You are browsing the archive for Trollhattan.

Avatar of Red J

by Red J

Press Release: Saab Automobile to Host Independence Day Celebration

February 16, 2011 in News

• Factory celebration of Saab’s first year as independent company
• Live music, awards, product displays and presentations
• Launch of Saab’s latest product news, including special edition model
• 300 special edition birthday cakes

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

Avatar of Swade

by Swade

Report: Subaru to build Legacy and Outback in Trollhattan

January 31, 2011 in News

UPDATE II:

OK…..

The exact nature of the story isn’t clear, but further communication indicates that there will be something going on here, relating to work being done using Saabs facilities, but nothing like cars actually being built on the site.

It seems the exact nature of the engagement will be announced later today.

UPDATE:

The initial reports spoke only of things from the Subaru side. There was no comment from Saab.

The first report mentioned was at Dagens Industri (at this URL), but they seem to have removed the report. Other services such as TTELA, Swedish Radio and SVD ran the report as well.

The initial contact that I’ve been able to make with Saab, via email, indicates that this story is most likely in error. There are further checks taking place, but right now it looks like this was a speculative report based on some comments from a Subaru executive.

If I hear anything more, I’ll let you know.

——

This is just hitting the news services in Sweden…..

From TTELA:

Subaru wants to develop in Trollhättan

TROLLHÄTTAN – Japanese car giants Subaru wants to develop two of its car models in Trollhättan. The plans have been confirmed by Subaru Nordic’s CEO Torbjorn Lillrud.
Subaru plans to further develop the model Legacy and Outback for gas.

Torbjorn Lillrud stated the following to Dagens Indusri, DI:

- It is unique to a foreign car company will start manufacturing in Sweden of a model that is partly developed in Sweden.

According to DI Legacy and Outback rebuilt in Saab Automobile’s facility in Trollhättan.

Victor Muller’s very keen to drive down Saab’s break even point and increase profitability. One way to do that is to reduce costs. The other is to bring in outside revenue.

Sure beats building windmills :-)

I’ll trace other reports and see if there’s anything more to report about this.

Avatar of Swade

by Swade

Friday Snippets – Fire edition

January 28, 2011 in Saabology

I was quite distressed last night to hear about a fire being deliberately lit in my favourite hotel – the Scandic Swania in Trollhattan.

Most people who have visited Trollhattan would be familiar with the Swania and I know a bunch of SU readers have stayed there over the years during Saab Festival and other events. It’s great views, wonderful rooms, exceptional staff (and great breakfasts!) make it a wonderful place to stay when you’re visiting the land of Saab.

Thankfully, no-one was hurt in the fire. I hope they catch the bastard that lit it and that the Scandic group can rebuild the damaged sections of the hotel soon.

——

Saab fans in south-east Pennsylvania should look in on the SE Penn Saab Club forum and check out the Independence Day drive they’re organising for February 20th.

The plan at the moment is for a light brunch around 10am and then a drive to the appropriately named Victory brewing company for a tour and a lunch.

They need to book the tour, so check in at the forum and show your interest.

——

Speaking of Saab gatherings, the Saab Swiss Fondue meeting was held last weekend in Switzerland. Around 60+ people and 30 Saabs were there for the weekend and it looks like there was a good time, and plenty of cheese, had by all.

They got some good media coverage, too. This is just one of many…..

The event was organised by Dimini.ch, who sell wonderful scale model Saabs (and a few others).

There are plenty of photos here and even some good video over at Saab Actu.

——

Hilton Holloway from Autocar has published a review of the baby of the Saab 9-5 range – the 1.6T petrol version.

It’s actually quite a positive read but the same problems with UK tests persist – a ride experience that’s less comfy than it should be. It seems 18 wheels with 45 profile tyres aren’t doing the trick and if some other setup is available, then UK journos should be getting that alternative.

HH quite likes the 1.6T engine in most instances and the overall finish of the car seems to have improved in his estimation.

——

All you advocates of a high powered Saab ought to get your thinking caps on in preparation for the weekend – the SU Hi-Po Challenge will be on.

Avatar of Swade

by Swade

Mysterious Saab 9-5 test vehicle spotted in Trollhattan

October 17, 2010 in Saabology

I’ll keep the spotter’s name out of this post as he’s a local there in Trollhattan, but this makes for a very interesting photo.

Saab 9-5 tester

It’s badged as a V6 Aero, but that’s obviously not an Aero bumper or exhaust setup on the back there. And then there’s those blue plug-like things.

Saab 9-5 tester detail

Our spotter says that the car also had similar plugs around the glovebox area.

Hybrid-electric tester? Something else? Let the speculations begin!

And if anyone knows the truth about this vehicle, that’d be welcome too.

Avatar of Swade

by Swade

9 things to do in Trollhattan

July 9, 2010 in Saabology

The Saab Festival is coming up and hopefully quite a few of you will be travelling to Trollhattan for the festivities.

I got in touch with the tourism people in THN and asked them what they thought the 9 best things to do in Trollhattan are for the next week or so. Here’s the list they sent me.

Avatar of Swade

by Swade

AFP: Saab ready for ‘revenge’

June 28, 2010 in Saabology

I wrote over the weekend of my feelings towards not only Saab, but the people there and the city of Trollhattan, which is a place I love to visit.

AFP have a nice background piece today, talking about not only the relief people feel at Saab’s renewed operations there, but also of their motivation to get cracking and show what they can do.

“There is really a feeling of revenge, we want to show what we can do,” she told AFP. “It’s pretty unique for a company to survive a year of restructuring and a wind-down.”

To be honest, I think there’s more relief there than a need for revenge, but I do think there’ll be a lot of satisfaction around Trollhattan when newspapers like Dagens Industri and others are forced to write about increased Saab sales and growing Saab markets instead of the drivel that some of them have been coming out with for the last few months.

This one’s definitely recommended reading for those who are interested in the region.

Avatar of Swade

by Swade

Video: Saab HUD and Traffic Signal recognition

June 11, 2010 in Uncategorized

A short video of the Saab Head-Up Display starting up, then in operation, as well as the traffic signal recognition system.

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pVekffxj5QE

Avatar of Swade

by Swade

Video: Saab 9-5 Infotainment System

June 10, 2010 in Uncategorized

I got one of the product specialists, Mikael Jakobsson, to walk me through all the electronic goodies available on the new Saab 9-5.

I drove a fully equipped V6 car on Tuesday and the integration of the electronics was a real feature, especially as I was driving by myself in a foreign country and was quite reliant on the information provided to me via the car. It all worked seamlessly, as advertised, and became one of the real unexpected highlights of the car for me.

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HF0UGsLcB_0

The menu systems are grouped in a smart way – can you call it ergonomics when it involves menu systems? I learned to use most of this stuff whilst driving, such is the intuitive nature of the systems.

Other items that we didn’t cover in the video are the Head-Up Display and some of the systems that run through the dashboard’s display.

For example, the speed sign recognition system, which reads speed-zone signs as you drive along and then displays the appropriate speed limit on the central dashboard display (it works brilliantly and is a bigger than expected help).

Then there’s the Head-Up Display, which shows important information projected on to the windscreen. It’s a great way to monitor your speed, but the biggest benefit I received from the HUD was the ability to see SatNav instructions right there in front of me whilst I was driving. Outstanding!

Autoblog were a little critical of the HUD because you can see subtle reflections of the actual HUD projector around the HUD information you see on the windscreen. I can see where they’re coming from, but it wasn’t prominent and the benefits provided by the HUD system far outweigh the fact that you notice something on the periphery of your view. To their credit, Saab have said they’re taking notice and will work to refine the system as time progresses.

My thanks to Mikael, who I’ll hopefully meet again when it comes time to review the Saab 9-4x as he’s the product manager for that vehicle :-)

Avatar of Swade

by Swade

Video: Saab 9-5 XWD and DriveSense (test track mayhem!)

June 10, 2010 in Uncategorized

Last time I attended an event like this, I did a video in the first Saab 9-3 with XWD, with Kenneth Backlund from the Saab Performance Team. Kenneth was there again today, but frankly, after this drive with Stefan Rundquist from Saab, I was too queasy/shaky/stunned to even think about a lap with Kenneth.

Don’t take that in a bad way. What Stefan did in this car was demonstrate something approaching the extraordinary capabilities of the Saab XWD system.

You’ll hear the rain and see the wipers. This track was incredibly wet today. We were in a 2.8T V6 Saab 9-5 and on some of these long sweeping corners were doing up to 150km/h and the car was totally rock solid – totally.

You’ll see in some sections that Stefan is actually steering quite sharply and trying to induce some forced oversteer (at over 100 km/h on a bend) and the tyres just dig in, shift the power around and keep the car stable.

It really was an incredible eye-opener as to what this car can do. I’ve mentioned already that to me, the V6 version of the 9-5 seems more like a smooth cruiser, that it doesn’t invite you to really test its limits. I think this video shows that despite its long touring credentials, this car is capable of handling whatever tests you might throw its way.

The video is from a handheld camera so it does move around a little with the frequent changes in momentum and motion, but hopefully you’ll still get a good sense of what’s going on.

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fiBb4DFmvWQ

My sincere thanks to Stefan for the ride – now I know how Saab felt back in 2009!

Avatar of Swade

by Swade

Video: Saab Factory Tour

June 10, 2010 in Uncategorized

To kick off day 2 of the Saab 9-5 launch program, they took us around for a quick tour of the factory. I had my still camera out for the first few minutes and then figured that was quite useless – and if we were allowed to bring in still cameras, then we could probably take video as well.

So I did.

We were driven around in a little cart with a bunch of seating buggies pulled behind, reasonably low to the ground, which is why things get blocked occasionally. The cart rarely (if ever) stopped, too, so it’s not the greatest video in the world, but hopefully it should give you some idea of what goes on there.

I believe the girl providing the commentary is the daughter of Saab’s marketing director, Knut Simonsson. That’s keeping it in the family for you!

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nSsXftrMUy8

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SYRfx5_dUos

Avatar of Swade

by Swade

Trollhattan Visit – Day 3 notes

June 10, 2010 in Saabology

I did several important things today.

First, I drove the 2.0T version of the new Saab 9-5.

Second, I drove the 9-3x.

Reasons why they’re important will come out in the road test reports (of which there will probably be a few). What I can tell you now is that the 2.0T version of this car is going to make a lot of people very, very happy.

——

Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to drive the diesel. I had one car yesterday (the V6) and one car today (the 2.0T). The test track cars were all the same – six V6s all with the same spec level – so we couldn’t drive the road cars we were driving.

Whilst I’m disappointed to not be able to comment on it directly from my own drive, the common theme that I heard is that a base model diesels with the normal chassis that were driven by journalists lacked some prowess in terms of handling because they didn’t have the chassis improvements that were fitted to the petrol models.

There was talk of excessive body roll in the corners, etc.

I’ll talk more about this later.

——

We were at the Volvo test track today. Saab have their own small track in Trollhattan, but Volvo’s is a full test track with all kinds of roads and conditions simulated there. Saab has an annual contract with Volvo for use of this track and they now even have their own facilities building there.

We did a handling course and I can tell you that if today didn’t prove the virtues of XWD to the German press corps, then nothing will. It was raining all day, so we had a very wet track. Combine that with the daring of the Saab Performance Team drivers and XWD and you can probably understand why I’m about 3kg lighter right now.

Video coming soon.

——

If you’ve ever doubted how seriously safety is taken at Volvo, then this should give you a good idea.

There is no smoking allowed at the Volvo test facility – indoors or outdoors. They did allow Saab to set up a small smoking area near the hospitality tent, however.

Two ashtrays, and three fire extinguishers!

——

Saab factory tour on video?

Coming up!

The quality isn’t great as we were in a moving factory tour train, but hopefully it’ll still be worth seeing.

——

Lots of writing and processing to do. Lots and lots still to come.