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!!
Thanks to ctm and Martin for the emails.