Wild-Ass Rumor Of The Day: GM To Rebadge Saab 9-5?

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

Saabsunited ran a recent piece by Sweden’s Dagensindustrie through Google Translate, and came out with a possible (and very old-GM) outcome for the new Epsilon II-based Saab 9-5:

According to Dagens Industri’s sources, GM is planning to use the new Saab 9-5: an own model program, including a future Buick in the U.S.. GM is also in a letter to Saab’s sub-contractors have estimated the time of closure of Saab to five years.

There are sources in Saab Automobile in the Dagens Industri – DI – indicates that GM now see positive opportunities to closure of Saab. By making use of Saab’s technology, tools and production equipment for GM use the new 9-5: an – that would be launched in the spring – to a future Buick in the U.S..

In the GM is also talk of exploiting Saab technology for the production of a new premium car for Opel, “says DI’s sources. It would then be about the reopening of the closed trial with an Opel Senator in Europe.

GM clearly has to do something with the 9-5. The General’s latest global mid-size platform (Epsilon II) has been a sticking point in all the failed Saab rescue deals, as the RenCen has refused to let the architecture fall into the hands of Chinese or Russian firms. Pulling the 9-5 out of the smoldering remains of Saab might keep the platform safe from reverse-engineering, but it also torpedoes any chance of getting real money for the Swedish division. Using Saab’s development of the EpsiII in a different division could help pull a little money out of Saab’s cash whirlpool, but only if there’s a possible use for it.

Which there isn’t. Epsilon II is already represented in nearly all of GM’s brands, especially the 9-5’s rumored inheritor, Buick. In fact Buick will soon be offering two versions of the platform, the LaCrosse and the Opel Insignia-rebadge Regal. With these models sandwiched between the Malibu and Cadillac’s forthcoming EpsiII-based XTS “flagship,” Buick needs another EpsiII sedan like it needs a hole in the head. Opel might be able to add a little volume with a 9-5 rebadge, as its only mid-size offering is the somewhat cramped Insignia, but such a move would only deepen Opel’s identity crisis. On the other hand, Saab has already sunk money into the 9-5’s development. If GM isn’t going to sell it for fear of losing its technological advantage, a rebadge may be the only way to recoup some of that development cost. Old habits can be so easy to fall back into.

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

More by Edward Niedermeyer

Join the conversation
2 of 19 comments
  • Mjz Mjz on Dec 29, 2009

    You have to look at the price points, not just the size/platform. The 9-5 is slotted to sell in the $40,000 plus range, the LaCrosse starts at $27,000, tops out at $40,000, fully loaded. The Regal will probably be $25,000 to $35,000. The Excelle low to mid $20,000. The Lucerne is going out of production soon. A Buick badged 9-5 (Invicta maybe?) could be slotted in to replace the Lucerne as the new Buick flagship sedan/wagon. The 9-5 and Lacrosse are both stretched Epsilon 2 platforms, the Regal is the shorter version of it. The only design language they need to incorporate would be a Buick grill, an easy fix. The 9-4x will be the new Buick CUV.

  • DweezilSFV DweezilSFV on Dec 29, 2009

    Of course they could give it to Cadillac and call it "Catera"........

  • Rando [h2]Coincidentally, the Rolls-Royce Cullinan is more than $41k as well -.-[/h2]
  • Ajla "Gee, wonder why car (as well as home) insurance rates are much higher in places like Florida..." Severe weather is on the list but even if a benevolent genie reverted the climate to circa 1724 I think FL would still have high cost. Our home insurance rates have increased 102% since 2021 and I don't think weather models account for that much of a change in that period. Florida's insurance assignment of benefit regulation meant that it had ~80% of the country's of the insurance lawsuits on ~12% of the nation's claims and litigated claims can be expensive to insurance companies. The state altered some regulations and is having some success on getting more companies back, even with the severe weather risks, through relatively bipartisan efforts. With car insurance just beyond the basic "Florida" stuff, the population increase of the past few years is overwhelming the roads. But, I think the biggest thing is we have very low mandated car insurance levels. Only $10K personal injury and $10K property damage. No injury liability needed. And 20% of the state has no insurance. So people that actually want insurance pay out the nose. Like I commented above my under/uninsured coverage alone is 2.5x my comprehensive & collision.
  • Juan Let's do an 1000 mile drive and see who gets there first.
  • Eliyahu CVT needed for MPG. Outback is indeed the legacy of, err, the Legacy.
  • Gayneu I can comment on these. My wife always thought the Minis were "cute" so I bought her a used 2005 (non-S, 5 speed) for one of her "special" birthdays. She loved it and I kinda did too. Somehow a hole developed in the transmission case and the fluid drained out, ruining the car (too expensive to fix). A local mechanic bought it for $800.We then bought a used 2015 S (6 speed) which we still have today (80k miles). Her sister just bought a used S as well (also manual). It has been a dependable car but BMW-priced maintenance and premium gas hurts for sure. I think the earlier generation (like in the article) were better looking with cleaner lines. The 2015 S rides too stiff for me (Chicago roads) but is a hoot on smooth ones. It does seem to shift weird - its hard to describe but it shifts differently from every other manual I have driven. No matter how hard I try, so won't let go of her Mini.