Trollhättan, Sweden: All 3,800 employees at Saab Automobile will down tools next Wednesday (23 February) to hold a huge birthday party – the first anniversary of Saab’s rebirth as an independent carmaker. They will be joined by dealers, suppliers, VIPs and media.
Part of Saab’s state-of-the-art factory in Trollhättan will be converted into an entertainment arena, it will be ‘open house’ at the Saab Car Museum, and many of the town’s bars and restaurants are expected to join in the festivities as Saab Automobile celebrates its first year as an independently-run business.
The celebration will be exactly one year to the day after General Motors sold Saab Automobile to Spyker Cars N.V. of the Netherlands. When the deal was signed, new Saab Automobile Chairman Victor Muller promised his jubilant workforce that this day would be commemorated and next week he and Saab President & CEO Jan Åke Jonsson will keep their word.
The factory entertainment program includes live music sessions, video shows, presentations, awards for top suppliers, a photo competition on the theme of ‘Independence’ and the announcement of Saab’s latest product news, including a unique special edition car. A celebratory birthday cake – of which more than 300 will be produced – will be shared among all those attending.
The event will be broadcast live for screening at Saab dealerships around the world and also recorded for video distribution.
“This is our Independence Day,” said Jonsson. “We will be celebrating becoming masters of our own destiny again, being free to make our own decisions and back our own judgements.
“Saab has come a long way in the last 12 months. We’ve restructured our operations here in Sweden and around the world, we’ve introduced new ways of working, entered new markets and forged new business partnerships. We’ve also triggered the biggest new product offensive in Saab’s history with the launch of the 9-5 Sedan and the 9-4X crossover, the introduction of the 9-5 SportCombi later this year, and the arrival of a new generation 9-3 range next year.
“So we will be looking forward as well as back during our celebrations next week. We are at the beginning of a bright new future for the company.”
Saab Automobile Chairman Victor Muller added: “Saab is being reborn as an independent and entrepreneurial business. We are giving full rein to the free thinking and innovative spirit that has always been part of this company’s DNA. The celebration next week will be part of that process.
“No other carmaker has such a loyal workforce, such a loyal dealer network or such a loyal customer following. With exciting new products now on sale and in the pipeline, we have all the ingredients in place for a successful future.”
During the last 12 months, Saab Automobile’s major achievements include:
- Concentration of all design, development and vehicle production at Trollhättan
- Reorganization of engineering and technical development processes
- Introduction of a new global, Saab-controlled sales and distribution network
- Creation of new business partnerships: e-AAM Driveline Systems, BMW engine supply, 9-3 ePower electric vehicle research program with several partners
- Establishment of SES (Saab Engineering Services) as an entrepreneurial business division marketing Saab expertise
- Launch of all-new Saab 9-5 Sedan and 9-4X, Saab’s first crossover vehicle
- Introduction of 180 hp, turbo diesel 9-3 Sport Sedan with class-leading 119 g/km CO2 emissions
Source: Saab Automobile press release – 16 February 2011