Saab Considering Premium Compact Platform

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
saab considering premium compact platform reports that Saab is considering developing an all-new platform for its planned 9-1 premium compact. Initial planning indicated that the 9-1 would be built on GM’s global Gamma II or Delta II platform. But for some reason, Saab thinks another lightly-badged global platform is not what the brand läkare ordered. According to Saab GM Jan-Ake Jonsson, the Gamma II would not easily provide the AWD option that Saab needs to compete with other premium brands. Speaking of which, the 9-1 is aiming directly between the MINI and BMW’s 1-series, and between Audi’s A3 and forthcoming A1, attempting to offer a third way between segments offered by its closest competitors. Saab will also be downsizing its 9-3, basing it on the Delta II (Astra) platform, since the planned Epsilon-based model was too similar to the 9-5. Switching to the Delta also helps keep workers at Saabs Trolhatten plant busy, as it will become a global sourcing point for Delta-bodied cars. Still, the decision whether to base the 9-1 on the Gamma platform or to build an all new architecture gets to the heart of Saab’s brand malaise. Either the 9-1 will be a cheap-to-produce, brand-eroding global car, or GM will drop a huge amount on a new platform with very few other applications. Rock. Hard place. Split the difference.

Join the conversation
4 of 12 comments
  • Dr Lemming Dr Lemming on Oct 02, 2008

    Given what GM has done to Saab, I simply don't believe that it would now give Saab its own platform. Now, maybe Saab will be the first to use the new platform, but exclusive? No way. Sounds like spin to me.

  • ChopperDave ChopperDave on Oct 02, 2008
    TriShield : October 2nd, 2008 at 4:21 am But is anyone really considering a premium compact from Saab? Yes. We may be a minority, but there are enough Saab-loyalists who put up with the occasional electrical gremlin and some GM-infused cheapness because we have an emotional connection with our cars and the brand. And then there are some of us who just want a small, fuel-efficient yet relatively premium car. So, even if most of what drives is is just a feeling of individuality due to the perceived quirkiness of the brand (which, we'll all admit, is somewhat diluted), there are some of us who would line up for a 9-1.

  • John Horner John Horner on Oct 02, 2008

    Saab planning a new vehicle? Right, I didn't know Sweden was into weed so much. Did Saab sell anything last month?

  • Krazykarguy Krazykarguy on Oct 02, 2008

    Trollhattan, not Trolhatten. Another Saabista protecting the brand... ;-)