Top Gear on Friday featured an article about Saab’s current predicament. Saab now only days from disappearing?.
It mentions what we have heard elsewhere, that the Swedish Government say they will try persuading GM to allow Saab continued access to GM technology and parts.
That’s big of them. The Swedish Government has been fantastically unhelpful to Saab ever since its funding crisis started almost a year ago. It has turned down various foreign investors and chucked several administrative spokes in the wheels.
It might be too late now for it to make sympathetic noises.— Paul Horrell, Top Gear
Yes, indeed. Actually Swegov’s fascination with the Chinese started long before then. Already a month after the sale to Spyker, Jöran Hägglund was quoted as saying that Chinese ownership would be the best option for Saab. I share his view to some degree, but his statement could be interpreted as an indirect attack on the company that did manage to buy Saab from GM. GM had actively disregarded any Chinese interest at that point and Swegov should have seen the writing on the wall. Yet they seem to have stuck with their “Chinese ownership”-mantra all this time.
What is best for Saab is survival. And they cannot survive if they sever all bonds with GM. At least not for quite some time. Swegov’s blindness to this fact is not helpful.
Thanks ‘chevy’ for the tip!
My old local newspaper, Aftenposten, speculates about GM’s motivation to keep Saab out of China. The answer? The new Cadillac XTS, according to Aftenposten, borrows a lot of technology from Saab’s 9-5.
Edmunds.com mentions “Front wheel drive”. Another review at rsportscars.com enthusiastically describes an all-wheel drive system that sounds like it could be designed for northern Scandinavian roads. “An advanced, specially calibrated all-wheel-drive system ensures optimal traction in wet and slippery conditions, and helps deliver maximum traction while cornering.”
The engine is vastly different, but FWD is pretty damning evidence. Peter Dörrich mentioned Cadillac’s skepticism towards front wheel drive at his October fest presentation, and it was only thanks to XWD that they let Saab take the lead on that one. XWD was born from a manufacturer specializing in FWD. It would probably be difficult to offer a RWD drive-train on a platform that also should accommodate XWD for the more expensive models.
Realistically though, I fail to see why the XTS should feel threatened by the 9-5. Sure, the 9-5 is extremely nicer looking, and probably costs less, while performing quite well thanks to Saab’s insistence on using turbo technology, but I think they are still targeted towards different segments of the market. The 9-5 is for people with good taste in cars, and the XTS is for those who need something that looks big and intrusive (that scores high on Jeremy Clarkson’s patented cock-o-meter).