I thought I’d bring these issues up from comments and on to the front page. One of them has already been covered here earlier in the week, but it’s relevant so I’ll mention it again.
These comments have come to the site from Saab dealers, who I understand have been briefed on developments within Saab, which is the normal course of events several times a year and usually prior to big motor shows.
The first comment was the one covered earlier this week. This comes from a long-time commenter here at TS who’s a Saab dealer of some 20 years standing.
GM announced to the US Saab dealers that the “new” 9-5 is back on schedule….
And further on the 9-5, from a dealer who I assume Kroum would be happy to verify through his personal contact with the dealer concerned:
Happy days ahead for the 2010 Saab 9-5. Should have pictures released after Feb 18 2009!!
I’m excited as a dealer to finally see this car added to round out our new family of Saabs
Now there’s something to look forward to next month! We’ll wait and see.
Others have mentioned in comments that their dealers have starting talking to them about a new Saab 9-5 later in 2009 as well, so the word is definitely getting out there.
This later comment also comes from our 20-year Saab guy and it rings true to the various bits and pieces that I’m hearing unconfirmed over the wires in recent months.
Rumor mill here in the US has GM on its knees begging the Swedish Gov’t to “BUY” (bailout) half of Saab. They have to put the new 9-5 on the road to make the company have any appeal to any prospective buyer (investor-partner). All the work is done on the car. 9-4 work is all done too.
Caution, though: GM has promised the US dealer body so many things that have never come to fruition it would make your head spin……
Saab Sweden’s Eric Geers has finished nearly every interview he’s done in the Swedish press recently with the words “We are speaking with the Swedish government constantly and the progress has been very encouraging” or words to that effect. The possibility that they’re looking for government support to continue operations in the absence of a buyer for the brand (as per other stories in the last few days) is not a big surprise.
The other interesting snippet there is that the work is done on the Saab 9-4x.
We’ve saw photos all through 2008 of that car being tested so it’s not really a big surprise to hear that the work is basically all done on the vehicle. The fact then, that it’s still a year away from release just highlights why Saab need to get out from under GM’s thumb.
Saab dealers in most countries are effectively living on a one-car lineup at the moment. Swedish dealers still have some interest in the 9-5 because of BioPower, but elsewhere it’s the 9-3 and nothing else in backup.
To have a lineup so thin and vehicle ready to go, but withheld, is indicative of GM’s care for the brand. Cadillac will show their SRX (the sister vehicle to the 9-4x) at the Detroit Auto Show starting from tomorrow, and Saab will have to wait a year????
This Caddy-first mentality is never going to benefit Saab in a tangible way.
If those mumblings about GM wanting the Swedish government to buy-in are true (and remember, according to Dagens Nhyeter there’s going to be some sort of announcement from Detroit with Swedish government representatives in attendance on Monday), then I say “Bring it on”