With any change in life, there are things that work well, and things that seem to fail. That’s just the nature of change. Naturally, Saab has seen a great change in the last four to six weeks. We’ve seen some of the less desirable part of change — dealers with very few vehicles to sell and a public that’s reticent to buy Saabs while unsure of the brand’s future. Now, it’s time for the positive changes to flow.
From a business perspective, the big positive change is that Saab will begin to actually make automobiles full-time once again. The Trollhattan plant has been started, stopped and slowed since GM started liquidation proceedings several weeks ago. Now, finally, there is clear direction for our qualified and proficient Swedish work force in Trollhattan once again. Specifically, according to Marcus Nyman of IAC Group, a Saab supplier for instrument panels, Saab production will commence on March 22 and should reach full capacity on April 4. In turn, the Local.se website is reporting that a few Saab suppliers, including IAC Group, are recalling workers to ramp up production once again. This is very good news, and we should expect most, if not all, suppliers to follow suit.
Also, the Oakland Press, a news outlet in Oakland County, Michigan, USA, is reporting that Saab Cars North America is swiftly moving on plans that were made sometime ago. According to the report, Saab Cars North America will make a decision on their permanent location (presumably in Royal Oak, Michigan as previously planned) in the next two weeks. Naturally, Mike Colleran, the General Manager of Saab Cars North America, says that dealer support is an urgent imperative.
Colleran said Saab’s top priority is to get vehicles to its 216 dealers across North America. “We’ve got to get some product to our dealers (as soon as possible). We’ve got some cars pre-built and they should be at dealers by end of the first week in March,” Colleran said.
Colleran said Saab plans to reestablish the brand as in import in the eyes of consumers. “It’s very important for us to get back to our Swedish roots and our aircraft heritage,” he said.
“We’ve also been out of the leasing market for some time and important for to resume leasing,” said Colleran, adding Saab is now working on a new deal with GMAC to get back into leasing.
Those are great words to hear from our US head honcho. He’s ready to move!
The deep freeze is thawing, my friends. Buckle up, because this ride may be a little bumpy. It should be fun to watch.