General Motors to build Saab in Mexico

US car giant General Motors is to start production of a new Saab car model in Mexico next year. This is part of an attempt to turn around GM’s disastrous sales figures.

Paul Åkerlund, IF Mettalls union spokesperson for Saab Automobiles in Trollhättan, western Sweden, told TT news agency that it shouldn’t affect jobs in Sweden. According to the union, building a new model on the other side of the Atlantic has long been part of the plan.

If anyone is affected by the US/Mexican production line, then it will be the German Saab factory of Rüsselsheim, according to Åkerlund.

“That is where the new models were supposed to be built, not at Trollhättan”.

Eric Geers, head of information at Saab Automobile confirmed to TT that it’s the Saab 9-4X crossover that was shown at Detroit earlier in the year that is to be produced in Mexico during 2009.

General Motors’ Chief Executive Rick Wagoner mentioned to news agency AFP on Friday that Saab was a decisive part of GM’s European product range.

“It sells pretty well in Europe and tends to be a good cash cow”, he told AFP.

General Motors has had huge profitability problems and last week presented plans to cut costs by 10 billion dollars. There has been speculation that the car giant may even sell off or stop production of certain brands. But Wagoner emphasized that the company had no plans to get rid of Saab.

Trollhättan will continue to produce the new 9-3 Saab.


Trollhättan remembers school attack victims

Hundreds of people on Saturday turned out for a torchlight procession in the small town of Trollhättan in southwestern Sweden to honour the victims of last year’s deadly school attack there.

Trollhättan remembers school attack victims
'It was an attack on all of Sweden,' Education Minister Gustav Fridolin said. Photo: Thomas Johansson/ TT

Three people were killed in an attack that shocked Sweden as a masked, sword-wielding assailant entered the school, stabbing students and teachers who appeared to be of foreign origin. Several people were also injured. The attacker, 21-year-old Anton Lundin Pettersson, was then shot dead by police.

“It was an attack on all of Sweden,” Education Minister Gustav Fridolin said as the procession ended outside the school.

In the week running up to the one-year anniversary, students of the school had made thousands of postcards in memory of the teacher, pupil and teacher aide who were killed in the assault.

A police investigation has showed that Lundin had planned the attack, which lasted around 10 minutes, after being inspired by racist websites.

A teenage student told The Local at the time that many people at the school at first thought it was some kind of a prank.

“I was in a classroom with my class when one of my classmates’ sisters called her to warn her that there was a murderer at the school. So we locked the door to the classroom, but our teacher was still outside in the corridor.”

“We wanted to warn him, so a few of us went outside and then I saw the murderer, he was wearing a mask and had a sword. Our teacher got stabbed.”

“The murderer started chasing me, I ran into another classroom. If I had not run, I would have been murdered. I’m feeling really scared. Everyone’s scared here.”

Trollhättan is an industrial town with around 50,000 residents.