Saab factory future looking secure

General Motors has announced that a new Cadillac model will be built at the Saab plant in Sweden. The announcement at the Geneva Motorshow was widely expected, and provides a boost for workers at the factory in Trollhättan, near Gothenburg. The news was accompanied by reports in a German newspaper that GM has decided to secure Trollhättan’s long-term future.

The news that the Cadillac would be built in Sweden was greeted warmly by Saab managing director Peter Augustsson.

“We have said that in the future every GM factory will make more than one brand of car,” he said. “We think that this is great – Saab and Cadillac are a good combination.”

The Cadillac will be built using the same technology as the Saab 9-3. This means that Trollhättan’s future is secure until the 9-3 is replaced in 2007, reported Sveriges Radio. When this happens, Saab could still lose out to the Opel factory in Rüsselheim, Germany.

Yet new reports in a German newspaper could signal an end to the uncertainty. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung has reported that GM has decided to save both Trollhättan and Rüsselheim, and plans to create a much wider range of Saab models in the future. The paper also reported that the next generation Saab 9-3 would be built outside Sweden, but that other models will be built at the factory.

According to the reports, the decision will mean a doubling of production at Trollhättan, and millions of dollars of investment in the plant.

It the reports are confirmed, it means that Trollhättan’s future is secure until 2015. The factories in Trollhättan and Rüsselheim have been working to improve efficiency since the autumn. The German newspaper’s source says that the improvements mean that both factories will be saved.

General Motors said that the company would make an official announcement some time in March.

Sources: Dagens Nyheter, Sveriges Radio, Dagens Industri