It looks like the 9-7x will be on the road very shortly, with dealership sightings starting to spring up around the place. And then there’s this from Edmunds:
Saab dealers have been taking deposits for the company’s first SUV, the 9-7X, a phenomenon that hasn’t happened to the Swedish brand "in decades," according to Jay Spenchian, Saab USA general manager.
The 9-7X goes on sale later this spring.
In an April speech titled "The State of Saab," Spenchian said 5,000 people have signed up for a pre-sell offer on the 9-7X that includes three years of free XM Radio and the OnStar communications system.
"Through our Web site and dealer channels, we already received twice as many hand-raisers as for our previously best ever in that regard, our Saab icon, the 9-3 convertible," he said, referring to potential customers who have indicated an interest in the new SUV.
Spenchian said Saab will expand the 9-3 lineup with a new body style called the SportCombi. The SportCombi is based on the 2004 Sport Hatch concept car. The GM brand will also introduce a new 250-horsepower turbocharged V6 power plant across the entire 9-3 family, Spenchian confirmed.
Plans are also in the works for a "thoroughly revised 9-5," he said.
Like the concept or loathe it, it IS a natural progression (albeit in an unnatural way) and hopefully it’ll also bring some much needed cred for Saab within the boardroom at GM.
As I mentioned before, there are some sightings starting to spring up, and TSN local Mike Lynch, a Saab sales guy confirms the demand from the coalface:
I’ve been witness to a lot of new car intros over the years and pre-interest for the 9-7X is very, very strong. There are only a finite number of people interested in a new Saab, but the number goes up exponentially when Saab enters the SUV class ’cause there are so many people interested in SUVs.
PS – I’d love a copy of Jay Spenchian’s "State of Saab speech if anyone can find it. Jay, if you’re reading this, can you please email it to me? Readers would love know.
PPS – When you Google ‘Jay Spenchian’, guess which site comes up first? Yeah, baby!!