Archive for 'Orange, Connecticut'

Sten Helling, Saab Cars USA President Sept-Oct 1991

Posted on 17. Nov, 2008 by .



Photo Credit: Saab Cars USA, Inc.

Sten Helling accepted a position as interim President & CEO of Saab Cars USA in September of 1991 and worked in the corner office of 35 Executive Boulevard in Orange, Connecticut.

In 1980, he joined Saab-Scania of America as the National Manager of Sales and Marketing. Under his leadership at this time, he saw the Saab car division grow from 14,5000 units to 47,000 within a six-year period, the historic “60 consecutive months of growth”. In 1987, he was appointed executive vice president, sales and marketing.

Born in Gothenburg, he lived in Madison, Connecticut throughout his time with Saab. As part of the a new plan, Bill Kelly succeeded him, a month later in October of 1991.

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The Saab-Scania Of America Team Spirit – 1970’s

Posted on 12. Nov, 2008 by .



Photo Credit: Saab-Scania of America, Inc.

In the 1970’s, the Saab-Scania of America team seemed to really have some momentum going for them after the inception of the game changing Saab 99 Turbo.

The photo above illustrates how this team formerly located at 60 Marsh Hill Road Orange, Connecticut was a strong family, with this promotional photo taken sometime in the late 1970’s under the leadership of Jonas C:Son Kjellberg.

A thanks to Shaw Saab for the photo as part of the recent visit to the dealership.

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Jonas C:Son Kjellberg , Saab USA President 1972-1979

Posted on 12. Nov, 2008 by .



Photo Credit: Saab-Scania Of America, Inc.

Jonas C:Son Kjellberg became acting President of Saab USA, Inc. in 1972 replacing J. J. (Jerry) Upham

During his tenior, he worked in the corner office of the newly constructed 60 Marsh Hill Road in Orange, Connecticut facility alongside longtime PR personality, Lennart Lonnegren.

With Saab-Scania of America, he saw numerous model changes and launches including the pivotal Saab 99 Turbo for the 1978 model year.

Kjellberg worked in this capacity until Sten Wennlo asked Bob Sinclair to come back to work at Saab-Scania of America, as acting President in May of 1979.

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Former Saab-Scania Employee Seeks The Printed Word

Posted on 14. Mar, 2008 by .



A former Saab-Scania of America employee who was the national service manager from 1979 until 1987 that worked in Orange, Connecticut, has contacted me recently requesting some material.

This material consists of bound booklets called “The Printed Word” which were created by former PR representative, Lennart Lonnegren. Here is what he had to say about the purpose of this the Printed Word:

The Printed Word was my idea, one to cover general news on a more or less annual basis; a second version was continually provided to dealers as a showroom piece to show customers all positive road tests, etc. (It was provided with a three-ring binder so that dealesr could add the reprints as they got them.)

I hope to also find out the exact years that these began and ended.

These annual well-organized booklets included all of the newspaper articles, photographs and other material that hit the press in the United States each year.

In the meantime, if you have in your presence, any copies of the printed word, as shown in the photograph above, from 1980 until 1987, please contact Saab History. I am looking to help him obtain full photocopies of any or all of what you may have to share.

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50 Years Ago This Month: Robert J. Sinclair Joined SAAB

Posted on 12. Mar, 2008 by .


This month marks the 50 year anniversary since, the former President of Saab-Scania of America, Inc. Robert J. Sinclair began working with SAAB Motors, Inc.

1.jpgRobert “Uncle Bob” Sinclair has been instrumental in drumming up support both abroad and here in the United States since 1958 for what we now known as, the Saab brand, formerly Saab-Scania, and before that “Svenska Aeroplan Aktiebolaget” or SAAB. From his early beginnings as a SAAB Sales representative reporting to Ralph T. Millet, working in New Haven as well as Orange, Connecticut as President of Saab-Scania of America, he has been involved in a lot of milestones for Saab.

Since he announced his retirement in 1991, Robert “Uncle Bob” Sinclair relocated from the Connecticut region and then moved out to Santa Barbara, California where he has lived ever since. Today, he continues to be on call as one of the most humble, yet well spoken, supportive and respected personalities in the global Saab community.

During the rest of this month, I plan on spending a good portion, covering a wide variety of content that hopefully begins to give us an idea of the significance and historical impact that he has had over the years, as well as the legacy he built, which, in my opinion, will be continued with the Saab brand, well into the future.

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Robert J. Sinclair Interview – 2007 Boston Auto Show

Posted on 04. Dec, 2007 by .


Film Credits: Saab History

Robert J. Sinclair, a legend in the Saab community, began working with SAAB Motors, Inc. as a sales representative in March of 1958 until he left in january of 1961.

He later rejoined Saab-Scania of America, Inc. as President from May of 1979 until he retired in September of 1991 where he worked at both 60 Marsh Hill Road as well as 35 Executive Boulevard in Orange, Connecticut.

At the 2007 Boston Auto Show, I got the opportunity to interview “Uncle Bob” Sinclair in order to get his account of his later years while working during some of the most pivotal years for Saab.

A thank you goes out to Saab Automobile USA & GM for ensuring my presence at the 2007 Boston Auto Show, Saab of Hunterdon for the site sponsorship allowing the rental of the camcorder equipment to film the interview and of course Robert J. Sinclair for giving his time to share his experiences.

I will leave the rest of this account in his own words during the interview above.

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SAAB-SCANIA of America – 60 Marsh Hill Rd, Orange, CT

Posted on 24. Oct, 2007 by .


Photo Credits: Esto

The architectural firm, Douglas, Orr, deCossy and Winder designed the first building for SAAB-SCANIA of America, Inc. located at 60 Marsh Hill Road in Orange, Connecticut back in 1971. I have been in touch recently with both the original Architect of the project William deCossy, AIA as well as the Project Architect Russell Raymond Santora, AIA and both have been so kind as to provide “everything” they had in their possession with regards to this facility.

It is important to note that this facility is where both legendary Presidents of Saab USA, Ralph Millet as well as Robert J. Sinclair had worked.

It is also good to know that this is the first time that true color photographs of 60 Marsh Hill Road have surfaced as indicated above, so this is a huge milestone for the Saab History project.

The material below has been carefully retyped in their own words and the scanned sketches as well as photographs are all in black in white as that was what both William deCossy as well as Russell Santora had. If you find yourself visiting this and know of or know someone who has color photographs that I could replace and/or accompany the black and white photographs with, please contact me at your earliest convenience.

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Saab-Scania Building Design in Orange, Connecticut

Posted on 08. Sep, 2007 by .



Photo Credit: Building Design & Construction

I have recently received an article from the Building Design & Construction publication dated, October of 1974 that describes the unique building design and signage of former Saab-Scania of America, Inc. headquarters at 60 Marsh Hill Road in Orange, Connecticut.

This headquarters was first occupied in 1972 and that continued until 1992 when the staff relocated to Norcross, Georgia.

I wonder if the same architectural firm that was contacted again, when the signage was installed that read “SCANIA” on the other side of the building, flanking the SAAB sign which was added some years later (year presently unknown). The font looked slightly different.

Here is the original article republished with permission from the publication. Enjoy.

Billboard building – Before it received the design contract for the new Saab-Scania U>S. headquarters building in Orange, Conn., New Haven architects Orr, deCossy, Winder & Associates never had worked with metal systems. With its lease nearly up, Saab decided it wanted its own building. And it wanted a distinctive building in very short order. So Russell Santora decided to try metal systems for the two-story building. Realizing the owner wanted a bold identity, Santora did not want to resort to other materials to dress up the factory-made components. Instead he approached the deisgn using the concept of “billboard as a piece of architecture. We used metal supergraphics because the building is viewable only for a few seconds from a major highway.” Santora said. Through the cooperative effort of project architect, owner, and contractor, the 96,000-sq-ft. building was completed in five months.

Source: Building Design & Construction

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