Independence Day – on-site thoughts

Our friend DaveR has been assisted at the celebration, and while it was able to send some pictures during the event, it is now that he had some minutes to write down his thoughts about the event today.

Enjoy !!

Arrived at the factory at 11.00 today on a bright,sunny but cold (minus six) morning. The Press assembled, a bit daunting for me as a complete amateur surrounded by so many seasoned professionals, including regular SaabsUnited visitor Graeme L from AutoExpress.

Jan Ake Jonsson greeted us by outlining where Saab stood at present. He stressed that they were part way through a three year plan, upto 2012.It made me realise that those who want ‘everything now’ ( myself included) should view events and actions with this in mind.

Then Victor Muller spoke. What a truly inspirational bloke! He began by saying what a desperate shape Saab were in just over a year ago. ‘Buried’ as he put it.But now they are ‘alive and kicking’, emphasising how proud he was of everyone involved who had fought to achieve this.Employees, suppliers and ‘most importantly’ the customers.He also said, not all together jokingly, that he was about to collect the bets from all those who last year had said to him that Saab would not last a year. Pointedly, he added that no-one would repeat their bets if he were to offer odds now.

Then we went out into the factory to view the new products.A 9-4X was on display, but under covers were the new Griffin, 9-5 Combi and the Independence convertible. Each was uncovered seperately As he did so , Victor was questioned quite closely, even in some cases aggresively, by some members of the Press. It is truely amazing to see Victor operating in such circumstances. He knows all the relevant facts, politely correcting his questioners ( or even inquisitors) when they try to trip him up .In some ways the style of questions was self defeating – the harder the questioning, the better his responses become.

Interpersed with the new model displays were stands providing food – loads and loads of food and soft drinks.Thousands of hot dogs. Hundreds of ‘ Independence’ cakes .Containers of coffee. Boxes of soft drink cans.There were about sixty Press present, and I thought I would be hard pressed to consume my share , but would do my best.My initial fears for my health were unfounded, as at 12.30 back up, in the form of the four thousand or so Saab employees arrived for their part in the celebrations.

They had their well deserved chance to see what they have been instrumental in achieving so far.Jan Ake gave a speech ( naturally in Swedish) , then Victor Muller introduced Jason Castriota, saying that the ‘concept 9-3’ would be displayed at Geneva in around a weeks time.

But it was not all Saab facts and figures. It is Independence Day, so it is a time for celebration. Those who have worked so hard over the past year, including representives of many suppliers, were entertained by Asha Ali and Tomas Ledin. As a Saab fan I have obviously heard and enjoyed Asha Ali’s music in the past.It was my first acquaintance of hearing Tomas Ledin, but his enthusiastic reception by the assembled Swedes made it obvious I was in a minority of one.

Events at the factory came to a close, and I have returned to my hotel for a brief respite before heading to the Museum for more celebrations (including cake!) and meeting up with Saab owning friends.

What an amazing day I have had so far. I am priveliged to have been able to attend this event, on behalf of all the fantastic Saab supporters who gather together here on SaabsUnited.

My overwhelming feeling is one of great optimism both in the factory and in the town . I was here in Trollhattan last year on February 23rd. The sense then was more just of relief that Saab was not going to be shut down after all. Now the sense is far more positive – the worst is over, and the hard work is begining to bring its just rewards. There is no point looking back any more and dwelling on the past . The future is bright, so let’s just look forward to the suuccesful future of Saab.

Dave R

Robin M
Guest
5 years 7 months ago

Great words Dave, glad you are having a fantastic day.
Robin.

Erik D
Guest
Erik D
5 years 7 months ago

+1

Thx a bunch for great pictures and a very nice writeup!

signs
Guest
signs
5 years 7 months ago

Absolutely great report, especially about the atmosphere. Thanks a million Dave! Keep on partying, and a little bit more if possible, for all of us who can’t be there but would love to. It’s a great day for a Saab lover…

Belfast_saab
Guest
Belfast_saab
5 years 7 months ago

Exellent reporting, lucky you to be there, historic.
Nice to hear VM gives as good or better than he gets!

Tomas Ledin is a sort of Swedish Bryan Adams I suppose – only know of him through his early days on duetting with Agnetha of Abba fame – Sweden has been good to us 😉

Tomas TL1000R
Guest
Tomas TL1000R
5 years 7 months ago

Tomas Ledin sounds like this when he re-do his own song (from the past) into VM-2006 (football).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ROteOEFQQDw&feature=related

Ledin has done hits for over 30 years and is associated with summer for us.
to choose a song is allmost impossible but this was even new to me, enjoy!

ovis Arjes
Guest
ovis Arjes
5 years 7 months ago

Thanks for this report, very good writing in such a busy day (I guess it was).

GL&HF

Tompa
Guest
Tompa
5 years 7 months ago

Great coverage Dave!

What a wonderful day!

Cheers/Tom

Edonis
Guest
Edonis
5 years 7 months ago

It is truely amazing to see Victor operating in such circumstances. He knows all the relevant facts, politely correcting his questioners ( or even inquisitors) when they try to trip him up .In some ways the style of questions was self defeating – the harder the questioning, the better his responses become.

Gotta love VM!

Nate 9-3
Guest
Nate 9-3
5 years 7 months ago

You took the words right out of my mouth, so I will just tag off of your post.

I also want to join the others in thanking Dave for his write up. It was very fun to read. You knocked it out of the park, sir.

GerritN
Guest
GerritN
5 years 7 months ago

Thanks a bunch for the reporting Dave!
The Swade spirit lives on….oh wait…Steve is not gone yet……

Looks like SaabsUnited is finding its new, Swadeless, way already. I also noticed that there are a lot of new names popping up in the comments. Not only a Saab revival but a SU revival too?

Arild
Guest
5 years 7 months ago

Thanks to Red J, Swade and Dave R for all this great coverage!

“Concept 9-3” set for Geneva sounds interesting. There have been conflicting reports earlier about what the concept for Geneva will display. Some claim it will be a 9-3 concept and others that it will be a concept for the long term design direction for Saab. I know that I want to see a 9-3 hatchback concept with 1.6T BMW engine and e-AAM drive line! 🙂

maanders
Guest
maanders
5 years 7 months ago

Yes, Jason C. has talked about both the new 9-3 and this other “concept” car so it is quite intriguing to guess what will be at the Geneva show.

Manlius
Guest
Manlius
5 years 7 months ago

I really can’t wait for the pictures of those cars! I am hoping the concept 9-3 is a stunner.

Toby
Guest
Toby
5 years 7 months ago

Aaaah so that is what the 374 cakes mean…its the “look forward…” hint … on day 374 is the unveiling of the concept 9-3!! Very clever.

The Reporting is good Dave. Thank you for a good job.

Jason Powell
Guest
5 years 7 months ago

Great read, thank you for taking the time to document things the way you did. I imagine the town to feel like your team just won the trophy, with the celebrations going on. Wish I could have been there for the unveils of the new models and all the excitement. Great job on reporting.

Henrik
Guest
Henrik
5 years 7 months ago

Thans for the report!
I don´t know if this has been noticed before, but according to e24.se there were
1990 orders, in week 7! Amazing!

Arild
Guest
5 years 7 months ago

And the 9-5 SportCombi hasn’t been launched officially and the 9-4X isn’t at the dealers yet! Add a few hundred 9-5 SC and 9-4X and Saab will reach 80000 cars 🙂

Henrik
Guest
Henrik
5 years 7 months ago

🙂 yes, and they say february is supposed to be slow? Well, we´ll see for real when they start up second shift.

Jeff
Guest
Jeff
5 years 7 months ago
It’s pretty remarkable to hear such a great report. When you spoke of Victor’s deft skills in answering pointed questions, I remembered again how crucial is days as a lawyer has helped him to make critical arguments. He’s an incredibly smart man, and knows how to sell his case. Regarding the “Concept 9-3,” I guess there’s no clearer statement about what this concept is. Whether or not it’s a close or literal concept of the new 9-3 or a much bolder concept that inspires the new 9-3, for JAJ to come out and call it such, at least we now… Read more »
Toby
Guest
Toby
5 years 7 months ago

They really have got a lid on it haven’t they? I’ve seen everything from the current facelift version (today) to somoe really wierd Audi A3 type design more in line with what I would call the 9-2 bandied around as the next ng9-3 only Jason, his designers and colleagues and Swade really knows. its driving me nuts, here’s waiting until day 374-it has to be a little whacky though…its a concept and Saab has done conservative under GM for too long-time to relight the fires…

Swade
Member
5 years 7 months ago

I found it interesting that he referred to it that way because in LA I saw illustrations for both the design concept and the 9-3 replacement and they were definitely different vehicles. Interesting times, and only a week (or less) to wait!

zippy
Guest
zippy
5 years 7 months ago

Love the way Victor handles himself when faced with a rough crowd. Maybe the theme song for this day should have been ‘Things Can Only Get Better’ by D-ream.

Saabsideways
Guest
Saabsideways
5 years 7 months ago

Dear God no, that was the anthem that ‘New’ Labour came into power on and they left the UK bankrupt.

It has to be Daft Punk Harder Better Faster Stronger.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gAjR4_CbPpQ

till72
Guest
till72
5 years 7 months ago

Another vote for Daft Punk

JH
Guest
JH
5 years 7 months ago
Very well written Dave, and thank you for your excellent reports from Trollhättan! 😀 It has been a magnificent day with truckloads of great news arriving and it has been extremely nice to follow this Saab Independence Day, even though I could not attend personally and had to follow it through the Internet. I take the opportunity to once again provide a sincere thank you to Swade for providing this great enthusiast website we know as Saabs United as well as Red J for your very good contributions to it. My sincere congratulations also go to everyone at Saab, executives… Read more »
till72
Guest
till72
5 years 7 months ago

Great writeup Dave! Enjoy the party!

Goran Aničić
Guest
5 years 7 months ago
Oscar, from Barcelona
Guest
5 years 7 months ago

Thanks a lot for your report, Dave.

It would be interestig if you could give some details of the tough questions and the good answers.

Congratulations to all the Saab family in such a fantastic day to remember!

Caramoan Tour Packages
Guest
5 years 6 months ago

Man that was very entertaining and at the same time informative.;”:,,

Polyethylene
Guest
5 years 6 months ago

Sometimes, blogging is a bit tiresome specially if you need to update more topics.~;”;’

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