How Will Saab Compete In An Era Of Emerging Hatches?

Posted on 14. Oct, 2009 by in 2000-2009

It is rather ironic, but today it seems like everyone except for Saab, is launching premium hatchback models. I say, good for them for doing it because Saab was historically known for hatches, however that 28-year history of hatchbacks came to an end in 2002.

Joe from Gaywheels states that “The trend seems to be melding the sedan with wagon to get a hybrid hatch. Not as functional as a wagon but arguably more sexy.”

The majority of the competition is now beginning to offer a number of premium hybrid hatchback models for buyers today from 3-doors to 5-doors and the demand is growing.

When it comes to the all new Saab 9-5 sedan, many were hoping including myself for that to also be a premium sport back model with a hatch, but it was not.

To clarify, while Saab has wagons or combi models and even an all new 9-5 Wagon coming. However, these models are not hatchbacks are not a replacement for a sport back premium hatch as they are wagons and therefore a completely different segment.

The question now is going to become, can Saab Automobile, once a legend in premium sport back hatches, compete in a premium hatchback segment where they no longer offer this in their product portfolio? I wonder if ending the hatchback a whole seven years ago and now seeing the market demand what they once had with competitors responding, is going to finally send the message to Saab Automobile. Regardless, Saab best take swift action and include a hatch in the all new 9-5 sedan as a variant and certainly in the new 9-3 to debut in 2011.

Here’s a list of manufacturers with their respected models on board with a 5-door hatchback model today that are part of the premium luxury sport hatch segment including some with the versatile twin-back system.

BMW 2010 3-Series & 5-Series Hatchbacks W/Twin Back


Audi 2010 A5 Sportback


Skoda 2010 Superb W/Twin Back


Honda 2010 CrossTour


Opel Insignia 2010 5-door hatch (same platform as all new Saab 9-5)


Jaguar To Launch 2014 Hatchback To Model Lineup


Porsche – 2010 Panamera


Aston Martin – 2010 Rapide 5-Door Hatch


Bugatti 2013 Bugatti C16 Galibier 3-Door & 5-Door Hatch


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No Responses to “How Will Saab Compete In An Era Of Emerging Hatches?”

  1. Markc

    14. Oct, 2009

    I think it was GM myopia and conservatism that saw the end of Saab hatchbacks. Saab should be free to build them again now. They probably can’t come soon enough!

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  2. anonymous

    14. Oct, 2009

    thanks for bringing this up, it is painful to not have hatchback 9000 alternative today. The new 9-5 is great, but until we have a CS inspired hatchback I will feel bad about it.

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  3. ARUK

    15. Oct, 2009

    I would also consider adding the elegant Aston Martin Rapide under the luxury hatchback list;

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  4. Lucas

    19. Oct, 2009

    We can only hope that they bring back the 3-Door. …fingers crossed…

    Reply to this comment
  5. ARUK

    16. Dec, 2009

    The larger Audi A7 Sportback –more in in-line size wise with the 9000 (photo 5 in particular in the link below) is another to add to the list above!

    The interior is rather Saaby (photo 8) with its minimalist approach and use of natural materials as are the seats.

    Even the Sportback motif (photo 14) shares more than a passing resemblance to the ursaab silhouette as used at the Saab festival 2005.

    Otherwise, it is rather dull looking especially from the front.

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