Good news for the REAL Trollhattan

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. 

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12 Comments

  1. I do not consider the BLS exterior ugly. Interior is a bit disappointing, in particular the console with huge cupholders. The Caddy is probably more SAAB than the 9-2x and 9-7x together

  2. Nicest looking Caddy I’ve seen. I hope the better electronics (Bose stereo, Nav system) make their way into the Saabs. That’s one area where Saabs are badly outclassed.

    I don’t understand why it’s European sales only. GM seems to have not noticed that many Americans are willing to buy European sport sedans.

  3. Its not sold in the states because it would be too expensive. And this it not speculation, its what GM has said about it.

  4. At 30-35K its probably more like it would out-class the rest of the line. And I wouldn’t give up on Trollhattan just yet. It looks like the 93 is getting some traction, with more to come. Just hope 95 can step it up.

  5. What can we say but weather we like it or not this is a positive move fuelled by GM and a testimony that GM is finally showing some synergy with Saab. The vehicle itself looks very classy and has a very strong European look and flavor in it. I hope this is a success and the local press doesn’t come up with statements sounding like “its not German but it is OK” !!!

  6. Won’t the Caddy be competing against the same Audis, JAGs, and BMW’s (and Saab’s) made in Europe and sold in the U.S.?

    How can they be price competitive there and not here? The shipping costs can’t be significantly different.

  7. I guess that due the exchange rates Cadillac would have another model in the CTS pricerange and they want to avoid that

    Bad luck for the US

  8. “1,500 changes”, huh? Isn’t that close to the number of changes between the NG900 and the original-gen 9-3? So the Cadillac BLS is about as different from a SAAB 9-3 as a NG SAAB 900 is from a OG SAAB 9-3? 😉

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