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.