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"But, there’s nothing Swedish about the sound that comes from the 9-7X’s powertrain. It’s an everyday American tune that plays out with some harshness, and therein lays the rub." :evil: If I wanted an American or Japanese car I would be driving one. Those of us who are indeed fans of these quirky Swedish cars, let's hope that GM does not dilute this brand beyond the point of recognition. The above quotation from the article sends shivers up my spine.

Concerned fan.
Ta-ta, j.
 

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Did you get past the first page "concerend fan"? :cheesy:

"Bottom line, and most important to those loyal buyers that Saab seeks to retain while building a lineup with more diverse appeal, the new 9-7X possesses Saab-ness, both inside and out. And, as Saab’s first-ever SUV, it’s been engineered to give you a ride with feedback and control, a hallmark of Saabs past that were exclusively built in Sweden. We would tell you that despite the fact that it’s an American truck in Scandinavian clothing, it can do the traditional Swedish Frog dance, used by children and adults for fun and entertainment. It just shouldn’t try to sing."
 

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When is Saab no longer Saab?

CleveSaab said:
Did you get past the first page "concerend fan"? :cheesy:

" We would tell you that despite the fact that it’s an American truck in Scandinavian clothing, it can do the traditional Swedish Frog dance, used by children and adults for fun and entertainment. It just shouldn’t try to sing."
This is my point, "it's an American truck in Scandinavian clothing . . ." Let's put it in philosophical terms: "How many non-Saab parts and designs do you have to put into Saab to make it no longer a Saab?":cheesy: I don't know. . . but running the risk of repeating myself, if I wanted to drive an American car, I would be driving an American car.:confused: I give you one small example: If you look at the steering wheel in the new 9-7x, this is aesthetically the most unappealing design that I have seen. Now, maybe someone who likes Blazers will not have problems with it, but I find this steering wheel completely "un-saab-like." The only saabs that I still see are 9-3 and 9-5; and if things are going to go as they are, I wouldn't be surprised if GM stops making 9-3 and 9-5 consequently killing the brand. Let me put it this way: people who like European cars like them for particular reasons. However, if you take a European brand and stick into it an American design or Japanese design, you will inevitably drive away those people who are interested in driving European cars. It is not about the name. To put it simply, it is not the brand name that makes a European car a European car. It is about the feel, character, design . . . Just the sheer fact that they introduced an SUV Saab undermines its European philosophy. I just came back from France and if I had seen three SUVs all the time I was there, then this was a lot. SUV design goes directly against what European designs stand for. I am trying to be optimistic and think that GM will reverse its disastrous strategy vis-a-vis Saab; but if they don't, the Saab will go the Dodo bird's way:cry:

Concerned fan.
Ta-ta,
 

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philosophicaldreamer said:
This is my point, "it's an American truck in Scandinavian clothing . . ." Let's put it in philosophical terms: "How many non-Saab parts and designs do you have to put into Saab to make it no longer a Saab?":cheesy: I don't know. . . but running the risk of repeating myself, if I wanted to drive an American car, I would be driving an American car.
It's no longer easy to clearly define the "nationality" of cars these days. Those who identify nationality of cars based on where they are assembled seem to base their conclusions on more traditional protectionist, non-global free trade ideals. Sure there are still "American" cars out there made by the Big Three, but did you know many if not most of the so-called import cars made in the USA/Canada by UAW/CAW can be categorized as domestic cars because they were actually designed here and comprise of parts and subassemblies made here ? I don't have any stats/figures at the moment to link to, but this phenomenon is well known and has been happening for 20 odd years. Is the Pontiac GTO an American car or an Australian (Holden) car ? Would you ever detect its non-American-ness (if there is any) if no one told you its heritage ? Is a Mini a German car because it was designed by Germans and made with German parts but reminds you of a cult classic British car ?

philosophicaldreamer said:
I give you one small example: If you look at the steering wheel in the new 9-7x, this is aesthetically the most unappealing design that I have seen. Now, maybe someone who likes Blazers will not have problems with it, but I find this steering wheel completely "un-saab-like."
So is it the look of the 9-7X steering wheel that you find un-Euro/Swedish ? Ok say if it were actually designed and manufactured in Korea but overseen by Trollhattan designers and engineers to look every bit Swedish, would you then even know, or care ?

philosophicaldreamer said:
To put it simply, it is not the brand name that makes a European car a European car. It is about the feel, character, design . . .
I say EXACTLY ! Saab's newly design center will carry the mandate that ensures the design, feel and character of all future global Saabs will conform to its ethos and philosophy no matter where they are manufactured and assembled.

philosophicaldreamer said:
"Just the sheer fact that they introduced an SUV Saab undermines its European philosophy. I just came back from France and if I had seen three SUVs all the time I was there, then this was a lot. SUV design goes directly against what European designs stand for."
There's a reason why the 9-7X isn't (yet) sold in Europe precisely because Saab doesn't believe Euro customers currently have the appetite for that SUV. Well guess what, many Europeans DO buy Land Rovers, Range Rovers, Touaregs, X5s, MLs, Cayennes and even our "own" Jeep Grand Cherokees. So by your argument neither of those LR, VW and BMW are Porsche are even European anymore simply because they even make an SUV ?

So going back to my examples above of the Mini and other Euro/Japanese cars designed and built in North America but still perceived as imports, we as 21st century Saab enthusiasts should open our minds and embrace the fact that Saab is still alive and that it has a large and resourceful parent company that is committed to the sustaining of Saab and its heritage and philosophy. 9-2X and 9-7X are merely stopgap cars (oh how many times has that been reiterated ?!?) that would allow Saab to move forward and regain its identity and character.
 

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SaabKen said:
So is it the look of the 9-7X steering wheel that you find un-Euro/Swedish ? Ok say if it were actually designed and manufactured in Korea but overseen by Trollhattan designers and engineers to look every bit Swedish, would you then even know, or care?

I say EXACTLY ! Saab's newly design center will carry the mandate that ensures the design, feel and character of all future global Saabs will conform to its ethos and philosophy no matter where they are manufactured and assembled.

There's a reason why the 9-7X isn't (yet) sold in Europe precisely because Saab doesn't believe Euro customers currently have the appetite for that SUV. Well guess what, many Europeans DO buy Land Rovers, Range Rovers, Touaregs, X5s, MLs, Cayennes and even our "own" Jeep Grand Cherokees. So by your argument neither of those LR, VW and BMW are Porsche are even European anymore simply because they even make an SUV ?

So going back to my examples above of the Mini and other Euro/Japanese cars designed and built in North America but still perceived as imports, we as 21st century Saab enthusiasts should open our minds and embrace the fact that Saab is still alive and that it has a large and resourceful parent company that is committed to the sustaining of Saab and its heritage and philosophy. 9-2X and 9-7X are merely stopgap cars (oh how many times has that been reiterated ?!?) that would allow Saab to move forward and regain its identity and character.
If we understand "resourceful" in broad terms, then I am not sure that GM should be categrized in these terms: But this is a different discussion. I do agree with a lot what you say, but I think that you might have missed my point. I am not against globalization unless this means that my future Saab will look like a Suburu or a Blazer. If you look at the stuff that is made in Europe or in China, you can immediately tell the differences. Next time you are in Italy, for instance, pay attention to how their stuff is suffused with aesthetic sensibilities. Their vacuum cleaners, for instance, look more like pieces of art rather than utilitarian objects. I could point to many objects that are manufactured in Europe that are significantly different in terms of their designs from the stuff that is made in other parts of the world. It is quite obvious to me that manufacturing of merchandise cannot escape the influnce of culture where that merchandise is designed and produced. Anybody who says otherwise has to maintain that somehow manufacturing, unlike any other human activity, is immune from cultural influences. You are quite right that there is a high likelyhood that I won't care that a steering wheel for a Saab might be made in Korea. But I do care that when I look at 9-7X I see a Blazer. If this is globalization, i.e., that the difference between a Blazer and a Saab is the badge they carry, then we are all running towards the world where "Walmart mediocrity" sets the standard. I will still insist that if you have a car that looks and drives like a Blazer, then it is a Blazer, even if it has Saab badge. It is not the badge that makes Saab a Saab. I hope you are correct about the stopgap issue in regard to 9-2X and 9-7x Saab. However, let me be skeptical when I hear this sort of explanation. Ford did not do it with Volvo, BMW did not do it with Mini Cooper, and Mercedes did not do it with Chrystler. So I don't see why GM had to compromise SAAB.

I have to disagree with you about the SUV market in Europe. Even though there are some Europeans who do buy SUVs I am almost certain SUVs will never become the predominant part of European sales as they are here. There are variety of reasons, but as you well know these cars are too big to be comfortably driven on narrow streets of old European cities.

Let me say this: I truly hope that you are correct. I don't relish to see SAAB becoming another generic car that is a result of so called globalization. But as much as I hope that GM knows what it is doing with SAAB, I will continue to pray that SAAB will go back to its European roots. I will also insist that it does matter where a car is designed and even manufactured, for the same reasons that it matters where the car designer was educated and lives. To claim otherwise is to claim that means of production are not a reflection of cultural circumstances, which obviously cannot be true for variety of reasons. There is a reason, for instance, why model T was born in American and not Europe or why assembly line was invented in America. I could go on but I won't. I have bored you enough. Sorry...

Enjoy your evenning.
Ta-ta, j.
 
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I think GM is resourceful considering they did a damn good job on the 9-7x considering they needed to do it for as little money as possible. Saab had been bleeding out money for over a decade under GM's watch. Even with the deep pockets GM has (had?), loosing half a billion dollars a year isn't going to work. While I definetely wish the 9-7x had been spawned off of the Cadillac SRX than this mundane GM truck, Saab's engineers (yes Saab's engineers) and Saab's stylists (yes, Saab's stylists, not the ones who design Malibus and G6s) pulled off some surprising work. Anyone considering a luxury SUV would be dumb not to look at the 9-7x. It costs thousands less than the competition and looks like nothing else, not the Trailblazer. If you look at the front of it, you will NEVER mistake it for a Chevy, GMC, Buick, or anything else (And if you're going to attack me about the rest of the car, let me say that there are only a certain amount of ways you can change the overall profile of an SUV).

Now for anyone considering a 9-7x, it definetely has its pluses, and marches to a different beat, just like other Saabs.

Let the ranting continue...
 

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apzer09 said:
I think GM is resourceful considering they did a damn good job on the 9-7x considering they needed to do it for as little money as possible. Saab had been bleeding out money for over a decade under GM's watch. Even with the deep pockets GM has (had?), loosing half a billion dollars a year isn't going to work. While I definetely wish the 9-7x had been spawned off of the Cadillac SRX than this mundane GM truck, Saab's engineers (yes Saab's engineers) and Saab's stylists (yes, Saab's stylists, not the ones who design Malibus and G6s) pulled off some surprising work. Anyone considering a luxury SUV would be dumb not to look at the 9-7x. It costs thousands less than the competition and looks like nothing else, not the Trailblazer. If you look at the front of it, you will NEVER mistake it for a Chevy, GMC, Buick, or anything else (And if you're going to attack me about the rest of the car, let me say that there are only a certain amount of ways you can change the overall profile of an SUV).

Now for anyone considering a 9-7x, it definetely has its pluses, and marches to a different beat, just like other Saabs.

Let the ranting continue...
First of all I have no need to attack anyone. I enjoy exchanging arguments with other people because then I am forced to think.:) I don't think that I disagree with you on whether 9-7X is the worth consideration. Even though I have general philosophical problems with the concept of SUV, I do agree with you that anyone who is considering buying an SUV should consider 9-7X. You are indeed correct that 9-7X is so much cheaper from other luxury SUVs that it would be innane not to take a peek at it. However, KIA makes some decent cars, too, but this is not good enough reason for me to run out of my home and go to a local KIA dealership to get one. Or to put it this way, just becuse Saab 9-7x is a decent car does not mean that people who enjoy "the state of independence of SAAB" will rush to buy it. Let us just forget for a minute our discussion and think of Saab's commercial: "The state of independence," and then GM rips out 9-7X. Don't you find that there is something ironic about the whole thing?:confused:


I give you that front of the car does look like a Saab, but you leave the front, and we are back in the Blazer or Buick reality. You may be correct that 9-7X is a good Saab; however, I believe that 9-3 combi maintains much more the genuine Saab tradition. Most people who have enjoyed Saabs for years or even decades are not SUV bunch. I am certain that people who have been driving S900, NG900, 9-3, and 9-5 are not those people who are going to stop for a second to look at 9-7X. The brand loyalty of Saab community drivers springs precisely from the fact that Saab cars are unique and even have strange automotive aura about them. Again, I may be wrong about it, but if you take Saab too mainstream, you will lose the core clientel and not attract enough outsiders to keep the Saab brand going. When I mention to some of my my friends who buy SUVs to consider 9-7; they are affraid because they have never owned a Saab, and they prefer to go with something that is more familiar in terms of branding. On the other hand, those people who know and love Saabs insist on buying 9-3 and 9-5 because they are not SUV fans. And the result is that Saab 9-7x finds itself in "the land of noone." Most fans of Saab won't touch it, and SUV fans will fear it because it is a Saab.


Let me say this again: I hope that those of us who see 9-7X and 9-2X as genuine Saabs will win this debate with time. However, let me stick to the Saabs motto about enjoying "the state of independence" and remain both skeptical and hopeful about the direction of Saab development. Maybe GM does know what it is doing, and nothing will please me if they succeed. At this point I have my doubts, nonetheless. To be honest, at this point let me be a blunt chauvinist and hope that Volkswagen or other European company will buy Saab from GM, even though I know that European ownership of Saab would not necessarily guarantee the success in maitaining the euro-spirit of the car; but the chances would be somewhat increased, I believe.


Ranting again . . .:cheesy:


Ta-ta, j.
 

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philosophicaldreamer said:
I hope you are correct about the stopgap issue in regard to 9-2X and 9-7x Saab. However, let me be skeptical when I hear this sort of explanation. Ford did not do it with Volvo, BMW did not do it with Mini Cooper, and Mercedes did not do it with Chrystler. So I don't see why GM had to compromise SAAB.
Saab was/is in much worse shape than either Volvo or Chrysler. (Mini is a bit of a special case). The necessity is to immediately broaden the product line, to get Saab on more people's shopping lists. That's why the 9-7x will be a success, not so much for its own sales, but in bringing people to the brand. The number of people shopping for a mid-size SUV is enormous.
 

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Black Beauty said:
Saab was/is in much worse shape than either Volvo or Chrysler. (Mini is a bit of a special case). The necessity is to immediately broaden the product line, to get Saab on more people's shopping lists. That's why the 9-7x will be a success, not so much for its own sales, but in bringing people to the brand. The number of people shopping for a mid-size SUV is enormous.
Let's hope that you are correct. I would hate to see Saab disappear. Again, time will tell whether 9-7x and 9-2x help to preserve the brand.

Ta-ta, j.
 

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philosophicaldreamer said:
Let's hope that you are correct. I would hate to see Saab disappear. Again, time will tell whether 9-7x and 9-2x help to preserve the brand.

Ta-ta, j.
Just for a quick & dirty measure of impact let's take a look at the number of people that are posting here about their 9-7x or 9-2x instead of where ever about their 'Blazer or WRX ...

GM knows these aren't "true Saabs" in many peoples eyes, but they did what they could to get to market as quickly as possible, generate sales/interest in new segments, and give themselves time & money to develop a better Saab to fill in that segment. Were these products carefully designed and engineered (with the cost of millions of dollars and years of man-hours) exclusively by Saab? No. Did they bring new market shares into the Saab world on very short turn-around and at little expense? Absolutely! Are these vehicles meant to represent a "new approach" for Saab where nothing is engineered? No way. Are these vehicles just "stepping stones" to get a quick entry into new market segments? Exactly that. Look around, do some reading, and you will find where Saab/GM has already stated both these vehicles will be replaced or discontinued in the next few years.
 

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93Linear said:
Exactly that. Look around, do some reading, and you will find where Saab/GM has already stated both these vehicles will be replaced or discontinued in the next few years.
As I have said I hope that you are right. However, forgive me for being skeptical about GM's managment skills. They have hard time managing their own products, and we are supposed to trust that they know what they are doing with Saab. Think Fiat debacle . . . I think that you should give those of us who are somewhat skeptical some credit for not blindly accepting what GM says. If we think about it, we have a company that is bleeding money as though there were no tomorrow; they have problems coming up with the inovative products, and they are asking us to accept that they know what they are doing vis-a-vis Saab after they have released on us 9-7 and 9-2. Maybe it is indeed my ignorance and irrationality, but unless I can confirm empirically that GM has some plan of action, I will stick to my skepticism. The only bright point is Combi that I do love.

Let's put it this way: it is not what I hear from GM that will convince me; it is what I see that generates doubt.


Ta-ta, j.
 

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philosophicaldreamer said:
... they have problems coming up with the inovative products ...

Let's put it this way: it is not what I hear from GM that will convince me; it is what I see that generates doubt.
What about the complete (if a few years old now) make-over of Cadillac? or the upcoming Pontiac Solstice? Don't get me wrong ... not saying GM hasn't made mistakes or had problems, I just feel like they are starting to show more desire & ability to try to get things right. Certainly things can't change overnight; but if they keep with the course of change they have started & the plans they have announced, I think things will get better.

All ... sorry for highjacking the thread ... this will be my last post on this topic so you guys can get back to the original point. ;oops:
 

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93Linear said:
All ... sorry for highjacking the thread ... this will be my last post on this topic so you guys can get back to the original point. ;oops:
No need to apologize. A good exchange of arguments makes life interesting. Yes, indeed, GM has done a good job with Cadilac. I am not saying that GM is not capable of managing Saab properly. I am just somewhat weary of their attempts.

Ta-ta, j.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
philosophicaldreamer- :confused:
So the 9-7X is like a stepchild, that doesn't make it any less family. :cheesy:
SAAB nor GM had the money or time to spend to get a pure "SAAB" suv to market, so we have the 9-7X. It seems to be working pretty well, I have been to two dealers in the LA area and the V8's are all sold out, and the 6's are selling well. The main value of this first evolution of the 9-7X is to keep Saabees in Saabs and to give more people a reason to come in to the dealer to check out Saab. The next edition should be better, as the new GM platform will be better. The days of an all Trollhatten design are gone my friend, you had better come to grips as you ponder that. :p
 

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Buddhabman said:
philosophicaldreamer- :confused:
So the 9-7X is like a stepchild, that doesn't make it any less family. :cheesy:
SAAB nor GM had the money or time to spend to get a pure "SAAB" suv to market, so we have the 9-7X. It seems to be working pretty well, I have been to two dealers in the LA area and the V8's are all sold out, and the 6's are selling well. The main value of this first evolution of the 9-7X is to keep Saabees in Saabs and to give more people a reason to come in to the dealer to check out Saab. The next edition should be better, as the new GM platform will be better. The days of an all Trollhatten design are gone my friend, you had better come to grips as you ponder that. :p
Buddhabman:

I am glad to hear that 9-7x is selling well. You are correct that this might save Saab from the demise. I also understand your point about Saab and Trollhatten: To get Eastern on you we could say that "All designs lead to Saab, and no design leads to Saab.":D Knowing a little bit of history of Saab I am not that naive to think that it was ever the case that the entire Saab was designed and built in Sweden. I know that Saab has always relied on cooperation with others. What I fear is what I would refer to as "de-europenization" of Saabs' designs. Without going to long discussion, let me say that there is a reason I like to drive European cars. And if they start turning Suburus or Blazers into Saab, I will have to stick to buying Volvos, and then with whom am I going to cheat on my Volvos?:cheesy:

Ta-ta, j.
 
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