I don't like the sound of this for Saab... [Archive] - SaabCentral Forums

: I don't like the sound of this for Saab...

8th July 2003, 10:48 PM
This the news in the U.S. today about Saab:

SWEDEN --- Mid-sized truck will fill big void in model lineup - In an answer to its dealers' prayers, Saab Cars USA Inc. will get an SUV based on the Chevrolet TrailBlazer for the 2005 model year. The mid-sized truck will fill a huge hole in Saab's buyer-retention numbers - 25 percent of buyers who leave the brand each year do so to buy an SUV, according to Debra Kelly-Ennis, CEO of the U.S. sales arm. "These numbers are compelling," Kelly-Ennis said last week in a roundtable with Automotive News editors and reporters. "Our dealers sit there year after year watching other makes get SUVs." Kelly-Ennis said Saab originally wanted to use the platform of the new Cadillac SRX for its vehicle. But after a year of discussion, the project was scuttled because of the costs involved. "For the first time in Saab's history, we are looking to develop and bring to market a vehicle that would rely almost solely on one market," Kelly-Ennis said. "Therefore, the costs couldn't be spread over 50 markets worldwide." The automaker also hopes to get a sport wagon based on GM's Epsilon car platform, she said. But that project, which could come to market in three years, is awaiting approval. The SUV, to be called the 9-7, will have different exterior design, interior trim and chassis refinements than the TrailBlazer, said Saab product spokesman Kevin Smith. "It will have very different handling, with excellent braking and performance," he said. "It will be significantly different than the GMC Envoy, Chevy TrailBlazer or Oldsmobile Bravada." Smith said sales likely would be between 5,000 and 15,000 units annually. "It is too early to divulge volume, but it would be nothing near 25 percent of our sales," he said. Rather than try to compete with car-based vehicles such as the Volvo XC90 or the Lexus RX 330, the Saab SUV will be pitted against other truck-based vehicles, Smith said.

Dealers 'amazed' at 9-7

Chris Cerrina, a member of the Saab Business Team and owner of Parkfield Motors Inc. in Bergenfield, N.J., said dealers were shown the 9-7 recently and were "amazed" at the degree of differentiation from GM models. "We didn't expect the extent of the changes that were put into the model," he said. The 9-7's truck platform will not be an issue with buyers, Cerrina said. The vehicle will attract new buyers to the brand in the same way that the 9-3 has, he said. Saab expects to sell more than 40,000 cars this year, a level it hasn't reached in 16 years, largely because of the 9-3 replacement, which debuted last fall. Saab sold 37,805 vehicles in the United States last year, up 0.7 percent,and sales through May are up 24 percent. Because the 9-3 is a sedan, rather than a hatchback like its predecessors, Saab has attracted new buyers, Kelly-Ennis said. For the first time, 42 percent of buyers of the 9-3 rated exterior styling as the major reason they purchased the vehicle, she said. Traditionally, design has rated lower on the scale, she said.

A convertible version goes on sale in October.

The hatchback will return to the Saab range next year when two versions of a small all-wheel-drive car, the 9-2, premier. The 9-2 is based on the Subaru Impreza and the sportier Impreza WRX. The base 9-2 will be the only Saab without a turbocharged engine. It will use Subaru's 2.5-liter H-4 engine, while the Aero model will be powered by a 2.0-liter turbo version.

My comment:

Saab actually built their OWN SUV, but GM idiots are refusing to let it go on sale because in tests and internal comparos it tested BETTER than the Cadillac SRX and they thought it would compete too much and steal Cadillac sales. I guess they didn't realize that CADILLAC buyers are way different than SAAB buyers!

But to base it on something like TrailBlazer, a stupid Chevy? Wow. The TrailBlazer represents the guzzling, bulky, brash American vehicles that Saab owners specifically hate.

8th July 2003, 11:11 PM
the only reason saab needs ansuv in gm's minds is that they need sales numbers, ford bought volvo and gm in turn nabbed saab in hopes they could compete against other european luxury models
but instead of leaving saab alone as gm has done with so many of its daughter companies, they decided to lay hand on
however they have missed the point that saab buyers are saab owners, and special people, you don't see every joe schmoe buying a saab thats whats made this brand special the people who love and care for them,

9th July 2003, 04:25 AM
oh dear lord. frist Mercedes Benz with the Ml BMW with is X5... Porsche with that thing on steroids ... Audi with the allroad... its a estate with a lift-kit in it... May the saab gods blese up with something eye apealing and gets good gas mileage...

9th July 2003, 05:11 AM
I stopped reading when I saw SUV.

I've been totally turned off from SUV's, because of seeing so many Suburbans, Explorers, Expeditions, and now Hummers (8 mpg) on the LA freeways.

Saab made an SUV back in the late 70's. It was called the 99, then the 900. Sure it's a low profile, but it fits almost as much cargo inside as a lot of todays SUV's.(OK, maybe an exaggeration.)

Americans need to stop buying SUV's. What a waste.

Johan T
9th July 2003, 05:58 AM
Haven't heard of this big SUV before, but have seen the concept car 9-3X:
That is a smaller car, actually more like a Saab, than anything building on TrailBlazer...
More pics:

9th July 2003, 06:59 AM
Think it might look something like this:


or this:


Check this post:

Johan T
9th July 2003, 07:12 AM
Oh No! :evil:
What kind of a back is that? The back lights look like something picked from a Honda or Toyota! Where is the Saab-image?

And for making a car as shown in the drawing; take an Opel Zafira and put a Saab badge on it!!

I really hope this is not how future Saabs will look. It is important to keep Saabs identity! :nono;

10th July 2003, 11:49 PM
hm that third picture up... looks rather fine. european for sure. but more like 9-5 estate lifted up... i'd like to see the interior...

12th July 2003, 02:34 AM
erm k, these autobild pictures are hilarious.


Doesn't the background in that image look rather familiar? I hate photoshop sometimes...


12th July 2003, 02:48 AM
oh, looks like someone else on the vtm forum already posted the two pics. but yeah, never trust autobild...

26th July 2003, 01:37 PM
Us Saab enthusiasts may think SUV's are stupid ugly vermin, but the exisence of a Saab SUV would help Saab sales conserably in the US. And then, people who bought the Saab SUV (or went to the dealer to place an order) might see a real Saab and roll out of the dealer with one of those.

9-3 4 ever.

20th August 2003, 11:55 PM
Chris Cerrina, a member of the Saab Business Team and owner of Parkfield Motors Inc. in Bergenfield, N.J., said dealers were shown the 9-7 recently and were "amazed" at the degree of differentiation from GM models. "We didn't expect the extent of the changes that were put into the model,"

But to base it on something like TrailBlazer, a stupid Chevy? Wow. The TrailBlazer represents the guzzling, bulky, brash American vehicles that Saab owners specifically hate.

Yes, that's true. Basing a saab SUV on the Traiblazer won't help much, I don't think, because peoplecan get the same damn thing from Chevy or GMC for probably less. That's the last thing we needed though, another SUV based on that platform. They've got Chevy, GMC, Olds (Although that one's out, isn't it?), Buick and Isuzu. Hm... :nono; Not gonna work. However, I love the idea of the new hatchback

1st October 2003, 12:46 AM
Solution to those who don't like the idea of a Saab SUV, rebadged or not. Don't buy one.

Now, back to reality. A huge proportion of vehicles sold here in the US are SUV's. People want them for various reasons. Some even need them. (you fit 7 in a 9-3)

Sales of SUV's help Saab stay in business, help them have cash for future development, help them PROSPER. Not wanting my Saab to become worthless at resale time in 5 years because they went out of business, I am glad they are selling SUV's and such.

1st October 2003, 02:35 AM
I just made this in Photoshop.... lol.... a quickie :wink: :lol: .... Oh how I hate GM. :oops:

1st October 2003, 05:29 AM
and now.....how would you like it to look ? :cheesy:

1st October 2003, 03:27 PM
Haha.... I will make a better quailty 9-7 lol... that one took like 10 min... :lol: :wink:

2nd October 2003, 08:43 AM
Hey guys -- let's not condemn the 9-7 until we see (and drive) one :nono; The new 9-3 may have saved Saab -- and I love mine -- even though everyone complained about GM taking over Saab 5 years ago.

Besides, I wish my 9-3 were as reliable as my last car [2000 Impala] was. Somehow, Chevy managed a car that never stalled, had good power, got decent gas mileage, had easier-to-use electronics [including similar owner preferences through the RDS system], had plenty of room and comfort, and even had Homelink that worked!

Don't get me wrong: I love my 9-3SS, especially the handling (fun-to-drive) factor. But most of the "Saab quirks" seem to be glitches that require dealer visits. So let's not be too harsh on the General yet....

BTW -- compared to Ford or Chrysler, GM seems to be doing a lot to put its house in order. Witness the Cadillac resurgence, brisk sales of Impala & Malibu, jettisoning of Olds [god forbid Ford should scuttle the waste that is Mercury], GMC's handsome new truck line and, yes, Saab's [we hope] comeback with models that look a LOT better than Volvo's.

So let's give the poor 9-7 a chance, OK? :D

15th October 2003, 11:18 AM
I have seen a couple of pictures of the new 9-7. Unfortunately I do not have them to post here.
The platform will be shared, and almost nothing else.
The 9-7 will be lower than the others, and will have better handling and suspension to make it more "Saab-like"
The interior will look like a Saab, and they are even going to have the key in the middle.
They will have both the 5 and 7 passenger body styles, and the only thing that even closely resembled a Trailblazer are the back side windows.
They will probably have both the I-6 and V-8 currently used in the Trailblazer. Saab has put a turbo on the current Inline 6 and the numbers blew away the Cadillac Escalade. Whether GM lets this happen is another story.
The numbers show Saab is losing almost 25% of its current customers to SUV's.
I hear you say Saab people don't drive SUV's, then why would 25% of people who own a Saab now buy one instead of another car? Saab is losing 25% of its customer base to a product they don't offer.
If Saab can grab more buyers with shared platforms, then they can get more money to develop their own platforms.
In today's global car market, almost every mfg. is sharing platforms.
Why shouldn't GM help Saab get bigger and profitable so they can then get better with more R&D and better vehicles in the future.

15th October 2003, 04:53 PM
The Vortec 4200 twincam inline 6 in the Trailblazer was originally intended to be turbocharged as a 5-cylinder version, it put out about 350 with twin sequential turbos. 285 with one. GM Powertrain actually had Saab as a consultant for the turbos.

Standard 4.2 six makes 275

19th November 2003, 11:41 AM
:o "Saab plumbs new shallows"....Read it and weep (from the above excerpt)....

"42 percent of buyers of the 9-3 rated exterior styling as the major reason they purchased the vehicle"

I'm so embarrassed. :cry:

19th November 2003, 08:47 PM
:o "Saab plumbs new shallows"....Read it and weep (from the above excerpt)....

"42 percent of buyers of the 9-3 rated exterior styling as the major reason they purchased the vehicle"

I'm so embarrassed. :cry:

The 9-3ss is a bit 'mainstream' in styling.

It is a point to note that GM have turned the corner and indeed have got there house in order, as a Ford Powertrain employee it is quite noticable. I strongly feel a great deal of people whom knock GM are either blinkered or say so 'cos that's what there dad says.

25th November 2003, 12:00 PM
Very true, although the point I was trying to make was that Saab buyers are apparently going on "looks" over how the car drives/comfort/performance etc.

I just think it's sad that people are more concerned with looks than ability when it comes to spending 20k+ on a car :o . They could at least place equal importance on ability!

I like to think most of the like-minded nutters on this forum have a little more depth to them, and enjoy the unusual looks as a handy bonus to an already interesting car and ownership "experience" :(

25th November 2003, 10:45 PM
I suppose I'm one of those 42%. Just as well the 9-3SS had the looks otherwise I and many, many others wouldn't have given it a second glance. And that would have been the end of Saab. Having got my attention, I was able to give it a good evaluation on many aspects besides looks. I wouldn't buy a good looking car if it was a pig to drive. Just as much as I wouldn't buy a great driving car if it looked like a pig.

Some of the old Saabs didn't look like pigs, but.. they were dated and uninspiring. The Saab 900 from 1979 to 1993 and only cosmetic modifications (Ok many changes mechanically too). A 15 year old design. Give me a break! The 9-5 is also heading that way. While others were evolving Saab was not. It was languishing, destined to be an automotive dinosaur. Saab needs to become mainsteam in order to survive. Once it is surviving then I bet you will see a strong saab identity evolve too. GM will be good for Saab, because without it Saab will remain as a little peculiar company producing dated designs, if it survives at all.

Holden in Australia is a GM entity (a bit bigger than Saab), but it is mainstream and very profitable and operates almost entirely on its own free will. Yes there is platform sharing and rebadging, but there is also extension. It now has its own identity and is developing cars that are being noticed around the world (by GM USA itself). I would think Saab will have this autonomy once it can stand on its own 2 feet.

I'll get out of here before the flaming starts :cheesy:

5th February 2004, 02:18 AM
Good post Saba :)