Our friends at Auto Motor and Sport have been speaking to Saab and there’s some indications there that some good news we’ve been expecting for a little while now is just over the horizon.
Cue the Googletrans:
Saab started slow, but climbing up
Pär Brandt – 2011-01-07 09:21,
Sales forecast was written down twice and Saab sold not more than 32 000 cars in 2010. But the year ended with a faster tempo and according to managing director Jan-Ake Jonsson, [there is] confidence [for] sales [in] 2011.
Saab’s new start after the change of ownership in February was significantly slower than management had imagined. The original sales forecast of 60,000 cars were written down twice and finally ended up at only 32 000 cars. Although an improvement of 53 percent compared with 2009, but it was a particularly bleak year for the automotive industry as a whole and Saab in particular.
Despite the problems is managing director Jan-Ake Jonsson happy with what you did to accomplish in 2010. Saab loaded bearings out at the shops and established new sales organizations in several countries. Important markets such as China, Russia and Australia in the starting blocks and they will contribute positively, as the launch of the new 9-5 sedan and the 9-4X. In addition, hope you capture the more important to company clients during the early years then also 9-3 SportCombi in an eco-rated version with a low emissions to 130-180 hp. 9-3 will also get a face lift to increase interest.
The bit of particular interest there is the last few sentences, where it states a couple of things we’ve been expecting, but hadn’t heard much of from a Swedish source.
- The 9-3 SportCombi will achieve the same low-emissions status with TTiD engines as the 9-3 Sport Sedan, and will be available in three versions from 130-180hp. This is expected early in 2011.
- The 9-3 range will receive a facelift to carry it through to a replacement model in late 2012.
It’s noted that those items aren’t direct quotes from people at Saab, but the author of the article is a man I know reasonably well, Pär Brandt, and I know he talks to the right people at Saab. He’s not one who’s given to idle speculation.
Anyone who knows anything about the Swedish market will recognise the massive drawcard a 119g/km emissions SportCombi will provide for Saab. Sales have been up already on the strength of the Sport Sedan offering this much power with such little emissions. To have to configuration available in the Swede’s favoured body style, the SportCombi, is going to be a huge bonus.
It’s nice to see Pär make use of an article penned by our newest contributor, Red J, as part of his column.
Great stuff, and I imagine Red J might feel quite happy about that. As well he should 🙂
Thanks to Tobias for the tip!