Saab 001 – the first of a new era – has left the line

We saw photos of Saab 001 starting progress down the production line, but we never saw the finished product – until now.
Here’s a couple of the photos of the completed car, which I assume is going somewhere for safekeeping. Or not. These are still pre-production 9-5s and it’s my understanding that some will be used for assessing production quality, crash testing, etc
I’m not sure I can see this one being crash tested, though 🙂
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Cars being built for sale to customers include the full 9-3 range – sedan, sportcombi and convertible. Saab are estimating shipping of the 9-5 to customers will commence around June.

Press Release: Newly-independent Saab Resumes Car Production

  • Production resumes at Saab Automobile’s Trollhättan plant
  • First cars manufactured by Saab as an independent company
  • All-new Saab 9-5 sedan was first car down the line
  • Saab CEO, Spyker CEO, and Trollhättan Plant Director in attendance

Trollhättan, Sweden. The production lines at Saab Automobile’s state-of-the-art Trollhättan plant began rolling again today, heralding a new era for the Swedish premium car maker as an independent company. To mark the occasion, Saab Automobile CEO Jan Ã…ke Jonsson, Spyker Cars CEO Victor Muller and Trollhättan Plant Director Gunnar Brunius took up positions on the line alongside assembly workers as the first batch of cars was built.

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Production at the Trollhättan plant was originally halted for seven weeks. Now, following the purchase of Saab Automobile AB by Spyker Cars NV, the first cars to be built by Saab as an independent company will soon be delivered to customers.

“Today’s resumption of production is a milestone in the history of our company” said Jan Ã…ke Jonsson. “We are up and running as an independent manufacturer and I am delighted to share the experience on the line alongside our workforce. They have shown tremendous commitment to the company and we are all now focused on ramping up production to meet customer demand.”

First on the line today was an all-new Saab 9-5 sedan, destined to join a test fleet prior to the model’s official launch later this year. Further down the line was a Saab Convertible, now also being produced in Trollhättan as part of the concentration of Saab operations in Sweden. With the introduction of the new 9-5 SportCombi next year, a total of five model lines will be produced at the plant.

“We have a highly flexible, world-class facility here at Trollhättan,” said Plant Director Gunnar Brunius. “Our ability to build so many different models in one location improves plant utilization and will deliver valuable efficiency gains. With these state-of-the-art facilities and a dedicated workforce, we are in excellent shape.”

Victor Muller, CEO of Spyker Cars said: “Everyone at Saab has worked extremely hard to reach this important point. Today production restarted with a new 9-5 first down the line – a fitting symbol that a new era has begun.”

Saab #1 of the Spyker Saab era on its way

The first Saab of the new era under Spyker ownership is on its way.
An official photo should be coming soon, but TTELA have already published this story about the car, which will be a new 9-5:
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The googletrans………
At 9.15 in the morning today, production director Gunnar Brunius in the yellow string and so was the car production resumed in Saab’s assembly plant.
In other parts of the production chain – painting, pressure and body – the business has already been running for a short time to prepare the way for the “real” production start this morning.
Car builder Linda Wallin stood ready to receive the first car on the line, and she had particular reason to be happy today. She lost the job last spring, but was one of the more than 150 people who re-hired last fall.
– This feels great, great fun. We also feel a great relief and confidence, “says Linda Wallin.
The first car – a Saab 9-5 new model – were provided with the text Saab number 001 of a new era to proclaim that this is the first Saab car built by Spyker as the owner.
On location in the assembly plant at the historic moment was also Spykers CEO Victor Muller and Saab’s Managing Director Jan

Saab dealers running out of cars, Saab planning more

Despite very poor sales this year, Saab dealers are running out of cars.
US dealers, in particular, are complaining of low stocks and long delays for orders.
From Just-Auto (subs)

“We have about 10 Saabs left, and they won’t last long,” Ivan Goodwin, sales manager at Jim Ellis Saab in Atlanta told Bloomberg News. “It’s going to be a big problem, but there is nothing we can do about it.”…….
……But the company says that as soon as the Koenigsegg deal is done and a EUR400m (US$600m) loan from the European Investment Bank comes through, it will start to ramp up production; it also says that it will start taking orders for the new 9-5 soon with US deliveries scheduled to start in the spring after the car has gone on sale in Sweden where dealers are also complaining about a lack of stock.
Lars Kopp, who runs a dealership in southwest Sweden, said Saab has extended delivery times, with the longest wait being eight weeks, as Saab’s “stretched liquidity” means the carmaker cannot produce enough cars. He has 20 vehicles in stock and orders for 50 more.

As hinted at in that article, Saab have plans to accommodate the shortfall, planning on a boost in production as soon as the calendar ticks over to the new year.
From TTELA:

– We will raise the rate from week 1, and then go from 13 cars per hour to 28 cars per hour, “says Paul Akerlund.
In volume terms, it means that 100 production cars per day in the current situation, will be approximately 220 per day by year end.
There is more in line with the demand looks like. Today’s extreme low production rate has created much longer waiting times for customers than is desirable.

This sale completion cannot come soon enough. The world is ticking along and Saab is running out of time to get things back to normal. The buyers will pass them by eventually.
Fingers crossed the EU can get a decision out soon and push this puppy along a little. Saab’s got plenty that’s ready to go. All they need is a green light to get going – soon.

Meanwhile, back in Trollhattan….

I got an email from ‘Barracuda’, who’s recently spent a little vacation time in Sweden, taking in the sights of both Stockholm and Trollhattan.
I feel intensely jealous when I get stuff like this, but anyway…..
Two years ago this month, back in June 2007, I was in Trollhattan for the Saab Festival. The 2008 refresh for the Saab 9-3 was due to be unveiled on the final day of the festival, but there were a reasonable number of 2008 models already being driven around on the streets there by Saab employees.
Fast forward to 2009, and whilst I’m not sure there are any product debuts planned for the Saab Days activity that’s happening next month, it seems some of the new models not officially available just yet are making the rounds on Trollhattan’s streets.
Barracuda snapped the following shots for our mutual enjoyment. There’s more over on his Flickr account.
——
A Saab 9-3x in red, with XWD, tootles around the streets of Trollhattan.
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A TTiD model, parked in the factory carpark.
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