My tour of the SDCC

The Saab Development Center for Car Recycling, or SDCC, is a truly special place for the Saab enthusiast to visit. There, it’s possible to dream of one day getting a shipping crate and filling it to the brim with rare Saab bits made from unobtainium, carting the whole lot home and just…… loving them and caring for them.
Most will have to be content with looking at the pictures, however, as a good long look around the SDCC can be hard to come by. They have a shopfront nowadays and that’s about as far as most people get.
I should mention at this point that they have a new name, too, ANA Used Parts. They also deal in Opel, Chevy and Cadillac bits. But who cares about that? It’s the Saab bits we’re after, and there are millions of them!
The SDCC was the brainchild of the guy reputed to be Saab’s most expensive employee – Alf Persson. Alf was the former head of crash testing at Saab, has wrecked thousands of vehicles over the years and has a habit of leaving one pin standing when he’s tenpin bowling. Nowadays, he and the SDCC crew pull them apart a little more gently. Alf also runs ANA Specialbilar, fitting out custom Saab vehicles for special uses such as police, etc. We’ll take a close look at a Saab 9-5 police vehicle in another entry.
Please note that all of the photos in this entry have been uploaded to my Picasa gallery. There’s more there, too.
Around the back of the SDCC, you’re greeted with a massive carpark full of Saabs (and a few other lurkers) waiting to be dismantled.

From SDCC

Cars can be at the end of their useful life, involved in accidents, flooded…… whatever reason. There must have been at least 80 there in the yard when I visited, from old 900s and 9000s to 9-3s and 9-5s from as recent as 2008 or 2009. You can see a few orange vehicles in the photo, below. They’re Saab crash test vehicles, for example. We’ll take a closer look at a few of the cars in the carpark later.

Read moreMy tour of the SDCC

ANA Specialbilar – what Alf Persson’s doing now….

Hopefully you’ve read a little bit about what Alf Persson used to do at Saab. He was the head of crash test lab there and demolished over 1500 cars in his time there.

Dave R was in Trollhattan recently and paid a visit to Alf at ANA Specialbilar, where he’s the General Manager. He also runs the SDCC (the Saab Development Center for Car recycling), the people who hold the ultra-cheap parts sale at the Saab Festival.

Here’s Dave’s account of what’s going on at ANA Specialbilar.

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So begins our tour of ANA Specialbilar…..

Alf is wearing glasses, in shirtsleeves. The chap at the tailgate is Martin Schmidmeir, Workshop Manager.

The chap in the leather jacket is my Saab owning friend, on his first visit to Sweden, Dave J. Dave is a traffic officer in the Metropolitan Police in London. He spends most of his time in a BMW. The Met has over 450 of them, in addition to vehicles of many other makes. (Not that Britain is in any way a Police State!).

Dave was allowed to drive this car, their demonstrator. When we asked if this would be OK, Martin said his sister worked in the police locally, and that as it was raining, they would all be in the office catching up on paperwork. As I don’t have a police license, I sat in the back.

ANAspecbil1.jpg

The demonstrator has been used in several films and TV series, including ‘Wallander’ – though I am not sure if it was the Swedish or BBC versions.

ANAspecbil2.jpg

The workshop is extremely clean and well organised. Behind the Polis vehicles is a Fire Service vehicle and in the background, in for its first service (sorry if there is a pun there), the Saab ‘hearse’

ANAspecbil3.jpg

In this version of the fire brigade vehicle, the front passenger seat has been replaced by a desk for, amongst other items, a laptop and printer.

ANAspecbil4.jpg

Read moreANA Specialbilar – what Alf Persson’s doing now….

Alf Persson – Saab’s most expensive employee ever

This is not a new story. It’s an old Saab press release from April 2001.
The reason why I’m posting it here now is twofold. First, it’s an interesting story in itself. But more than that, I’ve got some photos and words about what Alf persson is doing now.
I’ll post those shortly, but in the meantime I hope you enjoy learning a little about Alf’s former job as the head of the Saab crash test lab.
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IN THE SERVICE OF SAFETY
Alf Persson, 47, is by far the most expensive of the more than 10 000 employees at Saab Automobile. During the past 12 years, he has cost the company more than half a billion kronor (SEK 500 000 000), salary and oncosts excluded. But this extravagance is by no means due to his negligence. On the contrary, it is the result of him being very efficient and careful. Alf Persson is the Work Supervisor at the Saab Crash Test Laboratory.
Alf Persson.jpg “This is the price we pay for taking crashworthiness seriously. We never rest on our laurels. On average, we crash one car every other day to make sure the safety of our cars will keep on improving. There are no shortcuts to the standard of safety that Saab cars provide,” says Alf.
Saab crash tests tripled in ten years
Alf Persson began his crash tester career in 1989, and has so far been involved in demolishing more than 1500 cars. In addition, he has run more than 1000 sled tests on sub-systems, such as units consisting of seat and door side. The crash test programme at Saab has grown dramatically since Alf began working at the crash track.
“When developing the second generation of the Saab 900 in the early 1990s, we ran 19 different types of crash test. Nine of these were stipulated by legal requirements. In the work on todayÕs Saab 9-5, we ran more than 60 different crash tests. During the same period, the number of legally required crash tests had risen by 3 to a total of 12.”
The reason for this substantial increase in the number of crash tests at Saab is obviously the need for simulating the sequence of events in real-life road accidents. To be able to build cars with ever-improving safety, the crash tests must be continually developed. But is it really necessary to run expensive crash tests even with all of the sophisticated computer simulation facilities available today?

Read moreAlf Persson – Saab’s most expensive employee ever

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