Saab believes huge losses are in the past; addition of 9-2, 9-7 in U.S. are key

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by TriShield, Sep 23, 2003.

  1. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    By WIM OUDE WEERNINK | Automotive News
    (08:30 Sep. 23, 2003)

    FRANKFURT -- Saab Automobile AB's loss of 4.5 billion Swedish kronor (more than $500 million) in 2002 will not derail the company's mid-term recovery strategy. Saab Automobile CEO Per Augustsson said the automaker's loss in 2003 will be much less.

    "We wrote off all investments at once, including for the new Saab 9-3," Augustsson said. He predicted it will take Saab less than five years to break even. "We are ahead of our cost reduction plan," he said.

    Saab's finances will be affected by Sweden's vote last week against adopting the euro, Communications Director Eric Geers said. The kronor is a more volatile currency than the euro, he noted. As a result of the vote, Saab will continue to work with four currencies, leaving it vulnerable to monetary developments. Augustsson said currency fluctuations hurt Saab's earnings, accounting for approximately $280 million worth of losses during the past two years.

    As in years past, Saab's annual sales target is 200,000 units. Last year, global sales totaled 123,328 vehicles. GM CEO Rick Wagoner thinks Saab is hampered by a lack of variety. "Saab needs more products," Wagoner said. Augustsson expects Saab's two new offerings to boost total sales.

    In January, Saab will unveil the smaller, all-wheel-drive 9-2 at the Los Angeles and Detroit auto shows. The cars go on sale in the USA in May 2004. In 2005, Saab will introduce the 9-7 sport-utility, which uses GM's midsize truck platform. The 9-7 will offer six-cylinder and V-8 engines.

    "The 9-2 and 9-7 will add another 7,000 to 10,000 and 10,000 to 15,000 units to our future sales volume, respectively, and will help us to reach our 200,000 target volume," Augustsson said. "They will definitely generate profit." Initially, the 9-2 and 9-7 are for the US market exclusively. "But in their next model cycle, they come to Europe," Augustsson said.

    GM affilliate Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd., maker of Subaru cars, will produce the 9-2. The 9-2 and 9-7 will have carry- over body parts but remain individual, Saab design chief Michael Mauer said. "If you didn't know these cars' origins, you wouldn't recognize the donor car at first sight," Mauer said. "It is much more than badge engineering. In particular, the front and rear end and the interior will all be Saab." Mauer's influence on Saab's designs is increasing. The designer, hired from Smart three years ago, is responsible for 70 percent of the work on the Saab 9-3.

    Saab's 9-3 and 9-5 remain the company's core models. Saab plans additional versions. It is also working on new diesel and gasoline engines.

    Saab posted a large loss last year as it wrote off major investments, CEO Per Augustsson said.

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    Saab to build in the U.S.

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    To better handle currency fluctuations, General Motors will build Saabs for the crucial North American market in the U.S. Changing exchange rates have cost Saab approximately $280 million during the past two years. The company works with dollars, euros, pounds and kronor.

    Saab will counter its currency issue by producing its 9-7 sport-utility in the U.S. The 9-7 will not be the only Saab built outside of Europe. The company will produce its entry-level five-door 9-2 in Japan.

    Both cars will only be sold in the U.S. during their initial model years.

    GM CEO Rick Wagoner hasn't ruled out building even more Saabs in the U.S. specifically targeted to the North American market. He said he would like the brand to increase sales in the world's biggest car market. -Wim Oude Weernink

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  2. nucl3ar

    nucl3ar Guest

    silly Swedes
     
  3. interstate

    interstate New Member

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    any pics of the 9-2 or 9-7 besides concept drawings?
     
  4. B17A

    B17A Now with more ///M

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    That 9-2 is going to be pimp. I wonder what differences in quality (if any) people will be able to notice, with them being built in Japan. :dunno:
     
  5. Mugatu

    Mugatu Ask me about market research. OT Supporter

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    saab = :cool:
     
  6. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    No.

    I don't think drawings of the 9-7 have been released.
     
  7. interstate

    interstate New Member

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    Although after owning my wagon, i wanted my next car to be a sedan or coupe, that drawing of the 9-2 is pretty nice looking.. I might have to wait and see how it looks when its released to make my decision on wether or not ill consider it..
     
  8. sambo2005

    sambo2005 New Member

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    I heard that the 9-2 is going to be built with the WRX's 227hp engine. Any truth to this statement?
     
  9. SCRanger

    SCRanger Guest


    Truth.
     
  10. pokpok

    pokpok New Member

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    id take a subaru then a gay saab

    dude: hey, what do you drive??
    me: a saab.
    dude: ........
     
  11. 93ex

    93ex New Member

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    the new saabs are hot and I have been seeing mroe of them latley
     
  12. Mugatu

    Mugatu Ask me about market research. OT Supporter

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    :werd: but I miss the hatchbacks :(
     
  13. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    Truth.
     
  14. sambo2005

    sambo2005 New Member

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    Wow, can you put brand names aside for a second and look at the actual car? The concept sketch looks rather attractive and intimidating compared to the WRX's econobox with park bench spoiler on the trunk. I'd take a 9-2 with 2 doors and a hatch over the bland WRX anyday.
     
  15. SCRanger

    SCRanger Guest

    :squint:
     
  16. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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  17. Vineyard311

    Vineyard311 Wanna Race?

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    Even Though Im a GM fan, the 9-7 is just gonna be another rebadged Chevy Trailblazer. That platform is overly saturated right now.

    Now this is a SAAB I would pimp

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    [​IMG]
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  18. Demon Of Dreams

    Demon Of Dreams Feed me with lies and hate, and from that, I will

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    saab = mousy car.

    i'd drive a mousy car if I could put ears and whiskers n stuff on it..

    I'd also drive that 9-2 :yum:
     
  19. Demon Of Dreams

    Demon Of Dreams Feed me with lies and hate, and from that, I will

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  20. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    Doubtful.

    I predict the only thing that will remain untouched is the platform and driveline, everything else will be different.
     
  21. mrautoxer

    mrautoxer Guest

  22. b20civic

    b20civic skateboarding is not a crime

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    Saab stories linger in Aspen and Vail
    By Troy Hooper/Aspen Daily News Staff Writer


    Police and other officials in Aspen and Vail may enjoy driving Saabs but it appears likely that there will be a few less of the Swedish cars for them to drive next year - that is, if there are any at all.

    Stickier-than-usual contract negotiations have been under way for several weeks now and officials in both mountain towns said Wednesday that Saab is demanding more money than it has in the past and will likely need to cut the number of cars it provides to Aspen and Vail nearly in half.

    "Saab made us an offer and we made them a counter offer about two weeks ago. I haven't heard back from them yet. We're still waiting for a response," said Town of Vail fleet manager Todd Scholl.

    For some 25 years, Aspen and Vail have been the only cities in the nation that Saab provides cars for at a subsidized rate, and, in return, the Swedish car manufacturer, of which General Motors Corp. bought the remaining ownership last year, relishes a type of marketing exposure unlike any other.

    "There's certainly the good exposure from it and we've understood that and appreciated that all along. But as any business must, we constantly reevaluate everything we do," said Saab director of corporate communications Kevin Smith.

    A difficult economic climate has prompted the contract reconsideration, Smith said, and the company has already elected to forego some of its other marketing strategies.

    "The contract is something we have to take a harder look at this year than we have had to in previous years," he said.

    In recent years, Smith said the arrangement has annually cost Saab hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    While a Saab 9-5, the model driven by Aspen police, retails for well over $30,000, the city of Aspen pays a monthly rate of just $302 per vehicle. Saab typically replaces the vehicles after 15,000 miles, which usually occurs in 18 months or less.

    Both Aspen and Vail have about 13 of the silver sedans, which are used as police department patrol cars and vehicles for city managers and other government personnel. This year Saab is thus far only offering seven vehicles, and at a higher monthly rate.

    "The only reason we want to find out now is for next year's budget," Aspen Police Department assistant police chief Richard Pryor said.

    In Vail, Scholl said that Saab had initially informed officials there that it was dropping the program. Subsequently, the town put together a committee to research other types of patrol cars it could begin using.

    "We're looking at all the domestics; Chevy, Ford, Chrysler," he said, adding that police specialize their patrol cars with a spot for weapon in the front of the car, plus video cameras and a cage separating themselves from criminals riding in the backseat.

    "They're considering their options and we are as well. It is definitely understandable and we may find the only way to continue the program is reduce the size of the fleets to reduce the size of our costs," said Smith.

    "If the program gets reduced or the entire program goes away, it'll be a shame certainly but it is something that has cost us a significant amount of money," Smith said.

    "The good news is we're still in negotiations with Vail and Aspen," he said.

    Contracts with both mountain towns expire Jan. 31, 2004.








    saab is ending contract with Vail, colorado police
     
  23. anomaly

    anomaly If you weren't around for the original HA.net spli

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    :wackit: to the 9-2. A 2 door WRX with a Saab interior. HOT!
     
  24. Demon Of Dreams

    Demon Of Dreams Feed me with lies and hate, and from that, I will

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    :werd: and saab exterior :naughty:

    hopefully it'll be a hatch, that'd be badass...

    modern mousey car > *
     
  25. interstate

    interstate New Member

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    I wish they would make it a sedan or coupe.. I want a non-wagon..
     

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