Tag Archives: Saab Convertible

Newly-independent Saab Resumes Car Production

Posted on 22. Mar, 2010 by .

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Photo Credit: Saab Automobile AB

Newly-independent Saab Resumes Car Production

* Production resumes at Saab Automobile’s Trollhättan plant
* First cars manufactured by Saab as an independent company
* All-new Saab 9-5 sedan was first car down the line
* Saab CEO, Spyker CEO, and Trollhättan Plant Director in attendance

Trollhättan, Sweden. The production lines at Saab Automobile’s state-of-the-art Trollhättan plant began rolling again today, heralding a new era for the Swedish premium car maker as an independent company. To mark the occasion, Saab Automobile CEO Jan Åke Jonsson, Spyker Cars CEO Victor Muller and Trollhättan Plant Director Gunnar Brunius took up positions on the line alongside assembly workers as the first batch of cars was built.

Production at the Trollhättan plant was originally halted for seven weeks. Now, following the purchase of Saab Automobile AB by Spyker Cars NV, the first cars to be built by Saab as an independent company will soon be delivered to customers.

“Today’s resumption of production is a milestone in the history of our company” said Jan Åke Jonsson. “We are up and running as an independent manufacturer and I am delighted to share the experience on the line alongside our workforce. They have shown tremendous commitment to the company and we are all now focused on ramping up production to meet customer demand.”

First on the line today was an all-new Saab 9-5 sedan, destined to join a test fleet prior to the model’s official launch later this year. Further down the line was a Saab Convertible, now also being produced in Trollhättan as part of the concentration of Saab operations in Sweden. With the introduction of the new 9-5 SportCombi next year, a total of five model lines will be produced at the plant.

“We have a highly flexible, world-class facility here at Trollhättan,” said Plant Director Gunnar Brunius. “Our ability to build so many different models in one location improves plant utilization and will deliver valuable efficiency gains. With these state-of-the-art facilities and a dedicated workforce, we are in excellent shape.”

Victor Muller, CEO of Spyker Cars said: “Everyone at Saab has worked extremely hard to reach this important point. Today production restarted with a new 9-5 first down the line – a fitting symbol that a new era has begun.”

Contact:
Saab Automobile Press Office
Tel: +46 (0)520 279797

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The First Saab 9-3 Convertible Production Footage

Posted on 14. Jan, 2010 by .

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As a continuation of the press release we saw earlier this week of the first Saab Convertible to be produced in Sweden, here’s some video footage.

This video footage depicts the 9-3 convertible being assembled at the Saab factory in Trollhättan, Sweden.

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The First Ever, Saab 9-3 Convertible Built In Sweden!

Posted on 12. Jan, 2010 by .

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Photo Credits: Saab Automobile AB

The first ever Saab 9-3 convertible to be built in Sweden rolled off of the assembly line yesterday at the Saab factory in Trollhättan.

The Saab Convertible has historically been built in Graz, Austria from 2004-2009, and previously it was built in Uusikaupunki, Finland ever since it’s introduction in 1986.

This is a huge day for Saab Automobile and a big milestone in the history of the convertible. This car being produced in Sweden now also means that all production is now entirely in Sweden. I think that Bob Sinclair, the man behind the idea of the Saab convertible would be proud if was with us today.

Here’s the press release below:

Saab Automobile Produces its First Convertible in Trollhättan

* Production of iconic Saab Convertible begins in Trollhättan
* Increased utilization of Saab Automobile’s Trollhättan production facility

The first Saab Convertible to be built in Sweden rolled off the line at Saab Automobile’s production facility in Trollhättan today. All previous Saab Convertibles have been built outside of Sweden, first at Valmet Automotive in Uusikaupunki, Finland and latterly at the Magna Steyr plant in Graz, Austria.

During 2009, the decision was made to concentrate all Saab car production in Sweden and as a result the Saab Convertible is now being built alongside the current 9-3 and 9-5 models, plus the next generation 9-5, at Saab’s state-of-the-art manufacturing unit in Trollhättan.

Saab Automobile revealed its first four-seater Convertible as a concept car in 1983 and the production version followed in 1986. Since then, more than 250,000 Convertibles have been produced. Designed as a true four-season, all-weather soft-top, the Saab Convertible has achieved iconic status and in 2008 it accounted for 12% of sales in the European premium mid-sized convertible segment. The latest vision of Saab’s future direction in convertible design, the 9-X Convertible Concept, was shown at the 2008 Paris Motor Show to great media and public acclaim.

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Steven Rossi, Fmr. Saab USA PR Chief, Published in NY Times

Posted on 16. Nov, 2009 by .

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Steven Rossi, former Public Relations Director for Saab Cars USA, has recently written a great article about Saab’s History and the cars that people collect today in the New York Times..

Rossi who took over for Lennart Lonnegren in 1990 and continued this role as Public Relations Director up until the a few years after the move to Norcross Georgia in 1994, has a long history with Saab dating back to 1978 as young engineer.

In fact, one of his many humble accomplishments took place before this position. In the early eighties, he worked alongside former Saab-Scania of America President, Bob Sinclair to submit the engineering drawings for what became one of the most iconic products in Saab’s historical portfolio, the Saab Convertible.

As a proud member of the 60-consecutive months of sales led by Bob Sinclair and former national sales director, Sten Helling, Rossi saw not only the convertible but the launch of the Saab 9000 in which he participated in the press event at Talladega Speedway for the “Long Run” in 1986.

Throughout his time with Saab in the United States, he saw many aspects of the business inside and out from engineering to public relations.

Today, he continues to hold the torch as one of the original members of the team that worked in Orange, Connecticut. In fact, he has organized two Saab Reunions in the North East over the past five years for other former employees to gather and reminisce.

I highly suggest you read this piece by Steven Rossi beginning with his opening excerpt below.

SAAB is a relatively young and proudly offbeat automaker, and from the start it has appealed to those who appreciate the unconventional. For aficionados, “Find your own road” was more than a slogan.

More

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2009 SOC Saab History In Colorado Presentation

Posted on 04. Sep, 2009 by .

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At the 2009 Saab Owners Convention, I moderated a seminar on Saturday morning that consisted of the Saab History in Colorado (1960-Present).

As part of the seminar, I had a number of former presenters from former Saab USA Employees to a representative from the Vail Police Department to discuss and present 4 distinct areas of this history.

I had a great time presenting and thank those that participated in the seminar as well as all those that attended it. I captured the seminar by creating a video above that showcases each powerpoint slide with an audio-only portion of the presentation for ease of listening. The seminar is one hour in length so as time permits, sit back listen and enjoy looking at the photographs and the stories behind then.

Here’s the summary of what was discussed.

Dealerships

Saab has had a very colorful history in Colorado. This history of Saab in Colorado began with one individual. Dick Catron, was the individual that opened the first Saab dealership in 1958 which triggered the growth of the dealership network in Colorado ever since. From 1966 through 1995, Saab had representation is as many as 11 markets in Colorado. Today, there are four Saab dealerships in the state, all attaining excellent market penetration.

Products

In addition to having great dealer representation during this time, there were two significant product launches that helped Saab to become a leader in the Colorado market. At the start there was the addition of the turbo in the late seventies, which made the car a real performer in the high altitudes of Colorado. Next came the Saab convertible, which proved to be a huge success as an all season car. Then came all-wheel drive, and today there’s what’s called cross-wheel drive.

Promotions

Over a period of 25 years, both Aspen and Vail police departments selected Saab as their official police car. This exposure yielded a long-standing and mutually beneficial marketing tool for both parties during that time. Driving through Aspen and Vail, seeing all the police cars was a truly unique experience. Rob McClung Chief of Police in Aspen quoted “The Aspen Police Department has found the Saab far superior to any other vehicle we have tested with respect to its performance under the demanding conditions we encounter in our police service “. Years later, it was a Hollywood film with Jim Carrey & Jeff Daniels, that reinforced the continued presence of Saab’s in Colorado on the big screen.

Events
For ten straight years (1982-1991) a national peace officers ski race took place in Colorado, and Saab USA was the main sponsor. It was this event between the ski demographic and the Saab owner that reinforced the connection ever since. In the late nineties, Saab entered their new generation Saab 900 in the Pikes Peak, Colorado challenge on steep gravel roads, which proved to be faster than any other car in its class. This race continued in 2000 and again in 2002 with legendary rally driver, Per Eklund who helped set new historical milestones for Saab racing in Colorado. In the early 2000’s following the Pikes Peak event, Saab launched their first all-wheel drive vehicle at Crested Butte Ski Resort in Colorado.

While it was impossible to cover all the events of Saab’s history in Colorado here, I did the best job with my colleagues to cover all of the high points.

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Saab Dealerships Unable To Order MY 2009 Through GM & MY 2010 Saabs Until Koenigsegg Deal Is Complete.

Posted on 07. Aug, 2009 by .

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There has been a lot of dialogue lately from Saab dealerships stateside and around the globe, and that dialogue mainly surrounds them being unable to order any new cars lately, those being 2009 and 2010 model years and here’s why.

The following information has been confirmed through various sources, however, if you find something incorrect, this is the opportunity to set the record straight. This material has been reviewed by many people and appears to be correct in it’s current form. Please let this information serve the global Saab customer and dealership as an informational reference about the current state of Saab product availabiliy.

Update: So far, I am hearing that any Saab dealership that signed the “GM wind down agreement” is subject to the inability to order products at this time. This means those dealers that did not, are still able to request “made to order” new Saab’s both MY 2009 and MY 2010.

The 2009 Model Year

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The 2009 Model year Saabs continue to be part of the new GM. However, since mid June, most if not all Saab dealerships interested in selling future Saabs with Koenigsegg, were asked to sign a “wind down agreement” with GM. This agreement effectively prohibits these dealerships from buying any more new vehicles from GM. The Saab dealerships have to just sell what’s remaining in inventory until the new program has been finalized with Koenigsegg.

The problem with this is that the Saab-Koenigsegg program continues to be delayed and the little ’09 inventory that exists that dealerships ordered, in comparison to the larger inventory of 08’s ordered the year before is a huge limit on sales potential for the interim. This has made many sales figures four Saab dealerships effectively come close to a halt.

Add further insult to injury, we know that the MY 2009 Saab 9-3 Convertible’s production has ended in Graz, Austria, so it’s basically impossible to order a new Saab convertible until the production of this car is relocated back to Trollhattan, Sweden, which is speculated to take upwards of 6-months. There should have been some overlap here, as this is unacceptable in business continuity terms and on the customer end.

As for the rest of the Saab 9-3 model range availability, you can however, continue to order 2009 MY Saab 9-3 Sport Sedan & 9-3 SportCombi models that exist in current inventories only, no new custom orders possible for dealerships that have signed the agreement to be placed into the new Koenigsegg deal. This means you can buy an 09 9-3 Sedan or Sportcombi while supplies last.

As far as the Saab 9-5 model line is considered, the 9-5 sedan ended production the first week in July. You can order the what’s remaining in dealership inventories, again while supplies last. This leaves the 9-5 SportCombi that remains in production and if you want to order one of these, you can just like the remaining 9-3 lineup, buy one while supplies last too, so no new orders for this either for those dealerships that signed the agreement.

The 2010 /2011 Model Year

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The 2010 model year vehicles are to be part of the Koenigsegg-Saab program, even though two of them were 100% developed by GM, that being the NG 9-5 and 9-4x. This means that unfortunately no orders for these products until that deal is completed, which may not be until September 30th at this point. At this time, Saab dealerships around the globe cannot order a 2010 model year Saab.

These models for 2010 include the Saab 9-3x, the 2010 NG 9-5, 2011 9-4x & 2011 NG 9-5 SportCombi.

Summary

Saab dealerships stateside and around the world apparently are finding themselves in this same catch-22 situation where they cannot order any 2009 model year Saabs through GM, nor can they order any new 2010 model year Saabs through Koenigsegg-Saab since that deal has yet to be finalized.

However, once the agreement is completed with Koenigsegg, I understand that the 9-3 Sport Sedan, 9-3 SportCombi and 9-3x as part of the model lineup will become available as will the 9-3 Convertible some time later. The same will be true with the current 9-5 SportCombi, then the next generation Saab 9-5, then the 9-4x and then the NG 9-5 SportCombi.

If you are a Saab dealer right now with very low availability of 09 model years and even lower 08 model years, you are basically trying to get by on certified pre-owned Saabs along with service and parts effectively waiting in a holding pattern until the Koenigsegg-Saab deal is completed. This holding pattern is financially unsustainable for Saab dealerships and all wonder just how long they can really hold out with new news, updates, etc. about the new arrangement.

If you are a Saab customer right now, you need to know that you can’t order a custom vehicle unless that one just happens to be within current inventory that fits your specifications, nothing is able to be made to order at this time until the Koenigsegg-Saab deal has been completed.

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Saab Designs Implemented Throughout Austria Hotel

Posted on 30. Jun, 2009 by .

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Photo Credits: Saab Automobile Austria

Saab Automobile Austria have decided to work with the Rathauspark, to implement their “move your mind” advertising campaign throughout their hotel in Austria.

Saab will design in suite at the Austria Trend Hotel Rathauspark in Vienna.

The Swedish car manufacturer Saab, is known for its extraordinary design. Now, this also in the Saab suite at the Austria Trend Hotel Vienna City Hall Park in its application. At 45m2 Saab was now the slogan “Move your mind” in a creative and modern design language implemented.
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Saab Australia Promotes 9-3 BioPower SportCombi

Posted on 31. May, 2009 by .

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Photo Credit: Saab Australia

Saab BioPower Promotes Alternative Fuels with Queensland Government

Building awareness for the importance of alternative fuels, Saab has provided a BioPower 9-3 SportCombi to the Queensland Government to use as a promotional vehicle for a 12 month period.

Promoting ethanol blended fuels and environmentally friendly vehicles, Saab and the Queensland Government will be a central highlight of Australia’s largest free green festival, Greenfest 2009, in June.

“With Saab BioPower, the first vehicle to run on E85 in Australia, Saab really does deliver on our promise of performance with responsibility,” said Director of GM Premium Brands, Parveen Batish.
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Production Concept