He’s been pretty quiet, but there’s finally been some output from Jay Spenchian, Saab’s North American grand poo-bah.
He was in Quebec City for the launch of the 9-7x.
“This is a pretty important time for Saab,” said Spenchian, a former marketing executive at Cadillac, during the Quebec City preview of the 9-7X. “Years from now, we’ll probably be looking at this as the turning point.”
Saab has plenty of potential for GM, he contended. For one thing it has “the highest import conquest rate” of any GM brand. And it is the only European-style luxury brand in all GM’s portfolio.
Unfortunately, even in Europe, it is not especially well known. And in the U.S., the vast bulk of Saab’s volume comes from a narrow slice of the country. “We’ve got these loyal customers,” explained Spenchian, but we’re basically an (East Coast) brand. We’ve got to expand out to places like Miami and Los Angeles.”
And the 9-6x:
“There are common platforms everywhere,” Spenchian asserted, adding it is critical, from the customer standpoint, that individual products maintain strong and distinctive brand attributes, such as styling, performance and handling.
There have been reports the 9-6X is delayed due to problems mounting the diesel engine that will be offered in Europe. When the question was posed to Spenchian, he said, “The official answer is, ‘no,’ but we’re evaluating ways to make it as distinctive as we can, and any delay would be to make it a stronger entry.”
And separately, ITV have a bit of a bouquet story about the future model line-up too. There’s not much there aside from some explanation about why the 9-6x may not come with a diesel, but it’s nice to be spoken of nicely for a change.