Trollhättan 10 years ago. The belts in the Saab factory are running again and the new 9-5 can be transported to customers. Saab is hopeful, publishes a press release and releases a video for the media. It was preceded by a poker game about the future of the brand. The fact that the new Saab went into production was anything but a matter of course. His fate was hanging by a thread.
Actually, the new 9-5 generation should have been a German car. The production in Rüsselsheim together with the likewise new Insignia was an agreed thing. Just as there was a decision by GM to have the 9-3 successor built at Opel, and not in Trollhättan.
The question of what would have become of the production facilities in Sweden is welcome to be asked.
Production in Trollhättan instead of Rüsselsheim
From an Opel perspective, the demand for more capacity was understandable. Also from the perspective of those responsible for production. Insignia and 9-5 shared the same platform, even if the Saab was technically more demanding and as the flagship had the more current systems on board. The Insignia would have caught up with the first facelift, while in return the large Saab would have received some new features to ensure its price and image gap. The plan didn't work for either side, GM parted company with Saab.
The pressing tools from the Opel body shop were loaded for transport to Sweden. It was only when they arrived on site that the vision would become reality. In the film, Victor Muller stands in front of the glass pane in the Saab press center that separates production and media. Muller is optimistic. The order situation is developing well, and the press itself largely accompanies the resurrection of Saab with benevolence. A great story for the media, who don't experience something like this every day.
The difficult road to independence
The latest Saab 9-5 generation does not receive undivided applause. The tuning of the chassis is not yet good, nor is the workmanship, and even the interior does not correspond to the price range in many details. That is the price for a hasty start of production, with a crew that could not train the assembly of the vehicle for months.
The work itself is improvised, but only insiders know this.
Veterans are brought back and put old systems back into operation. The dependencies on GM range from purchasing to the production line. Swimming freely becomes difficult. There is actually no fair cut that separates the two worlds, and there will never be. But the Saab employees show courage and fighting spirit. They put the new 9-5 on the road under difficult conditions. You dream of a small, independent manufacturer. Like Victor Muller, who thinks the Saab 9-4x and the sports suit are already in the starting blocks. And he believes that Saab will be profitable in two years.