SAAB Motors, Inc. – 100 Waterfront Street, New Haven, CT

Posted on 08. May, 2007 by in 1960-1969, 1970-1979, 2000-2009, New Haven, Connecticut, United States

SAAB Motors Inc. moved from 405 Park Avenue, New York City where their first headquarters were located to 100 Waterfront Street in New Haven, Connecticut in 1961.

The main reason behind the relocation & consolidation was that current President of SAAB Motors, Inc. Ralph T. Millet believed that “SAAB desired a good port of entrance to the East coast and wanted to stay in the North East which proved to be good sales region”. It was then decided to consolidate the headquarters in New York City as well as the distribution operations at Hingham, Massachusetts as well as Carteret, New Jersey. On September, 6th, 1961 SAAB Motors, Inc. franchise company SAAB Overseas, Inc. signed a contact to consolidate both of these import operations to this new location as well as a 10 year-year lease on the location with New Haven Terminal, Inc., the owners of the property.

This four-story building that is still standing today that was built at some time before World War I, includes the administrative offices on the top floor, parts & accessories on the second and third floors and final assembly and distribution on the main floor including the rear of the building.

It is important to note that the New Haven Chamber of Commerce was instrumental in securing the building and the 2-acres of land nearby for the storage of SAABs as an alternative to the year and a half search that included the Bridgeport, Connecticut area that was also considered, but turned town in comparison to what the 100 Waterfront Street location in New Haven could provide.

This location proved to be successful as a one-stop-shop housing the aforementioned administrative offices, technical school, parts supply, and warranty service

Saab Motors, Inc. operated at this location for 10 years before moving to their new headquarters to 60 Marsh Hill Road in Orange, Connecticut in 1971.

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Photo Credit & Caption: New Haven Register – September 9th, 1961 : Main Facade of 100 Waterfront Street

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Photo Credit & Caption: New Haven Register – September 9th, 1961 : Rear Parking lot of 100 Waterfront Street

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Photo Credit & Caption: New Haven Register – September 9th, 1961 : Fourth Floor Administrative Offices

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Photo Credit & Caption: New Haven Register – September 9th, 1961 : Main Floor Final Assembly Workshop

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Photo Credit & Caption: Saab Automobile USA – 1962 : Main Floor Final Assembly Workshop

It was on October 1st, 1961 when the first Saab models began arriving at this new location in New Haven, Connecticut by freighter. The first year there were approximately 11 shipments of roughly 450 Saab models that would be delivered that totalled 5,000 Saabs a year at this location. Another 1000 SAABs would be imported into the port at Jacksonville, Florida as well.

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Photo Credit & Caption: New Haven Register – October 3rd, 1962 : Freight Ships unloading SAAB cars by crane at facility

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Photo Credit & Caption: New Haven Register – October 14th, 1964 : Freight Ships unloading SAAB cars by crane at facility

Here are some photographs of the facility today taken on 6.29.2007.

Where: 100 Waterfront Street, New Haven, Connecticut

When: 1961-1971

What: Occupied by SAAB Motors, Inc.

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Photo Credit: Google Maps

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