New Era Begins for Automaker as Saab Returns to Production
TROLLHATTAN, Sweden — Saab Automobile has officially built its first units in its "new era" as an independent company. The automaker resumed production Wednesday at its Trollhattan, Sweden, plant.
In commemoration, Saab chief executive officer Jan Ake Jonsson, along with Spyker Cars CEO Victor Muller and Trollhattan plant director Gunnar Brunius, joined workers along the assembly line building the first group of units.
"Today's resumption of production is a milestone in the history of our company," Jonsson stated.
"We are up and running as an independent manufacturer and I am delighted to share the experience on the line alongside our work force," Jonsson added. "They have shown tremendous commitment to the company and we are all now focused on ramping up production to meet customer demand."
The plant had stopped production for seven weeks. When it cranked back up on Wednesday, a new Saab 9-5 sedan was the first unit to come down the line. It will be included in a test fleet before the model is officially rolled out later in 2010.
A Saab convertible was also among the units coming down the line on Wednesday. This model is being built in the Trollhattan plant under the concentration of Saab's operations in Sweden, according to officials.
When the new 9-5 SportCombi is launched in 2011, there will be five models built at the Trollhattan facility.
"We have a highly flexible, world-class facility here at Trollhattan," Brunius noted. "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 work force, we are in excellent shape."
Offering his perspective, Muller shared: "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."