Saab planning to refresh its line-up

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 27, 2010

Saab's separation from General Motors has made it even bolder than before. Saab has had enough of the slow pace it had when it was under GM management. Saab seeks to expand in several ways, starting with its plans to build a replacement for the 9-3 on top of its ongoing manufacture of the 9-5 sedan, Sportcombi, and 9-4X crossover.

Saab also wants to eventually do a 9-1 or 9-2 compact car. In addition to this, Saab will be launching two vital all-new cars within the next couple of years. Already, we've seen the 9-5 at the 2009 Frankfurt Show and it is set to go on sale in 2010.

A Sportcombi wagon will follow in 2011. The second all-new car that Saab will release is the 9-4X crossover, which was previewed accurately by the concept at the Detroit auto show in 2008.

The production version, which shares platform and dimensions with the Cadillac SRX, will be built alongside it in Mexico.

A downside to separating with GM is the low volume of cars to be sold. In 2009, Saab will sell about 8,500 cars in the US, a far cry from 2006 when it sold 47,000 cars. There isn't much activity in the US dealerships since the existing 9-5 is out of production and the new one will arrive only in spring.

If not for the used cars and service business, they wouldn't have survived. It's expected that the Saab's US dealers that are left would be brought back to life with the 9-5 and 9-4X.

Saab continues to be fearless with its intention to go beyond the GM plans and build a replacement for the 9-3 that is "more unlikely than likely" will be derived from a GM platform, as quoted from Global Brand & Sales Operations Director Knut Simonsson.

Another vehicle that's being considered is a compact, a 9-1, that will largely be inspired by the 9-X BioHybrid concept first seen at the Geneva auto show in 2008.

The odds are against Saab, a small firm in this era that seems to favor the big companies. For a time, Porsche had succeeded but we all know now that it is part of the VW Group. [via motortrend]

Topics: saab, lineup

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