Correction? Sort of. I think.

I’m pleased to report that the demise of the Soedertaelje engine plant, as reported here yesterday based on stories at Autoblog and Forbes, may have been premature or even incorrect. Things are still a little unclear to me, possibly because I don’t fully understand the geography.

Yesterday, I posted a story based on a report initially published at Forbes. According to that report, GM Europe wants to restructure engine manufacturing and plans to close Soedertaelje as part of that restructure. Manufacturing of around 60,000 engines per year from there would go to Kaiserslauten in Germany.

This came in tonight via email from a local in Trollhattan:

What they are discussing is a relocation of the 9-3 engine also called L850 to a German plant. This engine is a GM engine and not exclusive to SAAB. That’s why almost any engine plant can produce the engine. The B205 and B235 that drives the 9-5 on the other hand is a SAAB Exclusive engine and can’t be built anywhere else than in Södertälje.

The thing that has caused a reduction in production of bensin driven engines at södertälje of L850 engines is the increasing no of diesels that Saab is selling on the other hand the B205 Biopower is increasing in production all
the time and the plant at södertälje are having trouble keeping up their production with Trollhättan’s production, that’s one more reason why more “room” is needed for the increased biopower production.

This is fairly consistent with the report in TTELA, a Swedish paper, that I mentioned in Snippets earlier today. Thanks to Tobias and Tim, we’ve learned jobs are to be added prior to the summer vacation due to increased demand.

In comments, The Mighty Troll has written “In today’s TTELA, it’s reported that the factory is NOT closing, just outsourcing other engine types than the BioPower-range. I just think this seems pretty logical, since the BioPower will perhaps in a few years completely take over.”

And herein lies the confusion (for me at least). I’m not sure if TMT’s referring to the same TTELA story as the one I linked to yesteday. I’ve had a quick peek at TTELA but my Swedish is limited to say the least. Any link to a new story would be welcome.

Tim has provided a translation of yesterday’s TTELA report, which is as follows:

Trollhättan: After the success with the ethanol powered Saab 9-5 there will be a similar version of the 9-3, but before that yet another etanolpowered 9-5. And the success with the environment-friendly in seen on the production line, until summer begins at least 80 more people is to be employed.

The newspaper has reported about the good sales numbers that were produced by the introduction of the Saab 9-5 Biopower. And the consequence at Stallbacka (the name of the location of the SAAB Plant in Trollhättan) is a need for an increased speed on the productionline before summer vacation starts.

According to the Metal-union ceo Paul Åkerlund about 80 people will be employed as temporary workers and summerjob workers. 17 people started last week. A side from the fact that the no of 9-5’s are increasing the old model also requires more work than the newer models.

There will be a max speed in production during the week 23-27 right before the start of the summer vacation, says Paul Åkerlund. And to ad to that there might be a need to work on a couple of saturdays. A later question is a permanent increase in speed of the production line.

We will discuss this as well as employment of more people after the summer vacation, according to Paul Åkerlund.
the company has got about a hundred temporary employees today and they are the first ones on the list for permanent employment.

But the successful commitment on environmentally friendly cars doesn’t stop with the 9-5. There’s been such a success with the 9-5 and there is nothing strange about expecting an etanolversion of the 9-3 the marketing director Knut Simonsson explains. The only question is, when it’ll go into prodution. He also confirms the fact that another version of the 9-5 biopower is to be expected, the question is, will it see daylight before the 9-3? That’s not unlikely, he says.

My thanks also to Tobias for his translation in comments.

As this report doesn’t mention Soedertaelje specifically I think there must be another report out there somewhere. This one seems to be dealing with body manufacture and I have a feeling the missing story is the one dealing with engine manufature at Soedertaelje – the report Mighty Troll is talking about.

Regardless, the word from Trollhattan is that Soedertaelje will stay open, with other engines being outsourced in order to increase B205 and B235 production.

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  1. The Saab-specific engines B205 and B235 will probably not be carried over to the next generation of 9-5 (remember what happened when the 9-3 was replaced). It seems resonable that the plant in Södertälje will continue to produce these engines as long as the current generation of the 9-5 is in production and then closed. It would be too expensive to move the production of these engines to Germany now, given that they will be gone in a few years anyway.

  2. The big question is to know what would happen when the next 9-5 arrive and with it the next generation of Saab engines, developed with GM, like the B207 and the V6turbo and other possible engines, that I Imagine would be Biopower. Those engines will be easily outsourced and the variability and uncertaincy of the SOdertalje plant will be higher.


  3. The article I referred to carried basically the same news that the mail from the local you received. It was published on May 23, the one about more ethanol SAABs on May 22. In the later one, the head of GM Powertrain Sweden, a Kjell Bergström, is quoted, mentioning that the new 9-5 BioPower engine will come by the summer, and also making clear that both the Södertälje and Gothenburg plants need more flexibility in order to continue producing.

  4. Swade – I hereby christen you the official non-official public liason for SAAB AB. Maybe you could contact them to get clarification and demand (haha) to know which engines will be produced at Soedertaelje when the B-series engines run their course. see if they come up with a response, just for s#### and grins

  5. I’m suprised that Pimental and Patzek are even given press time after their studies were found wrong.

    But of course ethanol is only short term answer for performance cars that cant start using biodiesel.

  6. “I’m suprised that Pimental and Patzek are even given press time after their studies were found wrong.”
    Especially when they were found wrong by the very same university that published their work in the first place–The University of California Berkeley

  7. It’s a borg smorgasboard at GM. Assimilation everywhere. This one’s just delayed.

    What is all good is Miami up 1-0. Cousin Dwyane is a sharp-shooter now!!

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