Saab 9-4x – what’s happening?

I’ve received a few questions about the Saab 9-4x since returning back from Europe and the Frankfurt Motor Show.
Saab 9-4xI guess you could say that the Saab 9-4x SUV was a little bit conspicuous by its absence at a major world show where Saab are trying to re-establish themselves as an entity independent from its old ownership.
The absence of specific 9-4x talk from Saab and Koenigsegg executives in recent press interviews and speeches has also been noticed by some people.
There are two points that I can pass on with regards to this.
Four in Eighteen
Firstly, both Saab and Koenigsegg people have consistently said that Saab will have four new vehicles in the next 18 months. That figure should probably be down to around 14 months now as they’ve been saying it for a while.
Those four new models are proposed to be the 9-3x (out now), the new 9-5 sedan (early-mid 2010), the 9-4x (late 2010 as MY2011) and the new 9-5 wagon (which I’d suggest will also be late 2010 as MY2011).
It’s my understanding that Saab are also working furiously on a new 9-3, but I wouldn’t expect to see that before late 2011 as a MY2012 car.
The sale from GM may have thrown a cloud over the 9-4x for some, but Saab have been consistent about their model plans since the sale process began. Also, GM would really want this to go ahead as well as it utilises capacity for their Ramos Arizpe plant in Mexico, and it spreads their development cost for the SRX/9-4x twins over more models and units of production.
We’ve seen it already
The second point about the 9-4x is that we’ve seen the vehicle already.
This question about the Saab 9-4x is one that I asked about specifically in Frankfurt. The reply to me then was that this show was all about the Saab 9-5 and in a lesser way, the 9-3x, which was also on display. The 9-5 was definitely the main point of emphasis, however, and for obvious reasons.
The Saab 9-4x BioPower concept vehicle was shown at the Detroit Motor Show in January, 2008. Every indication we’ve had both from GM/Saab people themselves and from the spypics we’ve seen says that the production version of the car is going to be styled very closely after the concept vehicle. There should be no real surprises on the outside.
On the inside, rather than the futuristic green glass panel of the concept vehicle, we should expect something more closely related to the new Saab 9-5 interior.
The bottom line – we’ve seen the 9-4x already and at this point in time, Saab’s efforts are focused on getting the corporate situation sorted, and then a successful launch of the new Saab 9-5.
Personally, I think they could be producing the Saab 9-4x earlier and that that would help push the brand in the United States, but I can see why their extremely limited resources have been allocated the way that they have.

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