Poll-Hattan Saab

UPDATE: It’s come to my attention that a few people can’t see the poll in this post. What a major pain in the backside!

The question is….

Which Saab would you most like to see in the next 5 years? You have one choice only.

The options are:

1) The 9-2 hot hatch with 9-3x/9x versatility
2) A new 9-3 with AWD option
3) The 9-4x Crossover vehicle
4) A new 9-5 flagship with AWD and V6 options, Aero-X styling cues
5) Aero-X inspired Sonett roadster
6) Just build the damn Aero-X now!!

Interested parties that can’t see the poll could perhaps leave their opinion in comments. In the meantime, I’ll try and find another poll host…..


Forgive me this one inulgence, but as I’m currently feeling sicker than Anna-Nicole Smith I thought it might be a good time to try Trollhattan’s first poll.

Sorry about the color scheme. I’ll try and find a more versatile setup next time.


Free polls from Go2poll.com

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  1. Now I’m sure I’m overthinking this, but is the question what I think is best for SAAB as a company, or what car SAAB could come out with that I’d be most interested in purchasing myself?

  2. Am I missing something here? Where is the poll? The link only go to the start-page for that internet site asking me to sign up…

  3. I hope you get better soon and you don’t end up like me. I had the worst bout of flu in my life and was bed ridden for 2 weeks in full. You can imagine the back log from work I had to cope with. Makes you go sick again in no time. Get better soon !!!

  4. Simple recipe:
    Quality – better than bmw & audi
    Repairs – cheaper than bmw & audi
    Design – classic, without sacrificing comfort
    Engine – low rpm torque

    Somehow bmw or audibmw doesn’t need aero-x designs to sell cars

  5. Like Ben W suggests, you’re missing an option: “None of the above”……… Just build a half-decent car and forget about crap like BFJ, cupholders, moose tests and extended service intervals!

    Drew B

  6. …….but I digress. Perhaps I’ll opt for #6, where Saab should build the Aero-X right now. Price it at $350K to make it appear exclusive, prove its safety using some new Hybrid Super-Moose test, fit 25 heated cupholders and chrome-plate the door handles. Just don’t paint the wheels in effing shadowchrome!

    Drew B

  7. Thanks Gripen for asking the question I was going to ask. For me it’s two different answers, maybe three. There’s a difference between what I’d like to see and what I’d like to buy. I think Saab most needs the new 9-5 flagship soon, but I’m torn between the 9-2 (something I’d buy) and the Aero-X (gets my vote).

  8. I’m also torn between the 9-2 and a new 9-5. Saab needs cars that will sell and however cool an Aero-X might be I doubt it would sell more that 10.000 cars.

  9. I’m also one of the few that could not read the poll, but anyway…….

    Putting aside for a moment what I would myself buy and thinking about the future health of the brand (2) and (4) must be first. the existing base must surely be satisfied before expansion. After that go for (1) for both volume and a return to Saab’s roots.

  10. Steven,

    The 9-2 / 9-1 needs to be rolled out now, before the 9-5 since they updated 9-5 “just” came out anyways.

    let’s go Saab, roll it out!


  11. I’d be most interested in
    1) The 9-2 hot hatch with 9-3x/9x versatility;
    Saab most needs
    2) A new 9-3 with AWD option.
    I think a big reason they aren’t competitive is the lack of 2).

    And I think one important model was left off the list. How about the bio-power plug-in hybrid? Who wouldn’t want the stylish 9-3 combi plug-in hybrid?

    I have to agree and disagree with Paul Humpage above. I agree with Quality, Repairs, and Design. But I disagree on your competion and Engine. Saab’s strength has been and should continue to be midrange turbo surge. That’s authentic Saab.
    The competitors for Saab should be Acura, VW, and Subaru. They never have been a BMW competitor and should not try to be. Saabs must be more efficient and have more utility. I think we should set up a discussion of what Saab should be, it seems there are plenty of opinions…

    Finally, I have to take issue with all of the Aero-X talk. The Aero-X was a lame design study and would be a useless distraction to produce. Saab needs practical product development not some halo car. Bring great, authentic, distinctive products to market and the aura will follow.

  12. I don’t care what they build, but build it with higher quality materials (particularly the interior and the paint) and rattle-proof it for at least 60K miles, none of this coming unscrewed at 10K miles and rattling like a bag of rocks. The previous generation 9-3 hatch had a better interior, stereo but the 9-3SS has the better exterior and handling by a long shot. It’s like one step forward, two steps back.

    Specifically I’d like to see the 9-5 released with AWD available AT LAUNCH, none of this 2 years later as an afterthought. It should have a V6 tuned to at least 300HP. The interior build quality should be vault-like, not Pontiac-like.

  13. Oh, no more V6 engines period.

    We’re looking at energy efficiency and a goal at reducing carbon to zero percent. Larger displacement, etc. will mean more fuel consumption, etc. which is bad news and goes against the grain for Saab’s environmentally savvy history.

    Saab should be following Sweden in planning on being fossil-free by 2020.

    Saab, join your native land in pushing technology that is pro-environment, not against it with these tired old large GM based engines that are also found in your GM trucks.

    Let the hybrids roll out soon like you plan on doing with the two-mode option.


  14. Dear Saab,

    I am writing to ask you when you will be introducing the 9-2 or 9-1 E85 AWD capable Hybrid Hatch to the market.

    I look forward to your prompt response.


    The International Saab Community

  15. No more V6’s?

    Are you kidding?

    If Saab are to survive as a company then they have to have a V6 at least in their flagship model. It’s a market reality.

    Yes, I’m all for Saab being involved in the more environmentally friendly developments but in the end it’s also about driving dynamics and enjoying your car.

    In the near term, Saab need to win customers in that premium category and I’ve heard of several that scoff becuase they do the research and find that the flagship car has a 4 cylinder engine in it. Sure you and I know it can go like stink, but the average Joe doesn’t.

    Saab needs a V6 AWD option on the 9-5 along with aggressive and progressive styling and it needs it yesterday. This, the 9-2 and 9-3 models are top of the tree in my books.

  16. I have dream. The dream shows a 9-3 AWD BioPower as my next car. 🙂
    I’m affraid, I simple never could have enough budget for the flagship with similar parameters.

  17. Swade,

    I understand your point, but why is Saab catering to the misinformed masses? Saab should just think for themselves and raise the bar and “inform the public”, and direct them to their vault of technological expertise in their future progressive lineup. Saab should certainly not cater to the public, as though the public are subject matter experts on technology. Maybe GM is making Saab do this without a choice.

    I just have to disagree that in the idea of appealling to the masses, we don’t need to “dumb our strategy down to the masses level”, by continuing to push what what is currently embedded in their head that “more cylinders and more cup holders are better”.

    Saab needs to start proving that environmental choices have better outcomes, etc. by rolling these technologies out now and holding the masses hand in directing them towards the brand by telling them the how, and why they should go with Saab.

    Saab has been behind the paradigm shift before on their market (remember the hatchback?)

    Saab = You have done it before and you can do it again, without having to dumb down your strategy to appeal to the misinformed public.

    Saab, you were an entrepreneur as your own boss in the automobile market, but now being within the GM fold, you can become what is known as an Intrapreneur within an organization to continue to think for oneself.

    Saab = “We Don’t Make Compromises, we make Saabs”


  18. I know that Saab needs V6. But it’s not for me.
    I already tested the 9-3 Aero V6, and it was not very impressive for me. Especially for it’s extremely high price. I mean, my 2 liter 4 cylinder engine with Nordic upgrade is just a bit less impressive than the V6. The only real important change is the significant reduction of torque steering.

  19. SG,
    Because Saab can not earn enough money from the sales outside of the USA. They have to take lot of efforts to sale in the USA and as far as I know US people can’t imagine a premium car with “only” 4 cylinders and 2 or 2.3 liters. 🙁
    The other problem is that all of the competitors have V6 or bigger engines in their same category cars.
    The 3rd reason is that the flagship should be positioned higher than the other model(s), and it’s not really convincing if the lower model has V6 and the flagship has not, even its power is higher.
    The potential customers will accept it more if it has a more “serious” engine.

  20. Ivan,

    That makes sense of course.

    I guess I am just saddened by perceived “market research” that says that U.S. car owners want V6, V8 and V10 engines in 2006.

    I am an american and I don’t want more cylinders and cup holders.

    I wonder, is this some napoleonic / drinking complex of americans to want more cylinders and cup holders?

    Thanks for the clarity Ivan, I can’t get this idea to make sense about these “needs of americans”.


  21. SG,
    I just guessed it, based on some of my experienceses on the GMinside forums. I hope I was not offending to americans. It’s a common supposition in our region.
    You certainly know better what the potential american customers need, do you think they still like mostly the big, thirsty cars?

  22. Ivan,

    No offense taken whatsoever, no problem.

    I think that Americans are gradually becoming more educated in that more environmentally efficient options are the most intelligent choices, however we have some people that aren’t opening their minds to this.

    Namely the Nascar crowd is not helping at all with this. Nascar is also a big business proposition and will take a long time to come to a conclusion unfortunately.

    I look forward to all Americans believing in “Less is More”

  23. ID have to opt for the 9-2 hatch with the versatility. I love my c900 and that option seems closest to a modern day c900. Isn’t this the car that made Saab popular?

  24. Ryan,

    As a very wise man once told me in comments on this site: “Remember, you are a focus group of one”.

    Ivan’s observance about the 9-5 and the V6 is correct. I mentioned the same thing in the post about the 9-5 Linear the other day. The 9-5 needs a V6, AWD and more power if only to create real room for differentiation between it and the 9-3.

    Such a combination will also hold more appeal for a lot of buyers that are currently in Acura, Audi etc showrooms.

    Saab can’t take the American public by the hand and lead them anywhere. They’re not taken seriously enough for starters and no company can be a leader in the car industry without a quality product that the people want.

    Saab’s primary need in the US right now is to sell cars. They need to do this in order to make money, which they need to justify an R&D budget to the bosses. GM will not allow one before the other, not to the degree that we’d all like anyway.

  25. SG:

    The cupholders thing: I don’t want MORE cupholders, I want DECENT cupholders. One of my many credos is if you’re going to do something, do it right. SAAB has had sub-par cupholders (at least in the 900/9-3 series and I believe in the 9-5, but I’m not as familiar) for going on 13-years.

    This is a small pet peeve of mine. Entertain my OCD (and demand for good design) for a moment. 🙂

    It’s understandable that in the NG900 they had cheap cupholders that looked like an afterthought. Why? Because they were an afterthought (I’m told it was illegal to drink ANYTHING in Sweden at the time, so they didn’t think about cupholders until Americans started bitching that their minivans had eight of the things. Sort of like how the air conditioning in my C900 seems to have been an afterthought based on the a/c compressor location). But in 1999 when they redesigned the 900 into the 9-3 or in 2003 when they totally re-made the 9-3 they had the chance to fix the problem. What did they do? They added an overly-complex butterfly-emerging-from its-chrysalis cupholder that’s no better functionally than its predecessor except that this one will dump its contents onto the passenger compartment’s floor or passenger’s legs rather than onto the electronics in the center console.

    I’m an American and a caffeine addict. I admit both. I want… wait, DEMAND… a cupholder that can hold a fast food restaurant large (44 ounce plus ice) drink cup without snapping-off like a twig.

    I spend several hours a day in traffic typically so I need something that can hold several hours’ worth of RC (Royal Crown) Cola, dernit! 🙂

    Okay, sorry for this rant, but like I mentioned sub-par design in a “near luxury class” car is a pet peeve of mine and I have OCD. Thank you for your time. ;-P

  26. IMO, the smartest thing for saab to do would be to release a new versatile hatch and/or a new aero-x inspired roadster w/ awd option. the new 9-5 can wait since it was just redone (maybe a few styling cues changed up). next would be a 9-4x type deal and awd available for the whole lineup.

  27. I’m the freak who voted for “Aero-X styled roadster” (though I’d rather see a Sonett 1 descendant roadster). I would really love to own a SAAB roadster smaller than a 9-3 ‘vert. I love small ‘verts, the current 9-3 ‘vert is a tad too big for my taste. Just as Bimmer sells a 3-series ‘vert, they also sell a Z4 ‘vert (and the high-end Z8 roadster, for that matter) as they’re a different class altogether. I’d like to see SAAB do something similar.

    However, what I think is most important to SAAB in its own interest (making money) is the 9-5 flagship, followed by the “hot hatch”.

    I disagree with selling the Aero-X as a “halo” supercar. Leave low-volume hand-made cars to the niche manufacturers. SAAB probably couldn’t make enough profit margin to make the low volume sales worth it.

  28. I think the car Saab needs most right now is a new 9-2 or 9-1 to replace the Saabaru. It could do this using the GM Opel Astra platform (a very competent car). This size car is more relevant in todays fuel conscious environment. This car could have diesel and biopower options. It would complement the existing 9-3 and 9-5 range. It should certainly be a hatch.
    Next should be an all new 9-5 range with Aero-X styling cues to replace the current sound but technologically ageing 9-5.
    Next should be an Aero-X inspired roadster badged Sonett as a “hero Car” that you can actually buy. This would raise Saabs profile and attract more buyers to the brand. Let’s face it sales are the key to Saabs future and indeed survival. To complete the line up we need the 9-4X SUV, probably based on the new Opel Antara. All these ideas are acheiveable given Saab’s access to existing GM family platforms and Saabs Swedish Engineering and design expertise.

  29. Folks,

    Get back to reality. What could save Saab? Those “bestseller” models which are produced for the “mass” and can be sold in high volume…
    It’s surely the 9-3 and/or the 9-5, they are good for cruising, for family vacations, for have some fun driving sometimes.
    The Convertible, the Roadster, the Aero-X… yes, they are very appealing cars, but they are special cars not for everyday use, not for traffic, they are mostly for fun!
    I suppose, much more people would gladly buy a Saab for everyday use than those people who can afford such a car just for fun.

  30. FYI Saab USA has told us that items 2, 3 and 4 are going to happen. The rest are on the US Dealers prayer list and not one item on this list has ever materialized in my 17 years as a SAAB Dealer

  31. Max,
    Yes, I have heard the same on an unofficial club meeting with the head of the Central-European distributor of GM (Polar Mobil, Budapest).

  32. An excerpt taken from a 1993 SAAB 9000 Form & Function brochure before full GM control reads:

    “Saab’s perception of how we should conduct ourselves in the international is summed up in the following statement:

    Our customers all over the world are very much individualists –people who seek a car with character but demand that it be engineered to exceedingly high standards. They are also discerning, and appreciate clever solutions and innovative design. That the car they drive must also be very reliable goes without saying.

    So it is our job to listen to our customers, to find out what they want and then demonstrate that we can meet all their expectations. The name Saab is synonymous with innovation –a tradition we are proud to maintain. What makes Saabs so distinctive is their bold (some would say audacious) design, coupled with a measure of aplomb and a classic elegance.

    We are passionately committed to perfecting the design and constantly improving the technology of our cars. The majority of our resources, both people and technical, are therefore devoted to predicting and meeting the needs of our customers, both now and in the future.

    We are also part of Sweden’s industrial heritage, the essence of which is high quality combined with consideration for the environment and for people’s safety. The development, production and sale of unique and premium Swedish cars instil a strong sense of pride and commitment in the Saab team”.

    But Swade, to try and answer your question more specifically, I would add that Saab should bite their lip and produce whatever their masters and fickle mass market demands –even if it means bastardised version of other cars. These need merely to be breathed upon by Saab with enough of a catch for customer progress within the model range.
    However, maintain the real pride and commitment for the true core products –the 900 and 9000 systems. These should also serve as ‘engineering stretch/challenge’ models in the same way as Mercedes has its Maybach or VW its Phaeton. Even here though, their derivatives (V6/AWD) should be cursory treatments designed for the short term whims of the Anglo-Saxon Wall Street cycle.

    This was discreetly (no actually it was more than that –it was subtly) demonstrated in another brochure of that era regarding the evolution led 4 cylinder and the then new and flagship V6 3.0L. No less than 4 pages were dedicated to the former whilst the latter had just 2 in spite of its status. Keep this principle.

    Right now, I could probably afford a 9-5 and a 9-3(!), but remain yet to be convinced that they were “Correctly conceived and properly built” [Saab 1983]. Until such a time, I will continue with my somewhat GM tainted but fabulous end-of-line 9000 CS. With a 10 year gestation and 15 year production period it is nothing to be sneered at.

    I am sorry to be so demanding a customer. Short of marrying a Swede, it is the closest form of communication I have from the justifiably proud people of Sweden. To state the obvious; as a species, this is what makes us. Hence this wonderful site!

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