Poll wrap – what should we call the Saab 9-3 replacement

Yesterday we ran a poll both here on Inside Saab and on our Saab Cars Facebook page. The poll asked your thoughts about the naming of the future replacement for the Saab 9-3, after a possible name change was hinted at in the US press.

The poll results are in and as of right now, the winner by a sizeable margin in the six-horse race was to retain the current 9-? naming convention.

The results from Facebook were quite similar, with nearly 50% voting for the 9-? naming convention. Second place at FB was using the 900 name, with around 280 votes.

There is a similar poll still underway at Saabs United if people are interested in contributing.

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It was great to hear some varying opinions and other reasonings in comments to the poll. Personally speaking, I think the poll produced the right outcome. The 9-? naming convention respects the company’s heritage whilst allowing for different size vehicles, as well.

There is (rightly) some confusion over the ‘x’ attachment, however I think that perhaps we need to start pushing the idea that it’s a type of vehicle (crossover type variant) rather than a designation for the vehicle having XWD. Clearly, some ‘x’ vehicles dont actually have XWD.

Of course, how to designate trim levels with a model range is the next question that some answered in comments. The historical use of Linear, Arc, Vector and Aero is mentioned, some people like it and some people don’t. Some markets understand it and some markets don’t, which is why I think it’s used in some places and not in others (where ‘Premium’ is used between ‘Aero’ and …. nothing).

Overall, though, I think the naming convention is good. It’s unique to Saab, it makes it pretty clear as to what playground a model is sitting in, and it doesn’t confuse people with a mishmash of letters that mean nothing to those who are unfamiliar.

Thanks to all for participating in the poll and for sharing your opinions. I’m sure there were a few curious eyes in the marketing team looking over this one 🙂

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9 Comments

  1. The X has been used for:

    XWD cars (Turbo X and 9-3X)
    AWD cars (9-2X)
    SUVs with AWD (9-7X)
    Crossovers with FWD and XWD (9-4X)
    Concept cars (Aero X)

    Drop the X altogether, it has been misused.

    1. I tend to think it still has some value to differentiate a certain type of vehicle IF it’s used consistently for one reason (which, personally, I’d select crossover vehicles).  I can see the mental argument in the list you set out there, but I don’t think it leads to any material amount of confusion in the marketplace.  I don’t think anyone’s ever come to me, for example, asking “what does the X stand for on these models” without actually being able to name all of them.  So they know the models, the contention seems to be with the different application, which is seen as inconsistent.  If we can make the application consistent, problem (kinda) solved.

    2. Yes, it must be used consistently if it is used.  Other manufacturers are using different names as well like BMW with X3 and X5, Audi with Q5 and Q7 and Volvo with their XC models.

  2. I’m one of those who voted for retaining the 9-3 name for this model, but within this range, I’d like to see a resurrection of an EMS model…more sport than Aero and a little less lux.  That model could easily play on Saab’s rally heritage and could take on the WRX/STI and EVO.

      1. Yes, perhaps when the brand regains its strength they can release the 9-3 Viggen once more, and they can forget about trying to make it an overpriced M3 fighter and give us back a fun, efficient, torque monster 😉

  3. Personally I’d like to see the successor to the 9-3 get smaller and enter the sub-compact segment. it would be lighter, more agile, more efficient and be closer to the 99, which is where it and the 900 stems from. I’m not sure 99 has been mentioned so far and I’m sure fans would like the thought of a new 99 especially if SAAB were to add a stripped-out trim level EMS for people who want a non-fuss vehicle that drives like the DBs.  I don’t see a problem dropping the hyphen on models.

  4. Maybe the character (trim) should comes first.

    Aero3
    Aero4
    Aero5

    Viggen3
    Viggen4
    Viggen5

    That’s it. Put an X or S at the end if you really want.
    I know it sounds quirky.

    But thats the essence of what I will look for in futur Saabs. And remembering your first look at the 2012 in the hotel room, Steven, you were not destabilized enough. And that scares me more than the name.

    Maybe not enough back to the roots enough SAAB 37 would. (27, 37, 47 57?)

  5. You can’t rely on that type of poll due to self-selection bias. You need to run a proper market research survey where respondents falling within the target group (however defined) are selected by the research company using a random process.

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