9-3N Navigation System (First Pictures?)

Tim in December advanced a rumour of what in-car multimedia system NEVS is planing to install in the 9-3N, albeit with the introduction of the facelift.

Nothing is confirmed yet, but if you dig into www.saabcars.com you will find that different pictures of the car are shown to different markets.

For example the interior of the car. While you will see no pictures of the interior if you read the site in english, you will see the known interior of the 9-3 if you read the site in Swedish.

saab_aero_9-3_09

This more due to the fact, that they are selling the car in Sweden, so they have to show the product with more detail in Sweden.

But what happens if you read the side in Chinese ( the third language available in the menu)?

Well than you get to see this

saab_aero_9-3_09_china

This looks to me more like a CGI than a real picture, but it gives us a glimpse of how the interior may look like with a different in-car multimedia system, and I like what I see.

I t looks very much like the Parrot Asteroid, but it doesn’t have that small removable faceplate making the screen look bigger, maybe 7″ compared to the 6,2″ of the Astroid smart.

Now let us hope that the guys at NEVS make a good integration of the system in the car so it feels like an OEM system rather than a aftermarket car stereo.

And a little quest for the weekend, is anyone seeing more than three differences between both pictures?

116 thoughts on “9-3N Navigation System (First Pictures?)”

  1. Actually not bad but the interior does look dated overall. What I most react about is the very ugly gear lever on the automatic version. But navigation is a must so it is good.

  2. I don’t quite care if the Parrot is nicely integrated or looks aftermarket, if I can get the car at EUR 25 000 with one, preferably with a diesel (I love my TTiD!) or at least a hybrid drivetrain. I have a Parrot bluetooth fitted in my bargain-basement 2011 Linear and if it could be expanded to add navigation and be servicable from the wheel, I would be a happy camper.

    There is nothing than can make the interior look fresh and contemporary apart from a complete redesign, so I guess integrating the nav should be the least of Saab’s concerns now. My Saab will be three years old this March and I’d gladly swap it for a new one, even if it actually is an old one. Just bring it on and continue working on a totally new 9-3 please.

    • And if you compare the pictures bit for bit you can see it’s a Photoshop job. That’s why it’s an automatic with a clutch. So, obviously this picture is made to show a Chinese version. If it’s intended to show the interiors of the first series of the EV version it makes sense, because the EV is unlikely to have a manual gearbox, and in order to make a stopgap solution to fit a status displays for the battery quickly it makes a lot of sense to just develop an android app for the Astroid – my guess is that the Astroid (if it’s really an Astroid) is standard equipment until they update the instrument cluster.

      Now, why did they bother with the buttons on the handle?

  3. I like it. As far as being “dated:” Try showing these photos to someone who isn’t a Saab enthusiast—-random people who aren’t as “into” Saab as most people who visit SU are. I think sometimes things look dated to us because familiarity breeds contempt. And yes, maybe because after so many years, things are dated in this series. But the same interior shown to someone who hasn’t seen it 1000 times already—-my guess is that people would see the uncluttered, high quality, well laid out cockpit that’s there, and they’d like it.

    • Good point about the shifter, no one but a Saab geek would care or even notice. If there’s one thing we know about Saab geeks, it’s that they will start a “bring back the old shifter” campaign when it eventually changes design.

      That being said, the metal-look plastic trim is 10 years out of date. There is no excuse for having that in a 2014 car.

      • You might be right—-maybe they could have found something other than that look. But on the other hand, I’m not a big believer in change for the sake of change. My ’04 Saab has that dark wood trim (almost black) that came in the ARC series. Linear had sort of a redwood and AERO had the brushed aluminum look. Personally, I’m really happy with the almost black wood—-I think it still looks great. But maybe NEVS was trying to “go AERO” with this interior treatment and hence the metal look. I still think they took things in the wrong direction. Selling only one 9-3 and making it the most expensive one is the opposite of what I would have done. I think I would have equipped it with popular features but looked at how to make it closer to a base model than a premium one. The positive drama would have been if they could have brought it in at a seriously low price—-and people might overlook a few “missing features” if they felt they were getting a great car for the money. But loading up a 13 year old platform and selling it at a premium—-leaves too many people saying, “For that money, I could get a ____________.”

    • The center stack flowing between the front seats dates it for me. Audi moved away from that in the 2008 A4. BMW moved away from it in 2005. Today the two parts but against each other in most every car, and it really changes the feel of the cabin. I am sure the designers say it creates “drama” or something like that. The old school skinny conjoined look here just seems dated. It also has the problem of not being big enough to include any useful controls in the center (which blows my mind because Saabs used to have so many useful items located together between the seats). Where would the control knob for the nav/information/entertainment go, if there was a more complex system added? Screen and voice only as they seem to be doing.

      I’m not a hater though. I understand it is making do with what they have. I just want to see the new new one soon.

      • Good points but for me, it’s not an issue of whether it’s dated or not—-or what Audi is doing. The questions for me are do I like it? Does it work for me? The ignition location is dated too and I’d venture a guess that the illumination color at night is too. One of the things that really attracted me to Saab (9-5) in the first place was a big vertical stack on the dash instead of the more common horizontal. I love the way mine is angled, how it’s laid out too. Saabs in the ’80s had this sort of packaging too.

        • Green night illumination is so restful to the eyes, much more so than the glaring red/orangey colour used by so many other manufacturers. But it`s academic really, NEVS/SAAB won`t be around that long.

          • Tony: Are you familiar with betting on American sports (especially football) and the term “over/under?” For those who don’t know: It’s one way to bet on a game. The total amount of points scored by both teams. Odds makers study the two teams and determine what they thing the total number of points will be in the game. If they figure the final score will be 31-20 for example, the total points scored would be 51. As a gambler, you bet on whether you think the total will be over 51 or under 51. I’m going to put the time NEVS will be in business at 5 years from today. Will you take the over or under? Will the be in business longer than 5 years from now or less than 5 years from now? Or, do you think my over/under frame is too generous? Should I have made it over/under 3 years? 2?

              • Vegas lays odds on just about everything. i wonder if they’d entertain the idea of how many years Saab will be in business this time? I would have bet “over 5” with Muller and I would have lost.

    • Reminds me when I parked my 2004 9-3 ARC with the push-button dash at the Park-n-Ride. I was backing in, and a woman who had just parked her new Mercedes C Class on my right stood there awhile looking inside my Saab. When I got out she said “Every time I see your car, I just have to admire that dash.”
      Bring back the push-button dash!!! 🙂

      • C’mon she was riding a C-Class, it is quite easy to have a better dash than the dash of a C-Class, I had one for 3 days and the dash was a nightmare.

  4. Nice to see this system. BTW and OT: I thought about these headrests, they look a bit clumsy. Obviously you can´t shift them so why are they not integrated in the seat ? Too expensive? It would be a little more elegant.

    • That car will never go into production as BAIC has never been allowed to build it, and actually that looks more like the old DENSO unit with the CD slot on top of the display.

      BTW, isn’t it a little bit boring to still compare the Saab 9-3 with some old 9-3’s with a BAIC badge, cars that have no looks in common with the car that BAIC is selling in China?

      • Lifted from the not so recent article but still sort of summarizes things nicely: “Electric cars are extremely unpopular in China thanks to their high price and the complete lack of charging facilities on the road and in residential areas. Why then, does it (the concept/test mule) exist? Only because the Chinese government wants electric cars, no matter what. Beijing Auto is owned by the Beijing government, which is very close with the central government. The C60 EV is however unlikely to become much more than yet another demonstration-experimental project, designed to keep the wanting government happy for the time being. Beijing Auto knows just like anybody else that selling EV’s commercially in China isn’t possible at the moment, and won’t be possible for many years.” Oh, but NEVS will prove that last sentence wrong. They are going to stubbornly push to sell their version of Saab EVs commercially in China, right away. stat. Now, the sentence did not say “profitably” or “commercially successful” so there’s the out. Don’t worry though, this has been conceived in a way that will make a few people a lot of money, whether it sinks or floats. “Success” here can be measured in ways that have nothing to do with strong commercial sales of a Saab EV. In fact, the company can shut its doors in a couple yeas and this will still be a financial sweetheart deal for a few people, in my opinion at least. There’s a reason for the silence and lack of any meaningful updates, no functional, serious website, etc. We’ve seen this sort of thing several times in the last decade or so.

  5. I hope the system doesn’t consume too much of power, otherwise the range of the electric version decreases to a depressing low mileage . Still no news about a sportestate diesel version ? Got today another trade in insulting offer of my car. Thanks nevs , no one knows Saab is still alive. Spreading the word would help me a lot. But hey, I’m just a customer, who spend to much money on a car ( brand) which no one dares to trade in now.

    • Good lord, please tell me you’re joking about the NAV system possibly sucking too much juice and decreasing range? Another worry for me when I’m eventually forced into one of these almost cars? As for resale values—-my belief was and is that the long term health of the brand and long term profits for the new owner (whomever the new owner might have been) was worth extra effort to shore up the collapse and stop the bleeding immediately. That would have required a much faster production start-up of the 9-3 series, dealership agreements in any market that sold decent numbers of Saabs in the past—-honoring of warranties of the Muller era Saabs—-in other words, a massive investment and not a healthy immediate return. In other words, an owner with serious money who was in it for the long haul. The way to do it would have been ramping up right away with the 9-3 sedans and soon after, the image car convertible and then wagons. Keep showrooms in business and those that dropped out—-replaced. Get ready with the hybrid and transition the 9-3 sedan to a cheap volume leader when the Phoenix was introduced—-then feverishly work on an entry level hatchback to eventually replace the stripped 9-3 as the entry level car. Full model line, sold around the world. Plummeting resale values corrected. Customers saved. Dealerships saved. Company successful. Saab in an ascending growth pattern, not this.

  6. I still like the layout but at some stage I hope they improve the quality of the plastics. I had heard that GM had stopped Saab spending a few hundred extra bucks on each car to have much better quality plastics. I have a 2008 9-5 and the plastics on the doors show all sorts of marks and look cheap. This wasn’t the case for the model before 2006 where the interior still looked new after many years of wear. This is really important for me as a customer.

    • +1 !

      The ’07-> interior looks too stark and “econo-car”. Well, even many econo-cars these days have quite upscale-feeling interiors (Mazda 3 comes to mind). I really think NEVS should study VAG’s products and match their interior quality and looks.

  7. Looking at – both – interior-pictures, I think that they look much more outdated and dull, than reality! The pictures are not taken from the best angle (more from drivers point would have been better), but more important is the dull lighting, which makes the surfaces look dark and dead…. I don’t think the black (artificial looking) front-screen is a good idea either… Some new – more modern – pictures or some well done photo-shopping might change a great deal in the appearance…

    • You make a valid point. The “lighting” of this image is gray—-like a rainy day, the absolute most depressing pits. The angle is from the rear seat passenger side. This should have been angled from the drivers headrest area, close to the drivers side B pillar looking from basically a drivers view, backed up a little to show more. With bright, positive lighting. I know, I know, it’s not a “photo.” All the more reason anything at all could have been done to make this look inviting.

  8. Check out the interior of the new Honda Civic – especially the auto selector and bright metal trim. The SAAB is not as much outdated as some seem to think.

  9. Ok guys, what you want? a Saab after all. With a Saab dash, not a fashion one like todays style. that is really shortliving, and i will give you bet. Automobile industry is competing with a speedy new remodelling, ugly chrome used on wrong places just to look “rich”. And finally they look all about the same. A Saab is not a fashion styled car, to my opinion, the old dashes of the 9-3 and 9-5, very classy, sober looking and … very functional.
    I am not a fan as you understand maybe of the last tendency.
    Design of a functional, aviation like dash, that is what I think still is good answer. If I am not wrong, most of us do like this too.
    Let’s say: back to the basics and keep to the line. That is the identity.
    the remark about the less functional lower part and in between the seats of the 9-3, is true.
    sorry about my point of view … as a industrial designer. The ergonomic design was from the beginning the main motivation of loving Saabs. Its functional and increases the driver experience as you just have to concentrate on driving not of controlling all kind of features.
    Let’s hope the new 9-3 will renew with the original Saab line. And till proof of the contrary, I believe they will.

    • I agree with you. Function over form on Saab. Honestly, I see nothing wrong with the seats/dash in the photos. “Updating” can be minor pieces of trim here and there. I’ve always liked the idea of developing a fundamentally sound car design, inside and out—-then keeping it and refining it/upgrading it year after year. “Exciting” to me is hearing that they’re making things more robust, more reliable, better—-things you CAN’T see. You can keep things somewhat fresh on the outside by offering new, bold colors (2 per year that keep changing) and new designs for the wheels and like I said, minor changes to the fascia and trim. I don’t see the need for the product cycle to be fast and to throw away a good design like dishwater because it’s “dated.” The best of Saab/Volvo in the U.S. was the 900 and 240 series. Those things soldiered on forever. The Volvo 740/760 was good too. Frankly, with the 9-3, it’s an old design that still looks decent. But it’s a shame that this is the one we’re with for what will end up being 15 years or more if NEVS succeeds. It’s nice—-but a hatch would have been more “Saabish” for the long haul.

  10. I must say that I thought the 9-3 felt really outdated back in 2009 when the 9-5NG was released. As soon as I ordered the 9-5 SC and sat in my old 9-3 MY08 I couldn’t get my new 9-5 SC soon enough to get to sit in a cockpit that felt modern (as long as you didn’t get it with the standard radio).

    Today, 4.5 years later the interior has been lifted to new levels in the competition. Volvo has really good interiors in the V40/S/V/XC60. Maybe a little to much of everything but they feel modern and that felling is important since the wrong feeling can make you to not test drive a car. I have walked away from test driving cars from both Audi and VW due to the fact that they had to much bling bling in one and a feeling of retirement home in the other.

    I’m sorry to say this but I’ll probably will have to keep my 9-3 SC Aero Griffin for a couple of years instead of buying a new old 9-3 one more time.

    If Nevs can’t deliver a Phoenix based 9-3 in a couple of years with gasoline/E85 or at least a hybrid version I have to look elsewhere.

    • NEVS can absolutely deliver what you’re asking for (probably closer to 4 years, not 2) but from the tiny morsels of information they’ve bestowed upon us, they are choosing not to deliver what you and most other Saab owners want. They are making this choice at their own peril. It’s a pity because as NEVS goes, so goes Saab, at least for now. And maybe forever. Cats have 9 lives but I don’t think that’s true of automotive brands. This could be Saab’s last stand and unless things are far different than they appear—-and/or unless things change in a fundamental and dynamic way, they will go out in an awful fashion, a pitiful one. Interior cockpit will be the least of the problems if their business acumen doesn’t evolve and improve lickity-split.

      • They may not make it in time, to ever see a Phoenix 93, I listened to an interview with the head of public relations for Saab/Nevs… 3 to 5 years at best and more than likely electric..

        Even if they get the Phoenix done, the US market may be 6 years out. So, lets say if it takes 4 years for completion,,, the US may not see the car for 2 years from the start up. and Electric only.

        My feeling from the interview, is, Nevs has no interest in rushing back to America.. To be honest the hole future seems like a hail Mary pass.

        Angelo I will take the under at 3 years. I am good for a G note. lol

          • To be honest Angelo,, It’s quite sad,, We try to hang on to hope. If you look at the business plan and break it down it simply smells here is some things on my mind.

            1). They run a huge risk of reintroduction of a 12 year old car.
            The Vehicle, the 9-3 as of today will fall tremendously in the safety testing results due to the pedestrian regulations..
            My understanding is China does not require the pedestrian testing. However other makers have designs incorporated in the bodies. Saab’s have always been known for safety as a selling point. Well obviously it makes no sense to introduce this car if you way out the risk factors.. The image of Saab being a premium brand is sure to suffer against most major brands. Even in China. Very risky for reintroduction even for a short period.. perception at this point is everything. How much money have they dumped into a dated 93?. Most importantly two plus years to get it online if you want to call it on line.. Oh that’s right they sell it online

            2). The current car, 93 has exempt status (Pedestrian regulations) in parts of Europe which means, they can build up to a 1000 Vehicles to maintain exemption.. I don’t know if that’s monthly or annually. Either way not good and again the safety ratings will be way below the industry standard.

            3). So why didn’t they introduce a new face lift at the very least? Still old platform which will be a problem but higher safety test results. Heck, they could have 2 years in the Phoenix from day one.

            4)..Electric is the main focus, It should have been secondary as we have discussed a million times.

            Not one thing makes sense, even a new face lift with a dated platform is questionable? Remember the Phoenix is years out.. How will new customers see the dated platform? Again the Phoenix won’t become reality unless the direction they have taken succeeds.. Based on the above not likely.

            Seems executives who really wanted to bring Saab back would know the the above.. I have to be honest leads me to think what really is the end game.

            Lack of communication to Saab loyalist
            No buzz
            Website that looks well you know
            Steps that go against any real introduction

            maybe you can add to this..

            They don’t even tells us when there is news of some sort of worthiness,, they use this sight. They should be building direct relations with future Customers. Some PR and a real website. 1+1+1 doesn’t equal 4.

            • So instead of constantly criticizing NEVS for what they are doing, perhaps you can layout a business plan with calculations on funding and tell us what exactly you would do and how! I’m looking forward to your business plan!

              • Tim I don’t know what the financial cash infusion is… Obviously it isn’t enough if you believe the above. I am sure your frustrated. I know how much the people at SU have dedicated to Saab.

                If they have financial restraints it doesn’t change the potential outcome. In fact, a under capitalized company has a huge chance of failure.

                I am also aware that Saab didn’t have other takers during the fire sale.

                Maybe you know what the Start up allowance was or is? Or the step finance in place.. If not than were assuming they have limited founds. Or could it be that sometimes a dollar wise is a dollar stupid.

                I wanted to see a strong return.. Like everyone else. Negativity in the case has more to do with a subjective and objective perspective..

                I would love to be the best cheerleader on there team.

                • “If you can’t run with the big dogs, stay on the porch.” That capsulizes everything, if the reason for the problems (as we see them) that are being discussed is due to shallow pockets. The business plan shown to bankruptcy receivers two years ago should have shown capital expenses and working capital for at least the first few years of operation. Maybe the right questions weren’t asked of this group to identify potential serious oversights on how to successfully restart this company and stay in it for a long time. Doug: Saab did have other potential “takers” during the bankruptcy and for some reason, they were bypassed or scared off in favor of this consortium. For some reason. Personally, I have no problem with the plan to sell the 9-3 line as the first NEVS/Saab. I think getting Saabs in dealerships quickly was the first order of business. The problem isn’t that they chose to offer the old 9-3, because it’s all they had. The problem is that these cars are NOT in dealerships yet—-and to the best of my knowledge, there’s not even serious discussions about selling these cars in North America at Saab dealerships—-those that could have been saved—–many now gone. The line was still viable in North America—-sedan, wagon and convertible. This could have been “The Spring of Rebirth” for Saab. It’s anything but. The idea of utilizing the 9-3 to restart production quickly and re-establish that there is in fact a Saab, who are in fact selling cars—–was a fine plan. But I think most rational people thought that meant producing a “normal” volume of cars by now, not in the dozens. And reestablishing a sales network would mean car dealers—–not some bizarre internet system of buying a car and traveling to a factory to get it.

                  • Angelo you missed a major fact they can’t sell the current 9-3. Even in Europe. Pedestrian regulations… They have an exemption up to 1000 cars..very limited That is important. Which makes my case more alarming.

                    • You didnt ask but I’ll give my opinion on this matter. Angelo is correct in the fact that NEVS has shown the bankruptcy admins a businessplan that is fully funded and with high potential of working out. But not only that, NEVS also got the blessing by Saab AB who were extremely reluctant to handing over rights to the Saab brand name to anyone in 2012. That to me is the biggest proof that NEVS has serious backing, and if that should fail, I can promise you that Saab AB wont allow a company using the Saab brand to fail again, it would damage the brand too much. Saab AB has a lot of backing from the government on top of that!

              • Do you know how much they have invested in the current 9-3.? What is the launch date of the new face lift again? That will be Electric and Petrol?

                • Tim I don’t think that is what Angelo said.

                  Angelo says: The business plan shown to bankruptcy receivers two years ago should have shown capital expenses and working capital for at least the first few years of operation. Maybe the right questions weren’t asked of this group to identify potential serious oversights on how to successfully restart this company and stay in it for a long time. Doug: Saab did have other potential “takers” during the bankruptcy and for some reason, they were bypassed or scared off in favor of this consortium. For some reason

                  Anyway If what you say it to be true “they are fully founded” do you believe the steps taken, assuming they are founded correctly makes sense? Another words I don’t think we know what fully founded is in relationship to a proper reintroduction The correct path vs a wrong path to be founded.

  11. Back to the “picture”: Couldn’t they at least match the nav screen bezel to the gray of the rest of the panel?
    eeeeew!

    • Bingo! It screams aftermarket nav system in that picture.

      I love my 9-3 vert, and as much as I’d like to say it (the dash) isn’t dated, it is. It is functional and tasteful and not unattractive, for sure, but dated compared to anything in that class new today. I get in my 9-3 after driving my NG 9-5, which is itself a little long in tooth now, and it feels like a different century, even with the Hirsch leather package in the 9-3 which at least helps it feel more upscale.

  12. I’m not finding it particularly objectionable, nor much different than the GM version quite frankly.
    Won’t matter a bit if it does not get to market other than China….

  13. BMW Rider: Actually I agree the dash lay out isn’t dated change materials better grade (plastics) add some nice wood accents would help.

    To be honest we have a 2012 Mazda 3 sky active Tech package and 2008 9-3.. I do like the ergonomics better in the Saab but like the better materials in the Mazda.

  14. I hope to see a major re-design of this interior. I have an ’03 9-3 and love the cockpit-style dashboard with its excellent ergonomics and nighttime-friendly green backlighting. It’s one of my favorite things about the car. However, it has clearly become dated. In fact, I think the ’08 update was a big step backwards, especially omitting the high-mounted SID. The overall shape is perfectly fine (see Saab 900, 9-5, 9-4x, etc.), but things like a new steering wheel, new shift lever, new buttons, and new instrument panel would go a long way towards making this car a more reasonable proposition in the premium segment, circa 2014. The platform may be dated, but it’s still quite competent. A little bit of tuning and a revised steering system would go a very long way. Epsilon 2, which is not much more than a truly standardized version of Epsilon 1, is still very much in vogue at GM. The bones are the same.

    • I sort of agree with you, the driving is really good, actually still better than many new cars so thats not the issue with the 9-3, the issue for me is lack of updated technology.

      Actually I’m fine with the GM style airconditioning and dashboard in general, the old 9-3 had a more aircraft inspired dash, thats true but the new one is easier for many novis drivers to manage. I remember that a marketing study was made by Saab where they found out that most drivers didn’t even know what 30% of the buttons on the dash did, which is a big reason why they went for a more simplified version, plus it was a huge cost-saving using standard GM parts considering the low volume of the car.

      I highly doubt that NEVS will make anything thats more Saab specific with this car nor in the future, the reason is simple, its such a low volume brand and its just way too expensive to make Saab-specific items into a car rather than grabbing some off-the-shelf item. Putting in a unique dashboard, steering wheel, etc etc costs a lot of money in development and when ordering less than 500k of them, the cost per item is going to be very high. Thats the harsh reality we have to live with and it applies to all brands =(

      • I wonder how this survey was done? How many of those 30% were people who don’t understand buttons in ANY car?
        Vice versa, how many new 9-3 sedans were sold to Saabers thanks to the aircraft inspired dash. I’d say many! The only thing that made it look a little bit confusing was the telephone dial buttons, otherwise it is spot on with the small display that should have been a color HD NAVI by 2008.

        If NEVS is going to use aftermarket parts only and no new improved design of their own good luck with that. In other words we might just aswell go to VW as every mass market manufacturer is creeping closer and closer to what Saab did 5-10 years ago. One only have to look at the new Korean vehicles and see how filled they are with Saab design cues.
        If there isn’t an in-house interior design team working hard on the facelift and next generation of THN cars filled with Saaby stuff it’s game over.
        If they need to charge a bit more money for a product like that, so be it. How much can a few plastic switch covers cost extra anyway… Door panels are made by the same suppliers so it can’t take much to upgrade the materials to what has been in production for a decade already, now that the GM beancounters are gone.

        • Then I guess it is as you say, game over!

          Funny though, many people say game over and even so, game is still on in the factory!

          We need to understand that SAAB went bankrupt, it was finished, nothing left, everybody gone! And here comes NEVS who spends a shit load of money buying the bankruptcy estate, starts up production with over 2000 suppliers in total in many chains. After three months they’ve sold about 45 cars or so and here we are thinking that they can spend millions of euro’s on re-tooling to make new cool products, I’ve got one thing to say about that: NOT gonna happen!

          Every little thing in a car requires a tool to make, so if you want to change a plastic thingy, new tool! And these tools cost a shitload of money to develop so what can NEVS do with a car thats close to a decade old but still regarded as a good car? Well they can keep whats most important, the drive quality, create a new revolutionary means of propulsion and upgrade the car to a reasonable level of cost. You have to also consider that the life-span of this car is perhaps 3-4 more years and then it will be retired forever. NEVS won’t spend millions of Euro’s on a car with extremely limited sales potential and short lifespan when they can focus that money on the next car!

          If Saab had still been alive then we could have seen nice things that we wanted to buy, but that didn’t happen for the reason of people buying too few new cars. So we ended up with a company who is slowly and surely trying to bring the brand back one step at a time at huge cost! This is what we get…

          Remember, NEVS isn’t trying to compete with BMW or VW or anyone else at the moment, they know that! They are trying to rebuild a company and thats going to take a lot of time! So if you don’t like what they have to offer, go buy a freakin VW, but I promise you, you won’t be happier in that car than you would in the 9-3’s that being built on the production line right now!

          • If they’ve used a sh$tload of money on the factory but cannot upgrade some plastic panels (upgrade the product their trying to sell)…, oh boy.
            How much can it cost to make a few platics molds for the dash anyway? They should go ask their local guy. Google him up. It’s not like their be needing tens of thousands of these parts this year.
            For pete’s sake. The car cost what, 300.000 SEK. It won’t sell looking more dated than 10 years ago. Spyker had exactly the same problem with the 9-3. The GM interior has been around for too long.
            I bet the Swedish engineers rather spend 2.000 dollars on something you can’t see to make the safety of the car a little bit better instead of eye-candy but that approach will fail (again).

            • You know, this is more than a short term project. The idea is to make this company a long lasting business which is a 10 year project at least.

              The 9-3 is not something NEVS expect to make money on, they expect to get things going with that product, so if they dont expect to make money on it, then they certainly are not going to waste money on it…

              To begin with, they need to get a car that is certified according to todays standards, once they’ve done that, then they can start thinking about changing buttons etc.

              You did read my post about Hirsch right? Dont be too surprised if there is a 9-3 version coming out soon with a new less plastic dashboard and that’ll be good enough for me! =)

                • The Hirsch products will be an option on top of the standard version, so get extra, pay extra! =)

                  You cant imagine how much tools cost in order to change the smallest piece which is why there was more or less no upgrade of the interior from the 2007 to the 2008.

                  • Tim, I have a pretty good imagination thank you 😉
                    What I’ve been harping on for a looong time is the fact Saab over the last 15 years hasn’t valued or understood interior materials unlike every other manufacturer on the planet.

                    They can make things better with the same tools you know, just by finishing the parts differently.
                    The silver paint here and there looks hideous to be honest and something we’re used to seeing in a 160.000 SEK Hyundai.
                    Lets say there is a facelift coming and no Phoenix car for 3 years, then they HAVE TO invest in tooling also, otherwise that car won’t sell whatever powertrain available, period. Cost of something is also always relative to how much new revenue it creates.
                    I’m sure the Chinese won’t be drooling over the current 9-3 interior either and I don’t want the world too look at Nevs as some Chinese econobox (taxi) manufacturer. That’s why the Hirsch stuff should be standard on a trim you call Aero imho.

                    The new interior would also be the best marketing money EVER spent by Saab cars.

                    • When they come up with a new car they of course will invest in new tooling, thats pretty normal, but now we’re talking design of a future vehicle, not upgrading of the current 9-3 which is a completely different story.

                      That silver painted dashboard was the first thing I removed from my car after I bought it brand new in 2010… totally agree with you on that one! I’d love to see some serious upgrades of interior materials as well, but NOT in the current 9-3 since that wont help the company financially. The 9-3 should just run as a cheap electric car to create some revenue for the company and then be gone to make room for the next.

                      Right now I dont care what Saab is or who uses it, as long as they sell cars so that they can fund future developments because doing it the way that Saab used to do, obviously didn’t work since Saab went bankrupt…

                    • RS I totally agree with you.. There is no future if revenue isn’t generated.. and what is going down right now won’t cut it. Like it or not.

        • I have never had any difficulty understanding what the buttons on my dash do. The only one that puzzled me for awhile was the ” –” button, which actually does nothing. A placeholder for a future button, I read. And my goodness does the dash look killer at night! I have yet to sit in another car that has such an impressive yet comfortably illuminated dashboard.

          Certainly, it will cost extra to put in a new steering wheel, new buttons, etc. But realistically, how much? The car is $42,000 USD already. What’s another $1000-3000 if it means having a fresh interior with new tech? I would pay the extra, I think. Any Swede buying a 2014 9-3 is doing so because they are passionate about Saab. Most Saab fans would love to see a 9-3 with a better interior. Most complaints about the otherwise-great car stem from the interior.

          They should start by replacing the plastic door handles and brake lever with leather. That was the original plan when the car was conceived over a decade ago, before cost overruns.

          • Totally agree with your “does the dash look killer at night! I have yet to sit in another car that has such an impressive yet comfortably illuminated dashboard.” – I hope to goodness they don`t drop the green.

      • I have no real issues with the way NEVS has methodically brought the 9-3 back to life in the factory. Considering what they had to work with, I think the car is still fresh to look at and based on the photos, would be pleasant enough to sit in. If the bones are still the 9-3 produced previously, it drives as well as most new cars too. My bigger concern is that they haven’t made the investment to get this car approved for old markets and forged ahead with dealership agreements to actually sell the car. I feel very confident that if my old Saab dealer in the Washington, DC area were still selling new cars—–and had 9-3s to sell, they could survive. If NEVS could ramp up wagons and convertibles, it would be even easier for dealers to stay in business pending the Phoenix and other new models. Long term is all well and good if a company could survive in the short term. Short term around the world means internal combustion engines. Regarding the Koreans—–I totally agree with people who’ve posted that Saab design cues have ended up in Korean products. Frankly, I see a little bit of Saab design and a little bit of Saab’s old philosophy in the Kia line. No, Kia is not vintage Saab (vintage being mid-80-s and forward). Some of their models go further back to that—-affordable, quirky, front drive—-like Saab in the 1960s. Back in the 90s, Hyundai offered 5 door hatchback (might have been an Elantra?) that screamed old Saab. Now, KIA’s lead designer (who came from Audi) is giving them some real credibility in what they’re doing—-a bit of a European flair in cars that cost thousands of dollars less. It’s obviously a winning formula.

        • Angelo I have to disagree with you bringing the dated 9-3 to America. ( have to be the new face lift, regulations, even that won’t do it.) It would be a waste of money.and huge obstacles to overcome Nevs would never get enough dealers on board here , Heck the big dealer in NY could care less about Saab they have moved many customers to other brands. They own Lexus, Infinite, Nissan,VW, They couldn’t sell Saab before (2009,10 11).. I spoke to the GM, he said the 2 downfalls in a row (GM Spyker) really made things financial devastating and had customers really pissed. Keep in mind it cost the dealer a bundle also. The Auto magazines would destroy the reintroduction considering they were always biased against Saab, Imagine a 13 old platform and such. .Dated interior, etc.

          As I said before Nevs will need truly fresh cars not one car… A big Buzz in the auto industry with great cars. and track record too. This is many years out at best.. The Phoenix is the only hope. This company is starting from scratch.

      • I have to agree with RS. I think the 30% who didn’t even know what the buttons on the dash did wouldn’t understand any button, except maybe On/Off.
        I had an 04 9-3 ARC and the Auto function was so well thought out that I rarely ever had to touch a button anyway. The rare exception was when the windshield would be severely frosted, I would touch a single button and all air would be directed to the windshield with fans on high. One touch. A second touch on the Auto button would return everything to normal. I really miss that dash. 🙁

    • RS: In the Auto industry,, the challenge not only is engineering new cars, but also manufacturing methods used for costs savings. The other important factor is volume purchasing. If a car company has 10 cars in the model line , the Vehicles have a percentage of interchangeable parts, it reduces the part price… .Also lets say I am GM who who has subcontractors in place, injection molding, radios, windshields, etc, The purchase agent for GM can obviously purchase for less then Saab. Also manufactures have built facilities in various regions globally to off set cost.

      All Challenges for Saab/Nevs. Competition is fierce.

  15. Tim : It’s true car prices across the board for a middle of the road vehicle’s have sky rocketed actually all models. When you add some option’s the prices really jumps. The car market over the last 3 years has had strong sales at least in the US.. People have taken advantage of the extreme low interest rates. Many here in America lease. The go to dealers and want the toys, and are only concerned about payments (how much per month). Kia and Hyundai have the edge for dollar value.. Personally not for me. Every corner has a Kia at a street light.

    Also the Suv/crossover market is popular.

    The big question what will happen when interest rates go up?

    • Thats a very good question! I agree with you 100%. Same thing with most areas of expensive purchase with low rates. People tend to consume to the break point of their income, when either income or expenses change for the worse, people cry and we’ve got a crisis on our hands.

      In denmark they have a term called farmers-logic “bonde-logik” which applies to people who think longer than next months pay-check. People who save money for the future, create economic buffers in their lives, not very common these days sadly.

      Already during the stone-age people understood that one needs a roof over ones head and food on the table for a long time, they created that. Now people are willing to bet their roofs and their dinner table even, just to get a fancy expensive toy on the driveway…

  16. The simple truth Tim, even in America people live pay check to pay check., Spoiled,, need the I Phone,, internet TV, New car, house they can’t afford etc. On top of that the reality is, the true middle class is dwindling… Most people have very little savings and retirement… We know that a global recession.exist.. Some people deny the complex issues we all share globally.

    Don’t want to get over political lol. That will really open doors here.

    Your 100 percent right.

    • I can’t speak for the rest of the Western world, but in the USA, only one or two generations back—-adults understood the concept of saving money for purchases. True, most people have always needed to borrow for a home, but they would find a house that was well within their means—-not the most impressive house on the block, or the biggest—-but one they could afford and take pride in. Many people saved money to pay cash for cars, not borrow. Now, it seems like everybody wants everything “now” whether they could afford it or not. And they want the newest and the best, whether they can afford it or not. And it’s easy to blame the credit card companies or banks for high interest loans to make it happen—-but I’m sorry, personal responsibility is what I point to as the problem. I do fairly well—-and for the longest time, I didn’t have cable TV, drove older cars (and still do) and saved my money for things like a down payment on a house or more money to put down on a car, while my friends spent every dime they earned—-some of them who made far more money than I ever did have nothing in savings and pitifully small retirement accounts. Spoiled? I don’t know if that’s the right word or not Tim. “Stupid” comes to mind though. “Stupidly Spoiled” has a nice ring to it.

      • You are right, Angelo. Most of us Americans have no idea how to save money. Everything is about now, now, now. The fervor with which some people acquire the “latest and greatest” smartphones is the most acute example in 2014, I believe. It can be absolutely mind-blowing. One of my cousins is a prime example. Absolutely struggling to pay for her house, but just bought a brand new car. The car she had prior? A 2013 still under warranty and with cheaper payments! Some people are just that way. I happily drive an older Saab even though I could afford something newer. It works for me and I love it. Seems like it is a bit different in Europe. Americans have always been obsessed with new. Europeans seem to put more money into the initial investment and hold onto it a lot longer. Correct me if I am wrong, my across-the-pond Saab friends.

        • Well here the regulations state that you have to put in 20% cash minimum when you buy a car so its not really by choice, but many people I know are sadly the way your cousin, they live in a way where they have more or less nothing of the previous pay-check left a few days before the next one comes along. Most people go about their whole life never owning anything, they’ve got a flat that they rent, a car that they lease and they spend all the money they earn on stuff… when they retire, the only things that they actually own is more or less worthless electronics… but they’re happy for some reason =) I wouldn’t be…

          • Funny thing relating to cars—-the U.S. made cars up through the 1960s and even into the very early 1970s were tremendous. In fact, in Cuba, 1950s American cars are still on the road in respectable numbers, being used as taxis or other service vehicles—-even without a parts supply. The mechanics there are phenomenal at improvising—-fitting other types of alternators onto the engines, making adjustments, pounding out metal by hand, etc., to keep these great cars running. As late as 1971 or maybe even beyond that, many parts of Cadillacs were still assembled by hand—-double and triple checked. The pride in making American cars in this era was high—-the cars were fundamentally good. Things slid terribly downward after that and only started improving again in the 90s. We had a good 20 years of mostly misses, not enough hits. In some ways, I’m certain it truly was “planned obsolescence/planned failure” to get people to buy new cars more frequently. But for many of the European makes—-Volvo, Mercedes, BMW and Saab come to mind—-even in the terrible 1970s and 80s, I sat in those cars and saw the quality of the materials, the weight of the metals—-chrome plating on trim pieces, seat leather, etc.—-a sense of quality made to go the distance. Spare parts were expensive, but they didn’t have the high failure rate. I know a family who had an old Volvo that was built like a tank. In the ’90s, they traded it in for a Ford Contour (Mondeo internationally?). Within weeks, things just started “breaking” on the Contour. Goofy stuff like sun visor mounts cracking and the sun visors flopping around, things chipping, etc. I told the wife “Hey, if your kids are tough on the car, things break.” Her response was “We had that Volvo when the kids were younger and rougher—-it was 15 years old and there wasn’t anything broken like this.” Sadly, what I’ve seen is that the Europeans found ways to cut costs and the Americans had no choice but to upgrade some of this stuff—-and now, depending on the car, the gap is nowhere near as wide as it used to be. As far as the Japanese cars—-I’ve always considered them to be very well engineered for reliability, but not impressive in performance or looks, overpriced—-and while very, very dependable and a great fit for most people, not really what I wanted in a car. I think Korean KIA is making cars that look good, perform well and cost less.

            • Angelo,,I drove one kia optima before buying the Mazda 3 sky active tech package.. Both 2012’s The Kia optima was boring… Fit to finish nice,, ended up with the Mazda. My wife also bought a new Hyundai Elantra 2008,, had the car four years… Bearings went, bushings numerous times,,, door handles fell off. etc. Fought with Hyundai about it to no avail. After 60,000 miles things started going.

              Built-in obsolescence is a big factor with cars

              The problem for me the market is saturated with the Korean Vehicles…Getting better no doubt.

              • My Sedona minivan has about 120,000 miles on it and it’s rock solid, not issues. Only problems have been minor and KIA has fulfilled their warranty obligation. As for the Optima, it probably depends which model—-I haven’t driven one, though I’ve been in them. The auto scribe really seems to like the driving characteristics of some of them. Of course, Mazdas are well known for driving dynamics—-so you got a good one as far as that goes.

              • Also Doug, you made a comment I saw in “Activity” but can’t find on this page. Basically, you disagreed with my thoughts about NEVS selling the 9-3 in the U.S. Here’s the thing: My assertion was that NEVS should have come out of the gate faster with the 9-3 and sold it in many of their previous markets, including the U.S. and Canada. It would have been a yeoman’s task—-but not impossible to either have them ready to sell or be very close at this point. I completely understand the concern that the 9-3 line is dated, and that it would be a big investment with long odds of decent profits if any. But the idea would have been to keep a thinning dealership network alive in some sense—-and keep the brand alive in some sense—-hobbling along until newer cars could be ready. And I know people who would buy a 9-3 over any other car currently for sale in the U.S.—-people who insisted on Saabs. The convertible had its own market who wouldn’t give a damn about it being “dated.” And the wagon could sell in respectable numbers, relatively speaking. By going missing in action for 6 years or more—-maybe 10 or more—-the investment to return will dwarf the investment it would have taken to hobble in the way I describe. In fact, if they’re gone that long, they won’t return—-it just won’t happen. It’s a pity, because there’s money to be made selling Saabs, but they apparently aren’t up to the challenge.

                • Ya Angelo I don’t know what happened to my post.

                  First problem, is the current version,, can’t be sold ( regulations pedestrian)
                  I already expressed that on this page, the limitations and exemptions etc.
                  ,
                  The face lift version will have a dated platform and what Tim is saying it may not vary much from the current 93’s interior.

                  If Spyker and GM struggled with the car between 09-2011, what would change? Remember 13 year old platform and dated interior. Where is the Buzz,

                  I spoke with a former Saab dealer, who said the downfall of GM and then Spyker
                  was devastating, financially, to owners and the Dealers. He said many of the customers moved on to other brands the dealer sells , Infinity, Lexus, Nissan, VW

                  The difficulty to bring dealers on board would be nearly impossible. remember many got hurt in the pocket. I don;t think Nevs with stand a chance at this point considering what they have to offer currently. (meaning new face lift) which isn’t ready yet. even if it was. Remember Nevs supposedly contacted dealers, never herd anything more. Maybe the above is the reason not sure. My opinion on this is strictly a business one. Not a knock on the 93 as a vehicle.

                  Just as important, a one car line wouldn’t cut it.

                  Lets talk about the auto magazines who always seemed unfavorable to Saab in reviews at the very least undervalued them.. They would have a field day.with a dated Vehicle Never trusted many of them, its all about, who spends the most in advertising it seems the makers who spend get favorable write ups.

                  That said Nevs will need the Phoenix with some real innovations and a few models… Create a real Buzz,,, track record etc.

                  If Nevs comes back to soon it could spell the end. at least here.

                  I think we have expressed our feelings as to what could or should have happened, and i agree, But like Tim said this is what it is.. What could of or should happen isn’t changing.

                  Nev,s is starting from scratch a new company, learning how to walk and not run. All we can do is hope for the best.. Lower expectations for now.

                  .

                  • Well, much of what you say is true and we can’t change history—-it’s too late now anyway. RE: pedestrian regulations. We don’t have that in the U.S., do we? God forbid. Also, Saab was doing quite nicely in the early and mid-80s in the U.S.—-didn’t they just have the 900? Look, I’m all for a full product line. I’ve been saying constantly how the lack of an entry level car doomed them. But my point is that to bridge to the Phoenix and maybe a smaller hatch—-one varied line (9-3 with sedan, estate/wagon and convertible) would have given dealers a few things to sell just to stay in business. And you’re right—-you’d never get new dealers now with a 13 year old car to sell. My point is that back when there WERE dealers—-a commitment to deliver vehicles ASAP might have kept them hanging on, selling used cars, servicing Saabs—–cutting staff back and waiting for new cars to come in. I know, I’ve talked to two of them. Uncertainty is a big issue, that’s true. Worse is CERTAINTY that the new owner was ignoring the market. That led to the full collapse that we see now.

                    • From Edmunds: Pe.destrian regulations

                      One key area still challenging engineers in most U.S. vehicles is the front bumper. For vehicles in Europe and Asia (where there are many more pedestrian collisions and governmental standards regulating them), bumpers are designed with larger crush space and with different supports for the plastic bumper cover in order to reduce leg injury. Unfortunately, these “softer” bumpers don’t perform well in the 5-mph bumper test conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) to assess repair costs, so they generally aren’t used on vehicles in the U.S.

                      Another issue with bumper design for U.S. vehicles relates to the front airbag sensors that are located in the bumper. “Because of the sensor location, it can be difficult to address pedestrian safety and still have the sensors effectively trigger the front airbags, particularly in low-speed collisions,” explains Max Gates, spokesman for the Chrysler Group. One way to provide added pedestrian protection while still performing well in the IIHS bumper test is by adding high-density foam behind the plastic bumper cover, a method used on all Toyotas.

                      Looking Ahead
                      Automotive engineers and researchers, as well as experts from the safety and medical fields, continue to study vehicle-pedestrian collisions, developing other ways to reduce pedestrian injury while still maintaining a high level of safety for the vehicle’s occupants. Honda continues to be a leader in this area of research, with the development of its POLAR-II dummy, the only dummy currently in existence that can measure pedestrian impact. The company uses the dummy to perform computer modeling of pedestrian impacts and lends it to other automakers and industry groups for testing.

                      One vehicle design we may see on future U.S. models is a pop-up hood system, which would lift the hood a few inches in the area closest to the windshield, effectively giving a larger cushion of space underneath it in the event of a pedestrian impact. This feature is currently in use on some Hondas and Nissans in Europe and Japan, though there are no plans as yet by either company to bring this feature to the U.S.

                      It’s likely that the future design changes we see on vehicles in the U.S. will be driven by safety standards overseas. Both Japan and Europe recently instituted more pedestrian safety standards and the European Union has even more stringent standards set to go into effect in 2010.

                      That’s what I know… not sure when or if it will be mandatory here.

                    • I have a really simple solution that doesn’t cost much—-LOOK BOTH WAYS BEFORE YOU CROSS! I believe I heard that in kindergarten or first grade and it’s served me well. But hey, if we’re going to have pedestrian safety measures forced on us, I want safety standards for my cat too, in case he gets out of the house, and my neighbor’s cat, who is outside a lot—-and the neighborhood dogs. I want cars designed that won’t injure an animal if it hits them. I would like hovercrafts mandated that don’t roll on tires but that ride on air—–and if they sense something under the car, they elevate to avoid it. A radar system of some sort could alert the computers to animals on the road ahead, stopping or elevating the new hovercraft vehicles. Also, I want cars that have built in hair wash/blow dryers to groom people. I hate looking into other cars and seeing ugly people—it distracts me and could cause an accident. If we mandate manufacturers to include beauty equipment in the car, problem solved. Also, it’s not fair that only astronauts get to go to the international space station. Governments should mandate that car makers make every car capable of moon landings and atmospheric flight. Why not? They’re expected to do everything else.

                    • Angelo: Remember Nevs Business Model, the little we know is EV’s and China… Everything seems to be contingent on the Success of it. That said I agree with you about the lapse period.. Nevs would be stating from scratch in 5-6 years to re-market the Brand in many places.

                      I know it goes against all logic to lose a high percent of its global fan base to other brands.

                      What is the current fan base worth in there eyes? Maybe not as much as we think, because they know a percent of owners have already moved on. 3 years going on 4 years since a new Saab was offered here. Keep in mind those sales were minimal.. What do you think the percent is who have replaced Saabs with new brands? Lets consider the second hand owners like myself,,, well I need a new car in 2-3 years,, No Saab new brand… So that demographic will also decline. Think about it..

                      The hardest task would be getting the previous fans back…So that said They need one heck of car considering the competition and the above. Many will have to be first time Saab owners.

                    • Well that’s really the discussion Doug—-I’m questioning their business model. But there’s more: If you consider your own words, questioning what the current “base” is in their eyes—-my response to that is they do see value in the base or at least in the brand, because if they didn’t, there wouldn’t be any reason to negotiate as they did for the Saab name. The way the story was told here, they were awarded the rights to buy the assets in their entirety—-factory, Phoenix platform work, etc.—–but that it was a detached process to go after the Saab name, which NEVS did follow through with. Heck, if it didn’t matter to them, they could have named themselves Sunshine Motors, Kings Ride, Inc., ABC of China—-you name it. Instead, they did the right thing by recognizing the value in the loyalty the Saab brand inspired for decades—-the customer base around the world. That was the right thing. The wrong thing is what they did with it: Nothing. Now it’s just dissolving.

                • Interesting comment re what you call a wagon and I call an estate car. Here, most manufacturers make an estate version simply because they are very popular.

                  • Tony: I have the 9-5 estate as you call it, station wagon as we call it. It’s interesting—back in the ’70s, Americans liked estates and they were offered in all sizes—-sub-compact, intermediate, full sized. They sold in very strong numbers, particularly the big ones, which hauled families on vacations, towed boats, etc. For the most part, in the U.S., they’ve been displaced by SUVs, which come in all sizes, compact, medium, full sized. Me? I’d rather the handling characteristics of a wagon like my 9-5 over any top heavy SUV. But I’m greatly outnumbered on these shores. People love the macho image of the SUV, even the ladies. Frankly, I’m happier with a minivan than an SUV. More space, lower cost to buy, own and insure—-better fuel economy too. But that all important “image” is in driving the SUV I guess. No worries for me, I’m happy in a van or car. Also, the fact that the U.S. hasn’t embraced the utility of hatchbacks is too bad. My first car was a hatchback (Chevy Monza) and I took it to college—-I saw the utility of it—-how I could pack large items in easily, move my whole room back and forth from college to home, etc. So much more useable than the same car (Monza coupe) that had a small trunk instead of the hatch.

                  • Angelo I didn’t say they think there is no value in the Saab Brand… I think Nevs has complete tunnel vision focused on China .. That’s the main focus, The name Saab certainly brings more interest than, say Nev Cars,, They think the Saab brand will draw more attention in China. . If the day comes,distribution outside of China, obviously the Saab name would have greater impact than Nev Cars. How much of premium did they pay for the name?

                    It may have been a minimal up charge in comparison to the real estate etc. Maybe, they were told no plant unless they paid the up charge.. I have no idea.

                    The Saab name certainly has value to them, at what price? I can;t answer that.

                    • Angelo if you respond I also have a question… The Saab name, can Nevs lose it if they don’t reach milestones in the contract..? Or is it Nevs right indefinitely?

                    • Okay, I understand. Your other post asked “What’s the current fan base worth in their eyes” and that’s why I commented that they did go the extra mile to get the name, not just the factory and technology. I don’t know if “reaching milestones” is in any way tied to them keeping use of the name Saab. I did read where things must be based or produced in Sweden for the name to stay with them and I commented then and will again—-agreements are made to be broken. The father of a good friend worked for a large mergers and acquisitions company that did considerable business in China and he told me the Chinese are notorious for their own contractual interpretations and will often bend things to their desire long after the agreement is in place. If in the future, they want to bring this whole thing to China, they’ll find a way to do it and keep the name Saab. What will anyone do about it? Fight China? Obviously, if they are reaping profits in North America and Europe, there would be easy ways to enforce cease and desist orders, etc.—-literally preventing dealers from selling cars. Right now, what I see is a total focus on China and no dealers—–if this ends up being “for China” it will logically end up being “by China” and the name will stay if they want it to, whether anyone likes it or not. Some money will change hands (the correct hands) and it will be over. That’s getting way ahead of things. Right now, I’m still hoping they’re legitimate and that I’ll be able to buy a new Saab in the U.S. some day. As the months pass though, that seems to be less likely and also less important. There are a lot of great things happening in the automotive community here—-I’d love to see Saab as a part of that, but if not, I think we’ll all survive.

  17. It is great to see this new infotainment system and hear about possible Hirsch package.
    In my view, minor improvements would be enough to enrich the overall athmosphere of the 9-3’s interior which is already great. Therefore, there are only two points which I would like to see as changed: air conditioning controls and gear knob. Even upgrading the existing GM style air conditioning by replacing its buttons with piano black buttons to match the infotainment system and changing only the gear knob with more premium looking one would be fantastic.

    • I completely agree. It really wouldn’t take much to bump-up the “premium” factor. It’s still a downright stylish interior, just in need of some improvement.

      • Exactly! I don’t expect NEVS to make a major facelift to the current gen. 9-3’s interior for the 3rd time. But, minor improvements should be considered.

        • The investment to replacing buttons with piano black ones and a new style/shape gear lever is extremely small money. If you really believe these two adjustments would have a positive impact on potential buyers, there’s no reason in the world why they couldn’t have done this. If they are so cash strapped as not to be able to invest in the tools/dies for a new shift knob, they shouldn’t even be in business.

          • I think so that minor improvements wouldn’t require heavy investment. Therefore, I have expressed these two points to be changed.

            I don’t know what NEVS is planning – more or less improvement. But the new infotainment system and idea of offering Hirsh package for the current gen. 9-3′s interior are good news.

            For the Phoenix based future models, I would like to see interiors with sophisticated technologies and premium elements such as real wood trim, genuine leather dash and instrument panel, alcantara headliner etc.

            • There’s that possibility too. Top secret, hush-hush. They might be on the verge of building a car that runs on tomatoes and a few drops of rubbing alcohol. Don’t want to spoil it by talking too much and having Audi steal the idea.

            • The priority is the revival of SAAB. There should be thousands of issues. Interior is just one of those.

              I am optimistic about the “electric” future. Of course, no one should expect NEVS to reveal their plans. Thus, I am patient enough to wait and see.

              • In addition to my words:

                As a part of the revival process, electric 9-3 should be as competitive as its rivals to gain a market share. I am patient enough to wait and see “premium” SAABs.

    • There is no future if revenue isn’t generated.. and what is going down right now won’t cut it. Like it or not.

      The new face lift is going to cost x amount. So that said, they need an interior up grade to match.. If not the money invested will be a waste and will tarnish the brand indefinitely. I will be bold enough to say if it isn’t done with pride, The belief that Nevs is in this, with integrity is a myth..
      Many on the internet believe this purchase was for the Chinese to gain technology advancements in the manufacturing of cars and use the current facility just for that.

      If Nevs doesn’t start openly communicating I for one will know it to be true..

      It May piss some off but it’s the bottom line. Enough of the hush hush approach. Saab fans deserve better, at least the few left deserve transparency.

      • It’s not so much that Saab fans “deserve” anything from NEVS—–it’s more or less your first point: If NEVS doesn’t start opening up, we’ll know that this isn’t really about reviving Saab. I guess that summarizes all the related posts I’ve written—–people who think “there’s a good reason” for NEVS to be this mute might want to believe in Saab so badly, they’re rationalizing stupefying behavior on the part of NEVS by inventing reasons why it is appropriate or “to be expected.” The whole “be patient, good things are coming” thing wore pitifully thin over a year ago. It’s insanity to believe that “good things are right around the corner” and a profit-driven company isn’t previewing/talking about those good things. It just doesn’t work that way in business. You’re right Doug, that their utter silence might just be a strong signal that we’re refusing to recognize. I’m 100% positive that by this time, every square millimeter of that factory has been internalized by the Chinese partner, photographed—-architectural drawings scanned and sent—–machinery studied, processes being learned. They will exhaust every angle and improve upon them when they build their car plant. And honestly, when you buy something, you’re entitled to do exactly what they are doing. The painful fact is that their purchase needed an approval—-they were chosen to do this. People were appointed to make this happen.

        • Right on Angelo very articulate,,great summation.. Its sad,,, Its apparent to me. I feel really bad for the community there. I hope I am wrong I really do. But like you said many great new cars today to focus on,,if this implodes.

          Oh, your right they don’t owe us squat… Especially if they have alternative motives and could careless what previous customers think.

          • If they cared even a little bit about what previous owners (today’s Saab owners) thought, we would know it. They have sent not even a whisper of a signal that they care at all.

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