NORCROSS, Ga. - Saab Automobile AB is investing approximately $156 million (SEK 1.2 billion) at its car manufacturing plant in Trollhattan, Sweden, and its transmission plant in nearby Gothenburg to increase productivity, boost capacity and raise product quality even higher. In Trollhattan, Saab's world headquarters and main factory, the company is restructuring its manufacturing operations and adding new stamping lines to increase metal-pressing capacity. The Gothenburg investment will also lead to increased transmission production and the creation of 100 new jobs.
The stamping plant in Trollhattan produces body panels for the new Saab 9-5 and 9-3 models on four different metal-press lines, with productivity and set-up times already on world-class levels. With one additional stamping line, Saab has targeted a 30 percent increase in productivity, as well as enhanced product quality, when the expansion is completed. Saab will also make an investment in the body shop and the final assembly in order to support the higher demand of the Saab 9-5. Last year, Saab added approximately 1,000 new workers as production capacity increased.
The transmission plant in Gothenburg manufactures all of Saab's manual transmissions. A third shift will be added in the machining area and a second shift in the assembly area. This production increase will require the recruitment of an additional 100 new production workers and several new engineers. The Gothenburg plant currently employs 460 people.
Approximately 30 percent of Saab manual transmission production is delivered to General Motors, which is expected to take as much as 50 percent of production within two years. In conjunction with personnel recruitment and investment in new machinery, production capacity will increase by about 25 percent, from the current annual output of 145,000 transmissions to 185,000 by the year 2000.