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The Future of Saab?

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  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 29,179
    They usually run pretty good lease specials on the Saab convertible (which is definitely a car you want to lease, not own)...

    And, if you shop for a BMW 330Ci convertible, you'll find most of them are in the $50K-$52K range... :surprise:

    Of course, you can drive a BMW convertible for 3 years, and still get 65% of the MSRP back out of it.... not a bad deal, if you can swing the payment in the meantime...

    regards,
    kyfdx
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  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    The 9-3 'vert aero with metallic paint (lime yellow--HOT) , cold weather package, and touring package is $44,915. A 330 'vert with cold and xenons is $47,620. Unfortunately, the 330 still has the old engine & platform. However, even the "old" 330 handles better. It's the engine that's the issue. 258lb-ft@1900RPM is delicious. Pity it all goes through the front wheels.

    With the saab 'verts, the best deal is either to lease it on one of the advertised lease specials, or euro deliver it. Euro delivery is 9% off the sticker, and $2000 travelling cash, and you have a car to drive in europe. So for "my" vert above, $38,872, and i save whatever a 4 week rental of a nice car would cost me in europe.

    I still think that when you factor in depreciation, you come out more or less even, considering everything. So, you ought to get what you like. I'm still not sure myself. The new 3-series has some great aspects, but i'm not sure about it's overly tecchie nature( runflats/no spare? no dipstick? Etc ).

    dave
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    My son wants a 2003 SE Convertible when he learns to drive. (or whenever he can afford one)

    The steep depreciation certainly works in our favor.

    But nobody pays MSRP for a Saab, and $43K is MSRP. Perhaps you can get it out the door for $40K.

    Which certainly makes it cheaper than the 330Ci or the CLK. Then again, its not exactly the car the 330Ci and CLK are either...
  • Dave,

    I don't think you are comparing apples to apples. Doesn't the Saab have far more standard items and for the Bimmer the roof, slush box, leather, etc. are all options? Does your 330 sticker price of $36,600 include these?

    Handling. Sure the 330i out carves a 9-5 but for 6 months a year in New England no way does it "destroy" a Saab. Some days you just aren't going to be going to work or business school in a Bimmer.
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    "I don't think you are comparing apples to apples. Doesn't the Saab have far more standard items and for the Bimmer the roof, slush box, leather, etc. are all options? Does your 330 sticker price of $36,600 include these?"

    Well, sunroof is standard on the 330. Slushbox isn't standard on either, but the 330 has xenons standard which the 9-5 does not. You might be more right for 2006, i think saab has cut prices and put on more standard equipment, but it's not on the saab site yet.

    I think the winter thing is overblown. When i had a BMW and a saab in the garage, the saab was absolutely hopeless in the snow because of the z-rated tires it came with. I drive alll over hilly wintery wisconsin in my 3-series with snows.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    That's odd, why would you mount snows on the Bimmer? Was that the car that had to commute a longer distance or something?

    With the wrong tires any car will stink in the snow. STI and EVO come with summer tread, for instance.

    -juice
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    I mounted snows on the bimmer when i moved back to the north. By that point i had already parted ways with the saab. I might have still chosen the bimmer otherwise. The bimmer was stick ( better in the snow ), has traction control ( the saab didn't ) and the turbo lag made driving in the snow a little iffy. That would overbalance the extra FWD traction, i think.

    My point was a 9-5 won't automatically be great in the snow, and something else awful. Tires matter most.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Has traction control been standard for a while now? Probably, not sure what year that started, though.

    It probably comes with all-seasons, unless they've been replaced with something else. I doubt a 9-5 owner would use summer tires, it's not that type of extreme performance car, not to mention Saab has a lot of owners in the snow belt.

    I agree about the turbo, you do not want that kicking in suddenly just when you've gained traction!

    -juice
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    TCS is standard on the 9-5 and it has "high-performance" all seasons.

    I still maintain that tires matter more than drivetrain layout, but i'll say no more since this is off-topic and has been beaten to *death*.

    dave
  • C & D had a long article a year or so ago comparing RWD, FWD, AWD with and w/o "modern" winter tires like Blizzaks, Arctic Alpins, etc. Visualize a 3 X 2 table. It turns out that just putting on winter tires moved the stopping and starting capability forward one category (RWD, FWD, AWD) in traction. In other words a RWD car while hopeless w/o winter tires, if it had the winter tires was equal to a FWD car w/o winter tires, a FWD with winter tires was almost as good as an AWD w/o them. Interesting piece and one that confirms your thoughts on a Saab vs a properly shod bimmer.
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    I think i know the article you're talking about, but remember that it was more of a drastic change than that, particularly when stopping and turning were taken into consideration.
  • Lets assume that Saab had made all the right product moves over the last 25 years, where would they be today in the US market? Lets assume that in the early 80's Saab moved upscale with leather, sterios, heated seats, moon roofs, etc. to accomodate the emerging Boomer class that was tiring of college kid type cars as they made a few bucks for the first time. Then in the 90's and beyond Saab to hang onto its market position as The Winter Car offerred a Haldex AWD system for all of 2K at retail as an option in all models ("Saab, Control All The Time"). This would have beaten back Volvo as they got rolling with their S70 series of AWD and also repelled the Audi quattro invasion. Curiously, not only did they never offer AWD, but recently in a stroke of genius they cut back and only offer heated seats up front. I don't think have ever had heated steering wheels! This sure hurts any attempt to be The Winter Car and could only have been dreamed up by an Atlanta based organization. (Yes, Saab, the car for the Northeast, was run out of GA for a while. I suspect that the US management confused being closer to your customer with being closer to the beach. No, I swear I am not making this up.)

    Finally, in the late '90s lets assume that Saab had more of a performance option than just a 4 cylinder, turbo charged to within an inch of its life in the Aero. To accomodate the emerging performance market Saab would have had a decent 300 HP V6 with a turbo hanging off each bank in the 9-5 Aero and the 9-3 Aero would have received the turbo 4 now in the 9-5 Aero. Audi dealers would not be happy to have an 9-5 mop up the S4 market and generate showroom traffic. There might even be a diesel option in the 9-3 or 9-5 wagon. (l would have restricted the diesel option to the wagon to get a premium for it and to really carve out a niche.) This would have been a killer for all those that couldn't swing an E Class Diesel Wagon or wanted something different than an SUV. Additonally, the chassis would have been stiffened and the words "torque steer" would not be synonymous with Saab.

    Besides changing the content to keep pace with demographic trends and the competition Saab should have developed a third model.. Seemingly all successful car companies have a three model lineup, with variants.

    OK, where would Saab be today with appropriate content and a three model line of bona fide Saabs? IMHO they would be probably selling at least as many cars as Audi, the Johnny come lately to the party, and closing in on Volvo. The shame of it is that Saab was on second base and looking toward home plate when their competition was still trying to get on first base. Then they fell asleep in a nice Waspish way.
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    I think it comes down to: what if vw had bought saab and not GM. ;)

    I agree, saab could be in audi's spot. Audi almost pulled out of the US, after all.

    Does volvo really sell more cars than audi? I thought it was the other way around,
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    would probably be the fourth best selling European car, behind M-Benz, BMW, and VW, and in front of Volvo and Audi.

    Saab would also have built a home grown crossover around 2002ish if they made all the right moves.

    Are they closing down the Aero Academy? 9-3 Aeros are not eligible, and they dumped all 9-5 trimlines, in favor of just 1 model. Will they still send 9-5 owners down to Georgia?

    And if they made all the right moves this discussion would be called The Future of Audi....

    Maybe Saab is headed for better days, we'll just have to see what GM shows us and put out a verdict...
  • Yeh, lets close down the Aero Academy. We don't want to have too many people to have too much fun in a Saab. I say let anyone attend who wants to attend, Saab owner, prospect or whatever. The Aero owner though would have priority and pay less. Give the dealers free Aero school slots to be distributed to sales guys and customers when they meet certain goals.

    Not so incidentally, has anyone recently priced out a two day Porsche school weekend? With less instructional content than Saab, a weekend at the Porsche North American school is about 4K per couple for tuition alone. Plus expenses. This new Porsche owner figured that the after tax 7K (two round trip airfare tickets, three or four nights at something better than a Motel 6, maybe $1500 in dinners, drinks, incidentals, a rental, etc adds up to 3K real fast) better belonged in his pocket.
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    I was thinking that they could keep it running, but I guess the GM bean counters don't see the importance of having a free (or low cost) driving academy for owners.
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    the Opel based crossover I proposed?

    This sounds oddly similar. I'm looking forward to seeing them in Saab dealerships.

    http://www.thecarconnection.com/Enthusiasts/Spy_Shots/Spy_Shots_08_Opel_Crossover.S178.A93- 84.html
  • As GM talks the talk about Saab, I read this industry comment: ""There's more possibility to move Saab because many people don't have preconceived notions about it," said Jim Hall, industry analyst with AutoPacific in Detroit.

    Probably very accurate. The last true 9-3 Saab was manufactured in 2002, and the 9-5 (while very Saab) is dated. GM has lost much of its Saabophile base in favor of the mass public, whose fidelity is fickle. Ill-conceived 9-2 and 9-7 models just add to the sense that Saab has totally lost direction.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    They added this to appease dealers, I bet. They wanted a truck to sell, the quickest solution GM could find was this rebadge.

    It sells the soul of the brand, though, what happened to:

    The State of Independence, where all cars are turbocharged?

    At least the 9-2x was a turbo.

    -juice
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    I heard Saab is going to keep your aspirations of turbo engines very much alive. Don't you think the addition of AWD for all models will help ?

    I am personally very excited by what the GM of SAAB had to say. I think the future is bright, and the future won't include rebadges ! ;)

    Rocky
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Dunno, I'm a skeptic. Management is always optimistic. Remember that crazy Korean that was in charge of Daewoo, and all his non-sensical quotes? He sounded like a drunk fortune cookie. :D

    Saab could have been the US version of Opels, to keep a Euro character. But that's what Saturn is going to be.

    So what will Saab be? More rebadged Chevys with extra sound insulation?

    -juice
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    -juice, have you read this article ?????

    Related ArticlesFirst Drive: 2006 Saab 9-3 SportCombi Saab 9-5 Gets Modest Face-Lift for 2006 Model First Drive: 2006 Saab 9-7X More InfoMore Features More Personalities Features ToolsE-mail This Page To a Friend Inside Line Q&A: Saab USA's Jay Spenchian

    PhotosSlideshow

    (Enlarge photo) Jay Spenchian (Photo courtesy of Saab Cars USA)
    (Enlarge photo) Saab, in the midst of its biggest launch year, introduces its first sport-utility vehicle, the 9-7X. (Photo courtesy of Saab Cars USA)
    (Enlarge photo) Saab introduces the 9-3 SportCombi this year; it will use the SportCombi designation on all wagons. (Photo courtesy of Saab Cars USA)

    His New Job? To "Invigorate a Renaissance Within Saab"
    By: Anita Lienert

    Date Posted 07-18-2005

    Jay Spenchian, 46, named general manager of Saab Cars USA April 1, says his task is to "invigorate a renaissance within Saab." He presides over the General Motors Swedish brand during its biggest launch year ever, including the debut of its new 9-7X, the brand's first SUV. Spenchian joined GM in 1998, holding a variety of positions with Cadillac, including marketing director for the CTS, XLR and SRX, and Escalade brand manager. Prior to joining GM, Spenchian held brand management positions with The Pillsbury Company, Sara Lee Corporation, H.J. Heinz Company and PepsiCo Inc. He has a bachelor's degree and an MBA from Michigan State University. He was interviewed for Inside Line by Anita Lienert at the media launch of the 2006 Saab 9-7X in Quebec City, Quebec.

    Word is Saab could get as many as seven new products. What's the plan for the next year or two and beyond that?
    The 2006 9-7X, the medium-lux utility, and the 9-3 SportCombi, a wagon in the late fall as an '06 model. We have the 9-5 midcycle enhancement — exterior and interior changes, pretty significant from a visual standpoint. A lot of the same cues that are in the 9-3.

    Any powertrain changes in the 9-5?
    No. We're pretty happy with the powertrain. We'll have 260 horsepower at the top end on the Aero.

    Is there a successor to the 9-5 in the pipeline?
    There's a pretty strong successor in the pipeline off the global Epsilon platform. We are working on that right now.

    When could we see that?
    In the next three to four years.

    As a 2008 model?
    2008 or a little bit further out than that.

    Can you tell me anything else?
    We're looking at all-wheel drive as an addition…even though it's a shared platform [with the Cadillac BLS], it will be uniquely Saab.

    What else are you adding to the portfolio?
    The V6 engine, the 2.8 turbo that's being added to the 9-3 lineup across the board. That will be in the fall in conjunction with the launch of the SportCombi and the new 9-3 offerings, the convertible and the sedan. The Aero version will have 250 horsepower in a V6.

    Beyond that?
    The next year, we've talked about looking for a three-row vehicle in the utility area and also looking at another utility in the entry-level space, in the 9-3 space — an X3 fighter. That probably takes us out four to five years.

    By 2010, what will Saab's portfolio look like?
    It will look pretty strong because you'll have entries in all the major growth segments and then you'll have refreshes, totally new vehicles in two of the primary segments. With the addition of all-wheel drive and possibly some other potential engine choices we're evaluating, we'll have all the bases covered.

    Are you trying for all-wheel drive across the entire lineup?
    The goal is to do that if we can.

    What's the time frame?
    Four to five years out.

    Is that one of the major goals?
    It's one of the requests we've made. The folks in Sweden see the need for it, too. It's a good fit with the brand.

    When will you publicly unveil the new 9-6X crossover based on the Subaru B9 Tribeca?
    Not determined yet. Right now, we've made some requests from the folks helping us with the 9-6 about making sure we have the proper differentiation and the things that will make it uniquely Saab.

    When is the earliest it could go on sale?
    Probably spring of '06 — the earliest. Any later than spring puts you into the '07 model year.

    Will the 9-4X crossover that's supposed to come off the Theta platform have more SUV cues, like the Chevy Equinox or will it be more of a tall wagon like the Saturn Vue?
    Ours has an aggressive look. It would be competing head-to-head with the X3. It would be an aggressive wagon, but a little bit lower than a normal SUV. But it would have an SUV-like look. It would be like the Equinox, but sportier-looking.

    Do you need the 9-4X in the lineup?
    We definitely need it. If you look at the affluent lifestyles, people want versatility. They want packages where it's fun to drive — if they give up their sport sedan. The price point would allow younger families to get a chance to experience Saab.

    So there is a 9-4X in the pipeline?
    We are evaluating that segment for sure — it's pretty safe to say.

    What is the time frame on the 9-4X?
    Within four years.

    By calendar year 2009?
    Yes, calendar year '09, as a model year '10.

    Isn't the 9-7X due to be replaced in about two years?
    If this vehicle goes like we think it goes, there's a lot of us talking about how to extend its life. Potentially, the 9-6 and a 9-7 could coexist.

    Why didn't you just wait until the Lambda-based 9-7 was ready for production?
    We looked at it and thought this could make a very credible entry and pick up volume that we've lost. Thirty percent of Saab buyers leave the franchise because there's no SUV. And 40 percent have a different SUV.

    What's the plan for the next-generation 9-2X, which was a modestly refashioned version of the Subaru WRX?
    We are in the process of talking about that. All of us would agree that we'd like to maximize the differentiation. So, there's a desire to continue the relationship.

    What's the time frame?
    Nothing official yet. We've got a commitment for the 2006 model to continue. We've got it to a steady state now — a regular volume. The major change is all part of ongoing negotiations. It's an attractive segment. If possible, we'd like to improve on the differentiation.

    Will the new one come from Japan or North America?
    I don't know.

    Saab lovers have been hoping for a modern-day successor to the old Sonett sports car. Is there something like that in the plan?
    Possibly. Maybe as one of our upcoming concepts. We may test the waters. But nothing firm for production.

    Would it be called a Sonett, and is that a good name?
    We haven't decided. Globally, [the name] might be. There's a familiarity with Saab loyalists. I'm not sure what it says to somebody in the U.S.

    When is the earliest that we could see that concept?
    It won't be this year. I guess the earliest is our next concept car — not for the '06 auto show circuit, but maybe beyond that.

    When production of the 9-3X moves to Russelsheim, Germany, will the
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    This guy and the General will make the brand prosper, and I do have confidence in that. Yes, probably alot more than you. I think AWD and the new models will give SAAB a future as a premium world brand. :D

    -Rocky
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Spenchian held brand management positions with The Pillsbury Company, Sara Lee Corporation, H.J. Heinz Company and PepsiCo Inc. He has a bachelor's degree and an MBA

    Brand management = rebadging.

    He's not even a car guy. He knows more about baking, food, and soda!

    Saab is doomed.

    The article is out-of-date, for instance the 9-6x project is long gone.

    -juice
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    The 9-6X was aborted, so the article is out of date.
    Agreed. Saab's pretty much doomed.

    Unless GM can REALLY turn the thing around.
    How long can the "Born from Jets" slogan last anyways? After a year everyone will know they used to build jets, so then what?
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    I'll wait until i see some of the new cars. If they suck, saab is dead. If they're great, then not. Anything else is guesswork.

    As is, i think the 9-3 is a very nice car and quite competitive. Potent v6, leather, sunroof, fogs, xenons, leather and a lot more for 32K. I don't really care if people like the marketing campaign.

    dave
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    is actually a very attractive car.

    That convertible looks really stunning, IMO.
  • Not only is he not a car guy, he can't seem to give a straight answer. This guy comes off as a little too slick with nice, bland answers. I wonder how much European car experience he has, if he has even ever owned a European import, if his passport is as empty of stamps as W's is, etc. Yes, I am saying that to market Saab successfully one should understand the sensibilities of Saab, Volvo, Audi, etc. and not just be a midwestern guy on GMs fast track.

    OTH he did do a good job marketing the CTS.

    I wonder what happened to the woman who was his predecsor?
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