Thoughts on Saab from Autocar:
So here’s my message to Saab’s new owners, if that is what they eventually become. Well done on seeing the deal through; you’re clearly patient and determined types, and that bodes well. Now to your cars; make sure get the basics right. Strive to make the new 9-3 more competitive than it ever was under GM, and that means bigger inside, better built, better quality, more refined and better-handling.
Second, can I gently suggest that you drop the aircraft allusions; they don’t sell cars. Third, refine the design language; be bold and original, but classy. And realise that it is possible to make cars that are both beautiful and alternative-looking.
Lastly, give us a car that’ll bring some younger clientèle into showrooms and some extra desirability to the brand. A TT rival, or even smaller; maybe a Saab ‘Mito’. You could even call it a Sonett if you like. Best of luck to you.
I don’t necessarily agree with some of his earlier sentiments (click through to read the full piece) but I concur with everything except the use of the Sonett name, 100%.
Thanks to various emailers…..
Just in via email…..
This car is for sale. If you’re in or around Sweden and you’re after a slingshot, get in touch.
Wheels.ca have a review of the Saab 9-3 online at the moment and it’s an encouraging read.
Is it just me or did the 9-3 struggle to gain traction after the 2008 facelift, a trend that’s starting to ease since the announced separation from GM? Maybe it’s just wishful thinking?
Being known primarily for outside-the-box designs and turbocharging were not enough, nor was the ad copy tie-in to Saab’s aircraft-building origins. The few Saab loyalists decried the adoption of GM platforms and engines.
However, the past three years have been kind to the 9-3, and it deserves more notice than it garners.
Since 2006, Saab has added the option of a delightful and punchy 280 hp turbocharged V6 (used in Aero models); tweaked the 9-3’s interior and restyled the front end.
Should we tell him the V6 is gone for 2010??
The conclusion sums up what many of us feel ourselves.
It’s been a long process, but Saab’s renaissance finally appears to be underway. I can’t wait to see what comes with Koenigsegg’s added passion.
I’m not sure how big a vote of confidence this is, but it seemed significant to me when I read it.
Saab are said to be considering the sale of older vehicle tooling to BAIC, in China. They should also get some new impetus for their new vehicles out of the BAIC relationship, too.
So how important is the Chinese market, and especially the higher end of it?
Well, Bugatti have apparently just opened their first company showroom outside of France – and it’s in Beijing.
I don’t know if many of you have read my Damascus Road experience – the day I first came to love Saabs – but just tonight I’ve received some fascinating follow-up on it.
The guy who owned that car, let’s call him Nathan (because that’s his name), is a guy I haven’t seen nor spoken to for around 15 years now. Tonight I got a call from his sister, who’s been a friend of mine for a long time and is married to a good mate of mine.
Anyway, she and I haven’t been in touch for some time, either. It’s one of those things that happens when you move to a different city. November will see her husband turn 40 and she called to invite us over for the party. We got to catching up on the latest news about various people, one of which was her brother, Nathan.
I thought he’d have given up his Saab interest years ago when his 9000 died. It cost him an awful lot of money (he drove it pretty hard) and he was a country kid with an interest in the 4WD stuff. It turns out he hasn’t lost his Saab interest, though.
In fact, he’s apparently got wickedly fast red Saab that Rachel wasn’t able to accurately describe to me. Nathan will be overseas so I won’t be able to thank him for all the Saabology in my life – if only he knew what he started – but hopefully the car might be there at the 40th so I can check it out.
It’s always nice to close these circles.