Auto Expression

Auto Express have another of those ‘drove-it-briefly-at-press-day-so-here’s-a-quick-review’ type stories about the new facelifted 9-5. It’s pretty much the same stuff as has been covered earlier (an improvement, but not quite up to class) so I won’t re-hash it here, but go have a read if you’re interested.

The interesting this about this article is in the first few paragraphs. It’s a similar thought to what I’ve had recently, however they’ve expressed it pretty succinctly in my opinion.

The future of Saab starts here. Now the firm has broken its ties with Subaru, it’s promising forthcoming models will be much bolder to look at and sportier to drive – vital if the struggling brand is to attract more buyers.

The new dawn is being ushered in by the revised 9-5, which not only gets a facelift but also a host of changes under the skin, aimed at putting it on terms with BMW’s 5-Series and Audi’s A6. It has to last, too – a replacement isn’t due until 2009. So has the company done enough?

It really is the big question, isn’t it?

Are GM going to allow Saab to do enough to expand the model range and refresh models in good time?

The future of Saab starts here.

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4 Comments

  1. I have some sympathy for GM/SAAB execs right now. Can you imagine having to go to your boss or whatever committee approves such expenditures and ask for funding for a new car project right now? “Now, I know that we, SAAB, blew a bunch of money on the SportSedan development. And I know that we made the car so that it can only be manufactured in Trollhattan, disregarding GM orders. And I know that Delphi just filed for bankruptcy and that GM took a $3 billion and change loss this last QUARTER, AND I know that our SAAB division hasn’t turned a profit in the 15 or so years GM has had a stake in it, but can I have $XXX million to develop a next-gen SAAB?”

    That ought to go over well. I don’t know HOW I would convince GM to give SAAB more money, especially right now with GM’s financial woes. SAAB would have to practically GUARANTEE the vehicle to be a hit and be PROFITABLE for once to get funding, I would think.

  2. The 9-3 SportCombi is a classic example though, of what Saab can do when left to design something for themselves. If GM continue the badge-engineering road then it’s a guaranteed failure. If they let the Swedes do their thing with proper investment then I think Saab has a better than even chance of profitability within the medium term.

    You gotta spend money to make money.

  3. First the good news: Add another to the family! My brother-in-law’s father has just purchased a 1997 9000 CSE. Yeah baby!

    Anyway, I am far younger than my ornery and skeptical demeanor towards Saab would suggest, but I sure hope the “aggressively styled Malibu” mentioned in the article isn’t a Saab 9-3SS with Chevy badges {grumble grumble}

    I hope it’s painfully clear to the GM execs what will fly and what won’t with Saab. 9-2x? Can’t hardly sell them. 9-3 Sport Combi? What did I hear about that model and Euro sales?

  4. PS — If Europe is now developing Saabs, I think we {The Saab community} are worried that this will make our cars less unique and less desirable, but really I think it’s a great thing!

    Saab are not for the average person. They’re great cars, but not everybody can deal with night-panel buttons, side-reversing lights and console-mounted ignitions…

    But wouldn’t it be great to be able to recommend another GM car to somebody and find that it included some “Saab ripoffs” like pouches on the front of the seat and anti-whiplash head restraints?

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