The first Saabs built under the company’s new ownership began rolling off the production line yesterday, complete with cheers and a ceremonial ribbon-cutting. The line at the company’s Trollhattan plant was a Saab 9-5 bearing the number 001
General Motors, the former owner of the Swedish brand of cars, had ordered production halted in early January when it appeared there would be no buyer for the car company. In the 20 years that GM had owned Saab, the brand had never shown a profit.
Then, a month ago, Dutch carmaker Spyker stepped forward with an offer that was accepted, and the deal was finalized on Feb. 23. Spyker CEO Victor Muller and Saab production director Gunnar Brunius received a standing ovation from Saab staffers as they shook hands over the new Saab, according to an article in The Local.The Trollhattan plant employs 3,400 people, and all the assembly workers have been called back to work. Many of them wore “I Love Saab” buttons on their first day back.
“This is a moment we have all been waiting for,” said Jessica Karlsson, who has worked at the plant since 1996. “It will be fun to get going again.”
For the time being, the plant will be producing with 9-3 model along with some of the 9-5 model. Spyker has said it hopes to produce between 50,000 and 60,000 cars this year. It would like to reach the Saab’s earlier production rate of 100,000 to 125,000 cars per year by 2012.