In what may be seen as a jab at General Motors' Opel plant in Bochum, Germany, the automaker is reportedly considering giving production of the next Astra over to Saab's operations in Trollhattan. The move is being regarded by some as a positive indicator for the struggling brand, but if GM moves production to Sweden, it hardly guarantees the 'Born From Jets' brand's survival... it simply means that its plant will continue to churn out vehicles-- whether they carry Swedish crests remains an open question.
The word comes via Automobilewoche, a German publication that interviewed GM of Europe's head Carl-Peter Forster. In the course of their conversation, the General's executive notes that the Saab plant is 'super-productive' and production costs run about 25-percent less than comparable German facilities. What's more, productivity at the plant bumped up by 15-percent in 2005, and there are hopes for a double-digit increase again this year.
The next Astra is earmarked for 2010.