Saab have let fly a whole bunch of press releases on the Convertible, a few of which I’ve reprinted below as separate articles for posterity. They’re worth a look, so enjoy.
Automotive news are reporting that Jerry York has now officially been elected to the GM board. For the uninitiated, York is the representative of Kirk Kerkorian’s Tracinda Corporation, which holds a very large and influential shareholding in GM. York gave a speech last month (details here) with his thoughts on making GM profitable again and one of his big suggestions was selling off non-core assets, including Saab.
In other news that’s just been released, GM has announced that it’s going to implement one of York’s other recommendations in that speech – they’re cutting dividends to shareholders by 50%.
GM’s annual dividend is reportedly $1.1 billion, or $2 a share. The move, York argued, would help the company turn around and was embraced by many analysts. It also was seen as a move to show the UAW that all segments of the company would suffer financially as GM restructures.
There’s also more talk about the Saab that’ll be aimed squarely at the BMW 1 series and Audi A3. We’re calling it the ‘next 9-2’ until further advised, if only because of the inevitable 1-2-3 headline when the 3 cars are finally compared.
The bad news is that reports are confirming that the car is at the beginning of the product cycle, meaning it’ll likely be at least 3 years before it’s available. Saab seem to be playing catchup again – and how competitive would a 9x type vehicle have been?
In related (sort of) news – Eurocarblog are reporting that BMW is working on a new series of engines for the 3-series et al and guess what? They’re turbocharging!! Is there some way Saab can leverage this in their marketing?? I think there must be.
I’m actually seeing quite a few Saab ads on TV here lately – a rarity here in Hobart. The fact that the ads are there is a wonderful thing. A little less wonderful is the Australian version of the "Born from Jets" slogan.
For some reason, someone thought that Aussies would be more open to the theme "With Genes From Jets". Rolls off your tongue like a housebrick, doesn’t it?
Saab Australia, I’d like to confirm that I AM available to move to Sydney and take up a position there. At the very least I can update the website and at most I can lift your sales 15% in the next year. Guaranteed. Email me. Company car is a must.
Speaking of the Saab Australia website, all you 2005 9-5 fans can download some cool old-school 9-5 photos there. As we’re about the last place on Google’s Earth that will get the 9-5, we’re still pushing the old model here. Get the pictures while they’re hot. Here’s the link to the 9-5 page – just select your picture and hit the "Enlarge" button.