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Saab, BMW to build 9-2

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Saab, BMW to build 9-2

Revitalised Swedish brand joins forces with blue propeller to make Audi A1 rival

26th July 2010

A fresh start and now a fresh partner. Saab has revealed that it will link up with BMW to build the new Audi A1-rivalling 9-2. Plus, new boss Victor Muller has confirmed the Swedish brand will make a stylish coupé based on the 9-3.

Auto Express uncovered the plans to share technology during an exclusive interview with Muller at the recent Saab Festival in Trollhattan. “We could build the 9-2 on our own, but that wouldn’t make sense,” he said. “Thanks to the crisis in the industry, everyone is willing to share everything. So Spyker couldn’t have bought Saab at a better time.”

The firm is likely to tap into BMW’s planned joint project with PSA Peugeot Citroen to produce a front-wheel-drive chassis – this will underpin the next MINI and a version of the new 1-Series. Given Saab’s front-wheel-drive history, the sports-focused platform is a good fit.

An Italian designer has created a series of images of the car, guided by the Saab 91 Petition and Support Group. It campaigns on Facebook for the firm to build a small, high-volume-selling model, which it confusingly refers to as the 9-1.

Fabio Ferrante’s pictures show how the MINI rival could get an aggressive look. Engines are likely to be small-capacity turbos. Muller believes the 9-2 will be a ‘halo model’ – drawing customers to other cars in the range. “Saab used to own this sector,” he said. “We need to reclaim it.”

Muller also revealed the firm’s next major project will be inspired by 1966’s Sonett sports car. The two-seater coupé will be based on the 9-3, he said, “but more sporting than anything before and with a unique feel”.

Nearer to production is a new 9-5 estate. The previous load carrier proved a big hit.

Read more: http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/news/autoexpressnews/254998/saab_bmw_to_build_92.html#ixzz0vSh94AxH

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Report: BMW to build 9-2 on Mini chassis for Saab

by Zach Bowman (RSS feed) on Aug 2nd 2010 at 3:32PM

Feast your eyes on the newest bit of rumor from the creative crew at AutoExpress. The site claims that BMW and Saab are looking to shack up for the production of a new 9-2 based on – you guessed it – the Mini Cooper. The idea is to create a new compact Saab that can go toe-to-toe with Audi's new teacup fighter, the A1, while lessening the burden of development costs for Saab's parent company, Spyker. According to AE, the news came to light during an interview with Saab head honcho Victor Muller, though the direct quote merely suggests that the company will look outside of itself for a little help with chassis development.

The idea of a Mini-based 9-2 doesn't hurt our feelings one bit, and it would seem to make sense for BMW to want to reduce the cost of developing the next-generation Cooper/1 Series by joining forces with another company, and this isn't the first time we've gotten word of such a partnership. But until we hear something a little more substantial from either Saab or BMW, we'd suggest downing this one with a hefty grain of salt. Head over to Auto Express for a look at two renderings.

[source: Auto Express]

LINK:

http://www.autoblog.com/2010/08/02/report-bmw-to-build-9-2-on-mini-chassis-for-saab/

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Whaaaa? Doesn't the 1-series compete with the A1 Steak Sauce Audi ?? How would building ANOTHER competitor in this low-volume niche segment going to benefit BMW ? What am I missing?

Edited by balthazar

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Whaaaa? Doesn't the 1-series compete with the A1 Steak Sauce Audi ?? How would building ANOTHER competitor in this low-volume niche segment going to benefit BMW ? What am I missing?

Here's the reasoning: someone else besides BMW chips in with platform development money, and more volume in shared components can most likely make them cheaper on a per-unit basis. Also, it is more likely that the plant building the cars is close to full capacity if it builds a car for SAAB parallel to the MINI and/or BMW variants. Plus if the market for that niche/segment isn't saturated even though it is low volume, there's enough room for everybody.

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BMW cimarron. no investment, slap the badge on it. for saab and poo joe tho its a good deal.

renderings are kinda cool.

BMW is stooping to fwd. lol, i remember some ads they had as recent as a year ago which they touted their independence and why they could build their cars as pure as they could. looks like that is all out the window now. LMAO! hypocrites!

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The 1-series should stay rear drive as it is, it works fine for them in Europe. Building the Mini chassis/engine for a 9-2 makes sense since they can probably up charge Saab for it, and increased volume lets them spread costs out. All car makers need to find ways to cut costs or spread them around. The A1 niche is ridiculous though, it is Aveo and Yaris sized, so called premium cars, I can see the point of an A3 or 1-series (though I don't like either of them), but to go below them is pointless.

From Saab's side, they are probably looking for product anywhere they can get it, and they can't develop their own cars, so they really need to build cars off existing models. But I don't think many people will be visiting a Saab showroom regardless of what they build, I think Saab didn't stop judgement day, they only postponed it.

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This seems like a win for Saab. I'm not really sure what BMW gets out of it (I would have said FWD expertise, but look at the Mini).

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Here's the reasoning: someone else besides BMW chips in with platform development money, and more volume in shared components can most likely make them cheaper on a per-unit basis. Also, it is more likely that the plant building the cars is close to full capacity if it builds a car for SAAB parallel to the MINI and/or BMW variants. Plus if the market for that niche/segment isn't saturated even though it is low volume, there's enough room for everybody.

Natural theory- but with the dismal sales of the 1-series, I'm not so sure the segment isn't a lot closer to saturation than you believe.

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Natural theory- but with the dismal sales of the 1-series, I'm not so sure the segment isn't a lot closer to saturation than you believe.

I think I know: CAFE. Europe has even harsher fleetwide average economy than we do (I believe).

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