Archive for January, 2009

Trollhättan, Sweden’s Future In Hands Of Saab Automobile

Posted on 29. Jan, 2009 by .

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sign Trollhättan, Swedens Future In Hands Of Saab Automobile

Photo Credit: Saab History / 2007

This just in from Reuters about the people in Trollhättan, Sweden as they wait until we pass the dates of February 17th and March 31st. The town seems to be in “suspended animation” as the editor puts it until some certainty is confirmed about the future of Saab Automobile’s process to independence.

There are some questions here, while the town of Trollhättan, Sweden’s future may be in the hands of Saab Automobile, is Saab Automobile’s future also in the hands of GM even as they move towards independence or can they make a clean brake, saving themselves and their town?

One thing is for sure, Saab Automobile and the Swedish Government need to provide as much input into the next revision of business plan GM submits to the U.S. Congress on February 17th.

Here is the story below:

By Victoria Klesty

TROLLHATTAN, Sweden (Reuters) – People in Trollhattan, in the heart of Sweden’s industrial southwest, have grown used to staying abreast of the news out of Detroit. What keeps them focused on the fate of U.S. autos is fear.

This municipality is the headquarters of Saab, a money-losing carmaker owned by General Motors, itself struggling for survival. Volvo Cars, based nearby in Gothenburg and also loss-making, is owned by Ford and faces similar uncertainty.

Many of Trollhattan’s 54,300 residents either work for Saab directly or for one of its suppliers. So as General Motors has teetered, so has this entire community.

“If Saab failed, it would weigh heavily on the region. If both Volvo and Saab were to fail, it would be a big blow to the whole country,” said Saab union representative Paul Akerlund.

The carmakers are important not just for the local communities but for all of Sweden, because they are so tightly enmeshed in the wider economy. The auto industry made up almost 15 percent of Sweden’s exports in 2007.

Unemployment in the country of around 9 million currently runs at just over six percent. Western Sweden’s chamber of commerce and industry estimates 62,000 workers in the region are directly employed by vehicle-makers and their suppliers.

But spokesman Stefan Gustavsson estimates each job supports two more. That translates to almost 190,000 jobs, or more than four percent of Sweden’s workforce.

“If Saab fell, there would probably be no money for anything beyond the absolute necessities in this municipality,” said Akerlund. “Many street lights would probably have to go dark.”
[...]

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Next Generation Saab 9-5 Spy Photos Once Again

Posted on 29. Jan, 2009 by .

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n95 Next Generation Saab 9 5 Spy Photos Once Again

Photo Credit: Carpix

Allt Om Motor has found some spypics recently of the next generation Saab 9-5. If you look at the driver’s face, you can see it swirled which makes me wonder, are these really “spy” photos or someone taking them at Saab and pretending they are?

Either way, we are getting a closer look at the front of the car now, with respect to the attention of the grille with the prominent “SAAB” wordmark on it as you can see.

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Saab 9-3x Cross-Combi Filming In Kiruna, Sweden

Posted on 29. Jan, 2009 by .

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kiruna Saab 9 3x Cross Combi Filming In Kiruna, Sweden

Photo Credit: Saab Automobile AB

According to an insider that has recently contacted Saab History, the Saab 9-3x Cross-Combi will be involved in a filming event this coming week in Kiruna, Sweden in anticipation for its launch in Geneva, Switzerland this March.

Kiruna, Sweden is the Northern most city in Sweden, home of the native Suomi population in a region called Lappland. Withing the city of Kiruna is a village known as Jukkasjärvi.This village is where the world reknowned Ice Hotel is located.

Saab Automobile has capitalized on this region for events, test drives and other activities such as the Ice Experience in 2007 and the Brand Experience in 2008 as part of the Ice Hotel.

If you want to find out more about the Ice Hotel, and the region itself, I highly suggest you visit the links I’ve highlighted in this post.

It will be interesting to see what the Saab 9-3x Cross-Combi will look like there, but would be even more interesting to visit the region one of these days to test drive XWD!

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Saab “A Different Approach” Promo – 1989

Posted on 29. Jan, 2009 by .

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Here is another great promotional video done in 1989 by Saab Automobile, just before GM bought a 50% share in the company.

This video titled “A Different Approach” shows the difference Saab had in the industry at the time.

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Saab Automobile On February 17th & March 31st Dates

Posted on 28. Jan, 2009 by .

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I just received this e-mail this morning from Saab Automobile’s Manager of Government Relations, Anna Petre.

In case anyone needed clarification on the two dates, February 17th & March 31st, here is her response below, posted with her permission:

The 17th is when GM submits its viability plan to the US Government. That plan is not a public document, but in the plan there will certainly be a part about GM´s plans for Saab. But again, the plan is not public, and I cannot say today when it will be. Regarding March 31, I think it is the date when the US Government will respond to GM´s plans.

Best Regards

Anna
____________________________________________________

Anna Petre
Manager Government Relations
Saab Automobile AB

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Saab-Scania “The Company Behind The Symbol” Promo – 1989

Posted on 28. Jan, 2009 by .

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This has got to be one of my favorite Saab-Scania promotional films produced in 1989.
 
The film covered every division in the company at the time from Automobile, Aircraft to Trucks & Busses and Space!
 

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Trollhättan, Sweden’s Newspaper TTELA, On Saab’s Race Against The Clock

Posted on 28. Jan, 2009 by .

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Here is an update from Trollhättan, Sweden’s newspaper TTELA titled “Saab’s Race Against The Clock”

We know that the first version of the business plan from GM shown to Jöran Hägglund on behalf of the Swedish Government was not credible, so back to the drawing board for Saab Automobile & GM in a race to get a solid business plan submitted prior to February 17th.

Below is most of the article loosely translated from Google translate:

Saab’s race against the clock

GÖTEBORG

It is busy days at Saab. February 17 GM will present its action plan for the U.S. Congress. Then a solution which secures the future of Saab’s be clear. – It is a bit of a race against the clock, “says Anna Petre, Saab’s responsible for the contacts.

Yesterday, she was Human Resources and Allan Roth Lind in Gothenburg together with other representatives from the automotive industry to inform the Western alliance Swedish MPs and politicians about the situation. A series of meetings these days.

– There are daily discussions right now, “says Petre.

English plan
TTELA wrote already two weeks ago to Saab, GM and the Swedish government outlined a plan for the Swedish Saab. It aims to collect nearly all the production (including the 9-3 convertible and the next 9-5) and the development of Trollhättan.

The parties have different interests, all of which perhaps can be satisfied with such a solution.

The state wants, whether to offer financing loans, the Saab-job ports in Sweden. GM, in turn, see an opportunity to break out Saab in a more independent role, perhaps for future sale.

However, the approach must be understood to have long-term economic viability.

Anna Petre want neither confirm plans or say something about how the negotiations proceed.

– A few months forward, then the picture has become clearer, “she says.

An important date is, of course, February 17, when GM will present its action plan for the U.S. Congress.

The plan under discussion for Saab includes access to short-term financial support in the form of rescue loan and / or support through the European Investment Bank.

No formal application has not yet been made, it is a complex process and the rules have just been completed.

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SAAB SCANIA – “Leaders in Technology” 1989

Posted on 28. Jan, 2009 by .

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On the topic of SAAB-SCANIA 1969-1989, I managed to find a film that specifically outlines each of the divisions of the company such as Aircraft, Saab Car Division, Scania Division and Combitech and Enertech. Enjoy the film and let me know what you think.

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Production Concept