Re-starting with the 9-3 – is that enough?

If you look closely at the few news about Youngman’s plans for Saab it looks like they plan alter the current 9-3 so they don’t need GM’s IP. Of course this would mean that the current 9-5 and 9-4x are gone from Saabs portfolio as GM won’t license those models to Youngman. But why could the 9-3 work out without GM’s ok and how bad is the reduction to one model? Let’s take a look.

When the current 9-3 was developed the engineers hugely altered the Epsilon-I platform. It was said that this had been done to make sure the 9-3 was manufactured in Trollhättan only. As Spyker took over Saab this became a benefit as The 9-3 was the only model in the portfolio Saab did not have to pay license fees for. They still had a huge amount of GM stuff in the car but the IP of the 9-3 is owned by Saab. The task Youngman is facing now is to replace the GM stuff through other suppliers. This may be easy with certain parts but more difficult with others. In many cases it could even mean some improvement. The fact that Youngman themselves have big capacities when it comes to the manufacturing of parts will surely help here. Still, if Youngman want to start production within 15 weeks I’d expect this would not be enough to replace engines for example. Well, maybe GM would even deliver some parts – if they can’t block a deal, they could at least earn some money from Saab. But still, I am using common sense here and you can’t always apply that to GM.

So let’s get back to the initial question, is the 9-3 enough? Of course not in the long term. Saab needs a bigger family car like the 9-5 to serve their customer base and the 9-4x was a well received step into a new market segment. So it would surely be sad to leave those models behind but as it is now, this is not the point. I don’t see GM license their tech to anyone who wants to buy Saab. So for Youngman or anyone else who buys Saab continuing the 9-3 would mean lowering the loss that will surely occur until a complete model range based on the Phoenix is ready for the market. One model alone won’t let the company make profit but at least some money comes in, production can continue and Saab remains present on the market. Lots of benefits I’d say.

The 9-3 is a good base to make a car that people would buy. If you have to alter some components anyway you can easily add needed features like iPod integration that we missed up to now. The Griffin had improved a lot when it comes to the interior – so the base is there. You can even spec the car from a affordable base model to a performance (read Hirsch) model and serve a wide range of customers with Sedan, Convertible, Combi and 9-3x. So if you have to go with just one model the 9-3 is the best option.

Of course this path puts a lot of pressure on the next 9-3 that is likely to be the only Saab model available when it comes to market. But honestly, this pressure would have been there anyway. From what I’ve heared about the next 9-3 it is ready to take the challenge. And this would only mark the beginning of the new start for Saab, a true restart without chains from GM.

One may ask why it took so long for Youngman to take that route. The main reason should be that they need to have an alternative source for all the parts that GM won’t deliver. This takes time and even if they started this project before bankrupcy was declared it is not a small task. In any case they are there and if you believe di.se they are willing to spend roughly 560 milliom Euro on the purchase and the same sum again on development of the Phoenix and the next 9-3. Not enough to develop a comlete range but not too bad for a start I’d say.

This will still be a tough road for Saab. But tough roads are something that Saabs are really good at.

tobbe
Member
4 years 8 months ago

Nice to read this. Money money money… Money talks.

DUTCH900C
Member
4 years 8 months ago

And in music:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WCkOmcIl79s
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TecR_5-rQ4U

And now serious: To start it could be enough, but i would prefer that GM allow to build the SAAB 9-5NG, including the Estate and that GM is going to build again the SAAB 9-4X.

dcpattie
Member
4 years 8 months ago

Well, BMW already said it would supply SAAB with the 1.6 L. I guess if you put the entire team around finding non-GM tech, its possible. But this is not ideal. I’d rather see a three-year gap plan where GM-based cars are still produced until a wholesale transfer of new technology across the board can be properly implemented.

Why doesn’t Stockholm just take an envoy to Detroit and ask GM “what’s acceptable” then process the proposals?

hans h
Member
4 years 8 months ago

And this time Opel won’t dictate engine output. We can have a really powerful 9-3. 🙂

rune
Member
4 years 8 months ago

Unless I misunderstood a comment made last weekend, there exists a 9-3 test mule with the BMW engine mounted. So at least some progress has been made.

I choose to believe that Youngman are aware of the pitfalls and have some idea of what they can do or not. Someone willing to put several billion SEK on the table have hopefully done a little bit of research first.

dcpattie
Member
4 years 8 months ago

If they can keep the brand alive, maybe just maybe a few dealerships will ride it out until the NG 9-3 is available. Its gonna be tough sledding. But keeping the badge alive is very important for repairs.

OliverH
Member
4 years 8 months ago

So they can do it in a short time as basics work are done. Otherwise they can go ahead with the fiat diesel and automatic gear box and change the electronic parts and maybe some other things.
I think break even will come down without GM involved but to reach break even will be just a goal to get – not easy with only 93.
In general the 93 was used with GM projects as a mule. So there are possibilities to change components – knowledge is there.

Petteri
Member
4 years 8 months ago

Stockholm is not interested.

Stefan
Member
4 years 8 months ago

wtf bmw can help with turbo engine? They are dont know about turbo at all

Peter Gilbert
Member
4 years 8 months ago

Absolutely the Swedish Government needs to be in Detroit. The weather is the same this time of the year and here is the timetable. It’s either KLM change in Amsterdam or SAS change in Chicago!

http://www.cheapoair.com/Default.aspx?tabid=1685&sid=1&oa=ARN&da=DTW&adt=1&chd=0&snr=0&infl=0&infs=0&dd=01-23-2012&tt=ONEWAYTRIP

I did one way because they should not return until the deal is done. As a side note the CEO of GM is to appear before Congress this week over the Volt debacle. My Congressman will happily through the switch!

LG Aero
Member
4 years 8 months ago
Any one that thinks the 9-3 could be re-engineered and designed to eliminate most or all GM parts and be rolling down the production line in 15 weeks time is delusional ! It would be difficult enough to create a prototype that would be ready in that time frame. Unrealistic goals got us into this mess, more of them will not solve the problems. The reality, if restarting soon is what is desired, is that the current design must be retained including the engine and interior, including the out of date radio. However cars could start being built again and… Read more »
bpsorrel
Member
4 years 8 months ago

Maybe an opportunity to develop a 3 door coupe/hatch from the shell of the convertible (something I always thought was missing from the 9-3 line up) to complete a very nice 9-3 portfolio going forward towards the all-new 9-3/900.

Very tough times ahead, but it’s nice to hear some positive news for a change.. 🙂

LarsG
Member
4 years 8 months ago

+1

Doctor Donk
Member
4 years 8 months ago

Yes 9-3 is fully enough to have, since it is most selling model. But as soon as its ready development of 9-7, 9-6x, 9-5, 9-4x and Aero X should be started.

turbokalle
Member
4 years 8 months ago

Good writing! As you say, Saab could really go bananas with the current 93 while waiting for the new stuff to hit the market. They could take customization to another level, with a wide selection of paintjobs, interior styles etc. A low price 93 would be a great start to build volume.

bpsorrel
Member
4 years 8 months ago

Decent quality interior would be good! Don’t get me wrong, I love the styling of the 9-3 interior, but the GM sourced materials leave a bit to be desired..

CoolCombi
Member
4 years 8 months ago
A hugh mistake Saab made the first time was to offer the 9-5 as an Aero model only and for quite a hefty sum of money. They banked on it. Problem was that your typical Saab owner wasn’t ready to shell out over $50K US for it. They didn’t offer a lesser model in the low 40K US range. That being said, if the Saab redesigned 9-3 is offered at an attractive price they might have a chance on getting their wheels back on the road. We need a true base model through an Aero Hirsched-up model, say $28K –… Read more »
bpsorrel
Member
4 years 8 months ago

Agreed and in the UK the pricing must range from around £15K up to about £30K for the top, bells and whistles hot one. Starting at over £20K would be big error. They have to entice people back as there’s been so much damage done to the brand and also, how will they rebuild the dealer network? So many UK dealers have closed…

Romac
Member
4 years 8 months ago

+1 on the “Next generation enthusiasts”

Saab cannot survive on us “fans” because not many of us can afford new cars every few years.

GM might be happy to sell parts to YM, it’s the IP that was at issue. It would be great (as an interim) if GM were prepared to build 94x for Saab whilst keeping the IP rights to themselves. It wouldn’t be very profitable for Saab, but would boost their “surface area” in the market.

Steve C.
Member
4 years 8 months ago

I had the same idea that GM could still provide the 9-4X since they do the actual manufacturing, making anything to do with IP rights easier to deal with.

OliverH
Member
4 years 8 months ago

D

Don’t talk about engine only. Let’s talk about power train. Bus systems needs to be replaced, or more precise control units, bus gateways, replacing tech2. Maybe Saab needs also a new backend for service data exchange and do on.
15 weeks could only mean without homologation and deep replacements.

rune
Member
4 years 8 months ago

Replacing tech 2?

Even my 9000 from 1997 uses tech 2?

OliverH
Member
4 years 8 months ago

I’m talking about new cars. Wasn’t 9000 not the time of ISAT (or what was the name)?

Coke is it
Member
4 years 8 months ago
Saab with only the 9-3 is better than no Saab but… Will customers buy a 9-3 instead of a 9-4/9-5? I’m sure many will not do that. I’m not sure I would go for a 9-3 SC instead of my ordered 9-5 SC. The current 9-3 is an old car and I’m starting to feel that in my current 9-3 when I compare to other cars and especially compared to the 9-5. My options are: Order a new 9-3 SC or 9-3X, keep my 9-3 SportSedan MY08 and wait for the new 900, or just leave Saab for another brand… Read more »
SAAB340
Member
4 years 8 months ago

Seems there is some hope afer all. Would be so nice to be able to buy a brand new 900 without any GM tech in it..
I’m curious what the future succesor of the 9-5 is gonna be called…, how about.. 9000 ? 😉

obelix
Member
4 years 8 months ago

They can put stickers like this one on it, that’ll make it sell:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/obelix998/6725056333/in/photostream

(note: I’m on my third Saab now and they all have GM IP inside…)

Romac
Member
4 years 8 months ago

An eventually, stickers like this to make it sell even better! 😉

michaelb
Member
4 years 8 months ago
There are several aspects. The administrators will look at who pays most. IF YM’s offer is by far the highest, they will have to take it. From a THN, Saab and longer term perspective, unfortunately, this is not the best . It is less than a complet wind-up, but still very negative. The IP issue is just one aspect. YM would either need GM’s approval to deliver engines, other parts, or completely refurbish the current 9-3, in order to make it 100% GM-free. The second alternative easily takes a year a not a few months. Worse, no 9-5, 9-5sc and… Read more »
rune
Member
4 years 8 months ago

XC60 hybrid..? Have you looked at the price tag yet..? The V60 hybrid is set to cost 100000 SEK more than what I paid for my 9-5 Aero. That is the base model V60 compared to a well equipped 9-5… And you guys want to go and buy the (presumably) more expensive XC60?

Hopefully the XC60 is not based on the same platform as the V50. But in that case I expect a little price hike right there.

DUTCH900C
Member
4 years 8 months ago

Wasn’t it that Youngman will buy SAAB and also pay the bills which aren’t payed?
I think, when that is true, the administrators can’t ignore a bid like that and everyone must agree.
However, when there is another person/company who bids higher, then the situation will be that that person/company will be the new owner og SAAB.

DUTCH900C
Member
4 years 8 months ago

And when Youngman payes every bill, then the HOLY MUSEUM also is rescued.

Aaron Dominguez
Member
4 years 8 months ago

I think the current 9-3 has potential, first things first is the interior revamp the dash it wouldn’t be hard to replace the SID with something more elaborate such as found on Audi’s and Volkswagens and even incorporate the new Icon system into it. While the exterior is dating It definitely isn’t as bad as the interior.

baas900i
Member
4 years 8 months ago

think the 9-5 [vector and aero trim, no more 17″ alloys, push hirsch in small markets like australia, brazil, argentins etc, give us the chance to buy manual transmissions] would be needed for the nest 2-3 years, gm would deny use of ip in China only or the world at large? 9-3ss looking and feeling old, the 9-3x and soft top might last another few years. here in australia refined diesel is the key. fords revamped territory with a diesel has increased sales by 50% since introduction… ultimately saab fans will need to buy cars and lots of them…

Valvine the Pirate
Member
4 years 8 months ago
The 9-3 should not be expected to be the only model for long. Remember the 9-1 project is based on a shared platform (and engine) with BMW and would not be impacted by GM’s refusal to license “their” IP. Saab would temporarily lose the NG9-5 but the enhancements made to the Epsilon platform for the 9-3 “may” be capable of being moved to the 9-5 also. Youngman obviously knows that many of the components used in today’s automobiles are both sourced from AND designed by outside firms. GM has no say in any part they did not develop or do… Read more »
enor
Member
4 years 8 months ago

The thought of a 9-3 with a smooth and efficient BMW engine instead of the very raw Opel one makes me drool.

jamie
Member
4 years 8 months ago

Not sure just how smooth the engine is as it actually co deveoped with Peugeot (!). It powers the mini too.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prince_engine

enor
Member
4 years 8 months ago

I’ve owned a couple of BMWs and regardless of model, the engine has always been the best thing about the car. Co-developed with Peugeot or not, it’s still manufactured by a company that actually has engines as a main priority. It’s definitely a winner, compared to Opel where the attitude seems to be more like “oh yeah, and then we need something to power it too. Anyone have something lying around?”

jamie
Member
4 years 8 months ago

Not knocking it – just guess its not going be be straight 6 smooth!

Does open up the world of World Rally Champisonship though – good exposure for a brand that needs it!

Red J
Member
4 years 8 months ago

enor,
maybe this time BMW wasn’t that engine centric but a little bit more cost centric.

http://www.autotrader.co.uk/articles/2012/01/cars/mini/mini-recalls-235000-cars

Thylmuc
Member
4 years 8 months ago

“still manufactured by a company”.. You mean this one:

“The engines’ components will be produced by PSA at their Douvrin, France, facility, with Mini engine construction at Hams Hall in Birmingham, England. ” From EN-Wikipedia, on Prince Engine.

Red J
Member
4 years 8 months ago

Thyl,
the Mini engine, and the ones BMW will deliver to Saab are build by BMW in England. Mini is not a company it is just a Brand. Those cars called Mini could also be called BMW Cityline. 😉

Thylmuc
Member
4 years 8 months ago

Without prejudices, but if contruction is done in part by PSA, the components are made by PSA, and the assembly is done in a Mini assembly by Mini workers, even if that assembly is owned by BMW, how much BMWyness is there really in there?

ivo 71
Member
4 years 8 months ago

If it is a good engine, what does it matter where it is built?

Ivo

nickX
Member
4 years 8 months ago

as long as I could buy a new 900 in about 2 years, that’s allright with me. I’d love to drive my ’08 9-3 until then anyway…
hope is back!

Aaron Dominguez
Member
4 years 8 months ago

It seems like these days people just add less and its now a so called “facelifted” model.

mikaik
Member
4 years 8 months ago
The 9-3 with the low emissions TTiD engine would still be a good option, for the right price. Thanks to its design, it doesn’t look old. In fact, the Griffin models look very modern. In terms of handling, I still think is a brilliant car. So, with slightly updated interior materials and slightly lowered price, I’d buy a new Saab 9-3. I’m sure I’m not the only one. Let’s face it, most of the “improvements” in newer cars are only marketing strategies. In the end, it all comes down to steering, acceleration, safety, comfort and practicality. And my 9-3 excelled… Read more »
RS
Member
4 years 8 months ago

Where is your 9-3 now?

mikaik
Member
4 years 8 months ago

I had to trade in the 9-3 when I bought the 9-5. The 9-5 is better in almost every regard (except for fuel consumption 🙂 but, as I’m now considering having a second car, a 9-3 SC would be much appreciated. Used Saabs are very expensive here, well, all used cars in fact.

czejzee
Member
4 years 8 months ago

They need a 3d car, coupe. Let’s create 3d 9-3 with hard top or targa? hm?

fuzzi
Member
4 years 8 months ago

To restart production of the 9-3 without GM parts will take much more than 15 weeks as YM says. This will take at least 6 to 12 months ore more.

Thylmuc
Member
4 years 8 months ago

Also if you throw 5000 Chinese engineers upon it?

ivo 71
Member
4 years 8 months ago
As to the DI-story about the Youngman plans to resume building the 9-3: As far as I can make sense of it, the story will have us believe that the 9-3 (the one they plan to resume building within 15 weeks, so it must be the current 9-3) will be fitted with a non-GM powertrain and only sold in China. Given the logistics of the situation, I believe that they must be planning to equip the cars with a Chinese-built or some other cheap engine and gearbox combination (the Lotus powerplants they already have available?) to keep the price as… Read more »
Snowshoe
Member
4 years 8 months ago

Why only sell in China? Have I missed something?

ivo 71
Member
4 years 8 months ago

That’s what is being implied in the DI article.

Ivo

Bernard
Member
4 years 8 months ago

The only logical powertrain is the Mini 1.6 Turbo. One assumes that there are already some 9-3 mules running around with this powertrain (for next-gen 9-3 testing).

Why China-only? Because you can get a new powertrain type-approved much faster there than you can in Europe and North America. Obviously, any sensible business plan includes sales to all markets in the medium term.

Nick
Member
4 years 8 months ago

Dont forget that Mats Fägerhag was in Germany recently. Probably he was fixing a new driveline.

boxman
Member
4 years 8 months ago
I really really really hope this story comes true, as the owner of a face lift 9-3 I feel that in my opinion this is the best looking Saab for some years and I think that if Youngman can make it sell for a few years that would be great for the Saab community, one question I have though is do GM own the IP to the diesel engines fitted to the 9-3, could youngman continue using this engine with out GM approval? if so this would ease the restart as it could start with an all diesel range until… Read more »
jamie
Member
4 years 8 months ago

I thought the engine was from the GM-fiat powertrain JV, that is just GM powertrain nowdays.

Looking on the website, a 1.9 dieslel isnt even listed…?
http://www.gmpowertrain.com/EuropeVehicleEngines/PowertrainProductsEuropeTest.aspx

Bazzer
Member
4 years 8 months ago
Jamie I am sure that the 1.9ttid4 engines are Fiat sourced, like you say GM Fiat, the engine has all sorts of Italian writing over it! No one should under estimate the Chinese ability to reverse engineer products, I would not be at all surprised if they did not just go and remake all the GM supplied parts for the 93 in 15 weeks. The Chinese just need guiding on the finer points once they have the bulk of the reverse engineering done. People talk a lot about GM IP, I am not sure there is so much of it… Read more »
LarsG
Member
4 years 8 months ago

For me the current 9-3 is timeless and 9-3 is the model range I am interest in. So go for Sedan, Convertible, Coupé and Station models.

Thylmuc
Member
4 years 8 months ago

Without any significant, not to say “miraculous” improvements, the 9-3 will just continue to sell as bad as it did before the reconstruction, or even worse. The 9-5 was the car to bring in the profits.

Among the above, I can’t see any idea that would be on the level of miraculous. A gourgeous integration of smartphones and tablets might be such a thing, but would also require significant changes to make room on the dashboard, and provide interfaces.

rune
Member
4 years 8 months ago

The low-emission 9-3 might be the ticket in various markets caught up in the CO2-hype. …assuming the new owner can even use those engines.

Thylmuc
Member
4 years 8 months ago

No unique selling point, or at least not enough so.

Cerulean
Member
4 years 8 months ago

It’s USP would need to be value for money.

meg haviland
Member
4 years 8 months ago
This is what I have been saying about anyone coming in to buy Saab. They are going to need deep pockets carrying only the 9-3 until it’s replacement comes along before becoming profitable. It also will take a lot of trust from Dealers investing in the brand to keep a showroom open, stock parts etc. The service end should be fairly easy as along as they can get parts for the ng9-5 and 9-4x’s and existing Saabs on the road (need to keep current Saabers happy..we have lost many in just the last month or 2, personally I have known)… Read more »
meg haviland
Member
4 years 8 months ago

One more thing. Honor existing warranties on 2010-2011 Saabs in-stock and sold. Payoff in the long run when existing owners of these are really to get new ones. Plus the press that will come out of this.

davidgmills
Member
4 years 8 months ago
According to several sources, Saabnet being one, GM isn’t even honoring warranties in the US on the GM Saabs unless the dealer is a Saab/GM dealer and most Saab dealers are no longer GM dealers as well. And of course there are no warranties on the Spyker/Swan Saabs. Saab in the US is a marketing fiasco of gigantic proportions at the present time. I saw that Forbes had at least four articles (obituaries) last month saying Saab was gone for good. To me the only hope for Saab in the US, is to have a company of Mahindra’s stature take… Read more »
900 classic cab
Guest
4 years 8 months ago

I guess the 9-3 would have to do… for now. Don’t believing in any GM cooperation. The latest 9-3 griffin is great and has a great engine range both petrol and diesel, particularly now, only emitting 119gm/km of CO2 !
Even more important than the 9-5, 9-4x and 9-6,7… I think it would be urgent to get a real 9-2 (keep the 9-1 for later), not a subaru crossing…
Of course in a perfect world, SAAB could manufactuting the 9-4x and 9-5 which are great cars in my opinion, they just need 3.0 liter diesel.

BMW Rider
Member
4 years 8 months ago
I love my 9-3’s but is it enough? I’m not so convinced. If anyone is to have a hope of restarting production at Saab and being successful they will need more than just a refreshed 9-3. It needs to be a car for 2012, not a car for 2003, at the very least needs better infotainment integration to match even Kia level cars of today. What demographic is going to buy a 9-3 in numbers when they know the next generation is around the corner? …unless it is very aggressively priced but then profits are pressed so deep pockets are… Read more »
Bullnose
Member
4 years 8 months ago

The 9-3 might be enough for a scaled-down re-start.
As a 9-5 owner I would love Saab to survive and produce the new 9-5 or something equivalent for larger families etc. However, don’t forget that Saab was seen as a prestige car maker when it only had the 96 (and old 95) back in the 60’s and 70’s, so it can be done with a single model.

Joakim69
Member
4 years 8 months ago

Why not buy BAIC engine´s (the real saab engine) it would be more SAAB then now

baas900i
Member
4 years 8 months ago

Koenigsegg revamped the 2.3 engine to include a system similar to Fiat’s multiair, what became of it? i think swade seen it when he visited their factory.

Christof Rytz
Member
4 years 8 months ago

The last weekend showed, that there is extremely great Saab-Community worldwide. So the restart with the actual 9-3 (I have two of them) could work. And with the new 9-3 in the pipeline and all this great people in Trollhättan together with Youngmann Saab will have a future

davidgmills
Member
4 years 8 months ago

Not in the US. If Youngman buys Saab, you guys have fun.

ttjr
Member
4 years 8 months ago

This is a good thing if Yougman do get the approval to work in Trollhättan. Thought it might not be the same workforce as before but good for the town in a shortrun anyway. Hopefully they go get the factory running in the firstplace.
Thumbs up for Youngman. I hope they can get the factory running and hopefully get it going good too.

wfg
Member
4 years 8 months ago
I think the 9-3 is a great car but I am afraid it will not be enough. Honestly, I think there is a lot of Opel/GM in this car and Saab should swimm free from GM as it will never work out, it never did (look what happened at Opel). I am wondering whether or not the idea of the previous 9-2 was really that bad like many of us said. Subaru makes good cars and somehow they fit to the image of Saab too (sportive, solid and a bit different). Thus, in my humbling opinion, a Subaru-ased Saab with… Read more »
Aero1
Member
4 years 8 months ago

Adding a hatch to the convertible would be a good start, the possibility of hatch on the four door would be amazing. IF GM would allow the current 9-5 and 9-4x to be produced again, but with the terms that they cannot sell them in China may just work, if need be, maybe they could change enough IT to suffice with GM.

mattlach
Member
4 years 8 months ago

That is a shame. The 9-5 is one fine automobile. It’s a shame to see it cease production because of GM’s petty quibble’s.

davidgmills
Member
4 years 8 months ago
It is a fine automobile. I really like mine. But in the US it is just a tweaked Buick/Cadillac. I don’t know how its viewed in Europe — maybe as a tweaked Opel. So why would any of these brands want Saab as a competitor? GM’s mistake in buying Saab is that the dealers of other GM brands raised hell. Saabs were never enough different that these other GM brands to make these other dealers believe Saab was not their competition. GM probably should not have bought Saab in the first place and let it die at that time.
mattlach
Member
4 years 8 months ago

The current 9-3 is outdated.

Not as outdated as the last 9-5 was before replacement, but outdated none the less.

It might be difficult to keep the company and dealer network alive on this one model for two years.

rune
Member
4 years 8 months ago

Outdated? The 9-3 has the market’s most advanced AWD system. It has stunning looks. A beautiful car.

Yes, the radio is a bit…dated. That should not be the hardest thing to replace. Kenwood has a nice entertainment system that was mentioned on SU a few years ago. Not sure if it supports Night Panel, but it comes close.

Tilley
Member
4 years 8 months ago

Agree completely. The radio is my last concern when looking at which car to buy. Heck, give me a basic AM (medium wave) so I can get traffic and weather reports and I’m good. The car’s safety, looks, performance & handling are all way more important. If you want to listen to music, then a car is not the ideal location anyway with road/wind noise etc. But maybe that’s just me.

RS
Member
4 years 8 months ago
I agree Rune. The thousands of still class leading low emission (high power, very low fuel consumption) MY11.5 9-3 SC TTiD’s that were on the order books since March clearly show there is a demand for a good solid car that’s made for driving. If YM has the financial muscles they could really go after all the Skodas, Koreans, Fords and VW’s of the world with aggressive pricing and warranty. They only need to get people buying the first Saab. The car itself will do the rest. Maybe an excellent time to upgrade at least the dash, radio (inputs) and… Read more »
mattlach
Member
4 years 8 months ago

I guess my point is, outside of Saab die-hards like us, who is going to buy a outdated model like that?

obelix
Member
4 years 8 months ago

Other people with good taste 😉

Seriously, I do think the current 9-3 SE, wich is around 5 – 6 years old, looks much better than the months old Volvo V60, which is rather comparable in size, price, country of origin. Saab’s design withstands time much better.

baas900i
Member
4 years 8 months ago

a big let down is the lack of a proper engineered cup holder,

mattlach
Member
4 years 8 months ago

I love Saabs folding cupholders. I miss that feature in my new 9-5. instead the cupholders in the center console cause tall cups to get in the way of my shifting hand. 🙁

Troels, Denmark
Member
4 years 8 months ago

agree!

obelix
Member
4 years 8 months ago

I may be naive, but I do like the 9-3’s cupholder.
What’s wrong with it ?

Troels, Denmark
Member
4 years 8 months ago

I was not commenting the cup-holder (which I don’t care much about) but the main-design!

mattlach
Member
4 years 8 months ago

ditto

900 classic cab
Guest
4 years 8 months ago

The 9-3 cupholder is brilliant ! 🙂

mattlach
Member
4 years 8 months ago

Not really talking about size and appearance, but more about handling characteristics, engine operation, safety features, torque delivery, fuel economy, etc.

That being said, all of the drivetrain is GM, right, so they’d have to get rid of the engine and transmission and replace it.

Dejjo
Member
4 years 8 months ago
saaburban
Member
4 years 8 months ago

The make or break question for all bidders of saab:
– What will we sell and produce until the new 93 is rolling down the production line!!!

The Turks will buy Saab if they get GM to sign a paper that they produce the
9-4x and supplies parts to the 9-5, 9-3 and to the new 93.

GM is still the boss!

Greg Abbott
Member
4 years 8 months ago

+1

That’s why Youngman is making its bid in such a flashy and public manner. They’re trying to grab the momentum and close their deal before the Turks can cut a deal with GM.

davidgmills
Member
4 years 8 months ago

Best thing for the US by far.

Quijote
Member
4 years 8 months ago
Wow… just WOW. I wake up to all of this information, can’t say I’m surprised though. Firstly, I’m a little confused about the 9-3 ONLY being sold in China? Is this indeed the case? If so, does this include the current 9-3 or the Phoenix based 9-3? Regardless of which scenario, these 9-3s would still be built in Trollhattan, correct? Secondly, addressing the topic of this thread, I think the current 9-3 would be enough for now… frankly, its been Saab’s bread and butter for so damn long, so why not 2 more years? When Saab had its best year… Read more »
Quijote
Member
4 years 8 months ago

Also, Phoenix can provide a wide range of “interpretations” for the NEXT 9-3. Look at what MINI has accomplished… SIX different Cooper “models”, all using the same 1.6 engine and chassis.

GerritN
Member
4 years 8 months ago

As I understand it this 9-3 will only be sold in China, no doubt with many Chinese parts in it which will make homologisation easier and the car cheaper. Of course this will completely kill the worldwide dealer network, rebuilding that after 2 years with the new Phoenix based cars could prove really hard.
Ah well, I think the most important right now is to keep the Saab plant (including workers and engineers) in one piece. If it gets sold piecemeal that’s the end.

Sergio
Member
4 years 8 months ago
I think the 93 will just do fine… but they have to go back to basics, that means targeting a range of customers with the following: (1) Produce these models: 93SS, 93SC, 93Vert, 93X offer 5 year warranties < sorry the 3 year ones are not good enough! SAABs don't go wrong anyway to be honest (not mine anyway!) (2) distinct ranges: a).Linear £12-13k – Really stripped out model, no sat nav, no electirc seats, but allow these in a list of options to choose from. Just ship these out with a 150hp/180hp engine ALL under the 119kg/km barrier, therefore… Read more »
Sergio
Member
4 years 8 months ago

forgot to that that the original break even point may have been scrapped. I gues you can say they are starting a fresh with new targets and overheads…may help SAAB for a little while until they get more models out to the market.

mattlach
Member
4 years 8 months ago

I am less concerned about the financials of Saab itself.

If Youngman feel that injecting 5B SEK into the business will sustain it, they might be right.

I wonder what will happen to the dealer network in the mean time.

The current 9-3 is already old. I don’t know if the dealers can survive off of it alone for 2 more years…

mattlach
Member
4 years 8 months ago

That being said, 5B SEK is only $737M. It seems a little light to sustain a company and develop a new model…

ivo 71
Member
4 years 8 months ago

They say they will buy Saab for 5 billion SEK AND are prepared to invest another 5 billion in the development a/oft Saab. I think 10 billion SEK should be amply enough to get Saab back on the track and drive forward at full speed.

Ivo

Sergio
Member
4 years 8 months ago
I can only assume YM will cut the number of dealers for a small period of time. I understand the large costs attached with setting up a new network, but scaling back the old, strong advertising for their products and positive improvements to class the Saab 93 as a NEW 93 is possibly the only way for dealers to survive. I know many like the convenience of going to a local dealer…i did before mine got closed down, but if a car is soo attractive in price, performance and value, I do think people will make that extra mileage to… Read more »
StefanH STHLM
Member
4 years 8 months ago

And Rachel, if You´re a regular visitor to SU it might surprise You that there were appr 20.000 Saabs sold in year 2011, with only FOUR (4) months of production and a massive negative presence in media.
Compared to appr 30.000 in 2010.
http://www.bmsg.se/saab_sales.pdf

Chris Carrier
Member
4 years 8 months ago

I have a new 9-4 and a new 9-5. I don’t want to feel abandoned. New Saab would lose a lot of goodwill. You get your warranty killed and your models are set afloat. However, this is still better than nothing.

WooDz
Member
4 years 8 months ago

BMW are making the most frugal engines at the moment. They are the benchmark and they had the turbo before Saab did. It would be great if Youngman could source ZF gearboxes and BMW engines. Finding a non-GM radio could prove interesting. Will Youngmann get the new IQon up and running in very basic form or will they put the original button dash back in the car?
Personally Youngmann have still a great platform with the current 9-3 that could be used for a Chinese Sub-brand for many years.

Toby K
Member
4 years 8 months ago
Youngman could do worse than look at Hirsch, Abbott, and Maptun for extra componants previously supplied by GM-I think 15 weeks is over optimistic but they could conceivable have a working model again before the summer using compnants already bench tested by Abbott and Hirsch etc (steering wheels suspenson, torsion componants, turbo’s intercoolers, dash facia’s grills badges decals wheels-you get the picture) but in most cases its not like the stuff doesn’t already exist outside GM. Its not long ago that Saab just had the 900 and it sold well, and jag just had the XJ6/8 which sold well without… Read more »
GerritN
Member
4 years 8 months ago

“Hirsch, Abbott, and Maptun for extra componants”

Too expensive.
My guess is that it will be Chinese sourced parts.

KoGa
Member
4 years 8 months ago

Would not GM agree to continue selling the 9-5 and 9-4X in Europe and US only but not in China? That way all models could be kept and still not interfere with GM interests.

maanders
Member
4 years 8 months ago
I will be really interested to hear more details of Youngman’s plan. It seems simple to say “just get all the GM bits out of the current 9-3”, but that is a HUGE task from an engineering and supply chain perspective, not to mention the fact that of all the certifications, crash-safety testing, etc. would very likely need to be re-done. Think about it. The big selling point of the current 9-3 models was the low CO2 emissions. If you change the engine and drive train, you have to change all the engine management software and tuning and would you… Read more »
rune
Member
4 years 8 months ago

Let us not loose sight of what Victor said Dec 19th. The 9-3 is not a problem for GM. There is a chance it could be that simple.

I suggest those of us who need a 9-5 sized vehicle in the near future buy a new one NOW and use that while waiting for Saab to develop a new 9-5. Problem solved. 😉

If the 9-3 is an outdated product, then I pity Ovlov with their V50 and V60. Phew!

M.A.
Member
4 years 8 months ago
Despite feeling more optimistic, I have to say that It should be a pity if the 9-5 is removed from the production line, there would be a gap if the only car manufactured is the current 9-3, even if it’s just for a couple of years. The same goes for the 9-4X, this vehicle received good reviews by the motoring press around the globe. Then there is the question of how much money and time will be spent in developing new models to substitute the 9-5 and 9-4X. Nevertheless, I have to admit that is much better to only produce… Read more »
RS
Member
4 years 8 months ago

I suspect GM would only allow the 9-5 and 9-4 to be built in Mexico if YM takes over. The question is who would buy a “GM” 9-5 in Sweden after what the boys in Detroit have done? It would become very unprofitable to move the tooling and only import a few rather expensive SC’s to Europe after that.

GerritN
Member
4 years 8 months ago

People don’t seem to get it. GM doesn’t care about its IP hitting the Chinese market, it just wants to avoid having another competitor there, especially one that is endorsed by the Chinese government.

hogge
Member
4 years 8 months ago

I think that if you have money, the 9-3 could be enough.
Firstly, we could finaly get a coupé and combi-coupé version. Secondly, Saab don’t need to shut down production of the current 9-3 as soon as the NG 9-3 comes along. Remember how Saab renamed the Saab 99 as the Saab 90 when the 900 came out? Saab can do the same now!
Also, there’s nothing preventing some badge engineering to be done.

E. Boon
Member
4 years 8 months ago

Good news. Remember the BMW engines deal. Put BMW engines in the 9-3 (and 9-5). Change other GM parts whenever possible. Especially those with GM IP. Screw GM and have SAABS better than before. The diesel in my 9-3 isn’t GM at all but Alfa/Fiat/Lancia. Put a BMW 5 diesel engine in the 9-5 plus the super BMW 8 gear automatic transmission and you have a super car.
And who knows BMW might be interested using some good priced Youngman parts in their Mini’s and BMW’s. A two way deal between Youngman and BMW.

Troels, Denmark
Member
4 years 8 months ago

Off-course it will be a real pity not to have the 9-5 (and 9-4X).
On the other hand: IF a deal can go through fast and IF Saab can get most of their clever engineers and designers re-employed and IF Youngman will spend the money needed, then I feel confident that Saab can manage to develop new – and BETTER – vehicles independent of GM-tech – in around two years time (??) – or so.. IMO much is about to get the the technicians – and other employed – back to Saab as soon as possible!

spacy
Guest
4 years 8 months ago

I can imagine GM’s upper circle are pulling their heads off, trying to find a way to stop this latest move to save Saab…..

I am sure they never thought, this would run like this…..Oh, deary, dear me, GM, what a mistake you have made…..

M.A.
Member
4 years 8 months ago

They have ordered litres of coffee 😉

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