It appears that the following is not to be as I’ve interpreted. Thanks to the German-speakers who have chimed in via comments to explain the quote.
Opel will be producing Buicks for the US and parts for Saab and will get their own new architecture in 2011.
As much as we’re anticipating the new 9-5, especially the Combi, and a large portion of people expect the 9-4x to well in selected markets, the one car that Saab need, perhaps more than any other, is a new Saab 9-3.
There’s an interesting interview with Klaus Franz, the head of the union at Opel, where he possibly gives a further hint that a new 9-3 may be expected in 2011.
The original German is as follows:
Welche Auswirkungen haben die Pläne des Magna-Konsortiums auf den Standort Rüsselsheim, vor allem auf die Arbeitsplätze?
Rüsselsheim ist das Herz der Marke. Das Entwicklungszentrum und das Werk haben eine hervorragende Zukunft. Es war richtig, dass die Arbeitnehmer 1998 das neue Werk mit durchgesetzt haben. Ich gehe davon aus, dass wir nach einer Übergangsproduktion von Buicks für USA und Teilen des neuen Saab 2011 eine zusätzliche Architektur bekommen.
Now, I’m only using Google Translate so it may not be totally accurate, but it does mention architectures for a new Saab in 2011.
What impact have the plans of the Magna consortium on the location Ruesselsheim, especially on jobs?
The development center and the plant have an excellent future. It was true that the workers in 1998, the new factory have prevailed. I assume that we have after a transition of production of Buick for the U.S. and parts of the new Saab 2011 will receive additional architecture.
Shifting the text around for grammatical differences, I tend to think that’s talking about production and parts for Buick in the US and a new architecture for Saab in 2011.
Of course, we’ve heard previously that the next Saab 9-3 will be on a marginally smaller architecture referred to as Delta II, which is used as a basis for the new Opel Astra. The Saab 9-3 will be 8 years old by 2011 and well in need of a new base.
The talk is that prospective buyers of Saab saw an early full size rendering of a proposed 9-3 whilst touring around the Showroom of The Future a few months ago. There’s no real opinions that have flowed through to me from that car, just one quiet muttering indicating some reservation, but it IS an early prototype and if you’ve seen some of the early renderings of Saab in the past, you’d understand any reservation.
Given that it’s now mid-2009, a new 9-3 by 2011 sounds alright to me.