Saab – another missed opportunity

Posted by Paul Horrell at 10:32 am on Wednesday February 11, 2009

The real 9-3XIf you want to know what’s been ailing Saab all these years, today’s unveiling of the 9-3X wagon is a good place to start. Saab actually invented this car seven years ago. But GM bungling means it hasn’t been released until now.

I mean, the 9-3X is hardly a difficult car. It’s just the 4WD version of the estate, raised an inch-and-a-half and given a plastic nappy around the lower body. It was planned from the start in 2002 as part of the 9-3 range along with the saloon, cabrio and regular wagon. Back then I snuck into the studios in Trollhattan and was shown a prototype.

Original 9-3XRemember, the 9-3 used the Vectra platform. Then GM decided there wouldn’t be any 4WD models of that platform worldwide so Saab was told to kill the X model. Here’s a smuggled picture of the that old prototype

Fast forward five years, and it’s decided that the new generation of mid-size GM cars, including the Insignia VXR, will get an 4WD option. So Saab is told to engineer the system, and gets first dibs of it on the Aero XWD.

Bingo! Seven years late, the door is open for the 9-3X.

But it’s a very different world now. Saab is up for sale because GM has had to promise it won’t use US taxpayers’ loans to prop up a Swedish subsidiary.

And why does Saab need propping up? Because GM has mucked about and failed to get new Saabs out the door. The 9-5 wasn’t really a class leader when it was new. And that was a shocking 12 years ago.

Saab 9-4XAnyway, gradually it dawned on GM that starving Saab wasn’t going to rescue it, so three years ago they started to develop some new cars. The 9-4 crossover (pictured) will launch later this year. (Ironically, just in time to cannibalise the 9-3X I guess.) And a new slinky-looking 9-5 isn’t far behind.

But now GM is in the cack and Saab is up for sale. GM says it will continuue to sell platforms, engines and so on to Sweden so Saab can launch the new cars.

But I’m baffled. Who on earth would buy Saab when even BMW, Audi and Benz are in trouble?

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  1. Graham Potter said...
    Wednesday February 11, 2009 at 11:23 am Link to comment Report comment

    I’m trying to think of something to say and that sums it up really. SAAB always seem to promise so much then leave all but the die hards disappointed. Releasing a car which is already 7 years old takes some working out and is hardly going to make SAAB an attractive proposition for would be buyers. Having said that, their stubborn refusal to become mainstream conventional car manufacturers will retain the alternative against the grain image which diverts buyers from BMW, Audi and Merc.

  2. Eric said...
    Wednesday February 11, 2009 at 11:24 am Link to comment Report comment

    Such a shame that GM has never really invested in Saab until it was almost too late. And now, because of the crisis, it may actually be too late indeed. I hope they survive though….

  3. TW said...
    Wednesday February 11, 2009 at 11:54 am Link to comment Report comment

    I don’t understand Saab, they are basically a Vectra with a different body, there is so much competition out there that they are struggling to hold their own, and personally all the cars do and always have looked the same (I know Porsche get away with it, but they are in a different league), and then to top it off they release a car 7 years late! I think it’s time for a big re-thing at Saab HQ…

  4. becky said...
    Wednesday February 11, 2009 at 11:59 am Link to comment Report comment

    yet more proof at how incompetent GM are. hopefully they’ll fold after they’ve sold the good bits such as saab and Vauxhall

  5. Joe said...
    Wednesday February 11, 2009 at 11:59 am Link to comment Report comment

    A brand and car maker like Saab doesn’t deserve to die! They’re much too positively marginal and unique in the automotive world to disappear! I just like these turbo engines! Hope they will find a serious and financially-solid buyer.

  6. wat said...
    Wednesday February 11, 2009 at 12:54 pm Link to comment Report comment

    Such a Saaaaaaaaaaab story ;_;

  7. chickenfeed said...
    Wednesday February 11, 2009 at 2:51 pm Link to comment Report comment

    I have to consider myself detached from reality. I really can’t figure the world out. I certainly am unaware of the force that commands an ordinary decent person to go into a car showroom and ask for an off-road look alike car that actually can’t leave the road, designed by people who think gravel is “extreme”. A parking lot is like your average school yard. (hence the detached from reality part) This poor Saab would lose it’s pocket money to the bullys like the Land Cruiser and the Land Rover.

  8. skul said...
    Wednesday February 11, 2009 at 3:58 pm Link to comment Report comment

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

    saab can’t go bust! i love the 9-3 it is really cool (in an odd sort of way)
    plus it has street cred with school kids. and thats a fact.

  9. Stig's Irish Cousin said...
    Wednesday February 11, 2009 at 4:33 pm Link to comment Report comment

    Just goes to show why GM are in so much financial trouble – bad management and planning!

  10. Sven Evertsson said...
    Wednesday February 11, 2009 at 5:29 pm Link to comment Report comment

    GM is a terrible owner!
    They have killed many of their own old brands and now they have probably killed our jewel.We in Sweden is sick and tired of GM.

  11. american idol said...
    Wednesday February 11, 2009 at 5:58 pm Link to comment Report comment

    it´s a looker, the 7 years give it a somewhat classic flair which instead of coming off as funky, attain it class. This and the 9-4 will def. give volvo a race for their money. If this is what GM did to saab design, they did well, in any case better than saab did alone or with fiat.. :D shame about the crisis…

  12. Captain Pugwash said...
    Wednesday February 11, 2009 at 7:47 pm Link to comment Report comment

    Will SAAB learn from the destruction of the British car industry?
    Lets see if the shrewd Swedish can pull a living rabbit out of the economic hat.
    Maybe they should nationalise the company and all Swedes will own a piece of SAAB? Most already do!

  13. Dezza said...
    Wednesday February 11, 2009 at 9:29 pm Link to comment Report comment

    Last year my wife and I went shopping for a smallish estate car and tried out the 9-3 estate in the process. It was so completely appauling! The steering was lifeless, the power was limp, the interior quality was shocking … truely awful.

    The only way Saab can recover is to put as many miles between itself and GM as possible. As it sits now, it is the most laughable “premium” brand on the road.

  14. Cheerio said...
    Wednesday February 11, 2009 at 10:07 pm Link to comment Report comment

    If Saab took the 9-3 Turbo X, installed the 2.0T petrol engine with a decent remap, and called it the Saab 99 Turbo, I’d buy one tomorrow, and change my name to Blomquist.
    That’s Saab.

  15. svrallo svrallone said...
    Wednesday February 11, 2009 at 11:20 pm Link to comment Report comment

    well, as always we all agree at saving jobs.
    about saab they gave turbo to the rally and the 9300 was one of the car i liked most when i was a kid (with the 16v 4×4 calibra and all the rally amd itc ones) but actually there’s no reason that push me to like saab.
    in my fantasy saloon brands line up there are alfas jags bmw audi and for some reason i can’t recognize skodas. all the rest, for me is meaningless. Yes mercedes is a big brand but i don’t like them.
    almost forgotten. About the 93x is possible that they didn’t sell it because the selling numbers of the crosswagon and the..ehr… volvo’s one (i don’t remember how was called) weren’t high enough?

  16. SaabAdmirer said...
    Thursday February 12, 2009 at 2:59 am Link to comment Report comment

    It is truly a shame that GM have mismanaged Saab over 20 years. They should have retained core characteristics that defined Saab (front wheel drive, highly efficient, turbo-charged engines, “cockpit experience”, superlative safety profile) while improving the reliability factor to bring them in line with mainstream buyer expectations. GM would have held Trollhatten accountable for resolving potentially expensive repair issues, at a minimum. Now they appear excessively niched to a handful of loyalists who must be prepared for uncertainty. Their US pricing leaves them caught between the utilitarian world and the near-luxury world. Their safety advantage is now diminished vis-a-vis mainstream Japanese cars made and sold in the US. The ergonomics of their flagship 9-5 sedan are even questionable. Must every 9-5 have a sunroof? Why is the dashboard bottom corner not slanted to accommodate long-legged drivers. Why is the clutch on the 9-5 inferior to the 9-3? Why does the 9-3 not receive 5 stars in every safety category? What is the value of warranties now promised by Saab salesmen and saleswomen? In sum, they should have improved upon their core competencies instead of straying into unfamiliar territory (viz., the 9-7X – how much did that cost to develop, and doesn’t GM already perform moderately in that segment?). I hope that Saab persist but fear that current market conditions weigh against that.

  17. Cork said...
    Thursday February 12, 2009 at 8:54 am Link to comment Report comment

    On the Vectra/9-3 topic:
    Drove my Saab 9-3 in a drivers trainig last year. Together with some BMWs, a Merc and others. There was a comparable Vectra (same year, same type (wagon)) in the group.
    It clearly showed that although they share the same basic platform performance differs. It showed mostly in the turns trainig course when the SAAB went through turns at 60km/h easily (some tyre squealing) while the Vectra started to break out around 45-50km/h.
    I guess thats because of the passive rear axle steering in my saab as the Vectras tyres where clearly better then mine (showed in the different break tests).
    So: Yep, same platform, Nope not the same car.

  18. Jezza Fisher said...
    Thursday February 12, 2009 at 11:14 am Link to comment Report comment

    Hopefully the new 9-5 can recapture some of the essence of the company that has been drained over the past 20 years.
    Comparisons to the premium brands is unfair. It should be on a par with Volvo and if GM listened more to the Swedes it could be giving BMW a run for it’s money.
    Fingers crossed SAAB survives and eventually starts making the cars it wants to.

  19. Tak said...
    Thursday February 12, 2009 at 12:09 pm Link to comment Report comment

    I’m actually feeling sorry about all this. I’m no Saab fan, but they deserve better than this. And that 9-3X in white at the top of the page actually looks pretty good. Way better than that 9-4 at the bottom.

  20. heinz said...
    Thursday February 12, 2009 at 1:39 pm Link to comment Report comment

    No wonder Saab waits 7 years to launch a new car. It’s about what they have always done. Apart from the 900 turbo no shocking new car came from Saab until the last 9-3 estate (already some years ago).
    The 9-3 sedan is not a different car from the first one (aka the last 900, which was prettier by the way).
    The 9-5 in 1998 was a lazy evolution of the 9000, and remained the same until the last restyling.
    New “off-roaders” are mere joint projects with just a tad of Saab in them.

    Even though I used to like Saabs, I think their failure is no surprise, thanks also to GM management. I guess that’s because Saab is now just a brand instead of a proper maker, as it was at the time of the 900 turbo.
    Thesedays Saabs are nice but dull and expensive products that don’t attract buyers from VW, Renault, Vauxhall neither from Audi, BMW, Mercedes.

  21. max said...
    Thursday February 12, 2009 at 2:01 pm Link to comment Report comment

    And the GM saga goes on…. how does the board at GM rationalize keeping the same “Cone-Heads” running the company into the ground or maybe better said…”underground”. Saab is GM’s only true worldwide brand…. Cadillac is luxury brand in the US only and never will be anywhere else…..

  22. american idol said...
    Thursday February 12, 2009 at 7:48 pm Link to comment Report comment

    JF.what could swedes possibly do to a saab that would give bmw a run for their money ?? This isn´t a mock question, I´d really like to know. I´m a kok in a bimmer and given my interest so are most of the people I know and I simply can´t imagine any bmw owner switching to a saab.. a jag or an aston, a porsche perhaps even an audi but a saab ? could you explain please I´d really like to hear your view.
    thnx, ai

  23. Omaxem said...
    Thursday February 12, 2009 at 8:05 pm Link to comment Report comment

    Just curious… what else did you see out in Trollhattan 7 years ago, and are there pics? ;)

    Also, i love SAAB, but this whole thing about them being a premium manufacturer is just crap. Different yes, attractive certainly, but nowhere near premium. They should just go back to making sensibly sized cars ( the 9-4 and 9-5 will be way to big imo ), that are very well built, practical and full of character. And turbo-ed, of course.

  24. Ying said...
    Thursday February 12, 2009 at 8:21 pm Link to comment Report comment

    GM staved Saab yet keep robbing their technical know-how. Here in the US, the 2.0 turno Ecotec engine that outputs 260bHP (and has a factory tuning option for 310) is basically a Saab designed unit, – yet it ends up in Chevy Cobolt.

    And what does GM gave Saab in return? A 2.8V6 Holden unit that outputs 260 in Saab’s range topper.

    They also gained mcuh from Saab’s safety records yet killing off new models one after another (the 9-5 was due to be repalced in 2004, with prototypes running then GM killed it).

    GM is utterly useless.

  25. american idol said...
    Thursday February 12, 2009 at 8:31 pm Link to comment Report comment

    ying perhaps you´re right, in the scale of things however GM bought saab and not the otherway around..volvo managed to stay on it´s feet true to their concept.. why didn´t saab ? there+s simply too much anti american sentiment here for all the wrong reasons, keep in mind we´re talking about cars here..
    so if you sell your home made burger to mcdonalds and they ground it you might wonder if you did a useless thing selling it in the first place… or ?

  26. Camaro driving Swede said...
    Thursday February 12, 2009 at 9:51 pm Link to comment Report comment

    i hate GM for not taking care of our beloved SAAB and putting bow-tie badges on “jap-crap”. Saab has allways been on the front with neew driver adds and they have sweet gas/E85 turbo engines, shore if you drive the mot basic modell, the plane jane without any x-tra, you might think its awfull but hay, buy a cheap little car with alot of x-tras then.
    Hope GM get there “shit” togheter or atleast make some new camaros and sell SAAB to a better owner thats not so afraid of new thinking….

  27. J. Stevens said...
    Friday February 13, 2009 at 12:00 am Link to comment Report comment

    I like Saabs, I was sat behind an 06 model 95 Aero in black the other day and couldn’t believe how good it looked. I know they’re cruddy vauxhalls in drag but I can’t quite hold it against them. They’re nice places to be too. I hope whoever buys them is willing to invest, Saab used to have engineers who knew a thing or two. I guess they’re gone or dead by now, but a brand like Saab should stay around for as long as they can make decent cars.

  28. GrintonGrouse said...
    Friday February 13, 2009 at 2:04 am Link to comment Report comment

    The Vectra/SAAB connection is way overplayed on here. It’s a platform share, meaning that the similarities are slight. Drive similar level models from each and you’ll see that there really is no comparison, the SAAB outperforming in all areas due to superior engineering OF the platform and ON the platform.

    Someone save SAAB and let them be the quirky, independent, cutting edge company they once were!

    The car industry needs some more mavericks after all!

  29. TW said...
    Friday February 13, 2009 at 10:33 pm Link to comment Report comment

    Interesting to hear the comments here. I am a true Saab guy and have watched the evolution and demise of this car. In the 80’s and a stand alone company they did well and no secret why. Innovative, strong, ugly but a real drivers car. When GM got into them in the early 90’s they released the NG900 which almost killed the car…. Major engine problems and clutch problems. Just let Saab return to Saab and watch what happens……If you own GM cars and Saabs you know the deal, You see Saab influence everywhere in the GM cars but the sad part is it runs true in GM showing up in Saab. Just part and watch….. 30 years in this Business Saab needs to be set Free…….

  30. Ying said...
    Saturday February 14, 2009 at 12:03 am Link to comment Report comment

    To american idol: Ford sunk quite a lot of money into Volvo, that’s why Volvo kept good in their development. Ford is also the only US car maker that (starts to) understand the real meaning behind platform sharing. That’s the reason they are the strongest out of the 3 US giants, financially or design wise.

    GM was chopping Saab left and right, starving them on development money, then they get the bean counters to come in to cheapen the designs a little more – my 06 9-3SS sqeaks like a family of rats in a drainage pipe. The 9-3’s basic design is great, but the materials used is not fit for an econo-box.

    You know, looking it this way I gotta praise the Saab engineers – despite all the cutbacks and limited funds, they still squeezed out the best they can do, let’s see any other makers manage as much with this limited pool of resource.

    Saab is like the unloved step child, brillaint yet tottally ignored (nay, abused) by the unkind parent that is GM, who gave all the money and achivement to their own born.

  31. american idol said...
    Saturday February 14, 2009 at 3:16 pm Link to comment Report comment

    As far as saab´s sales figures go in the past 50 years, and I´m just going on instinct, there´s been no massive boost or drop. They´ve always been a nieche brand and correct me if I´m wrong, most saab owners like that, combined with scandinavian styling and quality it´s been part of the saab image. As far as innovation goes I´m left in the darkness my judgement is purely based on hear say, they´ve made no considerable difference to the, in any case european, automotive industry. They prized on durability and in my subjective opinion a somewhat querky design.. As far as I can tell the querkiness is still there the quality, typical of all newer vehicles due to market tendencies, consumer´s habits etc, has slowly deminished, resulting in lower life expectancy, more frequent service obligations bla bla bla..
    If I compare that to fx Alfa´s 156 range and what it did to change the consumer´s conceptions of alfa romeo regardless of it´s many short comings, Saab has a lot of explaining to do mainly due to being overpriced and I don´t belive that was due to lack of funding rather bad marketing strategy.. Saab per category is in the boat with medium sized mainstream executive saloons, mondeos and the likes not a luxury family estate with whome they actually tryed to compete, which I believe next to dodgy GM managment also contributed to the point where they´ve arrived today..More over it isn´t like mondeo´s don´t break down but we forgive them, why can´t we forgive saab ? because we payed bmw money for a skoda…BUT they do have the look:D

  32. Camaro driving Swede said...
    Sunday February 15, 2009 at 5:19 am Link to comment Report comment

    I drive in a Saab is always nice/fun and that is not something all cars share, you feel things when you drive a car regardless the brand/make, some are lookers,scary,wunderfull, Ford:s. But when you drive a saab like the aero or vector with pilot pakage you fell the soul of the brand in the car,the heritidge, much like you feel it in a bmw, mercedes etc. the leather, the seats the gauges/panel, all making the drive comfurtable and with the engine even usefull in the fastlane/overtaking.
    We will allways drive Saab and Volvo in this country regardless of the number of units sold elsewere, and i would like to see what you get for a bmw costing Saab money, a seats and a steering wheel?;)
    And skoda?! don´t you dare, plastic slow cars built to take you from A-B with much to ask, but they are cheap.

  33. american idol said...
    Sunday February 15, 2009 at 10:03 pm Link to comment Report comment

    cam d swede..

    uk list prices as of today..
    these are new vehicles from a main dealer..

    2007 model saab 9-3 1.8L +alloys+mot+12 months tax
    Price : £18.995

    2008 model bmw 318iES 4dr +alloys+aircon+part hide int.+tax+mot..(S= sports pack)
    Price : £18.435

    but this is relative I suppose… hope it answers your question on how much bmw will saab money buy.. as for the heritage in the bimmer you get rwd etc etc not just the badge but heritage in the saab you get vectra heritage and a comfortable interior if you´ve got the aero option, which will buy you the eq. of a basic 5 series… and the top of the range 260bhp, front wheel drive saabster is no real opponent not even to a 525i.. as for the swedish market, been there..malmo, stockholm ..not too many saabs.. more golf, bmw and volvo.. I like saabs too but why change facts eh ?

  34. american idol said...
    Sunday February 15, 2009 at 10:16 pm Link to comment Report comment

    ps i believe very few cars actually have soul.. bimers don´t thats for shure and in my opinion neither does saab..( I drive a bmw btw 330ci no real soul ) it´s something we attain them based on our preception of preferances.. some even give them names.. ( I do..:D) but real soul, the kind you find in an e-type, an mkI espirit, an old aston or any given alfa..well that´s very rare, very rare indeed…it comes from dependency, trust, hope and fear to be the best you can be only possible by working together.. by developing a relationship ..only “bad” cars need 1 certain person and only 1 certain type of person “needs” a bad car the true petrol head..and there are many but few non the less..

  35. american idol said...
    Sunday February 15, 2009 at 10:18 pm Link to comment Report comment

    hope it makes sense :D

  36. C J said...
    Monday February 16, 2009 at 11:52 am Link to comment Report comment

    GM are a mess, and I feel really sorry for SAAB. They’ve wanted to do so much, and GM have just said “no no no!” all along. I heard that SAAB are going solo. SO if they do, they’ll be able to get on with putting that brilliant 9-X Biohybrid concept and 9-X Air into production, along with the rest of their new designs. SAAB have got so much potential. GM have just been limiting them too much over the years. I think the days of innovative-looking Saab Coupes will be back sooner than we think…

  37. RichT said...
    Tuesday February 17, 2009 at 4:55 pm Link to comment Report comment

    I’ve owned loads of Saabs and loved them all until my recent 93 Hot Aero – what a pile of poo. It squeaked, rattled, bits fell off (litterally), and it wasn’t great on reliabilty either. Shame of it is Saab used to build great cars then the GM bean counters came in…….

    Part of the issue is the reliance on crap GM platforms and dated ones at that. As for the Insignia if thats the best GM can do then I really hope that Saab do indeed find new ownership soon: otherwise the only Saab buyers left will be Mr Hertz and Mr Europcar as they are the only people who ever bought the Vectra and the only ones who will buy the Insipida, sorry Insignia.

    Badge engineering can work – look at the X type Jag, difference is that the X type was based on a decent car in the first place!

    I hope Saab get a new owner and a decent future quickly.

  38. saab luva age 14 said...
    Friday February 20, 2009 at 6:36 pm Link to comment Report comment

    i hate gm they are so stupid they are dropping saab but they are keeping buick that is a very stupid move saab are way way better than a cheap and tackey american companey i have always loved they second generation saab95 itismyfav car in the world i like the over taking power it is way fun i think audi or mercshould by them they can make saab great and cutting edge again

  39. Ditch GM said...
    Saturday February 21, 2009 at 1:59 am Link to comment Report comment

    Sweden should take on Saab,Germany Opal and Great Britain Vauxhall.They should then all get together and make great European cars.P.S.yes my 93 has a rattle in the dash (don’t they all) but still a good car with a solid feel and great turbo diesel engine.

  40. Snow said...
    Saturday February 21, 2009 at 6:38 pm Link to comment Report comment

    In keeping with all the ‘nostalgia’ new models we see, bring back the ’96’ is say, but a 21 century version!

  41. Mikeado said...
    Saturday February 21, 2009 at 8:10 pm Link to comment Report comment

    Didn’t Saab used to make coupes? And rally cars? Didn’t all that stop around 20 years ago? Didn’t GM buy Saab around 20 years ago?

    Hmmm…

  42. Shame on GM said...
    Saturday February 21, 2009 at 8:40 pm Link to comment Report comment

    This could be a glimmer of hope for the marque of Trollhattan. The living legend – yes, let’s not forget the motoring sport heritage of the “hippy era” – will hopefully see a brighter future ahead once the dust has settled, perhaps under the steership of one of the Germans, a venture capitalist, or maybe even one of the ambitious Asian players(err, let’s hope not) … Well, whoever ends up buying SAAB, and someone will for sure, hopefully will not repeat the generation of mistakes made under the Yankee management.

    SAAB was a great car (taking you from A to B in comfort, safety and without any ricrac) My dad drove his previous SAAB 900 into her deathbed (350,000km+ on the clock and what killed her was, take a guess, nope, take another guess, yup, a moose. It took several k’s for my dad to actually notice that he had hit the poor thing). He loved this car so much that he bought another 900 series and has never had any trouble with it, not once (he still keeps driving it).

    Now, it’s safe to say these were not the best drivers cars around per se. The old mark was too heavy on the front (there was method in this madness) and the latter models, well, were just rubbish!

    Now both BMW (puke – its the drivers, not the car) and SAAB can trace their blood line into aviation, which requires highspec engineering. Which, by all means, with such a strong genetical background, both of these cars should’ve excelled above others. For BMW this meant becoming an exceptionally good car. Whereas SAAB, however, was slowly driven into its near-death by bible bashing, burger munching, arse scratching morons in Detroit (they couldn’t even build their own office block but had to buy one from Ford).

    Now, i don’t drive SAAB myself, but, if let’s say someone like Porsche would decide to buy it and re-engineer the Swedish baby into something good, which SAAB deserves to be, I might be tempted to buy one, even if it means inflated prices …

    SAAB forever! GM never!

    Ps. I love my Volvo

  43. american idol said...
    Sunday February 22, 2009 at 9:12 pm Link to comment Report comment

    @42… uhum you are quite right and on that principal were Bmw to buy Korea and let the crew at Aston Martin re-engineer the Hyundai Coupe it too would be a better car, probably..

    saab´s more like the legend of the living dead, and yes while people were busy getting stoned they managed to finish the odd stage..I guess today anything is heritage

    nice speech though… :D

    btw did you know that aligators have nipples ?

  44. american idol said...
    Sunday February 22, 2009 at 9:14 pm Link to comment Report comment

    ps ..why are bmw drivers koks ? coz you´re not one of them…

  45. american idol said...
    Sunday February 22, 2009 at 9:22 pm Link to comment Report comment

    pps a burp in motown has more legend than all the pseudoscience Trollhattan could possibly attain anything they´ve ever created including the 900..which had a particular resemblence to a Mack Truck..and so some, obviousley with an affinity for trucking, thought it was kinda cool

  46. saabhost said...
    Monday February 23, 2009 at 6:20 am Link to comment Report comment

    I don’t have anything against GM but as I see the situation as a Saab driver and fan, they are trying to standardize (put in the GM frame) SAAB brand and products which are selling because they are special and extravagant. If I wanted to have a standard platform I would buy a VolksWagen (no ofence), because they are easier to support and cheaper to own. But this is not the case I want my Saab to be special and to have all that weird gadgets and functions which are so typical for them.

    Join the SAAB-RECSUE team:

    http://www.rescue-saab.co m/en/

  47. Shane said...
    Monday February 23, 2009 at 9:58 am Link to comment Report comment

    Just how much does the Vauxhall brand cost GM? It must be cheaper to have just the one ‘Opel’ brand for the whole of the EU area. Could the vauxhall badge be worth so much?

  48. marko said...
    Monday February 23, 2009 at 1:12 pm Link to comment Report comment

    I’d just like all Saab lovers to know that I still drive my saab 99 produced in decemebr 1975 (repeat 1975). Can you see so old Merc, BMW, or GM car now. Yes, but in the museum. Mine is in the street, driven daily, I have no garage. It goes and goes. It is pity German auto industry imposed new fashion and style all over, and younger generations follow it. Present day cars are without specific charcter or charm, without soul or personality. And GM suceeded to deplete Saab of all these virtues. I wish Saab recovers soon and remains the car for people who do not like to dress uniform (meaning to sit in a common looking car, no matter how expensive it is), and who have personality and character strong enough to resist trends and fashions.

  49. american idol said...
    Monday February 23, 2009 at 5:46 pm Link to comment Report comment

    marko,I think the reason one doesn´t really see 35 year old cars nowadays is because it´s usually more practical and in some cases cheaper to drive a new or newer one.. Have a look in iran, turkey or cuba ( no offence anyone) and you´ll see machines that left the factory in the 40´s still being driven on a daily basis…

    ps a non-conform oersonality is just as much a trend as anything else.. it´s just non-conform..
    I really don´t understand why za germans are being battered regularly for making quality products, even though sometimes they are a bit dull.. I don´t like vw for example but a series 1 gti, regardless of the millions produced, still charachter and getting into their newest model you´ll still recognise that original feal of their concept… not in a saab though–

  50. Shame on GM said...
    Tuesday February 24, 2009 at 11:14 pm Link to comment Report comment

    to marko – i wonder what your new tax band is based on emissions of a 35 years old vehicle?

  51. Shame on GM said...
    Tuesday February 24, 2009 at 11:17 pm Link to comment Report comment

    But … would you still buy a Hyundai?

  52. Mike B from Normandy said...
    Thursday February 26, 2009 at 12:23 pm Link to comment Report comment

    Saabs are individuals cars, they have a loyal following and a respect from most other road users not matter what they are driving,.When I drive my Saab I always have positive feed back from others, lets hope they get a new owner. I ihave driven BMWs and Audis but my Saab 9-3 is the individuals car and the hatch back model is in my opinion a very good looking car. So good luck to them, I will keep driving one as long as they are for sale, lets hope it continues.

  53. Mike B from Normandy said...
    Thursday February 26, 2009 at 12:24 pm Link to comment Report comment

    Saabs are individuals cars, they have a loyal following and a respect from most other road users not matter what they are driving,.When I drive my Saab I always have positive feed back from others, lets hope they get a new owner. I ihave driven BMWs and Audis but my Saab 9-3 is the individuals car and the sports hatch back model is in my opinion a very good looking car. So good luck to them, I will keep driving one as long as they are for sale, lets hope it continues.

  54. dr.pepper said...
    Thursday February 26, 2009 at 4:20 pm Link to comment Report comment

    ..hmmm I thought we were all individuals, regardless of the brand of mass-produced cars we drive.. I guess I was wrong…saab owners are appearently more individual than other individuals ..because they own a saab… and on that basis one buys a saab because a lot of other people don´t, so if saab cuts production to 0 and guarantees no one individual will ever buy a saab all individual individuals will be satisfied ?
    hmmmmmmmmm I guess that´s the idea…

  55. WooDz said...
    Tuesday March 3, 2009 at 1:22 am Link to comment Report comment

    The No.1 buying point for me with my SAAB was the exclusivity. Second I don’t consider them a premium car but they have an element of luxury. My car isn’t new, it is however a ’99 Viggen coupe which at the time, made it the only so called ‘premium’ vehicle that had a hatchback. I don’t want or need a wagon but a saloon just isn’t versatile enough. BMW and AUDI don’t have a similar vehicle. My car is safe but will also take me from 0-60 in under 7 secs and is limited to 155mph. I cruises beautifully at 85mph and the seats are so well designed that after 10hours of driving I still don’t feel tired and yearning for a bath and bed. I gets me from A to B yet I always feel like I’m taking the scenic route. It doesn’t handle corners as well as a BMW but you probably wouldn’t be able to keep up with me on the autobahn. Even for a 10 year old car I can get 38mpg out it and that’s from a 2.3 Turbo with 230hp/350nm torque. Are SAAB’s flawed, have electronic niggles and rattles here and there? Yes. Does that give them a soul? I believe it does.
    I don’t have anything against BMW or AUDI or VW; they are good cars. However they are certainly not as infalable as the media have brain washed the masses to believe.
    I don’t like the way the media have managed to convince the public that SAAB’s are just Vauxhalls, yet an AUDI is not just a Skoda? Do people just switch off to the fact it’s the same platform? Or is it because the media don’t bang on about it that people think an AUDI is the superior vehicle. It’s an Audi therefore it must be….
    SAAB is the same; a modified platform the same as Audi is to Skoda. The current 9-3 only uses 60% of the Epsilon platform it is based on. That’s hardly ‘Just a Vectra in drag’. You can’t even build the 9-3 in any other GM factory other than Trollhättan and you can’t build the vectra in Trollhättan either, the modification is that great. But VAG can build any Golf based vehicle in any of their factoies setup for that platform, which means bonus points for synergies but only underlines that the difference are minimal; wheels, tyres, suspension and cow hide; That’s it.

    So when the new 9-5 arrives later this year. Go and look at it, drive it. Don’t dismiss it on the basis of presumptions or what the media will write about.
    SAAB has a huge Cult following and that is for a good reason. Those reasons differ and they are certainly not based on what a journalist wrote about them.
    Pulp Fiction was absolutely slated by the press, yet now has huge cult status, basically because people gave it the benifit of the doubt and actually appreciated the individuality of the direction tarantino created. It made them think as they slowly put the parts together, a bit like how some people have slowly put the pieces together as to why SAAB have a key in the centre-console, a night-panel and a turbo 4 cylinder?

  56. Barbie H. said...
    Tuesday March 3, 2009 at 11:14 pm Link to comment Report comment

    WooDz, You´ve hit the nail on the head regarding the media wave that created audi´s slightly over-rated image. However one can not simply ignore the amount of development, well documented and advertised mind you, that went into their models as we know them today. The aluminium subframe, the dual clutched smg gearbox, the ultra eco-diesel engine just to mention some of the more obvious ones known even to laics.Having said that, I too believe they are over priced and overly idolised. Their major advantage over a brand like saab being image, branding. They are status symbols because the characters of an A2, still one of the most economical family cars to date, are easily associable with that of an A8, a super luxurious flagship the likes of which saab has never been able to produce, it simply wasn´t part of the sacndinavian, somewhat socialistic design concept. So while saab exlusively focused on the midrange it got caught out by it´s own strategy. Yes, the seats are comfy, and the ignition isn´t where you´d expect it to be and the design IS unique but that, in my opinion, is simply not enough today. Pulp Fiction was the first, should´ve been a one of, but the saabs of today are a bit of a chewd off bone, a bit like Reservoir Dogs with charachters we know doing things we´ve seen them do before and nothing less nothing more. I´m glad you mentioned Audi because most of the post up here try to put bmw n the hot spot as a competitor, they claim Saab rivals, which shows how much passion Saab owners have for their cars but is not based on fact.Totally different layout, totally different car and a somewhat different crowd. I drive a bmw and am addicted to alfas and jags regardless of age,quality or, in some cases performance or the lack of it, and appreciate the quirkiness of the saab, i love the attention to detail in design, find the turbo appealing and smile at how different they,for the most, are to a mondeo,passat and the likes, but would never consider buying one. Given the choice between an audi though, I´d think a little longer ..and buy the Audi. Because of the image ? No, but because I believe them to be better cars and find the aesthetics more appealing and the bubbly growl of their 4.2 V8 irresistable.

  57. Barbie H. said...
    Tuesday March 3, 2009 at 11:24 pm Link to comment Report comment

    ps. just for the record my 2997cc 251 bhp 330ci does 40mpg..and would make a quick game of autobahn tailgating more exciting than you might think, until an M3 would shuv us both off the road.:D

  58. Barbie H. said...
    Wednesday March 4, 2009 at 12:14 am Link to comment Report comment

    btw, I´ve just had a look over Skoda´s new range and if saab doesn´t get it right, Skoda, I believe, will take it´s spot. Shame about the misconceptions ppl still have towards anything coming out of eastern europe..

  59. F(92+obs)1l0z0f said...
    Thursday March 5, 2009 at 11:03 am Link to comment Report comment

    SAAB???
    No thanks,i will aim at new mighty mcmerc stirling moss.
    Sorry SAAB,but your cars are looking same since 13th century,make something new,and maybe,but only maybe i will take a look…

  60. o_0 said...
    Saturday March 7, 2009 at 11:35 am Link to comment Report comment

    I LOATHE these estate things with plastic cladding all over them. Not a good idea.

  61. saabenthusiast said...
    Friday March 20, 2009 at 9:18 am Link to comment Report comment

    “Who on earth would buy Saab…”

    I did :-)

    GM offered hefty disounts on list prices here in Poland so I was able to buy 280hp XWD top specs Aero 9-3 for the price of a naked 325i. the equivalent 330xi would cost me almost 30% more. YES, beemer is a better drive but NOT for the money. Plus, I personally think facelifted 9-3 looks much better than 3-series.

  62. Rune said...
    Wednesday April 15, 2009 at 6:15 pm Link to comment Report comment

    The 9-3 is also a much safer car than the bmw according to http://www.folksam.se/tes tergodarad/bilen/valjratt bil/hursakerarbilen/1.256 19 (unless BMW 3-series changed radically in 2005). So paying 30% more for a less safe car makes little sense to me.

  63. AKKOHULL said...
    Thursday April 16, 2009 at 7:52 pm Link to comment Report comment

    I HAVE OWNED LOADS OF CARS-FAST ONES- BUT MY SAAB 9-3 AREO HOT, MAKES ME SMILE EVERY TIME I DRIVE IT.GO ON SAAB, MANAGERS BUY THE PLANT, KEEP IT ALIVE.

  64. clc said...
    Thursday November 4, 2010 at 6:44 pm Link to comment Report comment

    Bought my first 2008 SAAB this year, don’t know what is going on, but it was a great bargain. Wish I had owned on in it’s hayday. Beautiful ride and all I want in a car.

  65. Tymnmaync said...
    Sunday May 29, 2011 at 4:18 pm Link to comment Report comment

    I agree, it’s I like, probably next

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  72. dan said...
    Thursday March 14, 2013 at 11:59 pm Link to comment Report comment

    facts:
    Saab consists Opel parts
    They using Cadillac platforms
    new inivations missed
    advantages: release a SUV, they offered Biofuel…, something for individuel
    after the bankruptcy you can still buy the parts form the producer
    sad: they such offered 1 from 3 promissed new models!!! Saab seems to be rescued from a chinese investor!!!

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