Saab History Visits Shaw Saab – Norwell, MA

Posted on 10. Nov, 2008 by in 2000-2009, Dealerships

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Photo Credit: Saab History

On Saturday, November 8th, I departed on a journey to visit Saab History site sponsor, Shaw Saab in Norwell, Massachusetts.

The day began with a number of Saab sightings, beginning with a talladega Red Saab 900 SPG in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, a Lightening Blue Saab 9-3 Viggen and finally just prior to approaching the dealership, a Saab XWD bulletin board ad in Boston on the Southbound only lane of Interstate 93.

As I arrived at Shaw Saab I was excited to see the owner’s 1972 SAAB 95 Wagon proudly displayed out front of the building’s modern facade. Upon entering the dealership, I was greeted by the owner, Fred Shaw Jr. and introduced to his Father, Fred Shaw Sr., who started the dealership all the way back in 1968. That location was nearby the former port in Hingham, Massachusetts, the first arrival port of SAABs in the United States. Today, this Saab exclusive dealership is now located conveniently off of route 3, and continues to uphold its unparalleled commitment to customer service since Fred Shaw Jr. and his Brother, Raymond in Service, Warranty and Parts were handed over the torch in 1992.

After the initial meet and greet, I was invited for a tour of the dealership along with my wife in addition to my friend, Carl. This tour included the sales, service and parts areas to personal introductions of each staff member. I was amazed to hear that “most” of his staff have been with the company has been retained for nearly 10+ years and a few 20, including to a Swede by the name of Karl-Erik as well as a former Saab Cars USA executive staffer, Rick Cutler who formerly worked at Executive Boulevard in Orange, Connecticut, Saab USA’s former home. Shaw Saab by far, has one of the most impressive array of backgrounds at a Saab exclusive dealership that I have ever experienced, and what’s more, I did not get the chance to meet everyone yet!

I can say that, this Saab dealership facility, new in 2005, is absolutely state of the art and with a staff that is extremely professional, knowledgeable and just about everything that they do, it is no surprise that customers continue coming back to Shaw Saab year after year. From Boston’s Sara Edwards to the widow of Walter Kern (creator of the SAAB Quantums and electric Sonett III), customer loyalty is maintained through customer service.

During my visit, I also had the opportunity to explore a number of vintage photo albums covering years of Saab history here in the United States in addition to Shaw Saab’s own unique history with the Saab brand as well. While the material was a bit overwhelming, even for me, I began to realize another visit was necessary in order to capture the photos and information as a whole.

While I was looking through the last of the photos with the owner, Fred Shaw Jr., I spotted, out of the corner of my eye, a yellow “Mavic” 2008 Saab 9-3 Mavic SportCombi driving down Pond Street in front of the dealership. When we got up to look at it through the office window, we presumed it would be driving into the dealership, but after we saw it pass both entrances, we decided to head for the nearest available vehicle, and chase it down as inquiring minds wanted to know why it was in the neighborhood. As we hit the accelerator on the 9-7x 5.3i out front, we fast approached the “Mavic” SportCombi, pulled into a nearby convenience car, and began running towards the Saab now turning around. Out of breath, I reached this yellow Saab first and asked the driver, “hello, did you miss the turn and are now heading back to Shaw Saab?” In response, the driver told me that he was heading to get a Taco for lunch and would be able to meet us later at the dealer.

Approximately 15 minutes later, the Saab 9-3 SportCombi “Mavic” arrived on site and we were outside asking questions of the driver and employee of Mavic USA by the name of Pete who operates out of Mavic’s Haverhill, MA office. Through an in-depth dialog out in front of the dealership, I have found that there are 5 of these vehicles along with 2 9-7x utility vehicles nationwide. I have also found out that the Saab USA – Mavic partnership began this February and will be up for review again in February 2009. While I see this to be an interesting vehicle, and certainly a head-turner with its color and labeling, I realized that there were a lot of opportunities even with dealerships that could be had with this partnership.

This experience rounded out the day, and as we thanked the folks at Shaw Saab for their time, we couldn’t stop thinking about how incredible the Shaw Saab dealership experience was as we headed over to the other Swedish company, IKEA.

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