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: Saab's U.S. office moves to Detroit

21st May 2004, 10:49 AM
Found here:
GM unit to make 80 Georgia workers relocation offer

By Ed Garsten / The Detroit News

DETROIT — In a move that will save money and tighten the relationship between General Motors Corp. and its Saab unit, the Swedish automaker is moving its U.S. headquarters from suburban Atlanta to GM’s world headquarters at the Renaissance Center.

The move will take several months and is expected to be complete by Sept. 7. Most of Saab’s 80 Georgia-based employees have been offered transfers to Detroit, according to Saab spokesman Kevin Smith.

“This move will allow us to save a significant amount in facilities and other structural costs and redirect those resources to areas that support the growth of the Saab brand in the U.S. market,” said Debra Kelly-Ennis, president and chief operating officer of Saab’s U.S. arm.

Last year Saab began consolidating regional U.S. offices with GM’s regional operations to save money.

Saab’s U.S. arm imports and distributes the Saab 9-3 and 9-5 cars, along with replacement parts and accessories.

Kelly-Ennis said the move will not hamper the Swedish automaker’s individuality or identity. Still, GM and Saab are sharing more engineering and development resources, as well as components, to reduce and spread operating costs.

The Saab 9-3 is based on a new global vehicle platform jointly engineered by Saab, GM, and GM’s German unit, Adam Opel AG. The platform is also used to produce the Opel Vectra and the Chevrolet Malibu.

Saab’s new 9-7X sport utility vehicle that goes on sale next year will be based on the same underpinnings as the Chevrolet TrailBlazer. It will be assembled at GM’s Moraine, Ohio, plant and become the first Saab to be built in the United States.

The 9-2X, to be introduced in July, is derived from the Subaru WRX built by GM’s Japanese affiliate, Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd.

Future Saab vehicles may be built on GM platforms as well.

GM acquired a 50 percent stake in Saab in 1989 and took full ownership of the automaker in 2000. So far, however, the companies have not fully realized benefits from the relationship.

While it posted record global sales of 130,034 units last year, Saab remains a relatively small automaker in an industry shifting to mass scale to grow revenues and wring out fatter profits.

Saab’s U.S. sales are down 27.3 percent this year compared with the first four months of 2003, according to Autodata Corp. By adding the 9-7X SUV and the 9-2X, Saab hopes to attract new customers to the brand and increase sales.

22nd May 2004, 12:17 AM
that sucks. i wouldn't want to move from georgia to detroit

no offense viscouse

now they have to deal with the harsh winters. booooo

22nd May 2004, 07:17 AM
If you ever saw traffic in Atlanta you wouldn't mind so much...