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Saab celebrates first year as independent company

24th February 2011 Print

The Saab Automobile factory echoed to the sound of loud cheers and spontaneous applause as almost 4,000 employees, dealers and suppliers held a giant party to celebrate the first anniversary of Saab’s rebirth as an independent carmaker.

Production was halted for the afternoon and part of the state-of-the-art plant was converted into an entertainment arena lined with hot dog stalls and refreshment stands. A wall was covered with a 25 metre long montage of photos and birthday messages from thousands of Saab fans on Facebook. Everyone in the audience had a slice from more than 350 birthday cakes specially baked for the occasion, while entertainment included live music sessions, video shows, presentations, awards for top suppliers and a photo competition for staff on the theme of ‘Independence’.

The party also saw the unveiling of a special Independence Edition Saab Convertible, of which just 366 will be produced, and previews of the 9-5 SportWagon and new 9-3 MY12 range ahead of their public premieres at next week’s Geneva Motor Show.

Leading the festivities were Saab Automobile Chairman Victor Muller and Saab President & CEO Jan Åke Jonsson. “No other carmaker has such a loyal workforce, such a loyal dealer network or such a loyal customer following,” said Jonsson amid loud cheers from the audience.

“We have come a long way in just 12 months and, with exciting new products on sale and in the pipeline, I believe we have all the ingredients in place for a successful future.”

“Nobody thought we would survive, but they were wrong, very wrong,” Victor Muller told the audience. “Here we are today celebrating the first birthday of our new company and seeing you all makes me very proud. We have achieved great things together. We’re independent, we’re free to make our own decisions and we have a wonderful future to look forward to.”