Many of us, probably all of us in fact, believe that Saab must maintain a presence in Sweden in order to retain it’s identity. That particular necessity was dealt a blow last year when future production of the 9-3 and 9-5 was scheduled for a move to Russelshiem, in Germany.
Saab are building a design centre in Sweden, but the loss of manufacturing at Trollhattan was seen as a real blow to the marque. Of course, it remains wholly possible that a future 9-4x or 9-2 could be built there, but the factory’s future received little assurance beyond 2010.
Some good news passed on via Mats (thanks mate) appears in the Swedish paper, Ttela.se. It’s in Swedish, so I’ll have to pass on what my trusty translator has told me (not Mats, but Systran). It’s strange that GM themselves haven’t made more out of this (or maybe thay have and it missed my radar).
It appears the Swedes have a feather in their cap for their role in the efficient development of the new Cadillac BLS, which has gone from go-to-wo in just 24 months – on par with many Japanese manufacturers and a full 10 months quicker that any other similar GM project.
Swedes were sent to the USA to indulge in a little Caddy culture – I can just see Sven and his posse hanging at Rucker Park in his Escalade. Whilst it’s based on the 9-3, there’s over 1,500 changes made with an emphasis on luxury as opposed to Saab’s emphasis on a more sporting stance.
Those of us that snigger a little at Caddy in Europe (I’m one of them) might find it a little ironic to have to depend on the brand for Trollhattan’s continued existence, but I guess if selling 10,000 uglymobiles is what it takes to keep my favourite Swedes employed, then Go Caddy, Go!!
Production of vehicles for sale starts up next Monday and they go on sale in April.