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This is kind of like politics.....but cars..... :lol:

Read the article about SAAB below.....I found the post at vortex.Its an article that was in New York times.

GM and Ford has been going at it for few years. And it seems like they effect these companies in a way that is........unrepairable....tough to describe. Not sure if its a good thing or bad.

These non US companies are slowly getting bought out....taken over....get the hell out of here....bye type of a thing. Not sure if I like that because its trademark, culture, enthusiasts and love for these vehicles dies with it.

I hope they dont do this to Subaru, Volvo, Jaguar, Mazda etc etc....but maybe they cant get their way with these companies. However we have all seen a change in Volvo, Jaguar and Mazda....Subaru seems still all clear however 9-2 scares me alittle


DRIVETIMES
For Saab, Some See the Beginning of the End. Others See the Middle
By JAMIE LINCOLN KITMAN

Published: May 24, 2004

Saab loyalists have predicted the worst ever since General Motors bought its initial 50 percent stake in the Swedish automaker, for $500 million, in 1990. But an announcement last week by Saab Cars USA - that it would relocate its home office from Norcross, Ga., to G.M.’s world headquarters in the Renaissance Center in Detroit - was seen as the final bit of proof that the odd little automaker, an upstart not so long ago, has indeed been integrated into the world’s largest industrial company.

G.M. did not complete its financial takeover of Saab until 2000, but longtime fans of the brand - known for its early adoption of front-wheel drive, innovations in turbocharging and its longstanding commitment to air quality and safety - started grumbling loudly when the company’s first product under G.M. ownership, the Saab 900 of 1994, made its debut.

Based heavily on the Opel Vectra, the 900 handled clumsily, suffered alarming quality lapses and was later reported to have done poorly in Swedish crash testing. A freshening for the 1999 model year was said to incorporate more than 1,300 improvements - reflecting, critics said, a car that needed a lot of improvement.

The 9-5, also introduced for that year and still in production today, was based on Opel underpinnings, too, but was less underbaked and better received, though it, too, has yet to become a significant object of Saab aficionados’ desire. Among other turnoffs, it was the first Saab to offer a V-6 engine, a lightly re-engineered version of an Opel power plant that seemed rather less sophisticated than Saab’s trademark turbo four-cylinders.

Like all post-G.M. Saabs, the 9-5 retained the company’s signature center-console placement of its ignition switch. Naysayers wonder if that minor character trait has become the marque’s sole distinguishing characteristic in the eyes of Saab’s new masters. While the ignition switches all remain on the consoles, the proof of Saab’s lost independence has come in waves.

In 2002, Debra Kelly-Ennis was named president of Saab’s American operations. With just three years’ experience in the car business (most of it at G.M.’s moribund Oldsmobile division, where she was charged with turning out the lights), she had little prior exposure to the Saab culture.

Far more worrisome to the keepers of the faith, last year G.M. laid off 1,300 engineers and designers at Saab’s world headquarters in Trolhattan, Sweden, effectively eliminating the company’s in-house ability to engineer a car. And just recently, Saab’s head of design, a rising star named Michael Mauer, quit to work for Porsche.

The inevitability of the mass firing in Sweden can be understood by reference to Saab’s most recent product. A new 9-3 released last year was largely designed by Opel. It shares G.M.’s Epsilon platform with the Pontiac G6 and the Chevy Malibu, as well as the newest Opel Vectra and a Saturn model yet to come. The new 9-3 sedan is a conventional three-box design, losing Saab’s distinctive and roomy hatchback configuration. Also, the car’s American-German engineering has chafed some loyalists, though in fairness not nearly so much as the two newest Saabs, the 9-2X and 9-7X.

The former is a lightly retouched, duller handling and slightly more expensive version of Subaru’s subcompact Impreza WRX sedan and wagon, built for Saab in Japan by Subaru (of which G.M. owns 20 percent). Authenticity issues aside, the turbocharged, all-wheel-drive WRX is, at least, the sort of car that Saab might have built today if it had only received enough financing in the 1990’s. Like the rally-winning Saab 96’s of the 1960’s, the 9-2X wrings maximum advantage from being a light car with a small engine and loads of grip.

The 9-7X, by contrast, is a lightly restyled Chevrolet TrailBlazer built in Ohio. In its bulk and its cumbersome ways, with its optional V-8 engine’s thirst and heavy carbon-dioxide emissions, it is the very antithesis of the Saab ethos. (But, hey, check out the ignition hardware in the center console.)

A former Saab executive who was at the company when General Motors first took over has suggested that Saab’s failure to retain its identity is not so much the fault of G.M. as of the Wallenberg family. The former majority owners of Saab, the Wallenbergs agreed to sell G.M a half interest with the clear understanding that they and their minions would be abdicating any meaningful further role in Saab’s future.

“When they sold it, they should have insisted on input, using their executives and remaining true to the company’s ideals,” this executive said. “But they rolled over and said, ‘You run it.’ G.M.’s got its problems, but it’s the Swedes’ fault. They gave away their heritage. General Motors is just doing what they know how to do, the way they know how to do it.”

The former Saab executive added that a “powerful industry watcher” told him at the time: “ ‘You know what a Ghia badge looks like on the side of a Ford? That’s what’s going to happen to Saab.’ I’ve carried that thought for almost the last 15 years and I’m sorry to have to say, at the end of the day, he was right.”

:( :( :(

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built for Saab in Japan by Subaru (of which G.M. owns 20 percent)
Built for Saab in Japan by Subaru (of which G.M. owns 20 percent)....

What is this world coming to?! :???:

I was wondering what was up with that new "Saabaru" in the TV commercial.
I didn't realize GM owns a chunk of Subaru.
 

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Johnny B5.5 said:
Yep, GM bastardized them.

Very sad.
GM also saved them. As of 1990, Saab was a total writeoff.

I've been a Saab fan as long as I can remember. No, I didn't like it when the hatch died. But you know what? In Saabs largest market (the US) NO ONE BUYS HATCHBACKS. They are seen as cheap models.
The typical three box design sells here, so they had to yield to the market.

As far as chassis bastardization, it was done well before GM took over. The old 900 had lots of Fiat/Alfa in it; the old 9000 shared its floorplan, electrics, chassis, etc with the Alfa 164. Hell, the 900 chassis was built from 77 to 92; the 900 went from 85 to 96. Think it was time for a change?
Saab did it to themselves, refusing to do anyhthing the market wanted - they were only concerened with what they wanted.

Over the next 5 years, the Ford/Volvo relationship will be no different - just the shells will be different.

Of course, when GM's involvement means you sell the some of the highest quality Euro cars in the US, thats fine with me. Seems Volvo inherited some of Fords quality issues.
 

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Complete agreement with TDIBUGMAN ^ ...

More power to GM ... flexing their business muscle :thumbup:. Same as MB did when they acquired a large chunk of Chrysler, and Renault with Nissan (although I am not sure if this Renault & Nissan is a good marriage).
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
vuvision said:
Complete agreement with TDIBUGMAN ^ ...

More power to GM ... flexing their business muscle :thumbup:. Same as MB did when they acquired a large chunk of Chrysler, and Renault with Nissan (although I am not sure if this Renault & Nissan is a good marriage).
Sometimes I wonder if MB is the one that really has the power......

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A-Tiller-the hun said:
Saab's a re not attractive cars anyhow... never were, so i don't give a rip...
The new SS is, by far, one of the best looking cars on the road. I'm sure if it had a VW badge or four rings, it would get a lot more attention around here than it does.

The old ones were never meant to be pretty; just functional.
 

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Saab is an interesting case. There's no doubt that they sell more Saabs now than evr before (wished I could find the sales figures). They're now just a mainstream car company instead of their previous position of selling quirky cars to quirky people (at least here in North America). Personally, I think it's sad that GM has gutted the engineering department.
 

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They just need to stay true to the turbo-charging heritage.

hmmm, 9-7x V8 turbo... :weirdo:

-Gene
 

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The SRX platform was too expensive for Saab to use. The 'blazer is a great chassis, wrapped in a mediocre exterior and bad interior. The Saab interior looks like it came from an Aurora - not a bad thing.
FWIW, and the article fails to mention it, those "fired" Saab engineers were almost all offered jobs with GM's latest restructuring. Now they have English, German, and Italian folks along their sides.
 

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I heard people on other forums calling the 9-2X Aero a "Saabaru." :lol:

Although I'm not a Saab fan, I'm also not a fan of all the consolidation in the auto industry. Anytime competition is reduced, the consumer suffers.
 

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Because SRX is such an excellent crossover that its platform can use for Saab to produce an allroad competition. V6 and V8 turbos with Saab tuned suspension and redesigned interior that looks similar to 9-5. I would be a real winner.
 

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TAckhouse1 said:
DenimA4CVT said:
I would rather see a 9-7X based on SRX than Trailblazer platform. :suspicio:
I agree.

How much is the 9-7x going to start at?

the SRX V6 starts at $37k, about 3 grand less then a X5 3.0

I would think that would be perfect for Saab....

but thats just me.
the 9-7 starts at just under 40. But, thats loaded, unlike a V6 SRX which looks the part, but the interior materials on this base model is very poor. And upgrade packages send the SRX V6 up near 50K. An arena Saab Saab would rather not play in. Even a V8 Saab is around 45K.
Lets remeber that Saab had its way with the suspension on this model, which is said to me smooth/taught and agile. Just like a Saab. We'll see.
 

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The 9-7x looks very awkward with the Saab front end grafted onto a Trailblazer/Envoy body, totally out of proportion. It's almost as bad as the ill fitted and crude front end of the new Dodge Durango.
The interior suffers from the similar GM cheap and unrefined quality -- at least the ignition is in the center console (this is missing on the 9-2x).

Don't think people will fork up the premium for the 9-7x as this familiar body style is shared with half a dozen other brands, including the Isuzu Ascender.
This makes the VW Touareg, Infiniti FX35, Volvo X90 and Lexus RX330 seem lightyears ahead in almost every way.
 
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