Wednesday GenevaSnippets

Even though I’m a day ahead of most of you (except the New Zealanders) I feel like I’m late to the party with all this stuff as it’s happened overnight at the Geneva opening and associated press releases.

Nevertheless, here’s all the news that’s happened overnight:

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In addition to all the model news and confirmation in the Dagens Industri article I published about 10 hours ago, there’s news that Saab are also going to get a hybrid. Strange that Jan-Ake never mentioned it.

From CNN Money:

Saab Automobile has a hybrid vehicle in development based on technology being developed by parent company General Motors Corp, a senior executive said on Tuesday…..

…..Jonsson said Saab’s future hybrid would be based on full-hybrid technology GM developed in an alliance with DaimlerChrysler and BMW. Later this year, some of GM’s full-size SUVs will be available with a version of that system. Next year, GM’s Saturn Vue small SUV will also be sold with a version of the system modified to work in a front-wheel-drive vehicle.

Most of Saab’s vehicles are front-wheel-drive.

“We’re very much into that project, and we have in our future plans hybrids which are based on the concepts that are being developed,” Jonsson said.

Personally, I couldn’t be less interested, but if there’s a market out there and helps Saab’s continued existence so that I can drive better Saabs in the future, then onwards and upwards.

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GM Europe head honcho and straight talker Carl-Peter Forster is spreading the Saab love once again.

From MarketWatch:

GENEVA (MarketWatch) — The head of General Motors Corp.’s (GM : General Motors Corporation European division said Tuesday that a third Saab model due to be launched will bring GM’s premium Swedish brand to above break-even level around 2010, while the company’s overall Russian sales may possibly be as high as 200,000 vehicles in 2007.

I’m quite sure that’s GM Europe’s sales in Russia they’re talking about, not Saab’s. Poor expresion, but I digress….

Speaking to a group of journalists at the Geneva Motor Show, Carl-Peter Forster hailed the recent turnaround at Saab, which saw annual sales growth of over 10% in 2006.

A year ago, GM was considering what to do with Saab, having been unable to make it profitable over several years. However, 2206 was a better year as the company brought down the cost base of the unit while at the same time improving sales through a revamped 9-5 range of models.

“The decision has been taken to grow the brand,” Forster said, and the soon-to-be-launched Saab sports utility vehicle and a revamp of its 9-3 model range should make the brand profitable.
Saab’s development of biofuel technology could also pay big dividends going forward, having already worked well in Sweden and grabbed some interest in the U.K., he said.

That’s all good news.

Saab deserves some faith from GM after all they’re contributing in terms on engineering etc. The world is starting to see the true potential in turbocharging and Saab are the pioneers and experts in the art.

Bring ’em on!!

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The full press release for the BioPower 100 has come out. I’ll reproduce that in a separate article shortly.

Other than that, there’s nothing new at Geneva that hasn’t been covered here in the last few weeks. They’re emphasising Sab’s 60th Anniversary and of course, there’s also the release of the 9-3 BioPower range, which is much more significant than the brevity of this sentence would suggest.

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The Opel GTC concept has been unveiled in Geneva. I’m not liking the front at all but am curious about the engine and it’s Black Turbo potential:

The Opel GTC concept car is powered by a turbocharged, 220 kW/300 hp, 2.8-liter V6 gasoline engine with two variable camshafts, which is combined with a six-speed manual transmission. Maximum torque of 400 Nm is available from 1850 up to 4500 rpm, and accelerating from zero to 100 km/h is calculated to take around six seconds. Top speed is limited to 250 km/h.

Here’s a video from GM featuring the concept and Brian Nesbitt, design poobah from GM Europe:

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1 Comment

  1. News that GM has decided “to grow the brand” brings me a sigh of relief (albeit for now).

    In light of past events, this decision makes sense (not just hot air). Remember Kirk Kerkorian? He didn’t like Saab or Hummer, and pushed to have both lines dumped. Therefore when plans to beef up Saab arose, he likely took note; it probably factored into his decision to get out of GM completely.

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