GM Green lights Saab SUV.

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by TriShield, Jul 4, 2003.

  1. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    Saab promises 'different' SUV; mid-sized truck will fill big void in model lineup

    By DIANA T. KURYLKO | Automotive News
    (08:30 June 30, 2003)

    In an answer to its dealers' prayers, Saab will get an SUV based on the Chevrolet TrailBlazer for the 2005 model year.

    The mid-sized truck will fill a huge hole in Saab's buyer-retention numbers - 25 percent of buyers who leave the brand each year do so to buy an SUV, according to Debra Kelly-Ennis, CEO of the U.S. sales arm. "These numbers are compelling," Kelly-Ennis said last week in a roundtable with Automotive News editors and reporters. "Our dealers sit there year after year watching other makes get SUVs."

    Kelly-Ennis said Saab originally wanted to use the platform of the new Cadillac SRX for its vehicle. But after a year of discussion, the project was scuttled because of the costs involved.

    "For the first time in Saab's history, we are looking to develop and bring to market a vehicle that would rely almost solely on one market," Kelly-Ennis said. "Therefore, the costs couldn't be spread over 50 markets worldwide."

    The automaker also hopes to get a sport wagon based on GM's Epsilon car platform, she said. But that project, which could come to market in three years, is awaiting approval.

    The SUV, to be called the 9-7, will have different exterior design, interior trim and chassis refinements than the TrailBlazer and its derivatives, said Saab product spokesman Kevin Smith.

    "It will have very different handling, with excellent braking and performance," he said. "It will be significantly different than the GMC Envoy, Chevy TrailBlazer, Oldsmobile Bravada, Buick Rainier and Isuzu Ascender."

    Smith said sales likely would be between 5,000 and 15,000 units annually. "It is too early to divulge volume, but it would be nothing near 25 percent of our sales," he said.

    Rather than try to compete with car-based vehicles such as the Volvo XC90 or the Lexus RX 330, the Saab SUV will be pitted against other truck-based vehicles, Smith said.

    Chris Cerrina, a member of the Saab Business Team and owner of Parkfield Motors Inc. in Bergenfield, N.J., said dealers were shown the 9-7 recently and were "amazed" at the degree of differentiation from other GM models.

    "We didn't expect the extent of the changes that were put into the model," he said. The 9-7's truck platform will not be an issue with buyers, Cerrina said. The vehicle will attract new buyers to the brand in the same way that the 9-3 has, he said.

    Saab expects to sell more than 40,000 cars this year, a level it hasn't reached in 16 years, largely because of the 9-3 replacement, which debuted last fall.

    Saab sold 37,805 vehicles in the United States last year, up 0.7 percent,and sales through May are up 24 percent. Because the 9-3 is a sedan, rather than a hatchback like its predecessors, Saab has attracted new buyers, Kelly-Ennis said.

    For the first time, 42 percent of buyers of the 9-3 rated exterior styling as the major reason they purchased the vehicle, she said. Traditionally, design has rated lower on the scale, she said. A convertible version goes on sale in October.

    The hatchback will return to the Saab range next year when two versions of a small all-wheel-drive car, the 9-2, premier. The 9-2 is based on the Subaru Impreza. The base 9-2 will be the only Saab without a turbocharged engine. It will use Subaru's 2.5-liter H-4 engine, while the Aero model will be powered by a 2.0-liter turbo version.
     
  2. Rev. Johnny Vegas

    Rev. Johnny Vegas Rectal Ventriloquist

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    :bigthumb: to a Saab sports car.
     
  3. Mugatu

    Mugatu Ask me about market research. OT Supporter

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    :( to SAAB SUV
     
  4. Dr. Woo

    Dr. Woo Guns don't kill people

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    Yay! ANOTHER Trailblazer/Envoy/Ascender/Bravada/Rainier to add to the mix!
     
  5. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    Does OT read?

    It probably won't look a lot like any of those despite being on the same platform. You know the Hummer H3 and Chevrolet SSR will also use that platform, and sport very different personalities. Ditto for the Pontiac Bonneville and Cadillac Seville, which are the same platform as well.
     
  6. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    It'll be the first Subaru with a nice interior. :bigthumb:
     
  7. Dr. Woo

    Dr. Woo Guns don't kill people

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    "It will have very different handling, with excellent braking and performance," he said. "It will be significantly different than the GMC Envoy, Chevy TrailBlazer, Oldsmobile Bravada, Buick Rainier and Isuzu Ascender."

    They say that about EVERY derivitive.
     
  8. Dr. Woo

    Dr. Woo Guns don't kill people

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    :eek: IBedit?

    EDIT: Thwack me.
     
  9. Rev. Johnny Vegas

    Rev. Johnny Vegas Rectal Ventriloquist

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    I'll be really interested to see how it does in the market and what it comes together like.
     
  10. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    The drawings look really cool,

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Saab has officially announced that it will introduce this new entry-level model next spring. The announcement comes after General Motors, which owns Saab and has a controlling interest in Subaru, decided to exploit the two brands' similar personalities. To that end, the 9-2 will be essentially a restyled Impreza with the base model offering a 2.5-liter flat four while Aero models will get the turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder from the WRX. All-wheel drive will be standard but expect the 9-2 to have a more upscale interior than the Impreza. The 9-2 will be built by Subaru in Japan with sales expected to start in the spring of 2004.
     
  11. Dr. Woo

    Dr. Woo Guns don't kill people

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    A Subaru with a decent interior...

    ...and a Saab with BUILD QUALITY! :bigthumb:
     
  12. Rev. Johnny Vegas

    Rev. Johnny Vegas Rectal Ventriloquist

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    I've seen those renderings before. If the car looks 1/2 that good it could be a huge thing for Saab in the US.
     
  13. mucky

    mucky .

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    With the exception of the Bravada and add the Saab SUV in now, can you say let's all compete with one another? :ugh:
     
  14. RDB

    RDB Blinded By Subpar Modulators

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    Wtf
     
  15. LBKornhusker

    LBKornhusker Muscular cyborg German dude dances with sexy Frenc

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    Saab promises a "different" SUV? How so? The SUV market is so flooded with SUVs of different size, shape, power, use, appearance, that anything new is going to be just "another SUV." Anymore, the only way to be different with an SUV is to not make one.







    By the way, I drive a pathfinder. :fawk:
     
  16. Dr. Woo

    Dr. Woo Guns don't kill people

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    :werd: What about the Mitsubishi Endeavor? A "different" SUV? What makes it different?

    The Saab SUV is gonna look just like the eleventy billion other models it's based on, and all it's gonna be is a glorified "Swedish" grocery-getter.
     
  17. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    That all may be, but it's pretty obvious from the stats that the brand need an SUV if it's losing more customers every year to SUVs.

    That's probably why most brands have an truck/SUV these days.
     
  18. Dr. Woo

    Dr. Woo Guns don't kill people

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    A sad fact for car enthusiasts...:(
     
  19. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    Yeah. :(

    But at least this Saab SUV will have the ignition in the console. :x:
     
  20. daft punk

    daft punk New Member

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    the new 9-3 blows, this sounds like it will too
     
  21. Coma Black

    Coma Black Guest

    As long as it keeps the traditional Saab formula, I'll be perfectly content to see it at dealerships when I take my car to service.

    GM, come on: we need a turbo 3800 :big grin:
     
  22. jinushaun

    jinushaun New Member

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    I'm OK with a Sabb SUV. Whatever keeps Saab afloat.

    As for the 9-2. Can't wait! A Subaru with a nice interiour and Saab styling! :cool: :bigthumb: The Saab loyalists talk about it like it's a bad thing. WRX ain't exactly a Neon.
     
  23. Penguin Man

    Penguin Man Protect Your Digital Liberties

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    Nooooooooo... Thusfar GM has resisted the urge to copy all their Chevy/Pontiac/Buick/Oldsmobile/GMC/Etc... vehicles under the Saab name. We'll see, they might make it unique, but as someone else said, my guess is it will be a Saab Envoy. The Saab lineup seems fine to me as it is, they look great and seem to be performing well.
     
  24. jinushaun

    jinushaun New Member

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    Saab is a source of HUGE losses for GM. They're desparate to get Saab anywhere near being profitable.
     
  25. someguy

    someguy WWMD?

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