Oracle of Delphi

GM Europe decides to downsize future Saabs

65 posts in this topic

The midsized sedan has been growing in all directions for decades, but soaring fuel prices have customers begging for something smaller. GM is heeding the call as it is preparing a smaller batch of next generation Saabs. The next 9-3 was originally slated to be underpinned by the Epsilon II, but in March GM decided to instead utilize the lower-medium Delta architecture. The Delta platform will also be used for the next-gen Chevy Cruze, which is slated to eventually replace the Cobalt. The end result will be a smaller, lighter, more efficient Swedish sedan.

With the 9-3 shrinking, Saab will also need to down-size its planned 9-1, which was originally scheduled to be Delta-based. Speculation has Saab reaching into GM's global architecture bin to use the Gamma platform that currently underpins the Opel Corsa. The idea has legs, too, as the Swedish automaker calls the idea "imaginable." Both vehicles are said to contain small, efficient turbocharged powertrains, which is in line with what Saab already uses. We're all for smaller, more agile Saabs, and killer fuel economy wouldn't hurt either.

Link: http://www.autoblog.com/2008/07/23/gm-euro...e-future-saabs/

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If Saab is to aim squarely at its primary junior exec rivals in Europe - namely Volvo and Alfa Romeo - it needs a more clearly defined structure to that which it presently has. It particurly needs to focus on challenging the C30 and 147, as well as the S60 and 159. A coupe and coupe-convertible along the lines of the C70 and Brera/Spider would complete the line-up it needs.

However, cheap rebadging of old Subarus and Chevrolet SUVs - even for limited markets - will do nothing for Saab's reputation.

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Benz has the A-class and BMW has the Mini.... I'd rather see GM fill this role with Saab than Cadillac.

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They ought to downsize them right out of existence.

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Wasn't this the original plan for Pontiac? Downsize Pontiac's vehicles so there wouldn't be overlap with Buick in the same showroom. Could future SAABs be heading to a Buick showroom near by? It's been mentioned as a possibility... this kind of falls in line.

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Wasn't this the original plan for Pontiac? Downsize Pontiac's vehicles so there wouldn't be overlap with Buick in the same showroom. Could future SAABs be heading to a Buick showroom near by? It's been mentioned as a possibility... this kind of falls in line.

Maybe Buick is headed to a Cadillac/Buick/Saab sales channel. :AH-HA_wink:

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Maybe Buick is headed to a Cadillac/Buick/Saab sales channel. :AH-HA_wink:

The stars are in alignment!!! What some on here have been asking for, putting Buick with Cadillac, is what PCS says might happen!!! :breakdance:

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Maybe Buick is headed to a Cadillac/Buick/Saab sales channel. :AH-HA_wink:

I agree with wildcat. That setup would be perfect... in the US, Europe, Australia, and Asia.

I just can't imagine that combination not working out well in any market. The three brands combined would generate enough volume to sustain a well laid out dealership network.

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Benz has the A-class and BMW has the Mini.... I'd rather see GM fill this role with Saab than Cadillac.

Except that in Europe at least, Saab buyers don't usually cross-shop with the German Q-car marques.

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9-3 has no rear passenger space now. To downsize it even more makes no sense.

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9-3 has no rear passenger space now. To downsize it even more makes no sense.

Yeah, the 9-3 is already a small vehicle. I guess Saab's biggest vehicle (9-5) will probably be just slightly bigger than the current 9-3.

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Except that in Europe at least, Saab buyers don't usually cross-shop with the German Q-car marques.

I don't doubt that. A Delta Saab would fit more inline with a Volvo S40 in size or a Peugeot 407 or Alfa 159 in price.

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Yeah I dunno about this, since SWB Epsilon isn't exactly huge. A Gamma-based 9-1 is going to be really tiny. I hope they offer a SportCombi of the new 9-3.

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PCS has already said there will be a wagon version of the Cruze, so a wagon 9-3 is probably doable.

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It makes more sense rather than the original plan to have both the 9-5 and 9-3 on EPII.

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It makes more sense rather than the original plan to have both the 9-5 and 9-3 on EPII.

I agree!

I'd keep the 9-5 sedan and wagon on a SWB EpII and I'd make the NG 9-3 on DeltaII offering a couple of hatches, a sedan and a wagon. A model on Gamma would only make sense as a true MINI competitor (I mean size- and content-wise as well as price) IMHO.

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PCS has already said there will be a wagon version of the Cruze, so a wagon 9-3 is probably doable.

According to industry sources here, the Cruze will not spawn a wagon for the European market. Instead, a mini-MPV will be offered to compete with the likes of the Renault Scenic, Mazda 5 and Ford C-Max. This will reputedly be shown in concept form at the Paris show later this year.

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I agree!

I'd keep the 9-5 sedan and wagon on a SWB EpII and I'd make the NG 9-3 on DeltaII offering a couple of hatches, a sedan and a wagon. A model on Gamma would only make sense as a true MINI competitor (I mean size- and content-wise as well as price) IMHO.

Exactly, makes perfect sense, and if they style them right and price them right they should do well. The main reason Saab has done so poorly is because it's product either rots on the vine or has been rebadged Subarus or Chevies.

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Saabs don't do well because of low brand awareness, very poor reliability (they have been bottom 5 in JD Power dependability the last few years), and dated product. Volvo has been struggling lately too, but at least they have the safety reputation to fall back on, and a broader product lineup. Perhaps Lexus reliability and hybrids took some Volvo buyers, and Infiniti took some from Saab, but I suspect the bulk of cars cross shopped with Saab and Volvo come from Germany, and Saab/Volvo don't have anything as good as what the Germans have.

A rebadged Cruze has zero chance against a 3-series or A4 or C-class, why continue to dump money in a brand that won't make it back.

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A rebadged Cruze has zero chance against a 3-series or A4 or C-class, why continue to dump money in a brand that won't make it back.

Come on now.... you know quite well that a 9-3 isn't meant to go up against those three. The 9-3 will go up against the S40, 159, and 407.

Cadillac will have the BTS go up up against the German three.

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They ought to downsize them right out of existence.

+1

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