Tag Archives: Director Saab

Saab’s Jan Ake Jonsson Presents To Supplier Organization

Posted on 01. Sep, 2009 by .

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In Södertälje Sweden, the town where Saab had their former engine factory, Saab Automobile’s Managing Director, Jan Ã…ke Jonsson will be conducting a presentation titled “The Road Ahead For Saab” to FKG on Wednesday.

FKG is an automobile industry association which represents automotive suppliers. According to the FKG website, this organization was established twenty years ago and it works together with automotive supplies in other Nordic countries such as Norway and Finland. There are approximately 300 members of this organization at this tiem.
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Saab History Relocates to New England

Posted on 14. Apr, 2008 by .

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Photo Credit: Saab History on Interstate 95

It’s been quiet here lately on Saab History over the past week and for good reason. As a native New Englander, and founder of the New England Saab Association, I am pleased to tell you that Saab History has now relocated to New England.

There’s an old saying in New England that I have not and will never forget and it goes like this: “You can take a New Englander out of New England, but you can’t take New England out of a New Englander

Ever since 1956 when SAAB began importing their vehicles on the port of Hingham, Massachusetts, New England continues to be Saab Automobile USA’s stronghold.

95.jpgThe trip took place today as I followed the helpful leader in the caravan, longtime colleague, Carl of the Saab Ipod device, while we briskly raced up the North East corridor of the United States on none other than Interstate “95” (Nine Five).

Throughout this trip from Washington, D.C. to New England., the Saab sightings were of course, numerous. As we entered New England, we payed homage to both of Saab Automobile USA’s former headquarters at both 100 Waterfront Street, New Haven as well as 60 Marsh Hill Road/35 Executive Boulevard, Orange both of which were within minutes of each other in Connecticut.

In summary, this highly anticipated relocation will be mutually beneficial to my family as well as my friends, and coincidentally, you the reader. Please expect to see more detailed material, more news, and more unique content like you’ve never seen before.

As of today, Saab History has made it safely and securely back to New England.

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The Saab-Scania of America, Inc. Coffee Mug

Posted on 17. Mar, 2008 by .

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Photo Credit: Saab History

This just in from Bob Sinclair, former President of Saab-Scania of America, Inc. regarding the Saab-Scania Coffee mug.

A thank you to Jan-Willem Vester at Saab Automobile USA for providing the mug a number of months ago.

Here are the details about the importance of this coffee mug from Bob Sinclair, in his own words:

About the coffee mug, sometime in the early ’80s we established a multi-level follow-up that went to every buyer of a new Saab. I don’t recall the details, but it went something like this:

mug_300.jpg1. Standard “letter of welcome” like just about all car companies send.
2. Stereo tape cleaner, again with a message of thanks for choosing Saab.
3. Coffee mug, with a 3rd message, my card inside the mug.

The purpose was two-fold: To build favorable feelings toward Saab, of course, and to let owners know where to write if they had any problems…with their car, their dealer, or whatever.

Establishing direct contact with owners resulted in a huge amount of mail landing on my desk, but it also gave me direct insight into our operations across the nation. I read every letter. Our headquarters personnel, our employees out in the field, and our dealers all knew it. And they knew that complaints would be investigated, and if found to be legitimate the responsible dealer would be held accountable. At least that’s how it was supposed to work. Was it perfect? Of course not, but I think the effort involved was well worth it…and was just one more element of building a successful business for Saab here in the U. S.

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Robert J. Sinclair Interview – 2007 Boston Auto Show

Posted on 04. Dec, 2007 by .

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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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Lennart Lonnegren – Former Saab Public Relations Manager

Posted on 29. Oct, 2007 by .

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Lennart Lonnegren, former Saab USA Public Relations Manager has kindly provided Saab History a nice narrative about his time working with Saab. Lennart Lonnegren worked as a newspaperman in both Sweden and the United States, before joining saab Motors as public relations manager in 1963. He remained in that position until his retirement in 1990, working at both 100 Waterfront Street, New Haven as well as Orange, Connnecticut locations. This biography was first presented as a speech at the New England Saab association Saab Gathering in 2004. The version you see below is an updated version, as of October 26th, 2007.

Enjoy his writeup below in his own words:

Since I left Saab, after almost 30 years, I have often thought of a couple of things that seem kind of particular to Saab people.

Such as the fact that Saab enthusiasts are pretty crazy, maybe even more crazy than other car enthusiasts, although it is really only a matter of degree.

But the thing that has really stuck with me more than anything else is the undying loyalty, in one way or another, that Saab people feel, and certainly express, for Saab. By Saab people I mean not just people like you, ardent enthusiasts and collectors. I am thinking of all people who at one time or another have been in touch with the Svenska Aeroplan Aktiebolaget: car owners, car dealers, employees, just about everyone.

Yes, I am one of them, so let me begin by explaining who I am, and why I came to be here.

My very first exposure to something called Saab occurred as early as in 1947. Those of you have read the Saab books that we used to give out at meetings such as this – we tried very hard to sell them, but didn’t succeed very well – know that June 10, 1947, is a very important date in the history of Saab. On that date the first Saab car was shown publicly – actually at a pretty exclusive press conference and unveiling in Stockholm, Sweden.

I must have just received my Swedish driver’s license at that time, and since my father was a newspaper publisher in Stockholm and had been at the press showing, I took the opportunity to suggest that maybe that was the car that I should some time be given.
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SAAB-SCANIA of America – 60 Marsh Hill Rd, Orange, CT

Posted on 24. Oct, 2007 by .

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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 .

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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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SAAB-SCANIA of America Ad – 1972

Posted on 24. Jun, 2007 by .

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In 1972, SAAB-SCANIA of America, Inc.headquartered at 60 Marsh Hill Road in Orange, Connecticut, placed the following advertisement in Motor Trend. This early advertisement focuses on many aspects of the ongoing issues in the world of automobiles.Many of these issues are still true today, and may be one of the first advertisements by SAAB to focus on their technological advances that set themselves apart from other manufacturers in terms of energy efficiency and environmental awareness in terms of emissions standards.

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