IMPORTANT NEWS: National Electric Vehicle Sweden has agreed to buy the assets of Saab Automobile and the sale is expected to be finalized during the summer.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Three good reasons why Saab must overcome the cash crunch

With all the turmoil going on the past weeks, I think it's a good time to come up with some good reasons why I look forward to Saab finding a way out of this finances black hole and get back to producing cars again. So here is three good reasons why I still will follow Saab closely the next years.

The excellent new line up
This year Saab will start to sell both the all new Saab 9-5 SportCombi as well as the all new Saab 9-4X. The Saab 9-5 SportCombi is a beautiful car that brings a unique design to the market. And this is a very important car for Saab. In the previous 9-5 generation, Saab sold an equal number of station wagons as they did sedans. In the Nordic countries, which includes Saab's homeland and one of Saab's most important markets Sweden, the station wagon makes up almost all sale. So when Saab gets this car out it will increase the sale by several thousand units each year.

The Saab 9-4X can prove to be equally important to the US market. Small luxury SUVs and crossovers are still big sellers in the US. The Saab 9-4X's cousin, the Cadillac SRX, has been a huge success for GM. If the Saab 9-4X can only sell a fraction of the numbers the Cadillac has sold in, it will be a success for Saab. And as Swade noted at his Inside Saab blog, people were constantly poking around the 9-4X at the New York International Auto Show.

And so I look forward with excitement to see how these cars are received by car magazines and buyers. 

Design on future models -  Qui Audet Adipiscitur
After seeing the Saab PhoeniX in person two weeks ago, my expectations to the next Saab 9-3 and other future models went off the charts. For the first time in 20 years, it feels like the designers at Saab have been given more or less free rein to let a Saab be a Saab. A Saab is not supposed to be a car for the masses, it's supposed to a car for a specific part of the mass. Don't get me wrong, the current Saabs are beautiful, but I feel that they could have taken more risk when designing the cars. As Saab's chief designer has said: "Indifference for me is akin to death. Love or hate what I do".

Electric cross-wheel drive
Last but not least, the technology that makes me believe in Saab as a innovative company for the future. The electric hybrid rear axle, to be produced and marketed by e-AAM Driveline Systems. This new four wheel drive system was developed in secrecy within Saab since 2007, and is said to be two years ahead of the competition. The system is cheap, it only cost the equivalent of a mechanical four wheel drive system. It's compact and can be installed in nearly any car. It can easily be developed into a fully electric car or a plug-in hybrid. It cuts the fuel consumption and emissions by 30 percent. And best of all, it gives the car unprecedented driving ability and characteristics.

In closing I have to mention that there are of course other important reasons to keep Saab here, like all the people whose livelihood depends on Saab. But here I have presented my reasons. So what are your reasons? Why do you desperately want to see Saab still here two years from now?