Saab History Welcomes New Salem Saab as Sponsor

Posted on 01. Jan, 2008 by in 2000-2009, Dealerships


Photo Credit: Saab History

Please welcome Saab Dealership, New Salem Saab of Albany, New York as the first site sponsor in 2008 for Saab History. This family owned and operated dealership have been an exclusive Saab dealership since 1961 and are one of the oldest Saab dealerships in the United States.

Having personally visited this dealership, I can assure you that their veteran sales, service and parts staff have the experience and knowledge in which to offer an unparalleled level of great customer service.

I encourage you to read their company history below:

New Salem Garage where and when did it start?

Just post WWII in the hamlet of New Salem NY, nestled just under the Helderberg mountains Dewitt Carl opened a Texaco Mar-Fax station selling service, gasoline and used cars where he and his family cared for the local automotive needs as primitive as they were. Servicing such early and long gone but not forgotten nameplates like Hudson, Tucker, Willies and Ford Dewitt, his wife Hazel and their children; Pauline, Arlene, Fred and Glen worked the American dream with the entrepreneurial spirit to the fullest extent. Long hours, big sacrifices and life tests that helped make this company what it is today.

How so you ask?

Well to start, working 12 plus hours a day, seven days a week sometimes with just family alone. No vacations, no sick time just work, work, work. Building customers one at a time over a period of years, being honest empathetic and caring of needs along with raising a family of six. Sacrificing many life joys in being there to raise the family, available for education and playtime or just talk time. In a way the business consumed who we are and thus began the era of a Saab family whose dedication and commitment to the brand is three generations strong and certainly not about P&L anymore.

Where did Saab come in?

As the story goes there was a Saab dealer in Delmar from 1958 until our family purchased the franchise in 1961. I’m not sure why they sold out but I know it was an interesting transaction of more Carl family strife and sacrifice. If my grandmother were here she could explain it with the strong emotion that it really deserves. However, during the purchase the financial institutions of the day would not lend the money to my grandparents for a Saab franchise. Remember Saab was a foreign front wheel drive car with a three cylinder two stroke, which only arrived in the states in 1956. The banks along with everyone else didn’t know anything about this funny sounding little Swedish car hence there reluctance to assist in the purchase. Never the less our family pressed on and sold off many things to help raise the money needed including a chunk of the families savings which grandmother was “fit to be tied” over. They managed to scrap together what they needed and our franchise was awarded on March 23, 1961. We received at the time a small box of special tools and a smaller box of parts to start. The 61’ Saabs arrived on the car carrier and Gramp paid the white overcoat wearing gentlemen truck driver cash for the first four cars we ever received. The rest is history as they say!

We now can repair and service any Saab vehicle that was ever sold in the US. We are now one of the five oldest dealers still owned and operated by the same family in the US today. Something I intend on only making better and longer.

Today we work in a different era with different concerns, expectations, needs and wants. The Saab brand is clearly identified from its roots as well. It was founded by sixteen aircraft engineers, of which only one had a license to drive. Money was tight and the war was over. They developed the SAAB 92. It came in one color, aircraft green. It was the beginning of automotive life, which has been continuous and exciting as well as full of commitment and sacrifice. Saab is my life. Customers are my commitment.

Darryl F. Carl, President
3rd generation in a family totally Saab.

New Salem Saab
2041 Central Ave
Albany, NY 12205
Tel: 518-862-2795


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