything in our time = sustainable industry. Isn't that true LJ?
However, at the KTH promotion-installation ceremony on Nov 20 in the City Hall of Stockholm, everything looked bright: KTH President Peter Gudmundson Swedish informed us that KTH engineering education is among the best in the World and steadily getting better and better...When I a year ago told Peter Gudmundson that the education at KTH is oldfashioned and ineffective, as far as I can judgel, my message did not get across...Evidently the ship is viewed to be fine even if it is sinking...like Vasa...
It seems to be a special Swedish syndrome to believe that we are best in the World, while this may not be even close to reality.
Peter Gudmundson is member of Teknikdelegationen with objective to attract students to engineering studies, in particular to a career in Swedish car industry, which will have moved to China when they finish..
To better understand the silence of Teknikdelegation, let use an argument of reductio ad absurdum which mathematicians use frequently: Thus suppose that LJ says, oops now I see that
engineering education is old-fashioned, but I have not understood it before. Or, yes I have known all the time during my long leadership of Volvo that engineering education is old-fashioned, but I have said nothing. Contradiction! Thus LJ can only say that everything is fine, even if it is not:
Evidently LJ acknowledges that there are those who complain, so he is aware of the problem,
but prefers to deny. And that is a problem...for Swedish industry and people...