• Feb 11, 2011
It looks like Saab is planning a party for this year's Geneva Motor Show. The Scandinavian automaker has just rolled out its invitations to the shindig, and the cards feature a whopping total of four cars covered by sheets. According to the company, the public at large will get its first look an all-new concept car from the automaker, and judging by the inset image below, it looks like it could be a return-to-form hatchback that presages the next 9-3. In addition to the show car, there will likely be special edition versions of the 9-3 and 9-3 Cabriolet. Of course, the 9-4X crossover will be on the show stand, and the freshly teased 9-5 SportCombi is also set to make an appearance.

Saab Concept CarAccording to enthusiast site Saabs United, both the tweaked 9-3 and 9-3 Cabriolet are said to be getting a pre-Geneva unveil on February 23. Expect to see full photos and greater detail on what those models will have to offer as we get closer to that date.

Hopefully, these new models will help drum up some interest in Saab. Last year, the Swedish automaker struggled to find traction after being released from General Motors' shackles, selling a mere 5,445 units in the States. Officials have earmarked a goal of triple that figure for 2011.

[Sources: Saabs United, Saab]


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  • 25 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      "released from General Motors' shackles"?
      More like thrown out of the house for being a freeloader.
        • 3 Years Ago
        hobbesfanmaster:

        "The only reason Saab was a net loss for GM, was because of the absolute CRAP that GM gave them to work with"
        So you are saying that Saab was not a money losing operation before GM took them over? Independant Saab was doing a fine job of losing money all by itself before GM's crap. True they were unable to turn things around for the brand, but GM was hardly "the only reason" Saab has been a money loser for a long time.

        "Saab made and developed the Cadillac BLS for GM, and did so without compensation."
        Gee, thanks a lot for that piece of garbage. GM would have been better off without the BLS. Maybe that was Saab's way of getting back at GM for the 9-7x.

        I agree with you that GM did not manage the brand well, but my point is it kept the brand alive during a time when no one else had both the resources and willingness to do so.

        So I'll ask you the same question asked Saab_Guy: Do you honestly think independant Saab would be around today if not for GM?
        • 3 Years Ago
        Like it or not Saab_Guy Saab was in bad shape when GM took them over and it was only beacuse of that takeover and the resultant financial backing of GM that the brand was able to survive the 90s and 00s. For the majority of that time, Saab was a net drain on GM. That is what I mean by freeloader. That is why GM decided to "kick them out" when the company reached a state of extreme financial distress. Do you honestly think independant Saab would be around today if not for GM?
        • 3 Years Ago
        A freeloader?! What a dope... GM destroyed saab with piss poor quality, rebadging, and ignorance. GM did nothing good for saab - Good thing theyre independent again
        • 3 Years Ago
        Erik-
        Once again, don't embarrass yourself.
        Saab managed, as they were Saab-Scania at the time, and were producing planes, buses, cars, and more to compensate for the loss of Saab cars.
        So, Erik: I don't know. Saab may or may not have been around today. One can't re-write history. Maybe they would have been on their deathbed. But just look at where Saab was a year ago: Down the drain.

        And the BLS failed, because GM did an awful job of figuring out what the hell Europe wanted. Unlike Americans, Europeans didn't want an edgy-looking and fat terrbily-done rebadge of the 9-3.

        And the 9-3 is now a teeny bit more than 8 years old now, but yet, sales are picking up, and the car is being constantly modified and improved. Check out Saab's 1.9 TTiD engine for the Euro 9-3: It releases some of the least amounts of CO2 of any car. Ever. AND, it gets fantastic reviews by many.

        The only reason Saab only sold roughly 5,000 cars in the U.S. in 2010 is lack of brand awareness, and that the entire factory was idle until late March, and that the 9-5 was out of production, as well as the 9-7X.

        And no, many had the willingness to buy Saab. GM only bought Saab to stay competitive. Ford had Jaguar, VW had Audi, Toyota had just started Lexus, and Honda had Acura, to name a few, and GM didn't have a luxury brand. Cadillacs don't count, as they were worse steaming turds back then. So, what did GM do? They bought Saab for a bargain price pretty much just for bragging rights.

        To add on to what GT40fan was saying, Saab had invented, again, without compensation, a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission for the Corvette C7, which, inevitably for Saab, was delayed.

        Listen to some logic, Erik, as your argument for Saab making to BLS a bad-selling car to get back at GM is a load of crock. I strike it from my record.

        I'm done here for the night. I'm not feeding the troll any more.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Get your facts straight: GM was run into the ground and went bankrupt. Saab is the only part of GM that escaped bankruptcy and was not bailed out by US taxpayers like the rest of GM.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Yes, Saab was in bad shape in 1990. And some people keep pointing to this, as though Saab's fate was sealed back then. But that really is rewriting history. Weren't all those years of GM ownership part of Saab's history too? Are they somehow irrelevant?

        Surely GM didn't take on Saab to keep it on life support 20 years later, pushing stale products and lame rebadge jobs. Surely GM intended to turn Saab around. So at what point does it deserve blame for failing to do so? Never?
        • 3 Years Ago
        Well put Alex740.

        I guess the relationship was both damaging and benificial for both parties involved
        Saab damaged GM's bottom line but contributed some knowhow
        GM damaged Saab's brand image but kept the brand alive when it would otherwise have died

        Who's to say whether the benifit was worth the damage for either side.
        One thing I imagine we can all agree on is that it is a good thing for both parties that they have now parted ways.
        • 3 Years Ago
        There has to be value in all the R&D and tech development GM benefited from. Saab's engineers and tech development is often underestimated.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Lets not rewrite history.

        Saab was still apart of GM when they went bankrupt, so no, they did not avoid bankruptcy anymore than Chevy, Buick, GMC, and Cadillac did.
        • 3 Years Ago
        It's a little bit of both to be honest, GM completely mismanaged the brand, they didn't understand it, they let it's vehicle cycles drag on, they GMified it with crap rebadges, etc. But Saab was not in great shape when GM bought it and it while it let Saab wither further on the vine that vine was also life support. GM finally began to give the brand new products when the economy crashed and now independent Saab has a line of new vehicles to launch but they were all financed by GM dollars. GM did benefit from Saab though, all of their turbo tech now showing up is pure Saab as well as there fantastic AWD system, Saab didn't sell a ton but it's R&D was very beneficial to GM and partly why their new products have gotten so much better. Much of the same can be said for Ford and Volvo, Ford owes most of it's new safety ratings, platforms, tech and even engines (Focus RS) to Volvo engineering.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Actually we'll never really know how much of a "drain" Saab was (or wasn't) on GM. There was all sorts of shady bookkeeping going on. For example, GM Accounting would have Saab pay to develop and build cars, but then GM USA would take the profits for actually selling the cars. Lots of Saab's R&D costs that were part of the "drain" on GM turned into technology that GM is using now, like turbocharging technology for the Cruize. So yes, while Saab was an accounting loss to GM for all those years...that doesn't mean that the company was actually draining GM.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Yes! Can't wait!
        • 3 Years Ago
        Rumor has it that the new 9-3 is coming this fall in Frankfurt, even more exciting!
        • 3 Years Ago
        I agree. PLEASE bring the 9-3 hatch. Would be even better if it were called the 900. Turbo.
      • 3 Years Ago
      netguru
      Saab was unprofitable because profits generated in the US were allocated to GM, not Saab. GM was, like many worlwide corporations, moving profits where taxes are lower (US) and allocating costs were taxes are high (Sweden)

      LCN
      Saab was part of old GM that was not unprofitable it went bankrupt. Saab was sold before the bankruptcy. Saab was viable and sold, GM was not and went bankrupt.
      GM is the freeloader as it would still be bankrupt now without the US taxpayer whereas Saab would continue business as it currently does, no bailout involved.

      Erik
      I think Saab would have bveen better off without GM fron the start. and most Saab technologies was transfered over to GM, Opel included (turbocharged engines from the Cruze to the Regal, safety technology etc) GM (opel included)could not design a 4 cyl engines before Saab show them, les so a turbo. Crash tests were also horrendous prior to Saab involvement.Your narrow definition of net drain doesn't include the extremely valuable technology transfer.
        • 3 Years Ago
        You need to check your facts again. GM went bankrupt on June 8, 2009. Saab's sale was closed on February 23, 2010 (that is a little over 6 months later for those who suck at math).

        Saab was bailed out. The only difference is that it was by Spyker, not the US government. Without Spykey, instead of talking about a new concept car, we would now be discussing the one year anniversary of Saab's death. Saab is by no means viable on its own as it currently stands.

        • 3 Years Ago
        By the late 1980s, the Saab division had become a perennial financial loser, crippled by declining sales in the United States. Against the backdrop of Wallenberg's strategic maneuvers, Saab Automobile continued to lose money, recording a loss of US$848 million in 1990, which translated into an alarming US$9,200 loss for each car sold. Saab_Guy - get that GM did the best it could. Saab has a long way to go. They were picked up from nothing and were dropped off at the door the same way GM found it, albeit more profitable.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Their survival will depend on the 9-3. Design alone wont save them either. They'll be using an engine from BMW and with many sedans now reaching 40 mpg, a modified turbo that can't squeak past 23mpg in the city isn't going to cut it. Not to mention you can heat the seats or lock your car any where in the world with the touch of your smart phone on many models now, is Saab tech savvy enough compete? I love Saab, I hope the 9-3 is the one-two punch they need, I'd love to own one if it is.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Call it the 9-1.
      • 3 Years Ago
      We've had a great Saab dealer in town for almost 40 years. It's hard to believe they sold so few Saabs last year, this area is full of new ones. I love Saabs, always have, always will. There are a tremendous amount of old 900s here too.
      • 3 Years Ago
      (see avatar)
      • 3 Years Ago
      Holden was not bailed out.

      Who really cares if Saab has a new model. Boring!
        • 3 Years Ago
        Except SAAB is one of the few manufacturers to actually have interesting designs that look good and stand out. I like Holden, I do, they make good cars, but their designs are all pretty conservative and bland (albeit with a few nice big rims that make them look better in higher trims).
        • 3 Years Ago
        huh? The situations of Saab and Holden were pretty different. Just because Holden is losing money (and has been for the last like 6 years) doesnt mean they need to be bailed out. Although it does mean they should stop selling Daewoos.
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