General Motors Japan is establishing three new Saab dealerships in cooperation with Fuji Heavy Industries (FHI). This represents the implementation of an agreement between GM and FHI, announced in April, to collaborate on the distribution of Saab vehicles in Japan.
Both “Saab Machida” in Machida City, Tokyo and “Saabu Tezukayama” in Osaka City, Osaka are scheduled to open on Saturday, June 14. “Saab Kohnan” in Yokohama City, Kanagawa is scheduled to open in late June. Combined with 91 Yanase dealers and three independent Saab dealers, Saab’s nationwide sales network will grow to 97 outlets.
GM and FHI, which have been alliance partners since April 2000, have numerous joint projects under way in product development, sales and purchasing. The Subaru Traviq compact minivan is manufactured by GM in Thailand, while the Chevrolet Forester is exported to India from FHI’s facility in Japan. In addition, Subaru vehicles are sold in Indonesia and the Philippines through the GM AutoWorld network. In April 2003, GM and FHI announced that they would collaborate on the development of a new Saab product for the North American market called the 9-2.
The announcement came as GM announced a 50% cutback in directly employed staff in Japan and told reporters in the US that it would hand more responsibility for sales of its foreign brands in Japan to local partners Subaru [Saab] and Suzuki [Chevrolet].