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Saab Cars USA on the move

October 9, 2009 in News

Saab Cars USA officially began operations earlier this week. On Monday 5th October the new crew was sanctioned and began operations that will carry on when they eventually separate completely from General Motors.
Whilst that symbolic move took place just this week, the physical move from the Renaissance Center in Detroit may take a little longer, but that doesn’t mean they’ve not got the ball rolling already.
From The Oakland Press

Saab Cars USA is asking for a tax break if it moves its national headquarters from the Renaissance Center in Detroit to a building on Delemere Court in Royal Oak.
General Motors, the parent company of the Swedish-based subsidiary “born from jets,” will stop funding the unit Dec. 31. Saab is up for sale and on the lookout for a site to base its operations.
“Royal Oak seems to fit our customer demographics,” Saab spokeswoman Nicole Jankowski said. “It’s a trendy place.”
Saab plans to invest about $2.2 million in Royal Oak’s north end — or alternative sites in Connecticut that are under consideration. Saab had its U.S. headquarters in New Haven and Orange, Conn., for 30 years before relocating to Norcross, Ga., in 1992 and then Detroit in 2004.
Saab needs the tax abatement for new capital investment “to help justify a Michigan-based headquarters,” said Mike Colleran, president and chief operating officer of Saab Cars USA, in a letter to Royal Oak officials.
The $2.2 million investment would be made over a five-year period “to establish and maintain a U.S. headquarters operation consisting mostly of sales and marketing functions,” according to the Sept. 29 letter.
The office would employ about 50 people, said Royal Oak’s Planning Director Tim Thwing, but he didn’t know if any of the jobs will be newly created…….
……A one-story, gray brick building at 4327 Delemere Court near Normandy and Coolidge could become the next base for Saab Cars USA. Ronnisch Construction Group, the current tenant, is leaving the site near the mechanical contractor JB Cain Co. and the equipment supplier JP Lann Golf.
“The building fits their needs,” Thwing said. “It has been fixed up, it has offices, and it has an overhead door that Saab can use for testing vehicles.”

It seems they’re looking to stay in Michigan, which I guess is understandable given they need to retain experienced staff at this crucial point in time.
It’s a big time in Saab’s US history, so I guess anywhere is good so long as the people involved have a sense of occasion and a fire in their belly.
Good luck to Mike Colleran and his crew at Saab Cars USA.

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