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Saab back in business

Swedish car maker resumes production under new ownership.

Production lines at Saab's Trollhättan plant have begun to roll again, a month after Dutch-based Spyker Cars NV took the reigns from General Motors (GM).

A 9-5 saloon was the first model to roll off the assembly line today (March 22), seven weeks after production came to a grinding halt when the manufacturer went into liquidation.

The silver saloon, distinguished by a bonnet emblazoned with a banner stating "Saab 001 of a new era", signalled the newly owned company's high hopes for the future.

The first-built 9-5 will join a test fleet prior to the model's official launch later this year.

A total of five model lines, including the Saab 9-3 Convertible and the 9-5 Combi will be produced at the Trollhättan plant.

Spyker's chief executive Victor Muller and Saab chief executive Jan Åke Jonsson were present at the Swedish plant where an estimated 100 cars will initially be assembled daily.

"Everyone at Saab has worked extremely hard to reach this important point," stated Victor Muller. "Production restarted with a new 9-5 first down the line - a fitting symbol that a new era has begun."

Jan Åke Jonsson described the resumption of production as a "milestone" in the company's history. "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."

Meanwhile, plant director Gunner Brunius praised the Trollhättan facility, where the majority of Saab's 3,400 employees in Sweden are based.

"Our ability to build so many different models in one location improves plant utilisation and will deliver valuable efficiency gains," he said.

"With these state-of-the-art facilities and a dedicated workforce, we are in excellent shape."

Published on March 22, 2010
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