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  #1  
Old 5th December 2004
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Default Words of wisdom from Bob Lutz

This is from Jan 05 Motor Trend


Saab's future

"Saab builds the Eplison 9-3 and the 9-5 in Trollhatten; Opel build the Epsilon Vectra in Russelsheim, Germany. Its more expensive to build cars in Germany, but cheaper in Sweden. The smart money is on moving Vectra production north, where it would be built with Saabs and a new Europe-only front-drive Cadillac. Opel would continue to build other models in Germany. With Michael Mauer having left for Porsche, GM-Opel design cheif Bryan Nesbitt is now in charge of Saab design. Saab maintains an advanced studio in Sweden, led by Anthony Lo. Bob Lutz says diluting Saab isn't an issue. Consider that its earliest models were powered by DKW two-stroke engines and Ford V-4s.

I don't think the Swedishness of Saab has to suffer by being built in other places. The Saab brand character is important, but I don't believe a design group has to be located in Sweden. Just as I don't think a Cadillac design group has to be in Detroit."

On profitability

"Saab is an extremly interesting, valuable brand, but it doesn't have a history of making money."

On quirkiness

The 9-2X and 9-7X pose a certain short term risk to the integrity of the brand. But if we didn't put them into the US, we wouldn't lose dealers. then the best cars can't get sold. You guys [the press] like weird Saabs, but we can't live off that.
Lutz says the next 9-5, already years overdue, could use a stretched Epsilon platform, but why do that when the 9-3 is already an Epsilon? he says Saabs must be front or all-wheel drive, and that the next 9-5 could use the Zeta architecture, which would make it an AWD based on RWD, an odd twist of the Jaguar X-type AWD trick."






It sounds like he is pushing to keep the Trollhatten factory open. I agree on what he says about SAAB's being built in other places. I mean in Europe, by GM employee's. My SS has 37% of its parts from Germany, 23% from Sweden. The Motor and tranny is made in Germnay also. Just look at the verts. They were built in Finland, and now in Austria by non-Saab/GM employees. Do we think they are non-Saabs?

I have to disagree with him on the design though. The design and engineering process is the heart of the car. You remove that from the Swedes, then I will not buy another Saab. I like how he says about Cadillac's not being designed in Detroit, it would be OK. Would this ever happen? I think not. They would maybe move the design studio to another State, but never out of the US. Especially with the baby boomers reaching the age of the average Cadillac buyer. These people have grown up listening to their fathers tell them to buy American.
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  #2  
Old 5th December 2004
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quite interesting......

as you said, the design must stay in sweden, it is the heart and the real value of Saab.

Trollhattan has a very good advantage about engineering. The cost of two Engineers in Germany you have two in Sweden, and Swedish engineering are incredible good and innovative.

about the 9-3ss, The tranny and engines are made in Sweden, Saab Powertrain AB, they have a factory in Södertälje and they built the transmissions in Goteborg.

greetings
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  #3  
Old 5th December 2004
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why can't most of the design team be swedish but work in Germany. i think that's what he is trying to say.


either way you can see GM is trying to assure us they want to keep Saab and want to make decisions in it's best interest. saab will be fine. if you monitor the 9-2X board you can see it is beginning to catch on i think the 9-7X will do okay. these two models will keep saab alive long enough so that they have time to produce a 9-6X, a 9-5, and refresh the 9-3 instead of waiting another 10 years. it will only get better.
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Old 5th December 2004
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I was mistaken about where my tranny comes from. The 6 speed is made in Sweden. The 5 speed and auto is made in Japan and Germany. The 2.0T is made in Germany. The 2.3T is most likely made in Sweden still.

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  #5  
Old 5th December 2004
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On the design issue:
Well, I want a concept that breaths the Swedish designphilosophy and inhibits the Saab values. No concessions. If Bod Lutz can reach that in Australia; fine.
I assure that will be though job, but okay Bob decides. I make my decisions. If it's not up to what I expect, I don't see a reason to buy it. I am the buyer, deal with that Mr. Lutz. Take into account no business will survive by just saving. The stuff has to be sold.
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  #6  
Old 6th December 2004
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The F25 and F35 transmission are made in Goteborg plant, the six speed gearbox i think it is made in germany, but i read that it is also made in Goteborg.

in Södertälje are made the 2liters and 2.3liters Saab engines, used in the 9-5 and the L850 engine of the 9-3ss is made in Kaiserslautern, I don't know if with the reduction of the production in Södertälje of the b205 saab engine part of the L850 engine was moved to sweden. In Södertälje is were the Saab engines are devoloped and it is the center of devolopment of GMturbo engines.

greetings
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  #7  
Old 7th January 2005
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hey! i read many articles and interviews from bob lutz in the carmagazines
it's just stupid!
they want saab to be in the premium class and build it on opel platform
years ago saab really was an exclusive brand here in germany and right now i have to go to the opel-dealer to buy a saab. because they merged the saab-dealers with opel-dealers
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Old 3rd February 2005
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Default Premium means built in Sweden

Quote:
Originally Posted by edusaab
The F25 and F35 transmission are made in Goteborg plant, the six speed gearbox i think it is made in germany, but i read that it is also made in Goteborg.

in Södertälje are made the 2liters and 2.3liters Saab engines, used in the 9-5 and the L850 engine of the 9-3ss is made in Kaiserslautern, I don't know if with the reduction of the production in Södertälje of the b205 saab engine part of the L850 engine was moved to sweden. In Södertälje is were the Saab engines are devoloped and it is the center of devolopment of GMturbo engines.

greetings
GM must keep all Saab turbo engines developed and built in Sweden if they want to keep my business. Period!
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  #9  
Old 3rd February 2005
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Arch-Good to see a fellow Ocean Stater on SC. Saab has used non swedish engines in their cars all the way back to the 1950's. The enginge in your 9-3 does not come from sweden. The ecotec is a widely used gm engine used worldwide.
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Old 4th February 2005
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Default Wrong info, Saab engine is Swedish

Quote:
Originally Posted by TC
Arch-Good to see a fellow Ocean Stater on SC. Saab has used non swedish engines in their cars all the way back to the 1950's. The enginge in your 9-3 does not come from sweden. The ecotec is a widely used gm engine used worldwide.
Wait a minute. The 2004 9-3 Saab I have says the engine's origin was Sweden and I'm assuming it was engineered and built by Saab Automobile PowerTrain AB in Sweden. I just read that GM's turbo engine R&D is all based out of Saab Automobile Powertrain AB. So no, I do not think I have a GM engine in my car. In fact, it doesn't even look like the Ecotec!
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  #11  
Old 4th February 2005
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Arch-Sorry to burst yor bubble but your 9-3 rides on the GM Epsilon platform that is not from sweden. Your enginge block is from Germany finessed by the Swedes.
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  #12  
Old 4th February 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TC
Your enginge block is from Germany finessed by the Swedes.
The engine block and that's about it. Saab's trionic system is one part that's pretty significant that only Saab has.
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  #13  
Old 4th February 2005
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Default Where's Saab Auto Powertrain AB going?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TC
Arch-Sorry to burst yor bubble but your 9-3 rides on the GM Epsilon platform that is not from sweden. Your enginge block is from Germany finessed by the Swedes.
But what really is a "platform"? It still says on my tags that the car's parts are 70 percent of Swedish origin and 30 percent of German. So who made the parts? Who built the stuff? If the import tags register things to Sweden and Germany how is it domestic?

And what engines is Saab Automobile Powertrain AB building then?
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  #14  
Old 5th February 2005
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take a look at this article about the Epsilon design process...

http://www.findarticles.com/p/articl...83/ai_97176143

at the end of the second page....

In the final analysis, neither interchangeable nor common parts are the driving force behind Epsilon. Instead, the carrot is what GM calls technology transfer. "The keys," reveals Stefanyshyn, "are speed and quality. Even though every Epsilon car requires its own validation process, by living under one umbrella we achieve higher quality answers more quickly."

As an example, Stefanyshyn recalls how the Epsilon program assembled a safety integration team so that as Opel crashed its first Epsilon cars, Saab engineers were present to observe and learn so they were higher on the experience curve when their turn to conduct the same tests arrived.

"In Europe, safety standards are geared to belted occupants," he notes, "while in the U.S., federal standards specify unbelted occupants. So Opels comply one way and U.S. products must meet different standards."

Interestingly, Saab is in the middle because its cars have to satisfy both European and U.S. safety standards to sell in both markets. With Saab onboard and second in line in terms of cadence, Chevrolet gained valuable knowledge about crash performance well before testing commenced for the Chevy Malibu. Technology transfer is Epsilon's major payoff opportunity.

"The cycles of learning inherent to our common architecture allowed us to reduce the time and money invested in engineering development by 30 to 35 percent," boasts Stefanyshyn. "Considering the fact that Epsilon will yield 14 body styles that should last two generations or roughly ten years, we believe that GM will surely get its money's worth out of the billions invested here."

and at the end of the article.......

Saab's 9-3 is a departure from other Epsilon models due to Saab's insistence on body structure and vehicle safety. It uses the same platform but everything from the floorpan up is strengthened. The Pontiac G6 concept is said to carry the styling cues for the Epsilon-based Grand Am.

Saab engineers said that only 3% of the all components shared in between a Saab and other Epsilon cars are totally interchangeable, and the synergies are about 30%.

that puts me the fear in my body........

http://www.autofieldguide.com/articl...0804wip08.html

Peter Foster the old Opel chief, I don't have many trust in this man....it will do everything to make Opel a winner than Saab...

Oddly, the current Epsilon platform shared between the Opel Vectra and Saab 93 in Europe is not quite a world architecture. Says Forster: "It deviated during development to a point where the Opel and Saab models are similar, but different enough to prevent us from producing them in the same plant." He contends the new version—just beginning development at Opel's Rüsselsheim, Germany, headquarters and due in the market before 2010—will let GM build any variant at any plant assembling an Epsilon vehicle anywhere in the world. "You are free to decide where you want to build the vehicle once you have interbuildability," says Forster.

Forster sees no image problems arising out of the move to produce vehicles that are mechanically similar, but stylistically different. "People buy cars, brands and dealers, not architectures." Therefore the next-generation range-toppers at Saab and Opel will share the same architecture and have some overlap in size, but will not compete for the same buyers.* "Look around the industry," he says flatly, "there are amazing similarities among cars in a class in terms of chassis and powertrain. It's the execution, design, tuning and vehicle concept where differentiation increasingly will take place."

* Forster says the next generation Saab 95 could be built on the current Epsilon, Epsilon 2 Epsilon widened, or Sigma architectures. It, however, may not be the top of the line. A production version of the rear-drive Opel Insignia show car may be on the road by 2007, and will include variants from both Saab and Cadillac.


For me, the big fear, is that Saab will loose his brand image in favour of Cadillac. GM has many expectations to make Cadillac a global brand and for that will use Saab as a tool and when Saab will not be necessary then will close it.....

greetings
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  #15  
Old 5th February 2005
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Default Great article

So this article above says the Epsilon platform is a foundation for the car with fixed sets of dimensions and modular dimensional connections for all parts regardless of who makes them. It's an architecture -- sort of a paper or digital architecture for buidling cars efficiently.

So the Saab's parts are still primarily Swedish produced. They fit onto the Epsilon Architecture. Yet the article says Saab strengthened many of the parts above the architecture.

Saab engineers were involved in the core development of the GM Epsilon platform architecture as well from the beginnning. Really great article though. It doens't mean the Saab 9-3 has a GM engine it it at all. That's not what has happend. Saab and German engineers developed it in GM's German engineering center with further work in Saab's Powertrain engineering center in Sweden.
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Old 5th February 2005
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As previously stated...the 2.0 four in the Saab 9-3 indeed uses as its humble foundation a generic GM Ecotec engine block. What IS unique to Saab is the model specific head, turbo(which differ based on trim level), and engine management system(as you said, Trionic 8).
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  #17  
Old 5th February 2005
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the 2 liters engine of the 9-3ss is not only a simply electronic tune, is more than that. The base of the model it is the GM L850 that was designed by Lotus for GM and then becomes the 2.2 Ecotec.

Saab taked this base to develope the 2 liters all aluminium evolution. From the 2.2i differs in many aspects to reinforce the engine and make it quite better in performance and adapt it to the install of the turbo. Also bettwen the B207E and L and the R(Aero version) it isnot only the TD04 mitsu turbo the difference, there are also some other differences as the intake design and other to adapt the differences of the air income and exhaust and the bigger turbo, oil cooling system, injection.... and ECU management....

to make a non-turbo engine a Turbo engine needs a lot of work and expertise to make it reliable, useable for everyday and also capable to perfome well and as Saab know to make it capable of resist many upgrades.

greetings
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  #18  
Old 11th February 2005
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Why does not GM cut all this crap and nonsense of trivialities and just make one car and name it Epsilon ?
No Opel, no Saab, no Vauxhall, no Chevrolet of sane size, on and on...
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Old 18th February 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by earthworm
Why does not GM cut all this crap and nonsense of trivialities and just make one car and name it Epsilon ?
No Opel, no Saab, no Vauxhall, no Chevrolet of sane size, on and on...
Perhaps because of the above?

Cheers,
BaRa
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  #20  
Old 19th February 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edusaab
the 2 liters engine of the 9-3ss is not only a simply electronic tune, is more than that. The base of the model it is the GM L850 that was designed by Lotus for GM and then becomes the 2.2 Ecotec.

Saab taked this base to develope the 2 liters all aluminium evolution. From the 2.2i differs in many aspects to reinforce the engine and make it quite better in performance and adapt it to the install of the turbo. Also bettwen the B207E and L and the R(Aero version) it isnot only the TD04 mitsu turbo the difference, there are also some other differences as the intake design and other to adapt the differences of the air income and exhaust and the bigger turbo, oil cooling system, injection.... and ECU management....

to make a non-turbo engine a Turbo engine needs a lot of work and expertise to make it reliable, useable for everyday and also capable to perfome well and as Saab know to make it capable of resist many upgrades.

greetings


If you don't mind my asking Edusaab, are you an engineer or at least work in the automotive industry ?
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