Saab refocuses on product lineup [Archive] - SaabCentral Forums

: Saab refocuses on product lineup


edusaab
22nd March 2005, 07:35 AM
by automotive news......

it seems that Saab has some plans for the future..... the 2008-2009 could be very good years....
Saab refocuses on product lineup
Delays over, brand to get more models from US, Japan

By Wim Oude Weernink (oudeweer@wxs.nl)
Automotive News Europe / March 21, 2005


Saab is focusing on its products after losing the argument with owner General Motors about whether future models must be built in Sweden.

This month, General Motors Europe said the next-generation Saab 9-3 and Opel Vectra will be built starting in 2008 at the Opel plant in Rüsselsheim, Germany.

Saab's main plant in Trollhättan, Sweden, had bid against Rüsselsheim for the program, but lost. GM Europe said Trollhättan will build specialty models, including the 9-3-based Cadillac BLS.

In a sense, building the next 9-3 in Germany is just a continuation of GM's policy of globally interchangeable plants.

Two US-market-only Saabs -- the 9-2X and the 9-7X SUV -- are already assembled outside Sweden.

Saab CEO Peter Augustsson was a staunch defender of the "Swedish-ness" of Saab, so it was hardly surprising when GM announced he would leave the company. News of his departure came days after GM chose Rüsselsheim.

"Peter has done a lot for Saab, but he had been considering leaving the company since last August," said a source close to Saab. Augustsson, 51, will start his own consultancy.

With the plant's future decided, Saab managers are trying to get the brand's advanced product programs back on track after repeated delays.

"All these political rumors in the past have caused much delay in product development and marketing strategies," said Ad Janse, chairman of the Saab world dealer council. "We may have lost two years."

Dealer council's task

On April 21-22, the dealer council will meet in Sweden for the first time under Jan-Ake Jonsson, a Saab veteran named the brand's managing director. He is based in Sweden. But the new chairman of the Saab Automobile board is Carl-Peter Forster, president of GM Europe.

Saab believes the current 9-3 portfolio has the most short-term potential to boost volume. Saab will add a 9-3 sports wagon this spring.

Said Janse: "It could generate 60 percent of 9-3 sales." Saab dealers also want the 9-3 all-wheel-drive version promised three years ago.

GM had delayed a decision on a next 9-5. So the current 9-5 will get a face-lift this autumn to extend its life.

Forster said GM will create a global Saab crossover vehicle. Front-drive is no longer a core value for Saab. "But agile, predictable handling definitively is," he said at the Geneva auto show.

"Unlike the Saab 9-2X and 9-7X, which were developed half-way into the base models' life cycles, the crossover Saab is a brand new development," said a source, adding that it is at least three years away.

The Saab 9-6 comes first. A GM Europe source said: "closer to 18 months than two years."

Saab's future brand image will include distinctive design.

"We will see and feel the aero heritage in next-generation Saabs," Forster said. He promised a return to the wraparound windshield: "It is like the canopy of an aircraft. How can you possibly give that up?"

SaabKen
22nd March 2005, 10:09 AM
[holding my breath for the next 3-4 years] ....... but hallelujah for Saab ! :)

squishmann
22nd March 2005, 11:38 AM
a positive post for a change.

the 2009 9-3SS will be made completely out of aluminum, chassis and body panels

TuuSaR
22nd March 2005, 12:08 PM
the 2009 9-3SS will be made completely out of aluminum, chassis and body panels

Where did you get that?

SaabKen
22nd March 2005, 01:22 PM
a positive post for a change.
the 2009 9-3SS will be made completely out of aluminum, chassis and body panels


Whoa, and where did you hear about this ? Saab .... by Alcoa ?? :o

Swade
22nd March 2005, 04:59 PM
That's a great find, Edusaab. Aside from the 9-3SC there hasn't been a whole lot of good news lately. Great to hear some (and I wish I'd found it ;) )

edusaab
22nd March 2005, 06:22 PM
now with the delay of the Zeta platform.....what architecture will be used in the next 9-5?? or will be delayed more time??

I think they will use a version of the Epsilon2, but that gives some reasons to build the car jointly with the 9-3ss......mmmm.....mmmmm.....

greetings

SaabKen
22nd March 2005, 07:21 PM
Perhaps it's a blessing in disguise with the demise of the Zeta program. Personally I'd be quite disappointed to see the next 9-5 being primarily RWD. Maybe now Saab/GM will be seeking an alternate FWD/AWD platform for it.

"Forster said GM will create a global Saab crossover vehicle. Front-drive is no longer a core value for Saab. "But agile, predictable handling definitively is," he said at the Geneva auto show."

That's too bad that FWD is no longer the defacto drivetrain arrangement for Saab. Although I hope Forster is hinting at more AWD options where needed.

Hornet11586
22nd March 2005, 08:11 PM
Sounds like its going to be fun, and thats when I'm out of college and making real money, or close to it ;)

joshd2012
22nd March 2005, 08:11 PM
I don't like the fact that they mention front wheel drive is not a big part of Saab anymore without backing it up with a promise of AWD. FWD has always been a huge part of Saab, and if they try and go with a RWD platform, it will severly circumvent the basic standards of Saab - extreme safety. That is why the FWD platform was choosen in the first place.

I want an AWD Saab, and I'm not seeing anything here that says that promise is going to be fulfilled.

apzer09
22nd March 2005, 09:21 PM
FWD has always been a big part in Saab's cars because they were designed before AWD became commonplace. Saab would rather have AWD than FWD.

Fla2Cali
22nd March 2005, 10:51 PM
Its nice to hear everything is getting back on track and SAAB can finally move on and start developing its new models. If the next 9-3 and 9-5 have to share platforms I hope they stretch it propperly to make the size difference more obvious... AWD in going to be nice :)

squishmann
22nd March 2005, 11:44 PM
Where did you get that?


just speculating,


awd will definately be a feature on all saab models. they should just make awd standard on all of the cars.

AWD is the best of both worlds it's virtually standard in every audi. they should be able to by the awd systems cheap enought to fit it into every car

timmehhhhhh
23rd March 2005, 01:23 AM
We are here. GM knows what people want to see in Saab...they wonder why their sales aren't going up...why aren't they listening?

midway
23rd March 2005, 01:58 AM
What SAAB and GM should focus on is expanding their dealer network. You can't sell cars if you don't have dealers! There are only 7 Saab dealers in the entire State of Illinois which has a population of over 11 million people and is almost as large as the UK! Sell Saabs through other GM brand Dealerships and give more people an opportunity to get a look at them. Stop being snobs.

saabluster
23rd March 2005, 02:12 AM
Saab's future brand image will include distinctive design.

"We will see and feel the aero heritage in next-generation Saabs," Forster said. He promised a return to the wraparound windshield: "It is like the canopy of an aircraft. How can you possibly give that up?"

YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSS! Finally I think they have opened their flippin eyes!! I can't even convey with this silly keyboard how AWESOME this is! I'm bouncing off the freakin walls. We finnally get SAAB back.:cheesy::cheesy::cheesy::cheesy::cheesy::chee sy::cheesy:

SaabKen
23rd March 2005, 09:57 AM
just speculating,
awd will definately be a feature on all saab models. they should just make awd standard on all of the cars.
AWD is the best of both worlds it's virtually standard in every audi. they should be able to by the awd systems cheap enought to fit it into every car

Every single Subaru is AWD. I don't recall which year they started doing that, but I was interested in Subies long before they had standardized AWD. In fact they only just became popular in the mid-late 80's when in the opening scenes of Robin Leach's show "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous", there was a shot of a white Subie Loyale station wagon on the rear top deck of a very large luxury boat.

Raven18940
23rd March 2005, 10:33 AM
I'm really looking forward to the new 9-1. :cheesy:

SaabKen
23rd March 2005, 01:58 PM
I'm really looking forward to the new 9-1. :cheesy:

Either a compact coupe hatchback inspired/based on an Opel Astra OPC with the 2.0L Ecotec turbo or a Sonett IV inspired by the Saturn Sky would make a great 9-1 !!!

apzer09
23rd March 2005, 06:16 PM
What SAAB and GM should focus on is expanding their dealer network. You can't sell cars if you don't have dealers! There are only 7 Saab dealers in the entire State of Illinois which has a population of over 11 million people and is almost as large as the UK! Sell Saabs through other GM brand Dealerships and give more people an opportunity to get a look at them. Stop being snobs.
I agree they should expand their dealer network, and they have done a good job of it here in California, where the closest dealer to me used to be an hour away north or south. But the problem with allowing other GM brands to sell Saabs is the fact that you get worse dealer service. Graham Saab in Santa Barbara has to be the best example of how bad they can be. As a Chevy and Cadillac dealer, they know jack**** about Saabs. The Jaguar dealer next door knew more about them than they did. Last time I was there, they had 1 Saab on the lot, a 2004 9-3SS with "Save $6000" stamped on the windshield. GM needs to bring their dealers to Saabs level, not let Saab sink to theirs.

SaabKen
23rd March 2005, 06:27 PM
Last time I was there, they had 1 Saab on the lot, a 2004 9-3SS with "Save $6000" stamped on the windshield. GM needs to bring their dealers to Saabs level, not let Saab sink to theirs.


What ? ..... not even a dancing gorilla, balloons, technicolor flags and "CASH FOR CARS !!" banners beside the 9-3SS ? I'm disappointed .... :cheesy: