It was actually long forgotten. On the way to Trollhättan, coming from Malmö, it is on the left by the city highway through Gothenburg. In 2010 there was still Saab advertising on the roof ... in the city of Volvo a cheeky provocation by the small manufacturer from the province. A year later, the advertising was still there, only Saab no longer built cars.
At some point later, the advertising, including the Saab lettering, disappeared, and from then on a real estate agent's boring sales sign was emblazoned on the roof. It was still the same on the last Sunday - I was traveling south from Trollhättan. Now the sign can be gone, the traditional building has been sold. A part is torn down and added to the neighboring amusement park. Some parts of the building remain, presumably a hotel will move in.
While the future lurks around the corner in Trollhättan, the past says goodbye in Gothenburg. A proud past ... you have to say. The gearboxes from this factory were among the world's best in the past. Robust, very durable and at the time it was considered easy to switch. When the Americans joined Saab in Sweden in the 90s, the gears from Gothenburg were eyed with suspicion. They showed what they can do in the successor to the Saab 900. When installed in competition vehicles such as the 900R, they showed their class and performance far beyond the specifications approved by Saab.
GM therefore ordered transmission from Gothenburg and pulled it before the Opel transmissions. But time is inexorable. A small plant that produces good quality in small quantities, high costs, is not provided for in the world of Detroit. There was no investment, the location Gothenburg disguised and ended up with a morbid charm. In the 9-3 II GM gearboxes were installed, easier to switch and with 6 gears, but not integrated with the ingenious Saab theft protection in the transmission. The Saab circuit was now only installed in the 9-5 I, which was aging as was the Gothenburg plant.
The end of the first Saab 9-5 series was also the end of gearbox production. The halls in Gothenburg are empty, orphaned, a piece of Saab history at the end. Saab was in the end only tenants in the former own property, the ideology of the American owners had struck. A few weeks ago, the transmission plant haunted Trollhättan again. NEVS could produce components there. An idea without substance, more a wish or a dream. Because the substance is bad, the buildings outdated, a rational production impossible.
Nevertheless, this work is not forgotten. If you drive a classic Saab, you have to reverse gear to remove the key. A unique story and typical Saab. Actually, it's time for a second of commemoration. To a great factory, great engineers and staff and a great past!