If there’s one thing that was common thread through the GMI Revitalisation postings, it was the consistent desire from everyone that Saab build a 9-1 entry-level vehicle.
The reasons for this are many. This entry level vehicle would be more affordable. It would be practical. I could potentially have performance that would make your eyes pop! Hot hatches are called ‘hot’ for a reason and the premium sector of this market segment is just getting started.
Pete De Lorenzo wrote an interesting Rant this week at AutoExtremist.com. He was writing about the upcoming round of US car shows and made several predictions about what companies would say and do, as well as expressing some thoughts on what he thinks they should do:
Imagine for a moment if Chevrolet and Dodge had refused to acknowledge the existence of either car (i.e. Camaro and Challenger)? That in spite of various spy photos and rumors and countless speculative “scoops” in enthusiast publications, they simply zipped their lips and repeatedly said, “No comment.” The anticipated buildup for those introductions at Cobo Hall in ’08 or ’09 would blow the roof off of the place – and consumers could place their orders right on the spot.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – the manufacturer that introduces a total-surprise production car or truck at an auto show and then announces that it will begin taking orders for delivery in three months’ time will set this industry on its ear.
(tangent) Has anyone heard anything about what Saab will have at the coming LA and Detroit shows? (/tangent)
Anyway, that De Lorenzo piece got me thinking. Everything that I’ve heard from sources very well placed indicates that GM have pulled the pin on Saab developing the 9-1.
Yet this decision flies in the face of logic. There’s a huge amount of consumer demand for this car. The market is open to premium competitors in this segment and it’s a perfect fit with the heritage of the brand.
So what if…..
What if Saab were embarking on the Pete De Lorenzo method of development and release by stealth? They need a market focus on their current model line so they develop this new line in secrecy and drop the bomb right wen it’s ready to go to market.
It’s all total fantasy and speculation on my part, but if it actually happens you can bet your firstborn that I’ll be pulling out this article and saying ‘I told you so!’
Shuffling through my RSS feeds I came upon this article from Auto Express, which illustrates yet another reason why Saab should build the 9-1. Rallying.
The British Rally Championship has just endorsed the use of a standard ethanol blend as it’s racing fuel. Could there be a more perfect fit than a small Saab rallying on biofuels?
BUILD IT AND WE WILL COME!