Trollhattan lobbying for compact Saab

Important news in via email and also published in The Local (Swedish news in English, phew!).

The Trollhattan assembly plant is lobbying hard to secure production of the new sub-9-3 model compact Saab, scheduled for production in a few years time. As was the case with the next generation of 9-3 and 9-5, there’s competition from other GM factories in Europe.

Jan-Ake Jonsson is making a lot of sense here. Let’s just hope that GM Europe are listening, especially with this first bit:

“We have said that Saab needs a large operation in Sweden to be credible as a Swedish brand,” said Jonsson.

The transition from today’s production to building a smaller Saab at the Trollhättan facility will require investment, but Jonsson was unwilling to predict how big that would be:

“Exactly how much is required to phase out today’s 9-3 and 9-5, and for a new compact platform product, we don’t know. But they are different products so of course investment will be needed.”

GM should have taken the cue from the 9-7x and 9-2x experiments and the initial reactions to the 9-3 and 9-5 relocations. Despite Saab’s limited brand identity in some markets, it IS identified as a Swedish brand and GM will take a hammering if they have no Saabs produced there at all.

Yes, other factories could build this car, but so could Trollhattan and it’s so important to maintain a genuine Swedish presence in at least part of the model range.

Here’s hoping wise heads prevail. Go Jan-Ake!!

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Thanks to ctm and Martin for the emails.

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3 Comments

  1. But really, is it the CAR BUILDERS or the DEVELOPERS that give it the “swedishness” (if there is such a thing)?

    What Saab needs to have in Sweden is engineers and designers.

    Very few other products designed in Sweden are manufactured in Sweden, because the cost is too high.

  2. Som good news… Maybe…

    GM sale first quarter was 2.2 million vehicles, and they think the world market share was down only 0.1 % from one year ago.

    GM North America result was -946 million US Dollar first quarter, compared to -1.500 million US Dollar one year ago.

    GM Europe result was +88 million US Dollar, compared to -92 million US Dollar one year ago.

  3. It seems only main unit making loss is North America.

    I cant see them making profit there until they have fixed union contracts and that is due to happen somehere 2007.

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