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: AutoWeek on SAAB


ViggenPilot
13th June 2003, 09:42 AM
Don't shoot the messenger here, I'm just passing on the latest news from the June 16th edition of Autoweek, which I just got in the mail yesterday. I can't find the online version, so I'm retyping it below.

Japan gnashing

Saab sources acknowledge that folks at Fuji Heavy Industries are none too pleased with GM's plan to sell a facelifted version of the Subaru Impreza WRX as a Saab 9-2 in the US.

The idea reportedly is meeting opposition inside Subaru, where executives see it as a desperate attempt by GM product czar Bob Lutz to draw on GM's patial ownership of the Japanese automaker to aid GM's wholly owned and financially ailing Swedish arm.

But Saab officials on both sides of the Atlantic say the all-wheel-drive 9-2 wagon, powered by Subaru's 2.5 liter flat four is still a go. Production of 7,000 units per year starts next spring, with cars arriving at US dealers by summer 2004.

Another story on Saab & Cadillac:

Continental Cadillacs?

Saab is also throwing cold water on word we've heard from Europe that GM wants to build Cadillacs at Saab's Trollhattan plant. Bob Lutz reportedly has shared his idea for Euro-based Cadillac production with Italian jeweler Nicola Bulgari, who had a hand in designing guages for recent Caddys.

Building Caddys in Europe might save money in the long run, but Cadillac and Saab sources say right now Trollhattan makes zero sense because GM just invested $500 million to prep the plant to build Epsilon-based models, including the 2003 9-3 sports sedan that debuted last fall. Cadillac's CTS, SRX adn the next STS are all Sigma based.

That is all.

Thoughts?

nyc 363
13th June 2003, 02:38 PM
Buildings Sigma based cars at the Saab factory does not make sense to me. Since the Sigma is a RWD platform and Saabs are FWD cars.

garry
13th June 2003, 07:23 PM
Is saab just a word for GM ?

Hmm... with the power of the internet do you think we could all buy saab back as the worlds largest co-operative? If GM continue to trash saabs good name like this then at least we could buy it cheap.

CleveSaab
14th June 2003, 01:04 PM
We'd need a wealthy investor. Simon??
:D hehehehe

deniss
15th June 2003, 10:08 PM
hm... these news are disturbing to me.... i'm glad subaru is in opposition! lutz is going to use non-US gm divisions and affiliates to help gm anyway he can... i just hope he's not going to trash those other brands in the process....

garry
16th June 2003, 07:21 AM
Of all the makers in the world over the last 20 years Subaru have the most reason to pat themselves on the back. From small whacky pickups to ultra reliable supercars capable of winning world rallys year on year.

Of all the companys GM could have picked to work together with saab Subaru (a small but classy outfit) are a fine choice.
It 'could' work exceptionally well as long as it is not a re-badging excersise.
Thinking about a new combined model design, the GM900 is built on top of a poor and dated vauxhall floorpan layout. Imagine what could be achieved with a rally bread SOTA Subaru floorpan ?

As long as they spend the most time in design and detail and not in R&D of new technology. Thats what GM's big massive parts bin is for.

Saab needs a kick up the *** to get moving and GM need to rethink stratagy regarding the de'valueing of the Saab Marque...GM's ONLY prestige figurehead.

Ken
16th June 2003, 06:33 PM
I agree with some statements from both camps here.
I have to add one little thing though. A large part of Saabs image is based on longivity, you'll not see standard subaru boxer or the unimproved gmV6 engines consistently making the 200k+ expected from the traditional Saab 4 pot (highly strengthened mod of a triumph motor) . We'll have to wait and see if their efforts to Saabise the gm 4pot found in the new 93 are as comprehensive (ps:anyone know if this engine is chain or belt driven in Saab form?)

TwoSwedes
28th June 2003, 03:47 PM
I agree with some statements from both camps here.
I have to add one little thing though. A large part of Saabs image is based on longivity, you'll not see standard subaru boxer or the unimproved gmV6 engines consistently making the 200k+ expected from the traditional Saab 4 pot (highly strengthened mod of a triumph motor) . We'll have to wait and see if their efforts to Saabise the gm 4pot found in the new 93 are as comprehensive (ps:anyone know if this engine is chain or belt driven in Saab form?)

The GM 4pot is chain driven.

I will, howeve,r beg to differ on the longevity of Subie engines - the body will fall apart well befor the engine will. I've seen several with nearly 300K on them.

garry
28th June 2003, 06:15 PM
Yeh... The first Subaru motors I remember were mostly pickups bought by farmers... Cheaper than a Landrover but with 4 wheel drive and better on the road.
They did look sort of funny to me at the time.......but. I still see some farmers using those old Subaru's today!.
Many have (like saab drivers) developed strong brand loyalty for the very same reasons we come back to saab's. (including individuality)
In a very short time Subaru have mainly built a reputation for durability if anything.
Apart from the rally bread super versions why would one buy one if not for durability....coz they sure do look butt ugly.

deniss
17th July 2003, 09:41 PM
i agree that Subaru can build good engines with good stamina. i have seen a lot of REALLY old Subarus on the road, and there's no smoke from the tailpipe either! the body is usually crap, but i've known them to be fairly reliable.

i think subaru is in general a very good value, but the cars dont look too good, the interiors are cheap-looking (although not as bad as chevy, i think), boxers run rough, auto tranny jerks, and space isn't generous.

i guess i could agree that out of GM companies, subaru is the best partner for Saab.

candiazoo
19th July 2003, 11:00 PM
I've owned 2 Subarus... the first one (the old DL sedan) I ran for 4 years with about as many oil changes... until I neglected major service and the timing belt snapped on me. Got that fixed and then someone stole it and banged it up. Got it back and ended up getting a new car. That subaru was my first car and I imagine if I took care of it and it hadn't been stolen... I would have driven it several more years. It was a great car. I bought an impreza a few years later and liked it, but wasn't as fond of it as I was the old DL. Pickup trucks from there on out. (Until I just got my 9-3) :)

Mike