Jay Spenchian has been speaking with Wards Autos…..
Saab Automobile U.S.A General Manager Jay Spenchian tells Ward’s a Saab CUV, which could take the 9-4X name, will slot in for the truck-based 9-7X SUV after parent General Motors Corp. updates its midsize SUV platform that underpins the vehicle.
“We’re going to continue with the 9-7, and there will be slight overlap with the 9-4, or whatever we (decide to) call it,” Spenchian tells Ward’s here at Saab’s largest U.S. dealership. “One will be going away as the other one is coming in, and there will be very little overlap…..
….“The price range (for a 9-4X) is going to be very close, like right on top of the 9-3,” which ranges from $27,570 to $43,320. “Here (in the U.S.), it’s not going to be real expensive,” Spenchian says. “I think some of the styling cues you see on the Aero X (concept) you’ll definitely see on that vehicle,” he adds.
The timing they mention in this report is really discouraging. Previously, we’d heard that the 9-4x might be a goer for late 2007 as a MY2008 release. This was an earliest-case scenario with 2008 as the more likely time. This report’s mentioning late 2009 as a release date, by which time there’ll quite likely be jet cars and Star Trek style transporters.
If this is GM’s idea of investment in new models, it leaves quite a bit to be desired. Saab has sooo much potential for growth, but the 5-year plan they ‘committed’ to recently is looking thinner and thinner every time there’s some news released.
By this schedule, they’re of a mind that the 9-7x has 3 or 4 more years life in it, and that the next new release will be re-platformed 9-3 and 9-5.
Are they serious?
But wait, there’s more…..on the 9-2x replacement.
Elsewhere within Saab’s product lineup, Spenchian says there are no plans to directly replace the Subaru Impreza-based 9-2X, Saab’s smallest entry that goes away at the end of the ’06 model year.
But with the small-car market revving up in response to escalating fuel prices, a compact is something Saab continues to review.
“A lot of people are trying to get into that segment because its price range could give you a lot of volume,” he says. “But it comes with caveats that you have to do it right.
“If you can’t execute well, you’re better off not being there. Globally, it would definitely make sense. Whether it makes sense in the U.S., I’m not sure. But we’ll continue to look at that.”
I’ve gotta say, Saab as a global entity would be absolutly nutso to overlook the 9-2. the fact that they haven’t got a genuine vehicle in that segment right now is reprehensible. To not produce a model like that in what can only be a time of escalating fuel prices would just be lunacy.
Sure, the US may not bite at it, but in Europe it’d go down a treat. This is a US article interviewing the US head-honcho, so I guess it’s half expected that the hose would be applied, but that entry level vehicle has got to come.
And it’s got to be a killer.
Check this out:
Saab this year released the 5-door 9-5 SportCombi, a refreshed 9-5 sedan and continues to offer the 9-3 SportCombi, all of which are available with a 250-hp 2.8L turbocharged V-6.
If the whole article is as accurate as this one line, then there’s a good chance we’ll be driving 9-4x’s that convert into Aero-X’s at the touch of a button. And we’ll be doing it next week.