• Nov 23, 2010
2012 Saab 9-4X – Click above for high-res image gallery

Saab CEO Jan-Åke Jonsson has provided the wayward Swedish brand with some direction, and the marching orders point out two very large markets for the sales team to focus on: Russia and China. According to a report in Automotive News, Saab will begin distribution in the Chinese market beginning sometime during the 2011 calendar year. Until the launch of the redesigned 9-3, Saab will shoot for a few thousand sales per year. Once the distribution network is in place and the model lineup is refreshed, Saab will look at the possibility of local manufacturing facilities.

Now that China is rolling forward, Saab can start to finalize decisions with regards to the Russian market. No deal has been announced, but one is expected to be made the end of the year. Saab's chairman, Victor Muller, specifically stated at the 2010 LA Auto Show that the both China and Russia are getting a taste of the recently unshackled Swedish brand.

One of the newest expressions of the automaker's freedom is the 2012 Saab 9-4X. Saab offers diesel engines outside of the North American market, and we were curious if this new crossover would also get an oil burner. Per Jonnson, it seems this is highly unlikely:
"If you then look at the life cycle of the vehicle, typically five or six years, before we actually have a diesel engine, we have to find one, we have to test it, we have to install it, validate it, and you are two years into the life cycle... and then you have a very short payoff period."
Understandable, but a bummer nonetheless.

Photos copyright ©2010 Jeff Glucker / AOL

[Source: Automotive News – sub. req.]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      One word: Carry-over

      Carry-over into the following generation. Just like VW does with their TDi engines.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I looked at the 9-4x at the LA show and frankly couldn't find anything compelling about it. It looks to be a perfectly fine crossover for Saab fans who really like Saab's way of doing things (dash layout console ignition switch, night panel, over-divided grill, etc), but I couldn't really see anything to pull in the non-Saab fan, and it will have to do that to be a success. Even I, as a Saab owner, who likes some of those things I just mentioned, would place this somewhere in the middle of my hypothetical luxury cross-over list. (my sport wagon list is less hypothetical)
      • 4 Years Ago
        • 4 Years Ago
        TriShield, dude... why all the hate for Saab? If there's a AB Saab posting, there's a better-than-good chance you'll be making some snarky comment. Did some Saab driver steal your girlfriend or run over your dog when you were a kid or what?

        Yes, we know these have GM underpinnings (at least for this iteration/generation), and yes they are a small and quirky brand. But the business proposal Spyker put together to buy the company from GM was compelling enough and had enough upside to make GM sell it as opposed to shutting it down. GM's balance sheet is looking as rosy as it is in some small part due to the Saab sale (as opposed to the horrific costs of a one time write-off). Given your apparent love for GM, you should be tickled pink that Saab will continue to enhance their bottom line for some time by buying components, platforms, and using GM plants to make the 9-4. Really, you should be applauding this.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Probably because this is old news, TriShield. The same news was reported last week from the show and has been discussed extensively. But I wouldn't expect you to follow Saab news, you somehow are offended by the brand, which makes absolutely no sense to me. As an aside, the Stig as an avatar and a Buick as your name's reference? I think you might want to change it to a picture of the golden girls.
      • 4 Years Ago
      What is the diesel MPG for the 9-4X?