21st May 2004, 10:35 AM
SAAB CARS USA TO RELOCATE HEADQUARTERS TO DETROIT .... Saab Cars USA's corporate headquarters will be relocated from Norcross, Georgia, to GM's world headquarters at the Renaissance Center in Detroit, Michigan. The move will take several months and Saab's new corporate office should be fully operational by September 7, 2004. Saab Cars USA field employees continue to work from the GM regional offices they were recently co-located to and Saab Cars USA's field force continues to report directly to Saab Cars USA.
In a similar move, over the past several months, Saab Automobile AB and GM Europe have consolidated sales, marketing and engineering operations throughout Europe. This consolidation has resulted in synergies that have reduced fixed expenses, eliminated redundancies and streamlined internal work processes. Saab in Europe has been able to tap into GM Europe's vast resources, and this has improved Saab's competitiveness in the top markets there.
21st May 2004, 11:38 AM
Some more info from thecarconncection.com:
Saab leaving the ATL for Motown
Saab Cars USA is moving its U.S. operations from Atlanta to Detroit at the headquarters of General Motors, which owns Saab. Saab Cars officials expect to be in GM's world headquarters at Detroit's Renaissance Center by Sept. 7.
It is not a surprising move. The move enables GM to trim Saab's headcount from its current 80. And it makes it easier for Saab's operations and product development to integrate with GM.
"We save significantly on facility costs. We save significantly on structural costs, because we cut down on redundancies. It will give us the full ability to tap into more opportunities with GM North America," said a Saab representative.
Saab has posted an annual profit only twice since GM acquired a stake in 1990, and is in the midst of an aggressive product expansion in the United States, where it has only offered two models, the 9-3 sedan and bigger 9-5. Saab is launching the 9-2x, a small and sprite sport sedan built off the Subaru WRX, later this year and the 9-7 SUV, built off the Chevy Trailblazer, next year. GM owns a stake in Subaru parent Fuji Heavy Industries and is trying to share vehicle architectures across alliance partners and GM-owned brands.
Through April, Saab's U.S. sales were off 27.3 percent from the year-ago period. The 9-3 sedan, built off GM's Epsilon architecture, has received good marks in the auto press. But the company still has to offer profit-killing discounted leases to move vehicles. GM views Saab long-term as the third leg of its luxury stool that also includes Cadillac and Hummer. Where possible, GM has been dualing Cadillac and Saab dealers. -Jim Burt
22nd May 2004, 01:51 PM
Typical idiot corporate beancounter decision that is JUST what you'd expect from GM.
Norcross is a nice place to live and work. Detroit will not sit well with many of those employees. So, they will have to a) pay big relocation bonuses (wife's employer ate $30,000 of expenses to move us recently) to keep their people. They will lose many of them, requiring them to spend money recruiting and hiring others. They will have to probably pitch in raises to induce others to go to Detroit.
And puhleese, facilities cost for 80 people is a negligible cost for a auto company. GM wants Saab USA there in Detroit where they can hover over them and watch them, the rest is BS. They want to make Saab the next Oldsmobile, and erode what independence it still has.
I like my 9-3, but this will definitely be my last one. There is no way it makes sense financially to buy one with the poor resale, continued GMization, and lack of dedication from the parent co.