Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Saab HQ to Locate in Royal Oak

Glad to see that at least one brand from the GM bankruptcy is going to make it - and that they are going to locate their headquarters here in Michigan. At last report, Saab had moved from Norcross, Georgia to the RenCen in 2004, and I'm assuming what was left of them when GM went bust was still there. Now that the sale to Spyker is complete, the company will settle down in Royal Oak.

A state economic development panel today unanimously approved a tax credit to help the cast-off Saab brand open its North American headquarters in Royal Oak.

The Michigan Economic Growth Authority approved for Saab Cars North America Inc. a $1.2 million high-technology employment tax break over five years. The company intends to hire 60 employees with an average wage of about $88,000 a year at an industrial building at 4327 Delemere Court between 14 Mile and Normandy.

Mike Colleran, chief operating officer of Saab Cars North America, said the sale was closed on the property last month and Saab employees will move in by the end of the month.

He said the company will have about a half-billion dollars a year in sales in the United States, Canada and Mexico. Michigan continues to be the hub of the North American auto industry, Colleran said.

"There are great suppliers here, and the human resources here are second to none," he said.

But... but... but... all those Republicans say that Michigan is bad for business! Good thing Saab isn't listening to them, huh? The headquarters will house "sales and marketing operations, advertising, technical assistance and customer support" with possible parts and vehicle testing, and if everything goes well, plans for further expansion later.

A few friends of mine in the intellectual latte-drinkin' lefty crowd were big Saab freaks back in the day; the brand seems to instill a strong loyalty in their owners. Best of luck to Saab on making this fly.