Now that the purchase of Saab has been completed between GM and Spyker Cars
, the Sweden-based brand can now aspire to rekindle with its loyal customer base.
During a webcast presentation earlier this week, Jan Ake Jonsson, President and CEO Saab Automobile AB and Victor Muller, CEO Spyker Cars NV and Chairman Saab Automobile AB, confirmed that the brand will seek to return to its roots.
Their plan is to initially sell 100,000 cars a year, while their break-even point should be 85,000 units sold. In 2007, the Saab nameplate sold 125,000 vehicles, so their projection is a fairly conservative one.
The line-up of vehicles will be composed of familiar and brand-new vehicles. The 9-3, as we know it under the GM reign, will be available in sedan, SportCombi wagon and convertible body styles. A 9-3X wagon
will also be offered, which is basically a dressed-up SportCombi with all-wheel drive.
A totally-redesigned 9-5 sedan is currently exiting the Trollhättan, Sweden plant which will be assembling all Saab models. The previous 9-5 was 15 years old, so a new model was critical as Saab’s revival wouldn’t be possible with it, especially since it will be facing redesigned competitors in the form of the BMW 5-Series
and Audi A6. Expect a wagon version of the 9-5 in the summer of 2011.
Next year, a 9-4X crossover will appear, based on GM’s Theta platform that also underpins the Chevrolet Equinox, the GMC Terrain and the Cadillac SRX. It will likely be powered by a 300-horsepower, 2.8-litre turbo V6 in North America, with a diesel engine also available in Europe.
In 2012, a brand-new 9-3 will be introduced, and by then, Saab expects sales to reach the 125,000 mark. Jonsson also said that a model positioned under the 9-3 is something they are thinking about, but that isn’t yet in their business plan.
In Canada, a 20-dealer network is being set up (final details will come soon), and should be open for business in about a month, with new vehicles arriving in late September. Saab and GM will no longer share the same showroom.