Yesterday, we reported on the fact that General Motors' global sales summary for 2008 included a mention that both the Saab 9-5 and 9-3X would be launching in 2009. We also took note of the fact that the 9-4X was not mentioned anywhere. Saab spokesman Jan-Willem Vester also noticed what we wrote and dropped us a note. Responding to whether Saab might "just slowly slide off into oblivion," Vester says:
The word 'oblivion' is certainly not in Saab's vocabulary anytime soon, especially since the Swedish government has proven be to be very supportive of the brand as one of its best known products around the world and a main source of jobs for the region.As for the 9-4X, Vester points to the fact that the vehicle is still being tested and regularly caught on camera, including this provided shot taken somewhere in the vicinity of Arjeplog, Sweden. The 9-4X shares its architecture with the Cadillac SRX and producing it would certainly add to the economies of scale. Based on its size, design and likely powertrains, the 9-4X should certainly be a far better fit in the lineup than the Trailblazer-based 9-7X ever was.
Given that GM would apparently like to offload the brand on a new owner and is taking steps to make it more autonomous, it certainly makes sense to keep the 9-4X alive, fleshing out the lineup and making for a more appealing purchase. However, with no firm launch date and GM still struggling, the 9-4X's long-term viability may still be in doubt if no one opts to buy Saab.