Tag Archives: Hingham

The "Save Saab" Event In Jacksonville, Florida

Posted on 24. Jan, 2010 by .

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The North East Florida Saab Club in Jacksonville held a “SAVE SAAB” event on Saturday.

This was interesting location in Jacksonville, Florida, given it was one of Saab’s first ports in the United States besides Hingham, Massachusetts, starting in 1959.

They had a decent turnout as you can see in the photo. For more photos, please visit this link.

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History Of The Saab USA HQ In The United States

Posted on 29. Apr, 2009 by .

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The history of Saab business has taken many routes over the years, and I thought it would now be the best time to briefly discuss where it started and hopefully where it’s heading.

In 1956, SAAB Motors, Inc. was established by Ralph Millet headquartered in New York City with a port in Hingham, Massachusetts.

In 1961, SAAB Motors, Inc. merged and relocated their headquarters and port to one facility in New Haven, Connecticut. This facility would be used for a period of 10 years, the duration of the lease.

In 1971, the newly merged company, Saab-Scania of America, Inc., began operations in Orange, Connecticut creating a rather large campus spanning two areas North and South of Interstate 95. These facilities included 60 Marsh Hill Road, 35 Executive Boulevardin 1988, 15 Executive Boulevard, a SCANIA truck facility North of the interstate, a large parts facility nearby in Meriden in 1987, and a training facility in Wallingford in 1998.

In 1992, following the GM 50% merger, newly established Saab Cars USA, Inc. began operations in Norcross, Georgia while their parts depot was also relocated to Allentown, Pennsylvania.

In late 2004, a newly former Saab Automobile USA brand team moved to the Renaissance Center at GM headquarters in Detroit, Michigan. In the fall of 2008, this brand team became consolidated into what is known as GM Premium Brands.

I am hopeful that Saab will carry on in a new capacity stateside as ‘Saab Automobile North America’ with a head office situated back in New England, North of Boston on the seacoast.

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The SAAB 93 : 1955 – 1957

Posted on 25. Nov, 2008 by .

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Photo Credit: SAAB Motors Inc. – 93 Promotional Photo, New York, NY, 1956.

The SAAB 93 (ninety three), is the successor to the 92B and was produced in 1955.

This was also the first SAAB ever to be imported into the United States a year later in 1956 to the port of Hingham, Massachusetts, as well as Portugal, Spain and other countries.

The final year of this early model, it had the option of a two-point seatbelt by 1957.

This model was the second production vehicle for SAAB and came equipped with the following specifications:
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Saab History Visits Shaw Saab – Norwell, MA

Posted on 10. Nov, 2008 by .

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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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