Saab Plans New Crossover, New 9-2, World Peace
The GM cheering section over at The Car Connection (TCC) checks-in with a look at Saab's crystal ball. Previewing the ostensibly Swedish brand's forthcoming crossover (a.k.a. the 9-4x), new Saab boss and GM lifer Steve Shannon wasn't pulling any punches– or saying anything coherent. ""We will not make the mistake of some other manufacturers, trying to make a 'tweener,' somewhere between a car and a truck. We will not take any risks with this." Huh? After that Zen-koan-on-wheels hits the streets, Shannon's mob will make another attempt at building a [s]Saaburu [/s]9-2. "We learned a lesson from the 9-2. We need to add a design that's really a breakthrough. There are a lot of very pedestrian, over-priced players in that segment right now." Many of them still making money, no doubt. Speaking of which, Shannon claims Saab is "sustainable" at 200k new car sales per year. To hit that mark, Saab requires a 35 percent increase over current sales. TCC says "Saab is betting it can reach those numbers." We say, where can we get a piece of THAT action?
Anywhere Audi goes Saab is sure to follow. What is Saab for again ? Why don't they go back to making cars that felt like they were machined from a solid block and cars that felt like they were machined from a solid block that were also very quick?
Sadly what saab used to be good at (pseudo lux hatches and wagons with decent power to fuel consumption ratios) is what is selling right now. If they had stuck to their core competencies instead of branching out into things like the 9-7x, they would be in much much better shape now. I'm a defender of the 9-2x, it's something saab needed and still needs, they just overpriced it and then the employee pricing firesale killed any chance it had after July 2005. But hey, a low mileage Aero (equiv to WRX) 2005 model can be had for 16k! A subie with a worse interior costs 20k+. Hurrah for saab depreciation!