9-4x – What’s the point?

Just a quick thought.

The entry below is pushing the line that the planned Saab 9-4x will be a 7-seat Crossover Utility Vehicle. It’s being designed in concert with a Cadillac and a Buick variant of the same basic vehicle. Obviously there will be tweaks to make each one individual in it’s own way.

What’s the point?

I’m not sure that a 7-seat variant really fits within the Saab design ethos (and yes I’ve ridden in the rear-facing seat of an old 95). Furthermore, what’s the point of designing a Saab that’s only going to be fighting against not one, but two stablemates that have both been developed at the same time. Is there going to be a legitimate marketplace for all 3 vehicles?

I’m starting to come around to the thought that the investment being made into a Saab variant of this vehicle would be better spent developing a more unique entry-level vehicle and ensuring the quick addition of AWD capability to the 9-3 and 9-5 model range, where the Combi variants would really show the benefits to those with active lifestyles.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m very interested in the development of the 9-4x and I think it’s got the potential to be a great segment-breaker for Saab if it’s done right. But if it’s just going to have sales and marketshare stolen away from Buick (of all freaking companies!!) then really – what’s the point?

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4 Comments

  1. Personally, I think there will be a 9-4X and a 9-6X. The 9-4X will be BMW X3/Toyota RAV4/Audi Q5 size and I don’t see any point in this being a 7 seater. It will probably be based on a version of the next gen. Epsilon II/Theta. The 9-6X will probably replace the 9-7X in due course and will be offered as 5 and 7 seater. The 9-6X will be developed together with the next gen Cadillac SRX.

  2. Buick might fight with Cadillac but Saab doesnt fight with neither of them.
    Buick is not even sold in Europe and like GM big dudes have said, Cadillac and Saab customers are totally different, they simply dont steal any sales from each other. Making them perfect partners.

    And where is 7-seater needed? Well to get more than 5 people inside of car…
    Mainly family use I guess. But I would think it will be add-on option.

    And 9-4X doesnt take anything away from other future Saabs. Future 9-5 and 9-3 models just arent hot topic. Although it might sometimes look like Saab going to be next Land Rover because news come mainly from the USA.

    Like when there came news about 2-seater and 9-4X in same story.
    In Europe 2-seater was main topic of that story and in the USA it was…you guessed it… 9-4X.

  3. Some folks may disagree, but I think the Cadillac/Saab relationship is a win-win arrangement. With Cadillac’s turnaround and revival (thanks Jay !) and with Jay now at the helm of Saab USA (but who obviously has clout with Saab Global), people not familiar with Saab will perceive Saab as an emerging brand (ha, but the rest of us know better) that leverages on Cadillac’s strengths. And vice versa, with Caddy leveraging on Saab resources and thus will keep the lights at the Trollhattan factory on with the BLS and BRX production. This is better synergy than the previous one-way relationship where Saab only borrowed from others and not the other way around.

    I don’t have a problem with 9-4X being a 7-seater, as I expect the RDX, Q5, RX330, ML350 and X3 all to be moving towards that capacity in the next couple of years. This doesn’t necessarily mean this class of CUVs will be large, just that they’ll have the option of a compact 3-rd row that can be easily hidden/stowed into the cargo floor.

    From my view, the future still looks pretty dang bright for SAAB.

  4. I agree with you ken in most respects.
    a 5/7 Seater Vehicle is much needed by any manufacturer today. The functionality of the new LandRover Discovery III is fantastic.
    The 3rd Row ‘Fold Flat’ seats really are a work of art.
    I probably lost 20 deals this year because I didn’t have a 7 seater.

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