The Saab Festival 2010 fulfilled almost all of the fans' wishes. Saab was saved, production was on. The new 9-5 came on the market and the future seemed bright. What could be more obvious than to satisfy a few more expectations? A visit to the factory is high on the list of wishes for many. It came true in the magical summer of 2010.
Fans out and about in Wonderland
Not for everyone, that much is clear. The Saab Factory Tour was booked up in no time. If you were lucky enough to get in, you could experience how a Saab is made on site. A moment of magic for one or the other. In July 2010 the plant ran in 1-shift operation. Factory-new cars gathered in the delivery area. The company was busy restocking dealers all over the world. After months of standstill and uncertainty, vehicles came back to the markets.
The beginning was difficult. The dependence on the former owner was too powerful, the challenges too great. In summer 2010, optimism was still palpable. The signs were good. Incoming orders rose from week to week, customers and sales partners began to regain confidence. Trollhättan was already hoping for an additional shift, which should not happen. Because the beacon of hope, the new 9-5 sports suit, would no longer make it onto the market. The expectations for larger quantities rested particularly on him.
The plant itself was considered a pearl in the former empire of GM. State-of-the-art and particularly efficient with its high degree of automation. The body shop was the best in the group, which is one reason why Trollhättan was allowed to build prototypes and studies for other brands. Even the paint shop was almost new, much more modern than what was in Gothenburg.
Against this background, what should go wrong? In July 2010, this idea could actually go wrong. The mood was too good, the moment too magical. The facts only came on the table in 2011. Until then, the illusion of the small, independent manufacturer that had made it had existed.