Quantum Leaps: Geely Saves Saab Instead of Volvo
RFMiller on Dec 13, 2021
I'll start with my own experience. I have owned the following Saab models 2000 9-5 SE (3.0 liter turbo)- the last all Saab vehicle prior to GM involvement. I put 210,000 miles on this car, gave it to my daughter. She traded it at 280,000. I replaced the timing belt at service intervals, and a water pump. The engine was never opened, and it was still strong when traded. The best seats of any car I have driven or sat in, including Audi, BMW, and Benz. 2007 9-5 Silver Anniversary Edition- 2.0 turbo Loved this car, but 2wd in the north, with 35-40k miles a year is not ideal. 2008 9-3 Aero Xwd- 2.8 liter turbo- primarily my wife's daily driver. Contrary to comments made here, this was not a GM motor, it was Australian, and was voted one of the ten best engines in the world in 2008. Look it up before arguing. 2011 9-5- 2.8 turbo This was mostly a rebadged GM, with the 2.8 mentioned above. Not my favorite, and I traded it for an Audi S-4 in short order. Observations: * Saab vehicles under the GM badge were better products than the GM platform versions, but were priced too high for the GM type buyers. GM Never got their marketing positioned for the brand. * Swedish engineering has always prided itself on high quality. The Swedish royalty at one time placed a large order of Swedish mausers with Germany. The product was rejected because the barrel metal did not meet their specifications. Sweden then produced their own mauser, with their own grade steel. That bit of history is at the root of their manufacturing philosophy- make quality things that last. Oil pumps in Saab manufactured cars were made to last the life of the car. Cheap oil pumps used in Saab's under GM were made to be easily replaced, so that they could be replaced. They also did not pump enough oil at idle, with the transmission in gear and foot on the brakes. That was an ugly story. * In 2011, the best concept car from Saab was the Phoenix. It was a hybrid all wheel drive, with a BMW 1.6 turbo at 220 hp, and a small electric motor powering the rear wheels. The engineering on the car was completed, and the car at the 2011 Geneva show was a functioning prototype. It was ready to go into production, and was intended to save the company. The .23 drag coeffecient and the powertrain blend resulted in 45 mpg highway. This was a unique entry into the hybrid market, years ahead of it's time, and very innovative. Shortly after the show, the bankruptcy papers were signed, and the Phoenix turned back into a pile of ashes. Thank you, GM. Yet another shot in the collective foot.
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