Achtung! GM will build Saabs outside Sweden next year [Archive] - SaabCentral Forums

: Achtung! GM will build Saabs outside Sweden next year


SaabKen
2nd April 2007, 03:07 PM
Not exactly new news. I'm just trying to up my posts counts :cheesy:

http://www.autoblog.com/2007/04/02/achtung-gm-will-build-saabs-outside-sweden-next-year/
(http://www.autoblog.com/2007/04/02/achtung-gm-will-build-saabs-outside-sweden-next-year/)
http://www.blogsmithmedia.com/www.autoblog.com/media/2007/04/saab95.jpg

The Saab faithful have seen their beloved brand play host to both a rebadged Subaru Impreza in the 9-2x and GMT 360 SUV in the 9-7x in recent years. Those two chapters in Saab history came after many of the brand's aficionados said it had lost its original identity under GM's stewardship. Today we have news that will surely drive some of the remaining Saab diehards right over the edge.

Starting in 2008, we will see Saab automobile production (no models specified yet) begin in Germany alongside the next-gen Opel Vectra (if that name is retained), with which they'll share architecture. This is part of GM Europe's master plan to globally integrate vehicle production. The practice is already visible in places like Delaware, where the Opel GT is built alongside its English-speaking clones, the Saturn Sky and Pontiac Solstice, and as the General continues the shift to more truly global platforms, we'll probably see more moves like this happen along they way.

[Source: Just-Auto -- sub req'd]

apzer09
2nd April 2007, 04:50 PM
The good news from this is that the new 9-5 will start production in 2008. Unless GM's going to throw us a curve ball and move 9-3 production out to Germany first. Then I'll be pissed. :roll:

saabboy1
2nd April 2007, 05:06 PM
I am beginning to reconsider my feelings on weather Saab should shift production to Germany. I was totally against the move however now I am seriously rethinking that concept. The reason I am rethinking it was my first trip to trollhatten in 1998 showed me allot of kids working the assemble lines building the 9-3. Seventeen to twentyone year olds for the most part, while the older assemble workers worked on the 9-5. Given the changes in our youth culture both here in America and in Europe that have encured in the last decade, and the fact that many people (America in particular) don't want to work in factory's, Germany offers a better perspective and that it won't cost as much in labor as Sweden, and in addition European Union citizens can work in Germany without allot of fan fare compared to Sweden. I am open to any alternative views but I get the feeling this is going to happen weather we like it or not. As long as the design concept remains strong, I might be willing to give it a chance in Germany. I would love to know how other Saab loyalists feel about this?

JWLANKY
3rd April 2007, 08:59 AM
Q.Just what will be Swedish about Saabs when production has moved to Germany?

A.Nothing that i can think of.

Also can anyone remember the % of GM shared parts that went into the 93SS (Peter Augustsson had a target to achieve an fell short), as id love to know what its going to be on the next models?

boon94
3rd April 2007, 10:12 PM
Q.Just what will be Swedish about Saabs when production has moved to Germany?


Whats chinese about chinese food?

JWLANKY
4th April 2007, 02:58 AM
Whats chinese about chinese food?


Well around our parts its made by Chinese people using Chinese traditional recipies with Chinese ingredients. Not by Germans trying to sell me a Chinese flavour frankfurter.

saabboy1
4th April 2007, 11:23 AM
WEll The Germans make a fine auto, as well with the Swedes. Design will still be in Sweden it's just manufacturing will shift to Russelheim, efficency with its parts suppliers at Opel will make Saab better in the long term, if provided the design of the new 9-3 and 9-5 are well done and fit the needs of Saab traditionalists as well as new customers.

One point I will make about Germans are they are very nationalistic when it comes to purchasing things, and the fact that the 9-5 and 9-3 will be built in Germany (by there people) will open new doors for Saab in the vast German market. But the key is how well that new 9-5 is going to look and drive, more importantly in the US market is how well will the fuel economy be? Americans are finally getting the picture in terms of how important fuel economy is, and will be in the furture. $4.00gl fuel will be with us for some time to come I am affraid. The days of cheap fuel are over

JWLANKY
4th April 2007, 11:40 AM
Design will still be in Sweden

Will it?

The Saab brand centre (whatever that means) will be in Sweden -not the design centre.

SaabKen
8th April 2007, 04:57 PM
A balanced article from Carpages.ca (http://www.carpages.ca/go/autonews/04092007,saab_to_produce_vehicles_in_germany_next_ year.aspx):


Saab to Produce Vehicles in Germany Next Year
Justin Couture(Canadian Auto Press) - 4/9/2007

Besides the barrage of ethanol-powered concept vehicles that Saab has displayedat just about every major auto show this year, things have been rather quiet for the GM-owned brand. While Swedish counterpart Volvo has been launching and updating models left right and centre, Saab hasn't shown any new significant vehicles since the Aero-X Concept. One potential reason for this is that the company is potentially moving production of its next model away from Sweden. Just-Auto reports that starting next year, Saab will begin producing vehicles at Opel's facilities in Russelsheim, Germany.

As you can imagine, loyal Saab fans are none too pleased at the idea of their cars being produced in Germany, especially after the 9-2x and 9-7x debacle. Top bosses decided a few years back that Saab needed to expand its product range in the United States with an affordable performance compact and a large sport utility vehicle. The former was a version of the Subaru Impreza, built in Japan, while the latter was and continues to be based on GM's GMT-360 sport utility platform (i.e. TrailBlazer, Envoy, etc.), which is built in theUnited States. However, in the above case the two vehicles were not Saab-engineered products, but rather were existing cars from other car companies with Saab exterior and interior styling.

The car suspected to be built in Germany would be the next-generation 9-5, which will ride on General Motors' Epsilon II platform. Saab's engineers will still play a strong role in engineering and designing it, much as they did with the current 9-3 that uses Epsilon I architecture components. Saab has been in need of a new-generation 9-5 for quite some time, which despite multiple facelifts has lost its competitive edge against its rivals.

The question that remains to be answered for Saab fans is, will the resulting Saab be any less of a Saab if it isn't built in Sweden?

Car enthusiasts don't consider the Boxster and Cayman any less Porsches even though they're built in Finland by a subcontracted company, nor does anyone seem to mind the fact that both BMW and Mercedes-Benz have plants in the southern United States, not even the Germans. Even Volvo doesn't build all of its cars in Germany many are produced in Ghent, Belgium.

Saab enthusiasts must come to grips with the important issue of brand sustainability, which can only be answered by shifting production locations. Keeping in mind that Saab is an important part of General Motors, the Swedish brand is not exempt from the auto-making giant's plans to integrate production globally. For instance, Saturn's Astra will be built alongside European-market Opel Astras, while Europe's Opel Roadster is built in Delaware alongside the Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky. These cost-cutting measures allow General Motors to invest its money in new vehicles and new technologies to create better products, and will give Saab a stronger chance to not only survive in the future, but be profitable.

1985 Gripen
8th April 2007, 08:08 PM
What that article doesn't take into consideration is come 2009 all 9-5 AND 9-3 production will be in Germany (well, not all, as the 'vert will still presumably be built in Austria).

The other auto manufacturers they mention (Porsche, BMW) still manufacture many of their models in Germany. It's not like they've just left a "brand center" behind. Plus, those companies are not forced to use more and more parts-bin parts from a parent company.

TROLLhattenschatten
9th April 2007, 03:42 AM
The main thing is SAAb still has its center in sweden.

I dont see how this will put more SAAbs on the streets of germany...just because there made there dont make them a german automobile.
look at it like this, toyota has production facilitys in the US, are they an american brand? no there not.

and how are they so "nationalistic"? no offence going against you but i see just as many toyotas and other POS cars than BMWs.
pepole buy what they like, they dont buy because of the country its from!


i think this is just another thing to tear our beloved brand apart. :roll:

sethsev7n
9th April 2007, 04:26 AM
Well nothing in the premium to luxury sector that the germans put out is bad by any means - aside from recent BMW styling (anyone see the new M3? Blech!), the germans are the best in the world when it comes to automobiles - from styling to engineering - period. Lexus is still persuing that perfection ;)

So I have no problem with germans putting together our Saabs. Now China or Mexico? Uhhh.. might have to live with the latter and hope for the best when it comes. Interior parts bin sharing is what will get my blood boiling, lets all hope for the best on that one.

legolas8888
9th April 2007, 05:04 AM
Q.Just what will be Swedish about Saabs when production has moved to Germany?

A.Nothing that i can think of.

Also can anyone remember the % of GM shared parts that went into the 93SS (Peter Augustsson had a target to achieve an fell short), as id love to know what its going to be on the next models?

Would the move be to lay down the framework and "promote" the precept of Germanic quality of finish? :) Hard to believe that the production cost base in Germany is going to be a lot lower than in Sweden. ;) Or is it part of a much bigger plan to move production into Eastern Europe which is where the German motor industry is heading?

TROLLhattenschatten
9th April 2007, 05:35 AM
The german motor industry is headed east? umm check your map. stuttgart is in eastern germany...always has been. the whole bayersch motor works....eastern.

1985 Gripen
9th April 2007, 01:40 PM
The main thing is SAAb still has its center in sweden.

I don't know if you're being facetious with this comment, but every time I ask exactly what the purpose of the SAAB Brand Center is I can't get a straight answer.

IMHO, just having an office building that says SAAB on the outside in Sweden when ALL of your cars are made out-of-country doesn't make the brand any more Swedish. It's just something to point at to appease critics while you're building all these formerly Swedish cars in countries other than Sweden.

It's like when they keep bringing up the possibility of producing the possible "smaller SAAB" (9-1 or 9-2) in Trollhattan along with the Astra it'd be based-on. However, nobody's really truly committed to this yet, I don't believe. It's just to dissuade inquiry into why by 2010 no SAABs are slated to be made in Sweden anymore.

I don't even think the 9-1/9-2 program has even had the offical go-ahead yet, has it? It's still something they're mulling the possibility of producing allegedly, like a new Sonett, right?

TROLLhattenschatten
9th April 2007, 09:45 PM
I don't know what a brand center is either, nor do i care. i am simply trying to keep a positive outlook on things, as it could be worse.

MrRun2Fast
9th April 2007, 11:38 PM
I don't know what a brand center is either, nor do i care. i am simply trying to keep a positive outlook on things, as it could be worse.

See link for Saab brand center:

http://www.saab.com.sg/main/GLOBAL/en/designcenter.php

In my current role, I drive cost-savings initiatives for two major consumer products and if this brand center is similar to how our brands are set up - I believe this new center will be the brain child for new strategies, designs, and products. I'm not too worried about moving the production of Saabs to Germany - as long as the Swedes are setting the direction of the brand.

I can see why GM is moving the production facilities - it made no financial sense for them to have a separate production facility for Saab. I'm betting this transfer in production facilities is saving Saab a boatload of $'s - it takes a lot of capital to transfer production facilities - this is probably saving Saab $xx millions. From my experience, all of my cost-savings are reinvested back in to the brand in terms of R&D and marketing - so let's pray GM is doing the same.

At my company, if we don't see a payback for an intiative within xxx years, then it's not worth doing it - unless there is a huge upside. Unfortunately since Saab is generating low sales/volume, it would be difficult to argue within the company to allocate more resources. I'm not too familiar with the financials of Saab/GM, but has there been a Saab in the past 5 years that has shown serious potential growth in the market?

TROLLhattenschatten
10th April 2007, 12:33 AM
not that im aware of...i actualy think there at a loss in 2006/2007.

SaabKen
10th April 2007, 12:35 AM
The 9-7X, or the SUV/CUV, had it been done right. Unfortunately Saab/GM was way too late in the game, then came out with a half-baked product that not only wasn't convincing enough to existing Saabers/new customers, it was launched when GM was retiring the rest of the fleet based on the GMT360 platform (GMC Envoy/Buick Rendevous/Chevy Trailblazer/Isuzu Ascender). Oh and add to that escalating energy prices, Katrina, the whole nine yards.

Saab should have canceled the SUV launch for mid 2000's timing and focused on bringing out the crossover based on the 9-3SC instead, then launching a larger fully-baked CUV to follow the success of the 9-3SC CUV.


I'm not too familiar with the financials of Saab/GM, but has there been a Saab in the past 5 years that has shown serious potential growth in the market?

TROLLhattenschatten
10th April 2007, 12:50 AM
9-7X - I just for the first time seen one last week and they are DAMN ugly!

Also don't forget about the 9-2X. alot of sabbers where upset with the apperance. that could've been a great car....

900t
10th April 2007, 09:13 PM
9-7X - I just for the first time seen one last week and they are DAMN ugly!

Yeah? I thought it looked pretty good... it looks like a 9-5 wagon that has been shrunk lengthwise and extended vertically. Compared to most other SUV's it's a pretty hot looking machine! The stock mags on the six really suck though.

TROLLhattenschatten
10th April 2007, 09:26 PM
ATTENTION - I am NOT trying to get into an arguement about the 9-7x!

With that out of the way i will say this.
the thing i really dislike is the front, its just so...un-saabish, so plain.
that and it looks like a trail-blazer to me