Archive for December, 2003

Saab Announces Its First SUV: the Saab 9-7X

Posted on 19. Dec, 2003 by .

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1146332 Saab Announces Its First SUV: the Saab 9 7X

Photo Credit: Saab Automobile

2003-12-19

Saab Announces Its First SUV: the Saab 9-7X

Norcross, GA – Continuing the biggest product offensive in its history, Saab Automobile AB announces its latest new model and first sport utility vehicle, the 2005 Saab 9-7X. Featuring standard all-wheel-drive and two engine choices, the mid-size SUV will fill Saab’s need for an entry is this rapidly growing market segment.

The Saab 9-7X will make its world debut at the 2004 New York Auto Show in April, 2004, and will go on sale about one year later. Initially, the 9-7X will be produced specifically for the United States and Canadian markets.

“We are pleased to continue to expand our product line in the North American market, which is critical to Saab’s success,” commented Peter Augustsson, President and CEO of Saab Automobile AB. “With the Saab 9-X and 9-3X concept vehicles, followed by the award-winning Saab 9-3 Sport Sedan and Convertible, the 9-3 Sport-Hatch concept and the dynamic new 9-2X, we are exceeding our commitment to introduce one new vehicle each year for five years.”

“Saab is currently the fastest growing European brand in the U.S. market, and the Saab 9-7X will be the perfect addition to our model mix to continue our momentum,” said Debra Kelly-Ennis, President and COO of Saab Cars USA. “We have found that as many as 28 percent of customers who left the Saab brand bought an SUV in 2003. We must position ourselves to recapture many of those lost sales and continue to broaden our brand’s appeal to new buyers. The 9-7X allows us to join the growing mid-luxury SUV market with a unique, premium vehicle offering European style and the kind of all-wheel-drive versatility that we have never had before.”

Kelly-Ennis noted that the mid-luxury SUV market is growing at a rate exceeding most other market segments. “We need a product like this to continue to grow our brand – and to fuel our product development program,” She emphasized.

The new model marks Saab’s first product collaboration with GM of North America. The new 9-7X will be built at GM’s Moraine Assembly plant in Ohio, beginning in the first quarter of 2005.

Saab Cars USA, based in Norcross, GA, is the importer and distributor of Saab 9-3 and 9-5 automobiles, and soon the new 9-2X and 9-7X vehicle

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Saab 9-2X: Summary

Posted on 08. Dec, 2003 by .

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1146374 Saab 9 2X: Summary

2003-12-08

Saab 9-2X: Summary

New Benchmark Among Dynamic Premium Compacts

ï‚· Early entry in emerging premium sports compact segment
ï‚· Standard full-time all-wheel-drive for improved handling, traction and versatility
ï‚· Two models – 227 hp 9-2X Aero and the 165 hp 9-2X Linear
ï‚· Styling, performance and driving characteristics create a sporty, fun-to-drive offer in the segment
ï‚· Start of sales in the U.S. and Canada in July 2004

The new 2005 Saab 9-2X is the next significant step in the biggest product development program in Saab’s history. Saab – the fastest growing European premium car brand in the American market– recently launched the 9-3 Sport Sedan and 9-3 Convertible model ranges. Now the new 9-2X continues this product offensive.

With standard full-time all-wheel-drive, powerful engines, and distinctive European design, the Saab 9-2X is a unique and early offering in a car segment just emerging in the American market: the premium sports compact segment. The first Saab 9-2X models will go on sale in the U.S. and Canada July 1, 2004 – ahead of many competitors who are also bringing products to this market.

“The Saab 9-2X is the ideal addition to our line-up,” says Peter Augustsson, Saab’s President and CEO. “Like the recently-launched Saab 9-3 models, it is extremely dynamic and is a car that you want to drive. Additionally, its price point will attract some new, young, enthusiastic customers to Saab.”

For many customers, the Saab 9-2X will be their first premium brand vehicle as prices start below $25,000. In addition, customer surveys show that up to 40 percent of all Americans are looking for all-wheel-drive in their next vehicle – a feature standard in all Saab 9-2X models, a distinct advantage as Saab enters this new segment.

“The Saab 9-2X will help us continue our extremely strong momentum,” said Debra Kelly-Ennis, President of Saab Cars USA. “We are definitely on a roll. The 9-3 Sport Sedan is more than doubling the sales of its predecessor, we are in the midst of launching our all-new 9-3 Convertible, and this exciting new car will arrive in the early summer 2004.”

The Design: Progressive with a strong, dynamic character
“As the new 9-2X range is tremendously fun to drive and since we are targeting a young and enthusiastic customer, we decided to express the strong and dynamic character of the 9-2X in its design and even add a bit more of an aggressive touch compared to the rest of our line-up,” comments Saab’s Executive Director of Design, Michael Mauer.

The new Saab 9-2X takes a number of styling cues from recently-presented Saab concept and production vehicles and presents Saab’s view on what a fun-to-drive, versatile 5-door vehicle should look like.

“The Saab 9-2X needs to look as aggressive as its driving capabilities,” says Mauer. “Additionally, even though it is a functional 5-door vehicle, it shouldn’t look like a traditional hatchback. Therefore, we spent a great deal of time making sure it had a strong face and sleek Scandinavian lines.”

The vehicle retains Saab’s now familiar curvaceous front that harmoniously integrates the typical three-hole-grille and the low horizontally emphasized headlamps that wrap around into the sides of the car. Below the bumper area, a pronounced air intake signals the dynamic potential of the new sports compact. On the top-of-the-line 9-2X Aero model, the clean line of the front hood is accentuated by a nicely integrated air intake that feeds air to the intercooler of the turbocharged engine.

As with the 2004 Saab 9-5 Aero SportWagon, the horizontal lines in the design of the
9-2X’s rear end contribute to the car’s wide and powerful stance. Additionally, the rear apron’s dark accent provides a sporty flair.

Performance: Sporty and focused on the driver
The Saab 9-2X’s advanced full-time all-wheel-drive and boxer four cylinder engines are firsts in Saab’s history. Further technical highlights include four-wheel independent suspension and four-wheel disc brakes which, when partnered with a latest generation
4-channel/4-sensor anti-lock brake system (ABS), provide enhanced driver control. Traction and handling performance of the 9-2X Aero is further improved by a viscous limited-slip differential at the rear.

The turbocharged and intercooled two-liter high performance DOHC 9-2X Aero engine produces 227 hp @ 6,000 rpm and 217 lb.-ft. (294 Nm) of torque @ 4,000 rpm. The power plant of the Saab 9-2X 2.5 is naturally aspirated and delivers 165 hp @ 5,600 rpm as well as a maximum torque of 166 lb.-ft. (225 Nm) @ 4,000 rpm. Both cars provide a standard
5-speed manual transmission; a 4-speed automatic transmission is available as an option.

“The Saab 9-2X is the best example yet of Saab’s brand promise of delivering sporty, driver focused performance,” says Kjell-Åke Eriksson, Saab Executive Director for Future Products. “It is truly designed for people who love to drive, whether that be on a demanding section of a curvy road or during a relaxed long-distance drive on the highway.”

Five-door Versatility: Form follows function
Surfboards, skis, in-line skates, camping gear and more all fit well into the Saab 9-2X. With a wheelbase of 99.4 inches (2,525 mm) and an overall length of 175.6 inches (4,460 mm), the Saab 9-2X offers nimble handling around town and on backcountry roads. It also holds up to 27.9 cubic feet (790 dm3) of cargo space with the seatback up and 61.6 cubic feet (1,744 dm3) with the seatback folded down. A 60/40-split fold-down rear seatback is standard in all 9-2X models and the large rear luggage door opening gives optimal access to the trunk space provided.

Weighing in at just under 3,100 pounds (1,400 kilos), all 9-2X versions return excellent highway mileage anticipated to be in the 26 to 28 mpg range.

Peter Augustsson, Saab Automobile’s President and CEO, puts the launch of the Saab 9-2X in broader perspective: “The Saab 9-2X is a milestone in expanding our model range and our customer base, especially in the very important North American market. We see a rapidly emerging segment in the United States for a premium, small car below the Saab 9-3 Sport Sedan. And being one of the first entries, we intend to shape that segment.”

Information in this release is based on specifications which were valid at the time of final editing (November 2003). Technical specifications and equipment may be altered without prior notice.

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Saab continues strong sales pace – record year in sight

Posted on 02. Dec, 2003 by .

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2003-12-02

Saab continues strong sales pace – record year in sight

New car sales in November were up 30 percent over 2002.
Year-to-date numbers grow to 27 percent over last year.

Norcross, GA — Saab Cars USA’s November tallies maintained the pace with a volume of 3,600 new car sales, a 30 percent increase over 2002. This marked the best November for the US market in 16 years.

Year-to-date sales reached 44,408, a full 27 percent over last year’s 35,062. Saab Cars USA has its sights set on an all-time annual high water mark of 47,414 set in 1986. The first 11 months of 2003 sales have already surpassed the franchise’s second-best total year, 44,364, reached in 1987.

“We are all excited to see what December holds for Saab,” said Debra Kelly-Ennis, President of Saab Cars USA. “I’m confident that our sales network will continue the momentum that we have built in 2003 with strong advertising commitments and great products.”

The Saab 9-3 Sport Sedan continued to lead sales for the Swedish manufacturer. The all-new 2004 Saab 9-3 Convertible is now in showrooms across the country and showed strong off-season sales.

Saab Certified Pre-Owned Sales were up 85 percent over 2002, with 786 retail sales. This brought year-to-date sales to 8,845 – 129 percent growth versus last year.

Saab Cars USA, Inc. is the importer of Saab 9-5 and 9-3 automobiles for Saab Automobile AB and is headquartered in Norcross, Georgia, near Atlanta. For more information, see www.saabusa.com.

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Production Concept