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.