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Discussion Starter #1
FUNNY ISN'T IT?
  • When the hatchback was introduced it was kinda novel, but it was already some 25 years into SAAB's history when it happened, so its not core design.
  • When the 900 arrived, we all cried it was anodyn compared to the quirky little 99.
  • When the 9000 (GM/Fita/Alfa) arrived, we cried 'sell-out', sterile deign, common parts, no day running lights!
  • When the 9-5 arrived, we cried, still more sterile in appearance (but the key's back in the 900 position, phew!)
Now we are panicking about 9-7x etc

Let's just put it all in perspective - Saab has never had a consistent model theme, they have simply worked with what they had at the time - and for most of that time there have been only 3 real model bases
92 (-97),
99 (-900) and
9000 (9-5).

For the first time in its history Saab has a chance of a reasonable line-up of what the public want, and without the huge agism that has blighted the line-up to now.

So
  1. -perhaps a new 9-2x/9-1 in 2 years (great, an affordable saab/successor to the 99 at last)
  2. -currently very popular 9-3, enhanced by sportcombi, needs to keepup though
  3. -a fresh 9-5 (old but still solid) with a replacement in 2 years (needs to be a 5/a6/e competitor though)
  4. -9-7x - new, unchartered territory for saab but all the competitors are there alrady and Saab is losing sales to these guys from familys who demand SUV now like they wanted the hatchbacks in the 70s/80s
  5. -9-6x - again what the punters want, so why not, if Saab can make it their own, lets not get hung up on the parts bin (the first 99 was based on a british Triumph engine afer all!!)
  6. -as for niches, if the money permits, yeah a Sonnet woud be a great standard bearer, as would a 9-9x luxo-barge, but realistically this will take years to gain the necessary kudos - look at the audi a8, an acknowledged excellent car, but never cracked teh S-class, 7-series niche.
So, overall, lets go with the current flow - its likley to get saab volumes up, GM say they will increase the indivuidualtiy USP that is saab and more people will get to know the brand through actual ownership than just sighting odd little cars around university areas!!
We all have reservations, but realistically this is the chance saab never had as an independent to make its mark!
 

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I disagree (long rant)

Sure, SAAB has always used parts from other cars, but they have never before now blatantly put their logo on a car that was so obviously not their own design.

Further, GM has taken away just about everything that made SAAB distinctive. Sure, the keyswitch is still on the floor as a throwaway to dedicated SAAB owners, but the cars are looking more and more generic each generation. The new facelift on the 9-5 design looks different from the current design, but it's still not inspiring. For the same price you can get a much nicer looking car from another manufacturer. There's nothing special about the SAAB, I'm sorry to say.

What's the arguement for buying a new SAAB over say a new Audi or BMW? Because they're different? That seems to be the tag line of SAAB's advertising as they actually design-out the features that made SAAB unique. They're really not all that different anymore.

Here's a story: my mom and I went to the movies. My mom is not a SAAB-fan like I am although we've had SAABs in the family since my grandfather bought his first 99 Turbo in the 70's. I pointed out a new 9-3 Sport Sedan in a parking spot in the parking structure. I said, "there's a new SAAB". She said, "where"? I said, "right there in front of us" while pointing at it. Her response was "that's a SAAB? I thought it was a Honda". When SAAB isn't distinctive enough for a 50-something year-old woman to tell the difference between it and a car that sells for more than $10K less, there's something seriously wrong here. What she expected to see when told "there's a SAAB" was a hatchback car with the whispy hockey-stick shape to the rear profile. She saw a run-of-the-mill sedan. How's that for a "state of independence"? GM is trying to compete with Audi and BMW so they start trying to make cars that look like them. That's not very distinctive.

What is SAAB anymore? A rebadged Subaru? A rebadged Trailblazer? A rebadged GM minivan? A German-made coupe and sedan? SAAB seems to be more of a marketing gimmick to GM than a true "different" car company. Sorry to disagree with a "feel-good" post, but I just don't see it the way you do.
 

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1985 Gripen said:
When SAAB isn't distinctive enough for a 50-something year-old woman to tell the difference between it and a car that sells for more than $10K less, there's something seriously wrong here.
No offense to anyone, but "a 50-something year-old woman" would fall into the group I would expect to not be able to tell the difference between a Corvette and a Corvair in most cases ...

And the whole point of this post was look toward the future ... "give them a chance" ... no one denies that things are a little stop-gap at best now with the 9-2x/6x/7x ... but give them a chance to develop the next generation of these vehicles to be Saabs. In the global market we live in, you are going to see platform/drivetrain/part sharing. Period. Doesn't matter if BMW, Toyota, Ford, or anyone else owned Saab ... they would still be using their "stuff" in Saab cars. It's just a matter of simple economics in a trying time where most markets are struggling in some fashion.

Saab couldn't survive on it's own, and won't survive by just making the same 2 models with the same styling ... it has to grow into new markets or be left for dead. Are the newest Saabs the best examples of what being a Saab is all about? No, probably not. Do they give Saab a chance to grow into new markets, attract new customers from different demographics, and potentially introduce more cash for future design efforts that wouldn't be available otherwise? Absolutely.

Some declared Saab dead a decade ago when GM became involved. Now they have more model offerings for more segments than ever before ... so, is everything they have done to stop the bleeding as quickly as possible gonna make everyone happy? No. But have they shown enough commitment to saving the brand in the best way they know how? ... at least to the point where we should give them a chance? Yeah ... I think so.
 

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In a few years, after the move to Opel, most of us will be converting to BMW. I am an IDS (Int'l Diplomatic Sales) customer and everytime we get together and chat about our Saabs, we come to this conclusion. Most say BMW(overwhelmingly), and some say Volvo for their next car. I wouldnt underestimate this if I were Saab because the IDS program is pretty big for them. I dont think things are so much different for the hardcore Saabers.
Sharing platforms and disposable parts like brake pads and filters is one thing, and building the car totally from crap in strangers' hands is another. You cannot expect people to finance a brand's "proposed revival" by purchasing their inferior products. Demand will shift to the superiors- Bimmers, Mercs, etc.
 

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1985 Gripen said:
The new facelift on the 9-5 design looks different from the current design, but it's still not inspiring. For the same price you can get a much nicer looking car from another manufacturer. There's nothing special about the SAAB, I'm sorry to say.
Wow, you can tell all that from a spy shot?

Every spy shot I've ever seen looked different in some way than the production version. Some a little different, some a lot. Let's hold out horses on the looks of the new 9-5...
 

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93Linear said:
No offense to anyone, but "a 50-something year-old woman" would fall into the group I would expect to not be able to tell the difference between a Corvette and a Corvair in most cases ...
I get your point, but she can tell the difference between a C900 and a Honda. She can even tell the difference between a NG900 and an Audi.

93Linear said:
And the whole point of this post was look toward the future ... "give them a chance" ... no one denies that things are a little stop-gap at best now with the 9-2x/6x/7x ... but give them a chance to develop the next generation of these vehicles to be Saabs.
How much of a "chance" will they get? We pretty much have heard what SAAB is planning to release about three to four years out. If the 9-2X is the stopgap for a small hatch, when will SAAB announce its homegrown small hatch? If the 9-7X is a stopgap for a homegrown SUV, when will SAAB announce the homegrown SUV? If the 9-6X is a stopgap for a homegrown crossover, where's the announcement? "Stopgap" implies that they will introduce their own model to replace it in the future. We know that the only models to be designed at Trollhattan to come out before 2009 are the next-gen 9-3 and 9-5 based on the Epsilon II platform with probable AWD option. There is no news I've heard that they're working on designing a SAAB SUV, crossover, or small hatch.

93Linear said:
In the global market we live in, you are going to see platform/drivetrain/part sharing. Period. Doesn't matter if BMW, Toyota, Ford, or anyone else owned Saab ... they would still be using their "stuff" in Saab cars. It's just a matter of simple economics in a trying time where most markets are struggling in some fashion.
As I mentioned, I don't mind parts or platform sharing. I specifically mentioned Volvo sharing the S60 platform with the XC90 in a positive light. I just don't like "badge engineering".

93Linear said:
Saab couldn't survive on it's own, and won't survive by just making the same 2 models with the same styling ... it has to grow into new markets or be left for dead. Are the newest Saabs the best examples of what being a Saab is all about? No, probably not. Do they give Saab a chance to grow into new markets, attract new customers from different demographics, and potentially introduce more cash for future design efforts that wouldn't be available otherwise? Absolutely.
How much better are the 9-3 Sport Sedan and the 9-5 Sedan selling than the C900 and 9000? So by ditching the hatchback in favor of the American-friendly notchback they lost uniqueness but gained in sales? From what I've heard since GM bought SAAB they have not yet turned a profit.

93Linear said:
Some declared Saab dead a decade ago when GM became involved. Now they have more model offerings for more segments than ever before ... so, is everything they have done to stop the bleeding as quickly as possible gonna make everyone happy? No. But have they shown enough commitment to saving the brand in the best way they know how? ... at least to the point where we should give them a chance? Yeah ... I think so.
You can stick the SAAB name on any GM car, sell it in a SAAB dealership and find someone to buy it by advertising it as being "different". It doesn't mean that it's doing the SAAB name any good. How's the 9-2X selling? How about the 9-7X? From what I understand they can't even get the 9-7X into the dealerships. How much time does GM need to "turn SAAB around" (they've been at least partial owners calling the shots for over 10 years)? Why is Volvo flourishing under Ford's ownership? How about doing things right in the first place and allow SAAB to make cars based on their competency?
 

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1985 Gripen said:
How about doing things right in the first place and allow SAAB to make cars based on their competency?
I could not agree more. And, so what if it costs more to build a real Saab? I would be willing to pay a premium for the car, most of us Saab fans would.
 

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stryker said:
I could not agree more. And, so what if it costs more to build a real Saab? I would be willing to pay a premium for the car, most of us Saab fans would.
Hate to break it to ya but a lot of "saab fans" on this board bought their car because it was cheap, not because they are really saab fans. I doubt most people on here would be willing to dish out 4 times the car's price 3 years down the line.
 

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Has ANYBODY here seen a 9-7x? This car is definately very far away from a Trailblazer or Rainier.
 

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So are you guys saying you're going to abandon Saab?
My mom is thinking about getting rid of her 1999 9-5 and going to Audi.
Didn't this happen when Volvo was bought? Things went down hill and then started to go back up?

I'm not going to leave Saab for a good long time, I'm giving it a chance. I love my car, and my mom's which is a GM car, still drives like my C900.

Or am I just blind?
 

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Belfastcarlsson good post! But where is the news? Should be in the lounge. Kind of getting tired of people posting in here with no news just opinion.
 

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I'm definitely not abandoning Saab but with their current models, but around their MSRP's I'd rather get something else. Hefty rebates are the bait now, but I really think Saab needs to follow Acura's path. Other people see the 9-3 and think it's a nice car...go to saabusa.com and config an aero and it's nearing $40k when you can have the same looking car on the outside for $27k (without rebates of course). If the Arc were standard and the Aero stuff like an A-Spec package, I think Saab would do better. That along with AWD and interior materials will save Saab. If you say no, look at the interior of the 9-3 Linear......come on.
 

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1985 Gripen said:
How's the 9-2X selling?
Obviously you aren't paying attention. Sure it has a lot to do with incentives, but 05 9-2X's are pretty scarce right now all around the country. Nearly SOLD OUT! OMG How awful! :cheesy:
Production of the 9-7X is the reason they are hard to get to dealers....there is a lot of demand.
 

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At the moment i think it is a good idea that saab is using other manufacturers to keep the brand alive. I drive Subaru cars as company cars and they are very very good, I drove a brand new Legacy the other day when my Forrester was in the shop having a new windscreen fitted and the car drove and handled supurb. I do not like the flat 4 engines as these are thirsty and lazy but the combination of the Subaru chassis and the Saab turbo engine and looks the car would be a very tough contender in the middle executive market. My Saab is the longest i have ever owned a car by far and i bought it because it offered so much more standard equiptment than BM or Merc and it didn't have the stigma attatched to these cars. My Saab does have some short comings but i live with them because i like the "quirk" the car has and the looks are to die for.
 

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timmehhhhhh said:
Hate to break it to ya but a lot of "saab fans" on this board bought their car because it was cheap, not because they are really saab fans. I doubt most people on here would be willing to dish out 4 times the car's price 3 years down the line.

Considering what I've paid for my c900s, I'd gladly dish out 4x the price. At least with that I'd know what I was getting into. What's a real Saab fan anyway?
 

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1985 Gripen said:
I get your point, but she can tell the difference between a C900 and a Honda. She can even tell the difference between a NG900 and an Audi.



How much of a "chance" will they get? We pretty much have heard what SAAB is planning to release about three to four years out. If the 9-2X is the stopgap for a small hatch, when will SAAB announce its homegrown small hatch? If the 9-7X is a stopgap for a homegrown SUV, when will SAAB announce the homegrown SUV? If the 9-6X is a stopgap for a homegrown crossover, where's the announcement? "Stopgap" implies that they will introduce their own model to replace it in the future. We know that the only models to be designed at Trollhattan to come out before 2009 are the next-gen 9-3 and 9-5 based on the Epsilon II platform with probable AWD option. There is no news I've heard that they're working on designing a SAAB SUV, crossover, or small hatch.



As I mentioned, I don't mind parts or platform sharing. I specifically mentioned Volvo sharing the S60 platform with the XC90 in a positive light. I just don't like "badge engineering".



How much better are the 9-3 Sport Sedan and the 9-5 Sedan selling than the C900 and 9000? So by ditching the hatchback in favor of the American-friendly notchback they lost uniqueness but gained in sales? From what I've heard since GM bought SAAB they have not yet turned a profit.



You can stick the SAAB name on any GM car, sell it in a SAAB dealership and find someone to buy it by advertising it as being "different". It doesn't mean that it's doing the SAAB name any good. How's the 9-2X selling? How about the 9-7X? From what I understand they can't even get the 9-7X into the dealerships. How much time does GM need to "turn SAAB around" (they've been at least partial owners calling the shots for over 10 years)? Why is Volvo flourishing under Ford's ownership? How about doing things right in the first place and allow SAAB to make cars based on their competency?
I couldn't agree with you more, while I'm on my 6th Saab and am in love with my 9-3 ss but I see how GM is wasting their chance for greatness.
Ford seems to have a hand off approach to managing Volvo while GM has raided all the good ideas Saab has.
I am the first to admit that Saab needs more cars to play in today's market, but not having an original idea isn't going to help.
I test drove the 9-7 and it's still a trailblazer, my uncle has a Chevy and it felt the same.
What is the point of buying an import when all the parts are neither imported nor Swedish.

I hope sales dip for a little while and GM pulls their heads out of their a** and lets the the Saab people design their cars.

Since GM has taken over they have been behind the curve on most advancements, navigation, Bluetooth. Look at Acura and Lexus, they have had these options for years but GM was stuck on OnStar for years.
My wish list for cars in the future would be.
1 9-3 SS
2 9-5 AWD would be nice
3 9-6 to compete with the BMW 7 and Audi A8
4 9-7 but something inspiring not a re brand
5 9-2 if you must have a small hatch
6 9x small coupe with lots of HP

I think this would be a recipe for success instead of making it the expensive Chevy line.

Don't bash Gripen because he expects more from Saab, not less. I still have thee years till my 9-3 ss is paid off and I will still enjoy driving it, I just hope there is a shake up at GM before I'm ready to buy again.
 

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CleveSaab said:
Obviously you aren't paying attention. Sure it has a lot to do with incentives, but 05 9-2X's are pretty scarce right now all around the country. Nearly SOLD OUT! OMG How awful! :cheesy:
Production of the 9-7X is the reason they are hard to get to dealers....there is a lot of demand.
I'm not sure how true the demand is, when I went to test drive a 9-7 they only had one and the sales person told me that they had an issue with the roof racks and something else that was delaying delevery. I'm not sure if that was the truth or just spin. If it were spin I would think they would have a more creative answer.
 
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