2008 Saab 9-3
Latest Saab 9-3 news and reviews:
While our 10 Best Cars of 2014 article was written to focus on the most newsworthy cars launched in the past year from a positive point of view, we figured that the circle could only be complete if we also take a look at some of the not-so-good vehicles that became part of our world in 2014. Obviously, the presence of some cars on the following list will probably anger a good amount of keyboard warriors and/or diehard fans out there, but that usually goes with the territory and you can’t please every reader every time.
As most of you know, no matter how much soul and poetry a carmaker exudes for some people, the automotive industry is just that, an industry. Industries, like every other business, are here to make money, because otherwise they would simply cease to exist sooner or later. Since marketing is a pretty big part of almost every business’ success, a lot of carmakers rely on intangible details such as brand or model image to sell their products, especially when talking about niche cars.
That is exactly where a lot of them go wrong sometimes, when newly-introduced cars don’t necessarily tick all the right boxes, or at least the minimum required in their brand DNA. From some points of view, this results in a bad car, while from others it simply means that one or more entities that helped to develop said car didn’t do a very good job at some point. Either way, the following list is in no way a professionally-made or objective one and each of the cars on it may very well become a best-seller and a huge success in the future.
With that being said, click past the jump to read more about the 10 Worst Cars Of 2014.
Discontinued in 2012 as Saab was filing for bankruptcy, the 9-3 sedan made a surprising return in 2013, when the brand was revived under National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS) ownership. But instead of launching the third-generation model that was in the works before Saab went bankrupt, NEVS started building second-gen cars at the company’s Trollhattan production plant. Identical to the 2012 model, the "new" sedan arrived in dealerships without the trademark griffin logos and with a turbocharged, 2.0-liter, four-banger under the hood.While NEVS is undoubtedly working on a modern replacement for the 9-3, the next-generation vehicle won’t be launched for at least two more years. Instead, the Swedes are reportedly looking to reintroduce the 9-3 SportCombi and have already confirmed plans to offer an electric iteration of the current sedan.
The EV is still not ready to go into production, but NEVS has just unveiled the prototype that will become an actual Saab product in the near future.
Click past the jump to read more about the Saab 9-3 EV Prototype
Just when we thought that the Saab saga was reaching its closure, a new wrench gets thrown into the mix. When NEVS purchased Saab’s assets a little while ago, we were under the impression that this sale included the rights to the “Saab” name and logo. According to reports coming out now, this is not the case.
Apparently, the sale of Saab only covered the failed Swedish automaker’s physical assets. The truck-building company, Scania, and Saab AB still own the rights to the Logo and the “Saab” name. For NEVS to legally use the name, both Scania and Saab AB will need to sign off on the usage, and the companies are reportedly in talks about how to handle this.
We would assume that Scania has no issues at all and just wants a piece of that Saab resurrection pie. Saab AB, on the other hand, still runs Saab’s line of parts, which was not included in the bankruptcy. Saab AB could benefit by using this opportunity to negotiate their way into new dealerships when NEVS starts rolling out new electric-powered Saabs. Saab AB also has to consider protecting its brand image, and it NEVS completely botches this revival, it will make Saab AB look bad as well.
We’re confident that a deal will be struck between the three companies to allow NEVS the rights to the name and logo, but Saab AB will likely have a heavy hand in how the name is used.
As always, we’ll keep you updated as additional information comes to the surface on this seemingly endless Saab saga.
As Saab closes up its latest chapter, which included bankruptcy and many months or “We’re sold, wait, no we’re not” turmoil, we were left wondering what happened to the 900 (ish) Saabs that got held up at port whenever the failed car company filed for bankruptcy. Well, now that Saab has been liquidated to the point that only the 900 cars remain, we now have an idea what’s going on with them.
According to reports, all 900 cars will be auctioned off to varying companies and exporters. Only 300 of these leftover Saabs will make their way into dealerships and the dealers have the option to either put them up for sale at a 30- to 50-percent discount and sell them or strip them down for parts. Obviously the most profitable game would be to strip them down, but it may take a while to sell off all of the parts. So we may be in for some super-cheap Saabs hitting what remaining Saab dealers there are.
The majority of the leftover Saabs will be auctioned to exporters and rental companies. So, for an American to snag up one of these Saabs he has to either find a dealership close enough that actually wants more stock on its lot or pick one up after the rental car company is done with it – AKA after it has been thrashed to within an inch of its life. Who buys a used rental car anyways?
According to the inventory report, there are 67 company cars, which include a 1960 Quantum IV and a `70 Sonnett III, over 450 9-5s, 400 9-3 sedans, 60 9-3 wagons, 12 9-3 convertibles and 28 9-4X crossovers.
So thus closes another part of the Saab saga. Now we just have to see what NEVS can do with the bankrupt Swedish automaker.
few days ago, we let you know that several sources were reporting that bankrupt Swedish automaker, Saab, was finally sold to Hong Kong-based, Sweden-registered renewable energy company, National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS). This in turn booted Youngman out of the bidding war for the third time, but we had not yet seen any official reports. Well, we now have all something official.
NEVS’ boss, Karl Johan Jiang (interesting mixture of names) announced at a news conference that NEVS indeed won the folded automaker and that NEVS will indeed use the “Saab” name on its cars. NEVS was awarded the Saab factory, its tooling company and the 9-3’s architecture, which is odd, as BAIC purchased the intellectual rights to the 9-3 several months ago. We assume that BAIC got the drivetrain rights and Saab retained the underpinnings and body.
NEVS also let us know that we will not be without a new Saab vehicle on the road for much longer, as NEVS is currently developing an EV car based on the 9-3’s architecture that it was awarded and that car should be released in the next 18 months. Sales will start in China, then eventually move worldwide.
Unfortunately, NEVS’ bid did not include the 9-4x or 9-5 rights, so other than the 9-3, Saab will be starting all over again with brand new models, if it ever gets off of the ground. Given the Saab 9-3’s somewhat sporty nature, we expect to see a higher performance EV made of it. It definitely won’t be a screamer, like the Tesla Model S, but also not as slow as a Nissan Leaf.
There should be loads more information coming down the pike in the next 18 months, and we will update you as often as we can. Until then, congratulations to NEVS and the “Saab” name for making it through this long saga.
Back in 2009, we reported that little-known Chinese car manufacturer Beijing Automotive Industry Holdings Co. Ltd., which fortunately goes by the acronym BAIC, officially purchased the intellectual rights to the Saab 9-3 and 9-5. It was a rather odd transaction, to say the least, as few people knew what BAIC’s plans were with these rights.
Well, BAIC has officially come forward to let us all know the plan. There are two BAIC cars making their debuts at the Beijing Auto Show, which opens to the press on April 23rd and the general public on the 27th, one of which we know is based on the Saab 9-3.
The Saab 9-3-based model is dubbed the C70, but that is about where our knowledge stops, as BAIC has kept a pretty tight lid on the happenings on at their office. We can speculate that the C70 will feature a Saab engine, likely the 210-horsepower 2.0-liter used in the final 9-3.
The larger BAIC C80K is the most likely home for the high-output Saab V-6 from the defunct 9-5. This model has a little more info available, as BAIC teased us with a few images of the upcoming vehicle. From what we can tell from its outside, this vehicle appears to be designed to compete with the likes of BMW, Mercedes, and maybe even Bentley, but that 3.0-liter V-6 wouldn’t hold a candle to those makes. This makes it a possibility that the C80K’s engine is an in-house build.
Really cool, yet potentially dangerous, features on the C80K are the B-pillar-less suicide doors. This looks really cool, by giving one wide open entry with both doors open, but could potentially weaken the structural integrity significantly. We also know that the C80k will measure in at 205 inches long and 75 inches wide.
That’s about all we know right now about these new BAIC models, except that they will only be available in China. We will pass along more details as they come along.
There’s no doubt that Saab as a company has been running on fumes for the past couple of years, teetering that bankruptcy line more than any other automaker has in recent time.
But if there’s one silver lining to the malaise the company is embroiled in, it’s that some of their cars are still being represented in the world of auto racing. One in particular is Flash Engineering, which recently unveiled their new Saab 9-3 TTA race car that’s set to compete in the Swedish Racing Elite League this year.
The 9-3-turned race car comes with a dynamic wide body kit to go with a vented hood, a new rear diffuser, and a larger rear spoiler, making it primed and ready for some hardcore racing action.
According to Jan Nilsson, Flash Engineering’s Managing Director, the motivation to enter the Swedish Racing Elite series with a Saab 9-3 was to finally see how it stacks up against its local rival, Volvo, out on the track. “I have longed for 40 years to see the fight between Saab and Volvo on the race tracks," he said. "It becomes reality this summer and my biggest dream is to get all Saab fans to the TTA races to cheer us on.”
While we think that it’s a race that will get turn some heads, we think it’s a little more of a big deal to see a Saab vehicle compete in a racing environment despite the company’s well-chronicled financial struggles. Here’s to hoping for a good showing from the guys over at Flash Motorsport.
Updated 03/23/2012: Flash Engineering has unveiled today a first video for their Saab 9-3 TTA Race Car featuring a first test session. The test was a first run, at the Alés track in France, where the front was not completed, the final car is going to look different.
Saab may be on the short stick – again - as far as their future is concerned, but some of their models still find a way to make the news and try to move the spotlight away from their tumultuous future into something a little more optimistic.
In this case, the question has to be posed: who knew that you could take a Saab 9-3, strip it down to its bare essentials, build the whole puzzle back together, and fit in an 8.4-liter V10 engine that comes courtesy of a Dodge Viper SRT10?
You read that whole paragraph right, folks. The word’s ‘Saab’ and ‘SRT’ are coming together for a very revealing customer project. The final model, which is being called the ‘9-3 SRT10 MegaPower’, came from the mind of one Zaccho Pelle, who wanted nothing more than to turn his Saab 9-3 Estate from an otherwise mundane wagon into a Viper SRT10-powered, 600-horsepower piece of automotive madness.
Full details on the Saab 9-3 SRT10 MegaPower after the jump.
Saab’s entry level compact car has received a refresh for the 2012MY, and it also has a new name to go along with it. Now called the 9-3 Griffin for the US version, the hot hatch will be getting some interior and exterior modifications, as well as a couple of new engines.
Starting off with the exterior, the 9-3 Griffin will be receiving new front bumpers and signature Saab ‘ice block’ headlamps to differentiate itself from the earlier versions of the second generations. This is followed by a new metallic trim for the interior, as well as updated leatherette seats and unique storage pockets on the sides of the front seats.
More engine options will also find their way into the 9-3 Griffin, alongside the usual mix of 1.9-liter TTiD twin turbo diesel engines producing either 130, 160, 180hp. These new engines will come in 2.0L petrol flavors with 163hp or 220hp.
Hit the jump to read more about the 2012 Saab 9-3 Griffin.
February 23rd is a very special day for the boys of Saab. A year ago on this day, the Swedish automaker was officially given a new life by Spyker, and the former will be celebrating the first anniversary of Saab’s rebirth as an independent carmaker by releasing a special edition 9-3 Convertible that it’s calling the “Independence Edition”.
Set to be launched at a special party to be held at the company’s Trollhättan plant in Sweden, the 9-3 Independence Day Edition is a model that will be limited to just 366 units – one for each day that has passed since Spyker made its purchase from General Motors. Pass the cheese this direction, please?
Cheesiness aside, the 9-3 Independence Day Edition will come with a number of unique features, including a 2.0-liter Biopower engine that produces 220 horsepower, a bespoke Amber Orange metallic exterior paint finish, a set of 18" alloy wheels decked in a two-tone satin chrome and black finish. Meanwhile, the interior gets beige leather interior seats and a glovebox with orange piping, an orange turbo instrument needle, carbon fiber trim, an orange stitched sports leather steering wheel, carpet mats that come with gray piping, and a couple of other upgrades courtesy of Hirsch Performance.
As soon as the 9-3 Independence Edition finishes celebrating Saab’s one-year “rebirth” anniversary, the car is expected to make an appearance at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show. Can’t say that we’re particularly thrilled about the car. It’s a definite looker, especially that orange piping on the interior seats, but we’re not going to sell our souls in order to get one.
In any case, Happy 1st Birthday, Saab!
Strange as that sounds.
Staying true to the fact that they have become the official supplier for ECU upgrades, aero kits, brakes, exhaust systems, and a few other modifications for Saab models on the US market, Hirsch Performance has unveiled one of the projects they have been working on. The Saab 9-3 sedan by Hirsch Performance has been unveiled at the 2011 Chicago Auto Show featuring some pretty impressive little extras on it interior and exterior.
The specific model revealed at the show received a 30 HP upgrade, but that is only one of the options provided by Hirsch. Crack open a Saab 9-3 with a 2.8 Turbo V6 engine and Hirsch can pump it up to 300hp (up from 276 HP). Other engine setups can get updates from 140hp to 300hp.
The exterior wasn’t left untouched as Hirsch Performance is offering a rear spoiler, a carbon fiber body kit with a front splitter and rear diffuser, a four-piece mesh grille set, and a new set of 19" 6-Twin alloy wheels to give the Saab’s look a bit of spunk.
Depending on how much money the customer is willing to spend, Hirsch Performance can customize your Saab in every which way imaginable.
Hit the jump to check out performance statistics for their tuning packages.
Saab is continuing its efforts to become a self-sustaining company by making plans for the next generation Saab 9-3 and the timing has been set as Saab has announced that the new 9-3 will be making its world debut in 2012, most likely at the Paris Auto Show. The new model will feature a more dramatic exterior style, but it will also get a new electric four-wheel drive system that will improve fuel economy by 10%. This system was developed by engineering specialist American Axle and uses a newly designed multi-link rear suspension and two electric motors.
Jason Castriota, Saab’s new design director, said that the exterior styling has already been decided, with only small details - like headlamps - still needing to be chosen.
The 2012 Saab 9-3 will be offered with a new 200 HP 1.6-liter turbocharged petrol engine used by the Mini Countryman. There will also be a range of new diesel engines, but company sources would not be drawn on the likely source, saying only that “both parties are open to explore further opportunities as part of this relationship in the future”. Previous reports have suggested that the new Saab may include the new 184bhp 1.6-liter, twin-scroll turbo Cooper S engine and the 112bhp 1.6-liter diesel engine used in the Countryman. The new engines will be coupled to an all-new six-speed manual gearbox and a four-wheel drive system.
Fifty years ago, legendary rally car driver Erik Carlsson romped through his first of three – in a row - British RAC rally titles while piloting a three-cylinder, 750 cc Saab 96.
As a Saab aficionado, Carlsson has always competed in rally races while driving only one brand and today, the Swedish manufacturer is celebrating Carlsson’s rally accomplishments by building a special edition Saab 9-3 carrying his name.
Called the Saab 9-3 Aero Carlsson, the 280-horsepower limited-run model was announced by Saab at a recent luncheon at the RAC Club in London to honor Carlsson himself.
Understandably, Carlsson was honored by Saab’s gesture. "This is a great occasion for me,” he said.
“I feel very honored to have a car named after me. Anyone who loves driving and is as passionate about Saab as I am will be excited about getting behind the wheel."
We don’t know a great deal about Erik Carlsson because he raced even before we were born, but from what we’ve heard and read about him, he seems to have been one of the pre-eminent rally racers of his time so it’s only appropriate for Saab to honor the man that gave them their honor back in the day.
Press Release after the jump.
Spyker, the company that purchased Saab from General Motors, has released an official statement confirming talks with BMW about component sharing. These talks, which we heard about back in June, were originally thought to benefit the new 9-2 first, but it seems the larger 9-3 will get the first taste of BMW’s goodies.
An all-new BMW-sourced motor that will produce around 220 horsepower, according to Bloomberg, could power the new 9-3 schedule to be released by 2012. The report also stated that a BMW engine might find its way into the 9-5.
Though the 9-3 will be the first to receive the BMW treatment, we shouldn’t rule out the 9-2. Saab hopes to launch the teardrop shaped car by 2014 if it can find a partner. The Mini Countryman’s underpinnings might be used on the 9-2, as well as some small displacement motors from BMW.
Check out Spyker’s brief statement after the jump.
Saab will be bringing its first ever all-electric model to the Paris Auto Show in less than two weeks time. It is called the Saab 9-3 ePower and it will continue its development next year as Saab intends to send out a fleet of about 70 vehicles in Sweden. This testing will take place in order to evaluate the ePower in real-world driving conditions and create a purpose-built, electric Saab vehicle.
The 9-3 ePower features a 184 hp electric motor driving the front wheels through a single-speed transmission. The sprint from 0 to 62 mph is made in just 8.5 seconds, while top speed is limited to 93 mph.
The electric engine is powered by a 35.5 kWh lithium-ion battery pack accommodated in a modified floor-pan, in a space occupied by the exhaust system and fuel tank on the standard 9-3 SportWagon. This allows for optimum weight distribution and excellent driving dynamics similar to those of a standard SportWagon.
"The 9-3 ePower programme is our first step towards developing a potential production vehicle that will deliver the sort of advanced performance our customers expect. We now look forward to working with our technical partners in developing such a product."
Press release after the jump.
After a credible source gave us some specific details on the Saab 9-3 about a week ago, Saab has joined the party by officially releasing all of the details on the sedan. The main change for the 9-3 will be more advanced twin turbocharged engines.
All diesel engines will offer a CO2 emissions of just 119 g/km and an exceptionally low combined cycle fuel consumption of 62.8 mpg. The 1.9-liter diesel line-up includes a 130 hp TTiD unit (replacing the previous 120 hp TiD engine), a 160 hp version (replacing the 150 hp TiD engine) and a range-topping 180 hp/400 Nm variant. The SportWagon offers an impressive 61.4 mpg and low CO2 emissions of 122g/km and for the Convertible, the respective figures are 54.3 mpg and 137g/km.
The list of equipments will include: Bluetooth phone integration and heated front seats as standard, a ‘change-up’ indicator in the instrument cluster, a clutch interlock system on manual transmissions; child seat top tether anchorage points and a perforated leather sport steering wheel on Aero models.
Full story plus press release after the jump.
With all of the commotion surrounding the Saab 9-5, it’s no wonder that people have left the 9-3 to sit out in the dust, but new details have surfaced about Saab’s entry-level model. Apparently, a very credible source, who has seen the sedan in the past six weeks, can attest to several changes that are taking place with the 2011 (and not 2012 as originally projected) 9-3. The 9-3 is scheduled to make its appearance at the end of August with sales beginning sometime in October.
The new generation 9-3 will use the same techniques as the new 9-5 and the design will be inspired by the Saab Aero-X concept which is a pretty interesting and innovative concept in its own regard. The exterior of the 2011 Saab 9-3 will see the most changes during this minor refresh. The sedan will get a new front fascia with customers being able to choose from “Vector Griffin” and “Griffin Aero”. The bumpers will also be slightly different than the current line and a hockeystick chromestripe will appear around the windows. The headlamps will get the same design as in the 9-5 and the 19” turbine wheels will also be borrowed from the 9-5. The final change will come in the exterior paint finishes. Snow Silver will have to see the door as Javabrown and Diamond Silver get added to the lineup.
In terms of engines, Saab will be adding the Turbo4 and TID4 to the current lineup. There will also be a 2.0 DI engine producing either 163 or 220hp and three diesel variants ranging from 130, 160, and 180hp.
Competition for the 9-3 is said to be the Mercedes SLK, the Audi A3 Cabrio, theBMW 5 series Gran Turismo, the Subaru Impreza WRX, and the Cadillac CTS Sportwagon.
That’s all for today, folks, but we’ll get back with more details as soon as we get them.
Saab will unveil the new generation 9-3 in late 2012. Built on an all-new platform (known internally as the "Phoenix Architecture"), the new model will also get a hatchback version reminiscent of the classic 900 and a cabriolet version. The new Saab 93 will have as main competitor the Audi A3 and will be priced at £18,000 (around $26,000 at the current rates).
The new model will take its design inspiration from the new 9-5 sedan, but it will also get an aerospace-influenced touch. On the interior it will feature the same wrap-around dashboard theme, but with a minimal look in comparison to the Saab 9-5.
There are rumors saying that Saab has signed a contract with BMW to supply BMW-derived diesel and petrol engines, including the new 184bhp 1.6-litre, twin-scroll turbo Cooper S engine and the 112bhp 1.6-liter diesel engine used in the Countryman. The new engines will be coupled to an all-new six-speed manual gearbox and a four-wheel drive system.
According to Autoblog, Saab is looking at a few performance parts to help raise its standing with automotive enthusiasts, albeit in a limited fashion. Sources inside the Swedish automaker are reporting that the company is looking to upgrade the performance of the 9-3 and the new 9-5. Yet, despite their performance desires, Saab is tied down by an agreement signed with Saab’s previous owner that laid down a chapter-and-verse about what kind of power Saabs should have under the hood.
"We can’t modify these licensed architectures in such a way that it will compete with General Motors products," said the insider to Autoblog.
So, power from the company is out, so Saab is seeking other ways to go about upping performance.
Saab has been in talks with leading European Saab tuner Hirsch Performance AG to develop new dealer-installed performance parts. These performance Saabs would be on sale in North American and other markets. Since Hirsch is not a well-known name, Saab is debating on how to go about marketing these upgrades.
Dealer installed improvements should include ECU upgrades, aero kits, brakes, exhaust systems, and a few other modifications.
Hit the jump for the full story
Now that Saab is under Spyker ownership, things look like they are going to be changing a bit for the Swedish company. Proof of that will come in the shape of the new generation 9-3 to be unveiled sometime in 2012.
According to the German magazine, Autobild, the Saab 9-3 will not only be offered in a sedan, but hatchback and convertible versions will also come into play. Competition for the new Saab 9-3 is said to be the Mercedes SLK, the Audi A3 Cabrio, the BMW 5 series Gran Turismo, the Subaru Impreza WRX, and the Cadillac CTS Sportwagon. Just to name a few.
The new generation 9-3 will use the same techniques as the new 9-5 and the design will be inspired by the Saab Aero-X concept which is a pretty interesting and innovative concept in its own regard. We have to say, we have been not-so-patiently waiting for this concept to see the light of day in a production car. Under the hood there will be the same engine line-up, but it will feature more improvements in order to offer better consumption and fuel economy reduction.
Saab’s new 9-3 will need to have a helluva lineup in order to regain some of the market it has lost during its tumultuous times. We can only assume this is why Saab has opted to bring back the hatchback. Hatchbacks seems to be pretty trendy nowadays (don’t ask us why; we don’t see the attraction) so choosing to bring back the 5-door might give them a spot in this little niche.
SAAB 9-3 Sedán
SAAB promete lanzar un nuevo modelo 9-3 en el 2012 después de que la compañía sueca fue adquirida por Spyker. Éste último afirma que la compañía se concentrará en convertirse en un nicho de una línea de tres o cuatro modelos: el completamente renovado 9-3 en sus versiones sedán, hatchback, vagón, X y convertible) a lanzarse en el 2012.
Entre sus planes de negocios también se encuentra el 9-5 a salir este año, y el 9-4X para el mercado americano y europeo en el 2011, además del 9-1, una línea de automóviles de la cual todavía se está contemplando la posibilidad de su desarrollo.
Con esta noticia del nuevo 9-3 y el lanzamiento del 9-5 este año, la línea de Saab se renovará completamente para el 2010.
Spyker afirma que SAAB se reposicionará contra BMW y Audi buscando que sus ventas aumenten a 125,000 unidades por año con su planta de producción en Trollhättan, Suecia. El 9-4X será producido en México.
Comunicado de prensa después del salto
SPYKER PROVIDES FURTHER DETAILS ON SAAB ACQUISITION
ZEEWOLDE, The Netherlands (1 February, 2010) – In advance of the General Meeting of Spyker shareholders, to be held on 12 February 2010, and which was convened on 28 January 2010, Spyker Cars N.V. ("Spyker") provides further strategic and financial details regarding its acquisition of Saab Automobile AB ("Saab").
ACQUISITION RATIONALE AND SAAB BUSINESS PLAN
Spyker believes that through the purchase of Saab it has a rare opportunity to acquire and rebuild a global car brand which will be repositioned towards an independent performance-oriented niche car company with an industry-leading environmental strategy. Saab’s brand DNA is unique and rooted in its aeronautical heritage, innovative and independent thinking and its Swedish origins. Spyker fully supports Saab’s Business Plan which will be implemented by Saab management. The Business Plan, drawn up by Saab management over the past ten months, was analysed by Spyker in assistance with Booz & Co and KPMG Transaction Services, advisors to Spyker. The Business Plan has also been analysed and supported by several advisors to the Swedish Government and the EIB.
At the General Meeting, Spyker Cars N.V. intends to adopt a resolution to change its name to Saab Spyker Automobiles NV ("Saab Spyker"). This entity will operate Spyker and Saab as two separate operating companies, each focused on its distinct target markets with their respective vehicle lines. As previously stated, Saab Spyker is committed to execute the Saab Business Plan. It is the intention to enhance it in several areas. The highlights of Saab’s strategy will be:
Saab will be a stand-alone niche manufacturer with three to four model lines: 9-3 (sedan, hatchback, sports estate, X and convertible) and 9-5 (sedan, sports estate and X) and the 9-4X for both the US and European markets. In addition, Saab will investigate the potential of adding a fourth smaller car line ("9-1") in due course provided that the positive development of the smaller car segment continues. However, this model is currently not envisaged in the Business Plan so if the outcome of the investigation is positive, additional financing to develop this model could be required.
Saab’s product portfolio will be renewed completely, beginning with the launch of the new 9-5 early this summer, the new 9-4X in early 2011 and the new ’all Saab’ 9-3 in 2012.
Saab will continue to be repositioned against other brands such as Audi (A4/A6) and BMW (3/5 series) as a premium brand, leveraging its strong and unique brand heritage.
Saab’s Technical Development Center in Trollhättan has full capability in developing complete vehicles and will continue to do so. In areas such as safety, environment, driving characteristics, practicality, turbo technologies and several other innovations, the Saab brand is among the best in the industry.
With Trollhättan as one of the most efficient mid-size car plants in Europe, production and sales volumes are aimed to be rebuilt to recent pre-crisis levels of about 100,000 to 125,000 vehicles including the 9-4X built in Mexico.
The current dealer network will be re-energized with a new sales and distribution approach in certain markets, which will be implemented during 2010.
The economies of scale of the on-going collaboration with GM after Closing the acquisition (February 2010) will continue to be leveraged in sourcing via ancillary agreements, with independent sourcing gradually increasing to reduce GM dependency and obtain improved access to other suppliers and the co-development of unique innovations.
Saab Spyker believes that its two brands, both deeply rooted in aeronautical and automotive history, will benefit from sharing certain assets and technology services. Examples include but are not limited to:
Saab’s extensive global network of 1,100 dealers.
The extensive engineering know how and innovative technologies available at Saab.
Sharing of activities in marketing & sales: i.e. merchandising, promotion & sponsorship activities, etc.
In the future, the two brands will be able to share certain parts and components and expect to obtain access to supplier and partner resources not available to Spyker or Saab individually today.
FUNDING OF SAAB
The Saab Business Plan requires approximately $1 billion in peak funding for Saab in advance of the return to profitability, forecast to occur by 2012. The funding is provided in part by GM, through $326 million Redeemable Preference Shares ("RPSs"), and in part through other contributions, which concern various substantial contributions to the funding of Saab’s Business Plan on favorable terms for supplies by GM to Saab and deferred payments from Saab to GM. The remaining amount, apart from cash at bank, is to be provided by a EUR 400 million loan from the European Investment Bank for certain R&D projects at Saab. Securing this EIB loan is a condition precedent to closing of the Saab acquisition ("Closing").
With this financing in place, the business plan does not envisage any future funding being required, neither from Spyker or elsewhere, for Saab to return to profitability. The business plan targets car production and sales at or below historical levels of 100,000 to 125,000.
Explanation on the two sources of funding:
Redeemable Preference shares
At Closing, GM will convert USD 326 million of pre-closing receivables on Saab into RPSs in Saab. The issue of the RPSs will therefore NOT cause any dilution for the shareholders in Spyker. The voting rights attaching to these RPSs constitute 0.0005% of the total voting rights in Saab. The other 99.99% of the voting rights (100% of the ordinary shares) will be held by Spyker. Since the RPSs are capital and not a loan, no interest is due at any time by Saab. The RPSs carry no dividend from Closing until December 31, 2011. A dividend entitlement of 6% starts from January 1, 2012 through June 30, 2014 and increases over time to 12% as from July 1, 2014 until the scheduled redemption date of December 31, 2016. The dividend over 2012 will be added to principal, but as from fiscal year 2013 the dividend is payable in cash. Should Saab have insufficient distributable reserves to pay the cash dividend it will be added to principal increased with a penalty factor of up to 4%, but such that the total dividend entitlement will never exceed 12%.
In the period 2010-2016, the average dividend payable is about 4%, which is considerably below the average interest on a comparable subordinated loan.
The RPSs qualify as equity and therefore, if Saab cannot pay dividends or redeem the RPSs, Saab will not be in default but the RPSs will simply continue to accrue. Also, the RPSs cannot be redeemed as long as the EIB loan is not yet fully repaid. The Saab Business Plan envisages redemption of the RPSs starting in 2016 out of retained profit, without additional funding (from Spyker or anyone else) being required.
The Share Purchase Agreement is subject to the execution of a EUR 400 million loan agreement between Saab and the European Investment Bank ("EIB"), for which a guarantee was obtained from the Swedish Government on January 26, 2010. This loan will be issued to Saab. All amounts payable by the EIB are specifically earmarked to the Euro for designated Saab projects and capital expenditures and represent 50% of these projects or capital expenditures. The projects mainly relate to increasing fuel efficiency and clean car technology. The remaining 50% is funded by Saab itself pursuant to its Business Plan. Spyker will not have any access to the EIB funds which are completely ring-fenced nor will it pay any part of the Purchase Price with proceeds from the EIB loan. The guarantee is subject to approval by the European Commission. Saab and the Swedish Government have provided all required information to the EC prior to the issue of the guarantee so the decision by the EC is expected very soon.
FUNDING OF SPYKER
Spyker’s existing bank loans in the aggregate amount of EUR 57 million are refinanced by Tenaci Capital B.V. ("Tenaci"). The terms and conditions of this loan will mirror those of the existing loans it repays, including the right to convert EUR 9.5 million into ordinary shares at EUR 4.00 per share. The term of the loan is 12 months and the interest 10 percent above Euribor. After payment of the last instalment of the Purchase Price, Tenaci has the right to collateralize the loan on terms and conditions identical to those on which the existing loans were collateralized.
The Purchase Price of Saab amounts to USD 74 million (EUR 53.23 million at the current exchange rate of 1:1.39). The first instalment of USD 50 million, to be paid on Closing, will be paid as follows: USD 25 million is borrowed from Tenaci at the same interest rate as the other funding extended by Tenaci, without the right to convert into shares. This amount is currently already in escrow with General Motors.
The other USD 25 million is financed through a share issue, largely through a commitment from GEM Global Yield Fund Ltd under an equity facility concluded between Spyker and GEM. Spyker currently does not intend to draw in excess of USD 25 million under this facility.
The second instalment, USD 24 million, will be payable on July 15, 2010. Spyker has been approached by various investors to fund this instalment. Spyker intends to finance this amount primarily through senior debt (senior to the debt owed to Tenaci), but does not rule out other alternatives. Spyker has committed to pledge its assets to GM as security for this final tranche.
FUNDING OF TENACI
Tenaci’s equity is wholly owned by Investeringsmaatschappij Helvetia B.V., the personal holding company of Mr. Victor Muller. Tenaci obtains its debt funding from sources that wish to remain anonymous and with which Tenaci has entered into non-disclosure agreements. The terms and conditions of Tenaci’s own financing do not impact Spyker or Saab in any way. Tenaci has successfully bought Mr. V. Antonov’s current shareholding in Spyker consisting of 4.6 million ordinary shares, subject to closing of the Saab acquisition. Currently Tenaci has no plans to make a public offer on all of the issued shares in Spyker.
Koenigsegg may have dropped the ball with purchasing Saab but at least somebody has stepped up to take the beleaguered car brand out of GM’s hands – at least some of it. Beijing Automotive Industry Holdings Co. Ltd has bought the intellectual rights for Saab’s 9-3 and 9-5 sedans, in addition to a number of powertrain technologies.
As part of the new deal, BAIC will be manufacturing the 9-3 and 9-5 sedans in China with Saab supplying invaluable knowledge and resource to BAIC as the company begins to improve its future line-up of cars. According to Jan Åke Jonsson, the managing director of Saab Automobile, the sale of the 9-3 and 9-5 sedans to BAIC is a step in the right direction for both companies. "We have developed a good relationship with BAIC and look forward to working with them to integrate this Saab technology into their future vehicles," he said.
Despite the sale of the 9-3 and 9-5 sedans to BAIC, General Motors is still pushing through with selling the entire brand to a number of potential suitors, the most notable of which has become Spyker.
Struggling to make ends meet, it looked as if it was only a matter of time before Saab would have crumbled under the mounting debts it had incurred over the past couple of years. Fortunately for them, there’s finally a sliver of light at the end of the tunnel.
On the heels of reports that said that Saab was on the market for anyone willing to take a stab at restoring the company to its glory days, it appears that someone has taken up that challenge. Swedish supercar makers Koenigsigg, together with a group of Norwegian investors, has ironed out a lot of the details involved in the company’s imminent purchase of Saab. While there are still a few kinks left to iron out, it’s becoming more and more apparent that Saab has found new life under the Koenigsigg brand.
Just the sort of thing we like to see here at Top Speed. A turbocharged engine, packaged with a host of sports inspired features and creature comforts at a price that won’t break the bank; and if it pollutes a little less, even better.
That is exactly the case with Saab’s new 9-3 Turbo Edition. Priced starting at under £20,000 the special edition features 17-inch alloy wheels, leather interior, heated front seats, dual-zone climate control, 9-speaker 150w audio system with MP3 compatibility and cruise control all standard. With power coming from either a 1.9 TiD making 150 HP or the higher performing 1.9 TTiD turbo diesel powerplant producing 180 HP and loads more torque.
Unfortunately the car is destined for the U.K. and probably won’t be making it the U.S. anytime soon.
Press release after the jump.
Saab revealed today first details on the 2010 9-3X. World debut will be made in March at the Geneva Auto Show, while the American debut will be made at the New York auto show in April. The 9-3X is expected to arrive in Saab showrooms throughout the United States this fall.
The 9-3X will come to the U.S. with Saab’s hallmark 2.0-liter gasoline turbocharged four-cylinder powertrain, offering 210 hp. The engine is mated with a six-speed manual or automatic transmission.
The model comes with new front and rear bumpers, grained finish that is also applied to the side sills and the edges of the wheel arches as a protective covering when the terrain becomes loose or muddy. This treatment is complemented by skid panels with a matt aluminum finish, curving up towards the door opening at the rear and adopting a wing form in the lip of the lower front bumper.
With the addition of newly designed, multi-spoke 17-inch alloy wheels, the 9-3X’s exterior character reflects its ability to handle mixed road conditions, whether rough or smooth, loose or paved. Inside, the 9-3X interior is based on top-of-the-line specification, adding a dark metallic finish to the door trims, glove box and gearshift surround.
Press release after the jump.
25 years ago (back in 1983) Saab was presenting its first ever Convertible model at the Frankfurt Auto Show. In order to celebrate its anniversary GM is presenting the Special Edition 9-3. It will go on sale in January 2009 and will be priced at $46,725.
It will be available in three metallic colors to include Jet Black, Carbon Grey and the new Bright Champagne. It will feature Saab’s signature 2.0-liter, 210 hp four cylinder engine and can be matched to six-speed manual or five-speed automatic transmissions.
Press release after the jump.
This special edition for the Aussies only was launched to celebrate the arrival of spring. Remember, while many of us are bundling up for winter, Australia is starting to heat up. Nothing better than to keep warm thoughts than a hot Aussie model in a convertible (we’d probably not even be posting this story otherwise.)
For the first time in Australia, the Aero convertible will feature the 1.9-liter, 177 hp TTiD diesel engine in addition to the 2.8-liter, 376 hp V6 Turbo and both engine variants can be matched to six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmissions. The Special Edition features 18” wheels in silver, new front bumper treatments and sports steering wheel.
Press release after the jump.
Saab will unveil at the Paris Auto Show the 9-3X crossover and a preview version of the next-generation 9-3.
The 9-3X is a variant of the current 9-3 Sportwagon estate featuring XWD four-wheel-drive system plus raised ground clearance, extra under-body protection, larger bumpers and other SUV-alike styling details. It will compete with models like Subaru Legacy Outback, Volvo XC70, Audi Allroad and Skoda Octavia Scout.
The 9-3 will be unveiled in 2010 or 2011 and will be based on GM’s Delta platform (shared with the Chevrolet Cruze, next-generation Vauxhall Astra and related models).
The 9-3 concept is a convertible version of the 9-X Biohybrid concept seen at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year.
This might be the first time you hear about a 9-3X from Saab. It is supposed to also be a glimpse of the production version 9-4x.
The name 9-3X was used for the first time like 7 years ago when the company unveiled a concept with this name. And now is time for the production version.
The 9-3X is a response to an Audi Allroad or a Subaru wagon. It’s raised by approx 30mm, is fitted with Saab’s groundbreaking Cross Wheel Drive (XWD).
The 9-3x is coming in Paris in October and the 9-5 is coming at Geneva in March, so, the only option for the 9-4X is the 2009 Detroit Auto Show.
There were rumors on the internet saying that GM will move 9-3’s production to GM Europe’s Opel plant in Ruesselsheim, near Frankfurt, Germany, from Saab’s Trollhattan, Sweden, factory. But a General Motors Europe spokesman said today that production of the Saab 9-3 will remain in Sweden.
To compensate for not getting the 9-3, GM Europe will add production of the Saab 9-5 and a compact car at Ruesselsheim. "It is good news that Ruesselsheim will get an extra model, a third shift and that the 9-3 production will remain in Saab’s home country," said GM Europe spokesman Joerg Schrott.
GM Europe has not named the compact car that will be built in Ruesselsheim, but company sources say it will be the Opel Astra lower-medium car.
General Motors announced back in 2005 that the Saab 9-3 will be built in Opel’s plant from Russelsheim, Germany. But now the company announced that the future generation 9-3 will be built on a smaller platform, in order to reduce CO2 emissions, so the production will be moved in a Swedish factory.
The future 9-3 will be smaller and hence based on a smaller platform. This results in a potential shift away from the Vectra platform to GM’s Delta platform. Trollhatten in Sweden (the hometown of Saab) may therefore get back full production of the 9-3 range
The future 9-3 will go on sale in 2011.
Saab unveiled today a new 9-3 special edition, based on the 2.0T version. In addition to its Lynx Yellow paint and a long list of standard equipment, including XM radio and OnStar, this special edition features Aero look items such as 17-inch, five spoke alloy wheels and a subtle, yet effective rear spoiler while the premium audio system will be music to all ears.
On the road, the Convertible delivers all the fun-to-drive qualities of the widely-acclaimed 9-3 Sport Sedan chassis. The all-turbo powertrain line-up is led by a 2.8-liter V6 rated at 255 hp in the Aero model, while the 210 hp 2.0-liter four cylinder shines with great fuel economy.
The 2008 Saab Convertible Yellow Edition has a MSRP of $42,830, including destination charges.
The Saab 9-3 Sport Sedan, SportCombi and Convertible have earned the 2008 Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s Top Safety Pick Award in the midsize category. This is the fourth consecutive year that the 9-3 Sport Sedan has brought home IIHS top honors, an unique achievement in the luxury segment. For 2007 the 9-3 earned the Top Safety Pick Award, in 2006 the 9-3 earned the Top Safety Pick – Gold Award and received a Double Best Pick crash-test rating for 2005.
With design based on the Aero-X Concept, the 9-3 Sport Sedan and SportCombi range is focused on delivering a unique, ‘fun to drive’ experience that places it among the class leaders for sporty performance and excellent chassis dynamics. The Saab 9-3 comes to compete with models like BMW 3-series, Audi A4 and Mercedes C-class.
These are the 2008 Saab 9-3 models. According to Saab, seventy percent of the sheet metal is new, though the underlying structure is not. But there are two new engines: a twin-turbo 1.9 liter turbodiesel and a 2.8 liter V-6 putting out 280 hp. Also, there’s a new all wheel drive system, which Saab calls, XWD. From the reports, it appears that this system is capable of locking the drive at the rear, so that 100 percent of torque is to the rear wheels under hard (...)
Saab today unveiled the 2008 9-3 Convertible, a model that confirms Saab’s leading position in the premium convertible segment and is the product of more than 20 years’ experience in designing four-seater, four season soft tops that are as practical as they are stylish.
IIHS tested 10 midsize convertible models and the results of the testings show that Saab and Volvo offer good protection in front, side, and rear crashes, and both models include standard electronic stability control (ESC) while the lowest rated convertible model overall is the Pontiac G6. The German convertible, like Audi A4 and BMW 3 series, earn good ratings in frontal offset tests, both are rated marginal for side impact protection and poor for protection in rear crashes.
In order to (...)
These are the last pictures with the upcoming mid-sedan from Saab.The maker is preparing a facelift for the 9-3, with design elements from the Aero-X Concept. The new 9-3 will compete with models like Audi A4, Volvo S40, BMW 3-Series and Mercedes C-Class. The 2008 9-3 will debut before Saab’s 60th birthday, probably at Frankfurt Motor Show.
The 2008 9-3 will get a new front end with a bigger and more aggressive grille with one huge center section flanked by two smaller air-intakes left and (...)
Saab will unveil the next generation 9-3 in 2009. Comparing to the old model the new 9-3 has a more aggressive styling front and rear. The 9-3 Convertible gets the same 9-5 inspired front end with the "Aero-X" type grille and eyelash-headlights.
The 9-3 Convertible features a set of clear tail lamps in the rear. it will be powered by a turbo V6 engine with an output of 300 hp.
The new model will go on sale this fall, but there are rumors that the GM will unveil the new model in (...)
The sand often times conjures memories of walks on the beach with the fresh sea air swirling in and out with the tide. With the availability of optional tan colored top, in place of the standard black or optional blue colors, Saab 9-3 customers are now able to reminisce year-round in this robust four-season convertible.
A Sand convertible top was only offered in 1993 and 1994 on the first generation convertible. After a 13-year hiatus, and many customer and dealer inquiries, the (...)
Saab’s successful BioPower concept - delivering increased performance as well as reduced fossil CO2 emissions - is to be introduced throughout the 9-3 range, including Sport Sedan, SportCombi and Convertible bodystyles. This expansion will reinforce Saab’s leadership of Europe’s emerging flex-fuel segment, where the Swedish premium brand will now offer ‘eco-friendly’ variants of all its core models.
Saab customers, VIP guests and dealers from all over the world are being greeted with ‘a cab on the rocks’ when they arrive for the Saab Ice Experience event at Sweden’s world famous ICE HOTEL.
Saab broke the ice when it pioneered the concept of an open-top car providing practical, all-year-round transport. So it was clearly a cool idea to ‘freeze frame’ the latest Saab 9-3 Convertible in a garage made from ice at the hotel, near Jukkasjärvi in northern Sweden, 200 kilometers north of the Arctic (...)
At 2006 Geneva Motor Show, Saab unveiled the Aero-X Concept. Now for their 60 anniversary, Saab is preparing a facelift for the 9-3, with design elements from the Aero-X Concept. The new 9-3 will compete with models like Audi A4, Volvo S40, BMW 3-Series and Mercedes C-Class. The 2008 9-3 will debut before Saab’s 60th birthday, probably at Frankfurt Motor Show.
In 2008 Saab will launch the new 9-3 with an aggressive look inspired by Saab Aero-X concept. The Aero-X influence is unmissable and beautifully applied to the car: some blue/green accents to the headlamps, which give the impression of some Aero-Xism.
Some LED daytime driving lamps might be integrated along te top of the regular headlamps. The new 9-3 will feature a 6-speed automatic gearbox so this will mean new engine and gearbox (...)
The Saab BioPower Hybrid Concept, the latest development in Saab’s innovative combination of ethanol BioPower and hybrid technology, makes its U.S. debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.This unique concept, showcased in a Saab 9-3 Convertible, is the first vehicle to combine fossil fuel-free bio-ethanol fuel (E100) capability with electric-only propulsion by utilizing the advanced 2-mode hybrid system that General Motors is co-developing with DaimlerChrysler and BMW Group. The Saab BioPower Hybrid Concept is capable of zero fossil fuel CO 2 emissions while also enhancing performance and reducing energy consumption.
With a steeply raked windshield, wedge-like profile and short front and rear overhangs, the 9-3 Convertible model convey a sense of movement even while standing still. The shape of the windows combines with the sleek, integrated headlights and grille to emphasize the distinctive Saab identity.
The Aero-X is widely believed to be the design basis for all future Saabs.
The first influences of the Sabb concept will appear in a production car in mid-2007.
The 2007 Saab 9-3 will be a re-skin of the existing model with more aggressive styling borrowed from the concept.
Saab is going to use design cues from the Aero-X on a brand-new re-skinned Saab 9-3, and later after that on the 9-4x and 9-5. The new model will be unveiled in Sweden for the first time, in June 2006, and in in USA in August 2007.
The new 9-3 will have AWD as an option, which will enable higher engine specs and outputs. Also, it is very posible that the new 9-3 to receive standard setup for diesel engines.
The 2008 9-3 will be powered by a V6 turbo engine with 60-degree configuration, (...)
Savour the thrill of innovation with the Saab 9-3 Sport Sedan. Sleek and aggressive lines mark the outside, while within is a cockpit-inspired interior designed for intuitive interaction with the driver. This car keeps you in touch and in control, as if it were a natural extension of your body. Discover driving exhilaration that’s meant to be felt every single day.
Saab is celebrating two decades of convertible sales success with an anniversary model, the Saab 9-3 Convertible 20 Years Edition, starting in the country where the story began.
Saab pioneered the concept of a practical, all-year-round, "four season, four-seater" soft top when it launched the first Saab 900 Convertible in the United States market in January 1986. A limited production run of 400 units with 175 hp (130 kw), 2.0-liter turbo engines was an immediate success and the (...)