Tag Archives: Georgia

Saab Cars North America To Relocate To Royal Oak, MI

Posted on 16. Mar, 2010 by .

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Photo Credits: Oakland Press & Biddison Architecture

Saab History has just learned that there will be details about Saab Cars North America’s relocation from the GM Rennaissance Center to the new facility at 4327 Delemere Court Royal Oak, Michigan tomorrow.

At approximately 1:30pm, the Governor of Michigan, Jennifer Granholm will announce Saab Cars North America’s move to Royal Oak at a press conference. I am sure at around the same time an official press release will also be issued by SCNA, describing this move.

It was back in October of last year where we first learned about this particular location and over the course of the fall, Saab Cars North America (SCNA) received numerous tax benefits for their new headquarters to relocate here.

Since Saab’s start in the United States back in 1956 , they held headquarters in New York City, New Haven & Orange, Connecticut, Norcross, Georgia and most recently, the GM Renaissance Center in Detroit. This move marks a new beginning for the Saab Cars North America team as they continue the process of separating themselves from GM, their former parent.

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I highly encourage the folks at Saab Cars North America to host an open house, showing their new facility. This would symbolize full transparency, their open door policy and trust and relationship building with not only the press, but their their existing customers and all of the customers they plan on welcoming back.

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The “Save Saab” Gathering In Atlanta, Georgia

Posted on 18. Jan, 2010 by .

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Photo Credit: Keith R Bujak

A moderate turnout for the folks in Atlanta, Georgia, once home to Saab Cars USA’s headquarters, made the treck!

There is currently no count of the people or Saabs, but guesses should be around the 20s.

We had 24 cars and about 30 people. We made a 70 mile journey around Atlanta’s beltway (known as the Perimeter), I-285. We even picked up a few more Saabs along the way!

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Saab History’s Contributions To Saab In The United States

Posted on 02. Oct, 2009 by .

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As the new Saab Cars North America team prepares for their official start date next Monday, October 5th, I want to use this opportunity to write about Saab History’s contributions to Saab in the United States over the years.

Having led the New England Saab Association from nothing to something (1997-2001), it was time for me to take some time off. Since that time, having lived in Sweden, I developed a somewhat new found interest in Saab from that perspective and continued it while then moving to Washington, D.C. during the whole House of Sweden launch.

It was upon arrival in D.C. in 2004, when we began learning that the Saab Cars USA team was moved to Detroit from Norcross, Georgia and that the team dynamics of the organization had permanently changed.

The motivation and re-association with Saab at a greater level began somewhere in the spring of 2005, when we also learned that many people were let go, retired and that a lot of information and historical data had been literally thrown in the trash. It was here where we began to ask ourselves, what was going on with Saab Cars USA at this time and why so much turmoil? I know many people thought that perhaps at a basic level, we should do something about this loss of institutional knowledge and information for the car company that we loved.

This idea of doing something, initially began by gathering all of the Saab material, particularly videos, and launching the website, Saab Videos, in an attempt to get the information back out to the world about what was done over the years in a somewhat chronological organized order. Upon launching this website, the traffic increased so much due to demand that it sent the site into it’s own turmoil. It was decided that something had to be done, and with the material that was received which involved more than just videos, Saab History was launched a good year and a half later in the fall of 2006.

Saab History then began to grow, attracting a much larger audience while also adding more content for the original videos project. The site based on a blog format, developed from a content resource to a news blog referencing the past, present and future of Saab.

In the spring of 2007, the Saab Automobile USA team at the time, initiated by my former colleague, Jan-Willem Vester, began the first of many ongoing invites to events with other members of the media to communicate Saab as a journalist. It is here where they saw the value of my site, my visitors and what I could do for them, in promoting their products.

The following year, Saab History managed to showcase where some of that material that was not thrown out, ended up, that being the Saab USA press releases and photos at the GM Heritage Center, the Videos at the GM Media Archive. In addition to those two information resources, we of course also covered the heritage collection cars, which was also illustrated here on Saab History. As the year continued, visitors continued to grow and even double year on year and the impressions for Saab in a global sense spanned over 2,000,000 impressions per month. That same year, Saab History was designated as a subject matter expert for Saab Automobile, globally.

As 2009 came around, the news separating fact from fiction became even more important as Saab Automobile entered a 6-month reconstruction phase. As a leading resource for Saab news, customers, dealerships and former employees followed Saab History to learn about where Saab was headed during this critical year, and that continues right to this very day.

By now, those visitors that have been following Saab History from the very beginning have certainly learned more than they probably ever thought they would about Saab’s history, and that was the point. Today, visitors even include current Saab employees that are rebuilding their own company here in the United States as first mentioned. These employees now have all of the information and free education at their fingertips due to a venture that has been building up for five years now. In promoting, encouraging, educating and informing the global Saab Community, it’s time to see this effort’s information “absorbed” by the new team.

While I am a Saab Historian, editor and promoter of Saab in a global sense, with particular regional attention here in the United States, the support received from the dealers, independents, community, and the motoring public has been critical to the continued existence of this resource. This resource reflects not just the work of one person, it reflects through my efforts, the work of generations of individuals in the global Saab community from former employees to the Sinclair family today.

As the team gets underway next Monday, they need to ensure that they do not repeat the mistakes of the past and begin a fresh and innovative approach for their future Saab Cars North America team, moving forward. The question we must ask ourselves today is, will the new Saab Cars North America, find their own road to the state of independence and success for the new era, or will they repeat the mistakes of the past? Stay Tuned.

“Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” – Sir Winston Churchill*

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Saab History Connecting Former Saab USA Employees

Posted on 10. Mar, 2009 by .

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Saab History has been receiving a number of e-mails from former Saab Employees, particularly in the United States trying to re-unite with their fellow colleagues lately, presumably because of the fallout of General Motors and the relaunch of Saab Automobile as a newly independent company along with koenigsegg.

So who would have imagined that the fall of GM, would provide so many people, an opportunity to finally voice their opinions, share their information and provide truly interesting material with regards to Saab history.

All of the former Saab USA employees that worked during the following eras either physically in these offices or satellite offices, are now looking to reunite with one another, which is great.

405 Park Avenue, New York (1956-1961)
100 Waterfront Street New Haven, CT (1961-1971)
60 Marsh Hill Road / 35 Executive Blvd Orange, CT (1972-1992)
Norcross, Georgia (1992-2004)
Renaissance Center, Detroit, Michigan (2004-2009)

As you know, back in 2005, there close to 150 people that gathered in Connecticut for a 1st ever, Saab USA reunion. This year, there is another former employee reunion in Connecticut as well.

It is the work that many of you did that has contributed to Saab’s presence here over the years in the United States and that is why it’s important to celebrate each and every one of your accomplishments. In an effort to make this easy for you, I have placed a permanent contact link for all of you to the left of this site so you know what to look for titled “SAAB Former Employees Click Here”.

Please contact Saab History, if you are a former Saab USA employee looking to connect with another peer or colleague, I will do my very best to get you together.

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Saab Cars USA President Joel Manby : 1996 – 2000

Posted on 15. Dec, 2008 by .

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Photo Credit: Saab Automobile USA

Joel Manby, took over as President of Saab Cars USA from June 1996 where he worked at the Norcross, Georgia headquarters.

Over his time with Saab, he saw a lot including the global launch of the Saab 9-5 which included the North American launch at the 1997 Saab Owners Convention 50th Jubillee in Waterville Valley, New Hampshire.

His tenure with Saab Cars USA came to an end in April of 2000 when General Motors then took over a majority stake (100%) of Saab Automobile AB.

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Jim Crumlish, Saab Cars USA President 1995 – 1996

Posted on 22. Nov, 2008 by .

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Photo Credit: Saab Cars USA, Inc.

In February of 1994, Jim Crumlish took over the position as President and CEO of Saab Cars USA, Inc. and worked in the Norcross-Georgia headquarters.

Jim worked prior to this new position, for four years at Saab Automobile AB in Trollhättan, Sweden.

In his new position he was responsible for strengthening both North South America where he saw the introductions of the new generation Saab 900 Convertible as well as the world debut of the 3-door 900 coupe at both the North American International Auto Show as well as the Los Angeles Auto Show.

One vehicle that continues his legacy, was a 1991 Saab 900 Convertible in Cirrus White, made specifically for Jim Crumlish at the Saab factory in Sweden that now resides at Sports Car Service in Wilmington, Delaware.

Jim ended his tenior as President of Saab Cars USA, Inc. and was succeeded by Joel Manby

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Former Saab-Scania Of America, Inc. Employees Held “Saab Reunion” in Connecticut 2005

Posted on 14. Nov, 2008 by .

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Photo Caption: A Sketch on the invitation letter done by one of the hosts of the Saab USA Gathering / 2005

As a follow-up to the Saab-Scania Of America, team spirit photo of the 1970’s, I have some more recent news that I need to share.

In 2005, approximately 150 former Saab-Scania of America, Inc. employees gathered in Connecticut to hold the first annual Saab Reunion!

These employees consisted of those around long enough to have worked at the 100 Waterfront Street, New Haven Location, 60 Marsh Hill Road & 35 Executive Boulevard campus in Orange as well as the more recent, Norcross, Georgia location.

Evidently, there was a lot of good times had at the reunion. If there is anyone that has any photos of that event, please feel free to share those here on Saab History for others to enjoy!

Great to see such a close family reunite for the first time! It says a lot about the team oriented focus back in those days with Saab-Scania Of America, and the more recent Saab Cars, USA, Inc. team.

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The Saab Blackbird Concept Car – 2020

Posted on 31. Oct, 2008 by .

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Credit: Mark Kruse

Mark Kruse, an independent contractor for the design company Formation Design out of Atlanta, Georgia has just produced a concept car design called the “Saab Blackbird”.

This design slated for the year “2020”, was evidently inspired by the SR-71 Blackbird stealth jet from the 1960’s and obviously a take off of the Aero-X, it recalls my memory of that Aero-X video produced by an outfit in California called “Blackbird”.

Finding out about this design exercise, I initially decided to disregard it, but the photos of all of the renderings both inside and out tells me that someone was paid to do this, so why? This brings up a ton of questions, and here are my first two:

1) Are the designers at the General Motors Europe design studio now outsourcing design ideas for future Saabs?

2) Have these designers given up on having future designs inspired by other Saab jets. Do they know there was more than just the Draken, Viggen & Gripen, right?

It’s almost like this design exercise, although done by a professional firm, was funded in a similiar way that design student at UmeÃ¥ was with his design excercises on the 9-CX concept.

To take a look at all of the rest of the photos, visit this page here:

Here is the details:

The Saab Blackbird concept is a creation of Mark Kruse, a contracting designer working for Formation Design Group in Atlanta, GA. The concept is a tandem configuration two-seat sports car inspired by the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird jet. Developed for the year 2020 the concept interior.jpgfeatures many innovations and unusual features not yet available on production cars.

The narrow design of the Saab Blackbird helps it to carve through city traffic and congested roads. The suspension can also pull in close to the body (making the vehicle taller and slimmer, thus shrinking its footprint) making it perfect to occupy special highway lanes developed for this specific type of narrow car platform. In slim mode the Blackbird is just 52″ (132 cm) wide.

Powering the Saab Blackbird concept are four in-wheel electric motors and batteries charged via a solar skin covering the top of the vehicle.

Inside the concept are more interesting features; including seats which can expand or contract to fit the occupant, these are controlled by a dial on the side of each seat. The driver has a concise LCD display screen mounted directly in front which offers up all vital driving information. The passenger has a wrap around display which can stream video, connect to the internet, show movies, or project outside scenery.

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Production Concept