Video: Jason Castriota talks to the press

This one has been posted in comments several times but I haven’t had time to get it on to the front page until now.

Jason Castriota had a meeting with various members of the press (no, I wasn’t there) during day 1 of the Geneva Show and talked about the Phoenix Concept.

The audio isn’t that great, but it’s still worth watching.

The guy complimenting Jason at the beginning of the video and then leaving the room is Dan Neil, formerly of the LA Times and now of the Wall Street Journal. Jason goes on to speak about how much of the PhoeniX concept we’ll see in future Saabs, specifically the front end going through to the Saab 9-3 replacement (“the new 9-3”, though I don’t think that name is confirmed).

He goes on to talk about the fact that three body styles have been confirmed and that he wants to do at least two more. The Convertible is one of them and there will be a hatchback, too.



30 thoughts on “Video: Jason Castriota talks to the press”

  1. Interesting.
    I’ll be reading about this soon in my weekly Knack-magazine I guess, seeing Pierre Darge next to Castriota.

  2. I suppose sedan, convertible, and sportcombi? Then a coupe and maybe some real differences in an Aero/Viggen version of the car similar to how BMW makes slight changes in the M series?

  3. Did I hear him say that there will be no 9-3 sedan? 🙂

    There’ll be a hatchback (and, for the movement of his hands, it’s like a 5 door coupé), the cabrio is confirmed, none of them is a sedan, and he doesn’t want to say if there’ll be a sportcombi….

    That only leaves us with two options:

    sportcombi, 5-door coupé and cabrio; or
    5-door coupé, cabrio, and 3 door coupé.

    He insists these are true Saabs, so I’ll go for the second option..

    Or am I wishing too hard? 🙂

    • He most definitely said “NO 9-3 sedan” 😀
      And cleaner sides and a more classic saab rear! Sounds fantastic!

      • He says “true Saabs”
        So I think we need to add Combi to the list.

        If I were to guess what the other 2 were, I’d say a Coupe/Sonett and a Crossover.

  4. I think I heard Jason say “We’re doing true Saabs here. There’s no 9-3 sedan.” 🙂

  5. Outstanding!

    I pray for a 3 door hatch based on the front end of the Phoenix…. let there be a three door!

  6. Each time I hear Jason speak, I am more and more impressed with his ability to translate his design language into a form that non-designers can understand and appreciate. He also appears to be invested not only in the design side of the company, but also the business side – understanding well the consumers and marketplace for Saab. I am encouraged!

  7. He said there is a hatch, a convertible and no sedan.

    This is a no brainer, that means a 5 door hatch, a convertible and a wagon.

    In sweden and Europe the wagon is vital, in America a 4 door that is not a wagon is vital for success.

    He definitely wants to do a 3 door hatch, I’m curious what the other maybe?

    • From my rather limited experience, I’d have to disagree. I think a 5 door, 3 door, and convertible are far more likely than a hatch and a wagon.

    • Jason handled himself very well but maybe we should ask Bangle what made his creations BMWs? Bangle did have a HUGE effect on car design over the past decade and as much as I liked the BMWs he designed I think he is a bit p**sed that Jason chose not to Banglize a new Saab design.

  8. It seems like some people may have missed what he said:

    The guy asks if there will be a liftback, as in classic 900, rather than a “hatchback” like the wagons we have now (technically hatchbacks). Jason clearly gestures he means liftback, as in long sloping 900 hatch of yore.

  9. Yes sorry for the poor quality of the sound but I did it with my mobile . I’ve filmed the 10 first minutes with my camera until that the battery finished empty .I’ll post it asap .That blond guy for the Waal Street Journal was boring by talking more than Jason himself .He had minutes long kind of questions .I was glad to see him leaving .

  10. I have talked about fear in earlier comments but I feel safe in Castriotas hands now. The front is what we can expect and clean lines to the body work. A hatchback is practical so Saab it is for sure. But as i said before, he scared the **** out of me with geels and other not Saab stuff.

    I beleve that the third bodystyle is a SC cos the Swedish market require that and they can´t afford to risk that. We all know why.

    The 2 models that JC want to build and hopefully will is more sportier stiles and that is truly his homeground (but keep it clean Jason).

  11. No sedan is interesting for the US market- I think it makes sense, the hatch can do everything a sedan can & more. How did the NG900 sell in the US? I’m led to believe the 9-3SS increased sales markedly because it was a sedan? Was that true?

    I guess Saab will have to launch a car and an education program :).

    Also, if the concept is at 4400mm…and a 2+2, is the size a tester for the 9-2? They did say the Phoenix platform can’t scale down to do that segment…but it appears here that it has?

    • That is true…at least a the time. Back in 2002, SUVs were king and most buyers were no longer interested in hatchbacks or wagons. Those that did not want an SUV would usually buy a sedan or convertible. But….things are changing. People still buy SUVs and CUVs (and to a lesser extent minivans or MPVs) here, but there are more people looking for smaller cars that can also be multi-functional and also haul cargo when needed. They especially like those options when the car is also fun to drive and gets better gas mileage than the CUV/SUV segment. By 2012/2013 when the new 9-3 comes out, I think there will be a good market for the type of hybrid that Saab is talking about here with the 200hp turbo and electric assist on the rear wheels. That, combined with the offering of the 9-5 as the large sedan with the SportCombi and the 9-4X gives Saab the right-size product line, especially if oil prices continue to remain high.

    • I think it makes perfect sense.

      A. Hatches are starting to gain traction again in the US. The “4 door coupe” trend has only helped this, it’s a body style that basically begs to be a hatch.
      B. Saab needs to set itself apart from the pack in this segment, a hatch will do that, a sedan will be harder.
      C. Saab’s notoriaty in the past has been about a good mix of utlity, design, and sport, getting that mix back is essential to rebuilding the brand here in the US.

  12. I must confess that this video and specially Swade’s interview of Castriota really were a relief: before, for me, it wasn’t clear what path Castriota had devised for Saab.
    I’m quite comfortable with Saab’s future design, now. 🙂

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