• May 13th 2010 at 2:31PM
  • 18
2011 Saab 9-5 – Click above for high-res image gallery

Just five months ago, Saab was on the verge of liquidation, never to be seen or heard from again. But now that Spyker has purchased the Swedish automaker from General Motors and the company's finances appear to be approaching normalcy, there is suddenly a bit of confidence emanating from Trollhatten. Saab CEO Jan Ake Jonsson spoke with Aussie site Drive and discussed what it will take for the company to break even and eventually turn a profit.

Jonsson claims that Saab could see black ink in the balance sheets by the second half of 2011, provided the company averages 80,000 to 85,000 global annual sales. That's a real possibility considering the struggling marquee managed 98,000 sales in 2008, though 2009 was a lost year considering the fact that GM shuttered Saab production for months on end. Many car buyers also shied away from Saab given the uncertainty surrounding the brand's future. Jonsson says Saab will be "quite profitable" at 125,000 units.

Jonsson tells Drive that dealers are getting vehicles again, and new product is on the way. The 2011 Saab 9-5 is scheduled to arrive in July, followed by the 9-4X sometime in 2011. A sportier 9-3 with aircraft-inspired styling will reportedly arrive sometime in 2012. Saab also feels that it has room to go in emerging markets like China and India, and company executives are pondering a smaller Saab to help further boost sales.

[Source: Drive]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Man, I dig that car and I can't wait to test drive one.

      I'm really rooting for SAAB and Volvo both. I don't think worldwide volume of 85k is out of the question for SAAB, but only if they find the cash fund a marketing campaign to capitalize on all the good feelings stemming from their newfound independent status.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm sorry, but I have a hard time seeing how this is feasible.

      What other carmakers sell in the ~80k units/year range that aren't either very highend luxury/sports cars or don't have rich parent companies to support them??

      I could see maybe them surviving at that ~80k units/year range for a little while, but how is that going to give them the money to invest in new platforms or other technology to update their products and continue beyond their current models?

      Subaru is the only mass-market carmaker that I can think of that sells in that roughly that volume range, but they haven't been totally independent in decades. Now they have Toyota's resources to help refrain the cost of new powertrains and platforms.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I know, saw it as the screen was refreshing
        ... stupid AB has no edit button.
        • 5 Years Ago
        You realize right that they mean worldwide sales right?

        Porsche sells around 80-100,000 worldwide
        Volvo sells around 400,000 worldwide

        So Saab is aiming to sell 1/4 the number as Volvo and the same number as Porsche? Seems a reasonable target
        • 5 Years Ago
        Saab will most likely try to retain/forge alliances for basic platform or even future drivetrain options. They could not develop all-new models (like 3 minimum right now) given that design thru development (and certification) costs are basically $1B/completely new model.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Part of the agreement with General Motors was that Saab has access to their platforms and technology for many years to come, this was the major sticking point of Saab being sold to the Russians or Chinese. It is a huge misconception that Saab will be developing things from scratch and paying the bills for that. In many ways Saab (and GM) is getting the benefits of being a GM division with reduced costs and technology sharing while still having the freedom to do, build and design whatever they want as well as create alliances with other manufacturers.

        Additionally Saab has been completely restructured and streamlined, all of their cars are now made in one plant (not even subaru can claim that) and most importantly they are no longer part of GM's book cooking.

      • 5 Years Ago
      A SAAB 9-1 to compete with the MINI would be good.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Like to see them sell back around the 100k mark. Then they can get new product to market faster. I would shop a true Saab coupe (non-convertible), and the 9-2 sounds intriguing so I'd like to see it soon and drive it no too long after that.
      • 5 Years Ago
      As if they'd ever sell more.
      • 5 Years Ago
      So is the reason they're going to be profitable with such low volumes is because the cars are still overpriced for what they are?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Go Saab!
      • 5 Years Ago
      I honestly wish the best of luck to Saab!
      • 5 Years Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      I used to want this car when I first saw it eons and eons ago. By the time it comes out I think it will be a little dated.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Its Trollhättan not Trollhatten, why not just look it up if you cant spell.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I wouldnt have a problem if it was just the A instead of Ä. But you still have the letter A in the english alphabet right? Then why replace it with an E.
        • 5 Years Ago
        You mean Trollh ALT + 0228 ttan?

        Because on a English language keyboard that's how you do it.

        Entering a 'a' instead of a 'ä' doesn't change the content of the message at all.

        Grow up.

      • 5 Years Ago
      Man I hope they do well!

      I love the new 9-5 and I hope the new 9-3 will look awesome too.
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