After reports that the new 9-5 saloon was poorly received by a car magazine, Saab now aims to upgrade it and will start with instrument panel and other cabin parts by the summer. Saab is making the changes so that it can compete more closely with rivals from Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz.
According to Saab's global product boss Christopher McKinnon, the company is undertaking the improvements in response to criticisms from What Car? of its ride and handling.
The quality of parts is being improved as part of a top-to-bottom reassessment of the hundreds of component suppliers that stemmed from when Saab was still owned by General Motors.
An estate version of the 9-5 will be the next new car to roll out of the factory. This is expected to arrive in showrooms next summer. This will be followed by the 9-4X, a Volvo XC60-sized crossover that will arrive towards the end of 2011.
This model’s arrival was delayed since it took over a year for GM to find a buyer for Saab. A legacy of GM ownership, the 9-4X is based on other products from the American carmaker.
As this will be built in Mexico, it would be the only Saab vehicle that will not be produced in Sweden. The success of the new 9-3, which is set to arrive in 2012, is crucial for the brand.
It marks the first time in very many years that Saab had used materials that are home-grown from the ground up. It is considered a key opportunity for Saab to be on the road to recovery and regain its old status.[via What Car?]