AFP report on Saab

Jounalist Joseph Szczesny, who’s name rings a bell from recent reports about Saab Cars North America, has caught up was present at the Canada announcement with Jan-Ake Jonsson and Victor Muller in the last day or so and he has published a report online via AFP.
There’s not a whole heap that’s new in the report. It’s a general story about Saab’s future health, etc.
There are a couple of takeaways worth noting, however…..

“We had been closed down for seven weeks,” Jonsson told reporters in Detroit.
“We couldn’t order any material or do any advertising because we were in liquidation,” he said. “Now we have about 4,500 cars in inventory. We’re completely focused on getting our products out as quickly as possible.”

In the United States, which is Saab’s single largest market, Saab has reached several key objectives since its February 23 purchase by Dutch sports car maker Spyker, noted Michael Colleran, president and chief operating officer of Saab Cars North America.
SAAB USA has built a staff, re-filled the pipeline to its 207 dealers and signed an agreement with what was then GMAC but is now Ally Bank, which is providing financing to Saab dealers and customers.

My emphasis added there to note the name change from GMAC to Ally Bank.

The styling for the 9-3 hasn’t been frozen yet but it will be more sporty and aggressive than the current sedan model. “Think aircraft,” said Mueller, who said Saab has to be more distinctive to set itself off from other manufacturers.

The schedule must be late 2012 for that new 9-3. It seems too late to not have the styling finalised if it were a MY2012 car to be seen late 2011.

Saab also has ambitious plans to expand its presence in China, Brazil and Russia and eventually India. “You could see the day when there are more Saab’s sold in China than in the US,” Jonsson said.

Bring it on…..

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