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With the big concentration/centralization of the GME operations(production and engineering) in Russelheim, it seems that something will be in Sweden.


General Motors Europe Announces it Will Create a New European Design Center





· New, state-of-the-art facility located in Rüsselsheim, Germany, to open in January 2006

· Saab Brand Center in Sweden to become global epicenter for the Saab brand



General Motors Europe is announcing today that it will open a new European Design Center in Rüsselsheim, Germany in January 2006 as part of its continued focus on further strengthening product development. This new, world-class facility will be housed in the center of its Rüsselsheim campus.



“Design is already one of the most crucial elements of our business and will continue to be in the future,” said Carl-Peter Forster, president of GM Europe. “Therefore, we will create a facility that provides our designers with the location, atmosphere and tools they need to maximize the creative process and design our future vehicles.”



The new design center will house GM Europe’s advanced and production design, providing a direct link and increased synergies between advanced engineering, product planning and the brands.



“Having our advanced design operations in Rüsselsheim will further strengthen our ties with engineering and planning,” said Bryan Nesbitt, executive director of GM Design Europe. “The new, high-tech facility, enabling the right creative incubator, demonstrates GM’s continued recognition of design’s value to the development of our GM Europe brands.”



General Motors’ global Design organization is a multi-national team with eleven design centers around the world. The offices are linked via virtual reality studios and projects are shared around the globe. The organization is led by Ed Welburn, GM’s global vice president of design.



“A new GM Europe design center is an exciting addition to our global design enterprise,” said Welburn. “Our company truly has a passion for design, and this new facility will help secure our design relevance in the European region, and around the world, for years to come.”



The new GM Europe Design Center will be located in a state-of-the-art building on the Rüsselsheim site that will be modified specifically for design’s needs.



Saab Brand Center to open in Sweden

In concert with this announcement, GM Europe will also establish a global Saab Brand Center in Sweden. This will be the epicenter of the Saab brand and will house a strategic design team that will concentrate on Saab-specific design.



“From a designer’s perspective, Saab has such a rich history to build upon,” said Nesbitt. “Therefore, we plan to ensure that future Saabs maintain this DNA, accentuating their aircraft heritage and the Scandinavian design aesthetics that have helped Saab challenge the mainstream for nearly 60 years.”



In addition to Saab designers, the Saab Brand Center will house a core team of engineers and marketers who will work in close collaboration to develop, evolve and maintain the Saab brand character in all areas – from developing future product proposals to ensuring consistent communication across the globe.



“The sole focus of Saab’s new Brand Center is to create an environment where Saab specialists can focus specifically on what makes Saab unique and, therefore, help ensure we maintain these qualities in everything we do: design, engineering, marketing communications and more,” said Forster.


greetings
 

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if its not made in sweden/finland, its not a saab. what next - korean saabs? we dont want rebadged opels/vauxhalls.
 

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That's just old world thinking. Just a few examples: many BMWs have been made outside of Germany for many years now, including Spartanburg, SC which makes the Z3/Z3 coupe, Z4/M coupe, X3 and X5. The Mercedes ML-class is also made in the US. Even the upcoming R-class. The current 9-3 convertible is made in Graz, Austria.

You tell me, when you see these cars on the road do you say:"Hey, these are not real Saabs/M-Bs/BMWs !" ?


stryker said:
if its not made in sweden/finland, its not a saab. what next - korean saabs? we dont want rebadged opels/vauxhalls.
 

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YES ! :D:D:D Welcome back SAAB.


edusaab said:
· Saab Brand Center in Sweden to become global epicenter for the Saab brand


Saab Brand Center to open in Sweden

In concert with this announcement, GM Europe will also establish a global Saab Brand Center in Sweden. This will be the epicenter of the Saab brand and will house a strategic design team that will concentrate on Saab-specific design.

“From a designer’s perspective, Saab has such a rich history to build upon,” said Nesbitt. “Therefore, we plan to ensure that future Saabs maintain this DNA, accentuating their aircraft heritage and the Scandinavian design aesthetics that have helped Saab challenge the mainstream for nearly 60 years.”

In addition to Saab designers, the Saab Brand Center will house a core team of engineers and marketers who will work in close collaboration to develop, evolve and maintain the Saab brand character in all areas – from developing future product proposals to ensuring consistent communication across the globe.

“The sole focus of Saab’s new Brand Center is to create an environment where Saab specialists can focus specifically on what makes Saab unique and, therefore, help ensure we maintain these qualities in everything we do: design, engineering, marketing communications and more,” said Forster.

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Not true...

stryker said:
if its not made in sweden/finland, its not a saab. what next - korean saabs? we dont want rebadged opels/vauxhalls.
Unfortunately although many of the hardcore SAAB afficianados feel this way, I think the waiting list for the American 9-7X prove that there is a significant portion of the population who don't care where the SAAB is built.

The 9-7X, the 9-2X, and the upcoming 9-6X are all non-Scandanavian-built. There are more SAABs built outside of Scandanavia than inside now. The only "new" SAABs even on the slate to be built there are the current models through the 2008 model year 9-3 and 9-5. After that by your definition there will be no more SAABs.

BTW, you were being ironic when you were asking if Korean SAABs are next, right? You did read the rumors about Daewoo making a future SAAB model in Korea?
 

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personally, i'd love to see all saabs built in sweden, but for now it's good that at least it appears they'll be designed there.
 

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It sounds to me that many of the key design, engineering and marketing decisions will be allowed to be moved back to Trollhattan HQ, or at least HQ is reclaiming a bigger share of the Empire's branding strategy under a more autonomous GM Europe structure that includes German and UK operations.

Don't know how much of these recent changes can be attributed to the new Lutz/Cowger tag team for global product development and manufacturing/labor and to Carl-Peter Forster's appointment as new head of GME. Either way I sense philosophically things are turning around at GM and GME in terms of respecting subsidiary operations and brand management :D We may look back one day and be thankful that "failures" such as the 9-2X forever helped changed the course of Saab and GM.

PS: I think the Daewoo Saab rumor was nothing but pure rumor. Don't believe everything you read in car mags ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
In Russelheim it will be the Advanced Design Center of GM, when since now it was in Goteborg/Trollhattan, to compensate that GME makes the Saab Brand Center. I hope we will not see more badge engineering and badge design cues as interior buttons that are the same, basic body designs shared, interiors that are very similar(as Audi, VW, Seat some years ago) and those type of things that happen when you centralize many decisions and give only autonomy in few issues. i hope that it will be a collaborative enviroment to make powerful engineering that could help to make competitive engineering "basics" as architectures/platforms, basic engines and so and to give to the brand big part of the engineering and spend his resources to finish the model. I think that this idea that is the strategy of GM it will be true and will help Saab to recover his good name, engineering capabilities and so....

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1985 Gripen said:
Unfortunately although many of the hardcore SAAB afficianados feel this way, I think the waiting list for the American 9-7X prove that there is a significant portion of the population who don't care where the SAAB is built.

The 9-7X, the 9-2X, and the upcoming 9-6X are all non-Scandanavian-built. There are more SAABs built outside of Scandanavia than inside now. The only "new" SAABs even on the slate to be built there are the current models through the 2008 model year 9-3 and 9-5. After that by your definition there will be no more SAABs.

BTW, you were being ironic when you were asking if Korean SAABs are next, right? You did read the rumors about Daewoo making a future SAAB model in Korea?
No, havent heard about that rumor. Directon of the brand -downhill- with GM just led me there. Sorry if its old world thinking, but its most probably true. Craftsmanship and how well a car is put together matters so much. Still admire the old 900s on the road whenever I see one. They are almost my age and I used to value them all the way up there with Porsches when I was a kid............Scandinavian built.
 

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We ALL wish that all Saabs remain to be built in Sweden/Finland. You're right, traditional craftsmanship was (and still is) important. In some ways classic Saabs were better than modern Saabs. But in many ways they're not. Since GM purchased 50% of Saab in 1990 and the final 50% in 2000, the fate of Saab is now mostly in the hands of GM. That's not necessarily a bad thing as long as GM knows how to caress and manage the brand true and faithful to its roots while still be able to grow and diversify, similar to how Ford's PAG manages Volvo (see link below).

What is also crucially important is for Saab to have a large, powerful and well-resourced global parent company like GM to back it up in good times and bad times. So far it's been mostly bad times for GM (all but one year of GM's 15-yr ownership has Saab even been profitable) yet GM is still committed to Saab after a still undisclosed amount of investments and losses. You gotta give them credit for at least that much. Heck most modern marriages don't last half as long !

Respect for Saab and Volvo's brand heritage

These are interesting transitional times for Saab. Personally I think the brand will re-emerge strongly and become highly competitive and desirable without losing its identity after all. And I think the new global Saab Brand Center and the new GME arrangement will facilitate Saab's revival.
 

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stryker said:
if its not made in sweden/finland, its not a saab. what next - korean saabs? we dont want rebadged opels/vauxhalls.
It's not just Saab, some of the new 3 series are built in South Africa (yeah so definitly check the tag on those before you purchase one... although it's only supposed to be a small portion of world sales). Merc has kit C-class vehciles being built in Brazil. I don't know about you guys but an American/Japanesse built vehicle seems a whole lot better than those.
As long as it looks good, drives well, is dependable, and made by skilled workers than I don't have a problem with it not being built in Sweden. All that being said, it would still be nice to have them get a least one Saab model in Sweden such as a higher end model where'd they get the most out of the high labor costs.
 

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Cheap candy, shiny wrapper - and a lot of nonsense from executives to go with it. Typical American marketing. Cant say that Q&A comforts me a bit- they will design it Sweden but we will build it with our Opel junk! And yeah labor, employees at the current Opel plant in Germany are already moaning and cursing everyday, all facing potential layouts. Now, we expect them to deliver a quality car like Saab?

OK, I give up, will enjoy my aero and keep it as long as it runs.
 

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saab9x said:
personally, I'd love to see all SAABs built in Sweden, but for now it's good that at least it appears they'll be designed there.
Tis vital that the Saab be designed in Sweden and that GM engineer excellent platforms/body shells for this purpose.
Immaterial where the car is built, but it must be to Saab standards..

I believe GM does have the ability do build the world's best motor vehicles, but they lost it many years ago..
Too much power to GM the monolith, too little for the Divisions....
No more Oldsmobile, I do not wish to see the same happen with Saab..
 

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Sounds ok to me. Just as long as the cars have that Swedish character in their design that make them unique.

Speaking of being built in Sweden, do the current Swedish built SAABs get good quality ratings?
 
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