As part of the New England Auto Show publicity, Steve Shannon’s probably spoken to a myriad of journos. One of them was Wards Autos and there’s some interesting dot points to pull from the article. It’s subscription only, but a copy was forwarded to me earlier today.
– Shannon is forecasting sales just shy of 35,000 units for 2007. SaabUSA sold 36,350 vehicles last year.
– Sales next year are expected to match 2007 rather than exceed it.
– Stocks of the 2008 model have been slow coming in, and incentives on the outgoing model meant that it sold well, leaving some dealers dry of stock.
– The XWD model coming in Spring is tough news for Saab as it’s expected that many, especially in the northeast, will be holding out for this.
– 3 years free maintenance is proving to be a big drawcard. On a side note, I saw an article stating that not many companies are doing this now. The notable exception being BMW.
– Saab’s CUV is likely to hit showrooms “in two or three years” – which is a consistent line with past statements.
– Saab’s small car will come in below the 9-3 and will be “very highly stylised….it could be the most expressive Saab in a sporty vein, but functional”
– He doesn’t confirm that the car will be launched in a 2008/09 timeframe, nor that it would be built in Trollhattan (but Saab Sweden already have, about the Trollhattan bit – SW)