There’s been a bit of a rush of small-car news from other makers in the last few weeks, which prompted me to ponder how much attention Saab might be paying to the competition as it develops the upcoming
9-2 9-1. Some of these baby cars are looking pretty good and as this is the sector that our next purchase will come from (for the Mrs), I’m quite interested in what Saab might be able to do in order to meet, and beat, the competition.
In no specific order:
Jalopnik are reporting that Ovlov are considering a hot version of its upcoming C30, with up to 180 or 190 kW. That’s some serious horses, people. I’d never consider an Ovlov for the garage, I’d probably not even lower my trousers to assist if I saw one on fire. But for those that are V-inclined, a package like that is going to win some hearts.
V-Dub may be bringing this in as a new Scirocco, according to Eurocarblog. Not totally sure if this is the same niche as the proposed 9-1, but it’s close, and looking good. Expected arrival time: 2008.
This is an artist’s impression of the proposed Alfa 147 replacement, dubbed as the 149. It traces its lines from the Alfa 8c Competizione concept car, which incidentally, is a concept no longer. Alfa have put their cajones where their advertising budget used to be and decided that 500 Competiziones on the world’s more influential streets would be better advertising that a bunch of……..advertisements.
If only Saab would do the same with the Aero-X.
I’ve covered the latest 149 developments at Alfablogger.
I hope Saab are listening and watching. The competition is looking OK. Here’s hoping that the competition says the same thing about the 9-1 when it comes out to the public.
Before the 9-1 takes it’s bow, we’re expecting the 9-4x SUV to be enveiled. In news relevant to that particular future-Saab, the first pictures of the new Opel/Vauxhall Antara have been spotted over at Carscoop.
Here’s hoping the 9-4x is a little more inspiring than it’s stablemate, which I’m quite sure it will be.
Of course, all future Saab development depends partly on the largesse of the corporate parent in Detroit. The future of that corporate parent took a big step towards being realised, one way or the other, when bankruptcy hearings for parts supplier Delphi began this week.
There is virtually no chance that GM can keep running during a shutdown at Delphi; the former GM unit was spun off in 1999 but is still the automaker’s largest supplier. A 54-day strike at just one Delphi plant in 1998 shut down production at GM and caused a $2 billion reduction in earnings at GM and Delphi.
And most industry observers believe a prolonged shutdown at GM would cause losses severe enough to force GM into bankruptcy.
The industry observer quoted thereafter is your mate and mine, Mr Robert Farago. No surprises there. But there’s no doubt that a prolonged strike will cripple GM’s American operations and when GM sneezes, Saab’s a very good chance of catching a cold.
The article states that it’s going to be a fine line that’s walked by all involved if a strike is to be avoided. All parties want the situation to work out, but whether or not they can all give what’s required in order for it to work out, is another thing all together.
GM spokesman Jerry Dubrowski said it’s important to realize that there is no imminent threat of a strike, and that the GM is committed to helping the unions and Delphi reach an agreement without one.
"We all understand the stakes," he said. "We understand what would happen if there is a lengthy strike. It would not be good for General Motors, it would not be good for Delphi, and it would certainly not be good for the UAW, its members or retirees."