General Motors Europe Sells Södertälje, Sweden Facility

Posted on 10. Oct, 2008 by in 2000-2009, Södertalje, Sweden


Photo Credit: Scania AB

Södertälje, Sweden what was for years the SCANIA facility during the Saab-Scania years (1969-1989) where the Saab Car Division’s powertrain engineering operations took place.

Today, this operation has been officially sold to a company called AVL by General Motors Europe, and all of the powertrain operations will now be up in Trollhättan, Sweden.

In addition as reported below, the “The Saab Turbo Center” will be located in Trollhättan, Sweden as well.

For the record, the SCANIA facility in Södertälje, Sweden was where Sten Wennlo and Per Gillbrand worked with SCANIA to develop the Saab Turbo engine, so it all began here!

I am interested in what this “Saab Turbo Center” is, because it is now located just 45 minutes North of the “Saab Brand Center” which is in Mölnlycke adjacent to Göteborg, Sweden.

There are a lot of questions that I will now have as this process moves forward and hopefully in time, I can get some answers to them directly by the folks at Saab Automobile Sweden. My first question is, will Per Gillbrand be heading the “Saab Turbo Center” given that he is “Mr Turbo”, afterall.

In the meantime, here is the official press release:


GM Powertrain Europe and AVL announce new ownership for Södertälje Powertrain

* Consolidation of GM’s Swedish Powertrain Engineering operations in Trollhättan
* Saab Turbo Center and Powertrain Engineering co-location to better support the Saab brand
* Global engineering organization AVL purchases Södertälje Powertrain

Trollhättan. General Motors Powertrain Europe today announced the consolidation of its Swedish Powertrain Engineering operations in Trollhättan and the sale of its Södertälje Powertrain operation to AVL, a global engineering organization based in Graz, Austria.

The strategic move will allow GM Powertrain Sweden to fully support the development of the next generation of clean and efficient turbo-charged 4-cylinder engines for gasoline and alternative fuels. Co-locating all GM Powertrain Sweden operations with the GM Powertrain Engineering Center and Saab Automobile AB operations in Trollhättan will also strengthen the relationship between vehicle and powertrain engineering, the Turbo Center and better support the Saab brand.

“The sale of the Södertälje Powertrain organization also announced today includes the site, buildings and the transfer of the employees to AVL, as well as an Engineering Service Agreement for the first two years of AVL’s ownership,” said Kjell ac Bergstrom, Executive Director GM Powertrain Sweden.

“This is a very positive outcome for GM Powertrain Sweden, the Södertälje team and AVL. The service agreement secures GM Powertrain Sweden uninterrupted access to the expertise and services at Södertälje Powertrain Engineering AB (SPEAB).

“For the Södertälje employees the agreement also preserves their benefits and entitlements and offers them certainty and new opportunities under the ownership of AVL,” Bergstroem underlined.

The Executive Advisor to the Chairman of AVL, Mr Robert Hofer said the purchase of the Södertälje Powertrain Engineering operation was an important part of the company’s strategy. “The Södertälje operation helps AVL develop a greater local presence, will enable us to develop closer customer relations and expand our know-how network,” Mr Hofer said.

SPEAB currently has 117 employees and an annual turnover of 150 MSEK. It will continue to deliver services such as Trionic Engine Management System development and calibration to the GM Group. As a member of the AVL Group, SPEAB will be able to undertake global engineering work for new customers in their proven areas of expertise, including alternative fuels, CO2 reduction technologies and optimization of electronics.

General Motors Corp. (NYSE: GM), the world’s largest automaker, has been the annual global industry sales leader for 77 years. Founded in 1908, GM today employs about 266,000 people around the world. With global headquarters in Detroit, GM manufactures its cars and trucks in 35 countries. In 2007, nearly 9.37 million GM cars and trucks were sold globally under the following brands: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, GM Daewoo, Holden, Hummer, Opel, Pontiac, Saab, Saturn, Vauxhall and Wuling. In Europe, GM sells its vehicles in over 40 markets. It operates 10 vehicle-production and assembly facilities in seven countries and employs around 55,500 people. More information on GM can be found at and GM Europe executive blog at

AVL is the world’s largest privately-owned and independent company for the development of combustion engine powertrain systems, instrumentation and test systems as well as mathematical simulation software. AVL employs 4,100 people worldwide and its turnover in 2007 was €625 million.


For more GM information in English:
Emily Perry
Director Communications
GM Powertrain Europe
Tel: +39-011-424-8087
Mob: +39-3467-900-709

For more GM information in Swedish:
Kerstin Soderbaum
Director GM Powertrain Sweden
Tel: +4631838474
Mob: +46 702 421197

For more AVL information:
Michael Ksela
scoop next level marketing
Chief executive officer

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3 Responses to “General Motors Europe Sells Södertälje, Sweden Facility”

  1. peter

    11. Oct, 2008


    Some answers :

    As part of the split up of Scania & Saab, the Södertälje engine factory was transferred to Saab Automobile. For many years, this Scania factory had produced Saab engines.

    Although they produced all the Saab car engines at that time of the GM investment, it was clear that GM would replace those engines with their own.

    With the exception of 9-5 petrol powered cars, all current products use GM engines (including the FIAT diesels acquired as part of the GM/FIAT alliance).

    The current (and now low volume) 9-5 will end production after MY 2009, thus ending any use of the original Södertälje produced Saab engines.

    Clearly Södertälje is now a very small operation. The announcement effectively states that GM have disposed of an under utilised asset – some engineering staff will go to Trollhattan and production staff will be re-employed by the new owners.

    Per Gillbrand is now 74 yrs old. He left Saab under difficult circumstances :

    1)In the mid 90’s it became clear that there would be no future position responsible for existing Saab engine development as GM engines would replace Saab units.

    2)His work on the variable compression engine was cancelled by GM on cost grounds.

    The “Saab Turbo Centre” is where engineers “Saabize” GM engines. They have GME wide responsibility for turbo applications. There is no production.


    Reply to this comment
  2. Ali Emin

    17. May, 2010

    Dear MR.Chairman of board,
    We want more intimate familiarize oneself with your product
    in favor of a collective effort by Europe avtoindustry to advance electric mobility for example in battery /solar battery/technology,and ready cooperate our efforts in development latest technique in Autumotive industry.
    WE have any steps in this part.
    Other details in our exchange of letter
    With best wishes in your activity
    Ali Emin

    Reply to this comment


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    […] General Motors Europe Sells Södertälje, Sweden Facility In 2007, nearly 9.37 million GM cars and trucks were sold globally under the following brands: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, GM Daewoo, Holden, Hummer, Opel, Pontiac, Saab, Saturn, Vauxhall and Wuling. … […]

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