An Independence Day letter to all the Saab Employees out there – from one of your customers

I’ve been busy finishing off a presentation I have to give to Saab dealers here in Australia on Wednesday at a function to celebrate Saab’s independence. That’s why there’s been no fresh articles from me tonight.

Instead, I’d like to share a letter I got from Till72, a Saab 9-3x owner and good friend from Germany. He sent it to me with the express purpose of having it shared on site and I think it sums up how we all feel this week – happy and grateful to all those who have stood by Saab.


Bad news seems to burn into your memory much more than good news. I can still remember what I was doing as the wind down of Saab was announced, yet I can’t really say what I did when the contracts between Spyker and GM were finally signed.

What I can still remember, though, is the big relief I felt as the message came through. After those weeks of ups and downs the deal was finally sealed and Saab could step into the future as an independent car maker. One big party around the world started.

We were celebrating Victor, a guy we didn’t know anything about just a few weeks before, and one who had deeply impressed us with his tenacity. We were celebrating our efforts as the community played quite a role in the whole game. And we were of course celebrating the fact that Saab was still around.

After the parties were cleaned up there were those questions: how big is the damage for the brand, what do Saab have up their sleeve for the future? We knew about the 9-5 and the 9-4x but it was also quite clear that there was quite a lot of work to do to bring Saab back on track.

During such a rollacoaster of a sales process Saab could easily have bled out regarding manpower and knowledge. I don’t have exact numbers of how many employees left Saab during those months and I won’t blame anyone who had a good offer from elsewhere for leaving. We might have lost our favourite car maker, but the employees might have lost their livelihood. However, I got the impression that most stayed.

So today I’d like to give a big, prolonged applause to the Saab employees. You’re truly one of Saab’s biggest assets, if not the biggest. In fact, you are Saab. You kept working hard through turbulent times to make sure Saab could start right through into the new future. And now that the future is there you pull even more rabbits out of the hat.

Thanks for that.

During the last year we have learned about of many great things Saab had/has in development even beyond those new models. Sub 120g CO2 TTiD, eAAM and a new 9-3 by 2012 to name just a few. It makes me quite confident that Saab has the capability to survive in today’s automotive landscape. That again made clear how much creative engineering energy there is at Trollhättan.

Thanks for that.

You gave me a lot of great Saabs over the years. Some gave me special memories, some of them got me out of tricky situations but all of them gave me a great ride and a lot of fun.

Thanks for that.

Every time I got to meet Saab employees in person or virtually, with the latest example being the Arctic Experience, you made me feel like I belong to a family. The Saab family. It’s more than just being kind to a customer, there is more warmth in the relationship.

Thanks for that.

So have a great party this week and celebrate yourself. You truly deserve it.

35 thoughts on “An Independence Day letter to all the Saab Employees out there – from one of your customers”

  1. +1
    this is so true. I almost get tears in my eyes remembering the day of the signing. Our independence day!
    SAAB employees, we salute you!

  2. So true! Standing ovations for those employees how stood to Saab!
    And the warm feeling was also there at the Saab XWDays I attended last week in Mayrhofen, Austria.

    Keep on Saabing, everybody!


  3. The Swedish journalist Håkan Matson at Dagens Industri ( has written a number of very negative items about SABB during the last years but in today’s paper he writes some quite interesting lines about Volvo and SAAB.
    He suggest that SAAB should start to use a new slogan “Independent life” that describes both the new situation for the company and how SAAB customers want to see themselves.
    Actually I like his suggestion.

  4. Very well said Till, as always good contribution to SU.

    Each day I drive my Saab I am thankful for those people who built it. It was 2 years ago yesterday when I drove home our first Saab and it was also the same day that “Saab Bankruptcy” was all over the news. I drove that SC Aero out of the dealer proudly and never looked back at the naysayers.

    Well done Saab, thanks!

  5. Well put Till!

    The big thing with Saab is that the company have had such hard times that it is impossible not to love them. I understand Norwegians that have there wonderful love for there country wich Sweds dont have the same way. We havent had war in this country for over 200 years and Norway was involved in the worldwar II.

    The point is: Bigger love comes from hard times and Saab sure have had there share of dark days. For me that means that I will allways be faithful to the brand and se to that their cars is the right for me even if they don´t are the best choise all the time. Saab makes me proud and I love to see what´s coming out next from there sleevs. Grattis på födelsedan 23/2-2011/Tomas

  6. Nicely said Till.
    One thing though that I would like to add: You should not only praise the employees at Saab and VM (the M stands for Mueller and not for Messiah). Don’t forget about the Saab dealers. many of them were and are struggling to keep up the Saab flag. The downfall of Saab was not only a crisis for the people who work for Saab (most of them have done and outstanding job for sure) but also for the Saab dealers where existences were at stake. When you loose your job you can find a new one…when you loose your existence – you’re done.

  7. Congratulations again to all Saab employees. You really do a great job, which we very much admire and respect! I really enjoy driving my Saab as much as I have never enjoyed any other car I owned so far (e.g. Audi, VW, Opel, Alfa, Ford, Citroen, etc).

    Keep up the good work. Build nice, strong and safe cars for us and our families.

    PS: Sometimes it annoys me that the majority of the car drivers out there are not even aware about the so many benefits and advantages Saab cars have to offer. How we can educate people about that??? Saab cars deserve much more recognition that they actually have at this moment. You Saab employees deserve much more appraisal for the good work you always do.

  8. Well said Till72.

    Congratulations to all SAAB employees for the great recent achievements, and I wish you inspiration and motivation for future projects and successes.

  9. Completely different subject

    Leading German magazine, notoriously anti Saab and pro German cars, has a representative survey of Geneva innovations ” What is the hottest car innovation in 2011″ with roughly 76k votes. Nr. 1 is Saab 9-5 SC with 21k votes, Nr. 2 the 9-4x with 12k votes. Would be great, if not the product of an organized action. Shows, that the styling of the new Saab models is appealing even in hardcore German Autoland. Great.

    • Also offtopic – austrian sales from 1 to 20th february had been released. (20 saabs)
      Of course the sales are low compared to other markets – but sales were the best since 2006
      (without the new 95 SC ! ) With the end of february we can say saab austria has reached more than 50 % of the sales of 2010

      • Hey ,
        you have stolen my news 😉

        But yes, Saab has sold 12 times more cars YTD than last year in Austria, and has already sold about 50% of the cars sold in last year, leaving behind Jaguar and Lexus, two comparable brands, imho.

  10. Very well written, Till72! All the Saab employees really deserves to be admired and it is also quite spectacular that no high executive left Saab during the crisis. The Saab Spirit lives on! 😀

  11. Thanks for that Till!

    It’s a pity that the biggest Saab dealer in Munich, Germany, doesn’t share your enthousiasm…

  12. Håkan Matson @ questions the Saab Slogan ” move your mind” created by Knut Simonsson.
    Håkan argues for the best through times according to him “find your own roads”.
    His new one is “Independent life”.
    Should we start a competition here on SU finding a new better and modern one?

  13. I want to add positive comments for the emplyees, but everyone above beat me to it. It’s always the employees who engineer and produce the goods, for better or worse — in this case, much for the better. Thanks guys.

  14. Someone in Trollhättan be sure to bring a good camera to the Independence day celebrations this Wednesday at the Museum.
    Saab will show the 9-5 SC according to STCS homepage. Then SU can beat Saab in publishing pictures from EVERY angles!

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