High hopes for the 9-3SC

The 9-7x is finally rolling out from dealer’s lots in the US, with watchful eyes and hopeful hearts everywhere wishing it success in the world’s biggest car market. Elsewhere, Saab’s newest and ‘purest’ new model, the 9-3 Sport Combi, is in takeoff mode in Europe this week.

Saab Great Britain head honcho, Jonathan Nash, is holding very high hopes for the new wagon (via Just_Auto). The segment is estimated to have accounted for around 250,000 sales in 2004, with diesels being 70% of these. Given a new estate model, Saab’s growing presence in the UK already and a proven diesel success with the 9-3 Sport Sedan, Mr Nash’s hopes seem well founded. Add to all this the competitive pricing (the Combi’s only 1000 quid more than the Sedan) and Saab in Great Britain could be well on it’s way to achieving it’s 25,000 sales benchmark, a whopping 25% increase on the previous year.

New Saab supremo Jan Ake Jonsson, quoted here in an ITV review is also being optimistic about the newest 9-3.

“I know it will not be easy,” he said at the international launch of the 9-3 lifestyle estate car. “These are challenging times in the motor industry and I see Saab’s growth as less of a sprint and more of a marathon. But I am very confident. This is our first entry into the premium wagon market I am sure it will do well for us.”

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The article above is a short, but interesting one. Did you know that the tailgate on the Combi is made from aluminium (that’s aluminum to you North Americans), is 6kg lighter than a steel tail of the same size, and helps the Sport Combi come in at only 40kg heavier than the 9-3 Sport Sedan?

The final kicker?? How’s this for quotable:

There’s a lot more to come from this charismatic Scandinavian car maker. Let’s hope their American masters in GM have the wit to realise their potential as a stand-alone producer and not, as is rumoured, just a convenient assembly facility for their tasteless, but sadly Europe-bound, Cadillac range.

OUCH!!

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