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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    What The Next Saab 9-3 Could Have Been

    By William Maley

    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com

    February 21, 2013

    When an automaker passes on, we're left wondering what could have been. What was coming down the pipeline had the company stuck around?

    SaabsUnited has the pictures and story behind the next Saab were it still in business, the 9-3 dubbed 'Phoenix'.

    The new 9-3 was spearheaded by designer Jason Castriota. Castriota was the person behind the PhoeniX concept shown at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show.

    Castroita had a huge mission ahead of him with the design of the 9-3 as this excerpt shows.

    Jason Castriota’s mission from Saab was to design a car that captured the historical roots of the company while bringing out something new that could be based on the new flexible PhoeniX-platform that Saab had developed for a couple of years. Another criteria was that everyone needed to instantly see that the car was a Saab, without looking at the logo, while at the same time feel that the car was ground breaking and new. Having these criteria in mind you can understand the difficult job Jason was given, considering the long and important history of different designs that Saab has. To keep thing simple, Jason was given free reign to create a car within certain limitations and this is what he accomplished.

    SaabsUnited notes in their story that Castriota and his team were limited by time and money. The original plan was to have car finished by the end of 2011 so it could debut at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show. Production models would follow in 2014 with a five-door and convertible. But as well know, that would not happen.

    Be sure to read the whole story on what could have been the next 9-3.

    Source: SaabsUnited

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at [email protected] or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

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    Sad, Lots of potential, but the Unions and Mgmt are to blame for the death of SAAB. They were starved of quality products, to many lemmings just sitting around taking a pay check without really trying to make a difference and grow the company.

    Then you have the stupid unionized plants that just sucked up money. All they could see what instant gratification rather than survival and eventually growing jobs.

    Nice history notes, nice concept cars which I am sure someone will poach some ideas from for their own auto's.

    I am surprised we have not see China Car companies poach more ideas from dead car lines.

    Imagine if you had GTO's inspired auto's from China. Hummer inspired 4x4's from China or some other country.

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    Disagree. Saab's issue was trying to basically start a car company during a time when credit was really tight. Their issues were entirely of a cash flow nature. Double the size of their credit line and they might have been able to make it.

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    Cash was one problem during that time for any company to deal with, but the others based on my own reading was dealing with the Government that wanted guarentees for the workers. The unions who wanted senior based promises for work, etc. There were many reasons for the failure.

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    Disagree. Saab's issue was trying to basically start a car company during a time when credit was really tight. Their issues were entirely of a cash flow nature. Double the size of their credit line and they might have been able to make it.

    This. Also that because their models were based on GM designs, it was impossible to get GM approval for alliances with other automakers, because GM had to protect its intellectual property.

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    GM IP issues (understandable) plus Mr Muller liking to do business hanging from a very thin rope doomed SAAB in the end... Too bad... Kudos to all SAAB employees who had to work at a grossly underfunded company; they did achieve much, it was just the business model funding that was all wrong!

    I don't particularly like Castriatoa's design that much, btw...

    Edited by ZL-1
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    I still think it's too bad that GM sold SAAB because it was really starting to come into its own with the 9-5 and 9-4x, but it is what it is, and this unfortunately does not look as good as the grainy "phoenix" photos that were leaking out at the time...

    I think that picking up a late 90's early 00's 9-3 Viggen 3 door hatch would be much more my liking...a little piece of Saab history...

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    Saab should have been killed off by 2000. There were plenty of places to clean house and get rid of old wood that had gone spongy. SAAB was one area they could have saved money on that could have gone into other brands much sooner.

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