The Saab that never was, blurry rendering of the 9-3

Posted: March 4th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Saab, Saab 9-3 | Tags: , , | No Comments »

The low-resolution rendering you see below is the work of Jason Castriota and this would have been the Saab 9-3 that could have saved the brand. Sadly the marque did not survive. Saab declared bankruptcy back in December 2011 and the hopes of the brand’s fans became as blurry as the image you see on here.
phoenix-based-saab-9-3
The rendering of the Saab 9-3 will just be that, a rendering of the Phoenix-based vehicle. The image shows a 9-3 that shows semblance to the bigger 9-5. For sure, to Saab fans, this version of the 9-3 looks quite good.

If this car was built, a punchy gasoline engine with a turbocharger sourced from German car manufacturer BMW would have been under its hood. But there can still be a glimmer of hope for the 9-3.

NEVS or National Electric Vehicle Sweden bought portions of the estate of the befallen Saab Automobile last August. The company plans to use the last production version of the 9-3 as the basis for its electric cars. The carmaker also hints that it will replace the 9-3 architecture with a new one in the next few years.

It is still uncertain though if NEVS will use the rendering done by Castriota or if it the 9-3 will be taking a new shape. This will really depend on the production plans and business model of the company. The platform of the Phoenix is actually designed to be used for different types of vehicles so it is not yet certain if NEVS has to come up with a platform that may be better suited for its Evs.

If NEVS will be able to tap good people to man its top executive posts and if the company will be able to use the Phoenix platform for its electric car, and if that will be the 9-3 shown here then it will be released as a Saab. This will be the case since Saab owns the right to the name of the vehicle. The platform was licensed to Youngman, a Chine company, in 2011. Spyker, which formerly owned Saab is now a partner of Youngman. Spyker is also planning to use the Phoenix platform for an SUV due by 2014.


Saab contemplates on speeding up development of new 9-3

Posted: December 10th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Saab, Saab 9-3 | Tags: , , | No Comments »

Saab-FactoryThe new owner of the Saab brand, the National Electric Vehicle Sweden, plans on speeding up the relaunch of the petrol-powered 9-3 next year instead of re-starting with the electric car due out by 2014. This was according to an interview of a Saab spokesperson with the media.

The company mulls on kicking off the production of the Saab 9-3 with a conventional engine by next summer. This will of course depend on the results of their ongoing negotiations with parts suppliers.

The aggressive move is being considered by Saab to raise some money and also maintain the interest of consumers ahead of the planned 2014 release of its electric vehicle. The spokesperson made clear though that the company has enough funds to start the production of the EV and implement other aspects of their business plan.

NEVS however is always open for new investments for the brand. They did not comment if Saab is in negotiations with potential investors. Aside from financial gains, they are also very interested to gain more skills and competences.

NEVS acquired the Swedish car manufacturer in 2012 after Saab went thru bankruptcy last year. The first car after the acquisition will be the built based on the 9-3 and will be a battery-driven vehicle with the DNA coming from the Phoenix platform. The EV will be built in Trollhaettan in Sweden where a Saab factory is already in place.

The new owner will come up with a new logo that is not related to the griffin emblem originally used by the brand.

NEVS is under the umbrella of National Modern Energy Holdings that is known for building powerplants focusing on renewable energy.


Muller wished to drop Griffin logo of Saab even before the objections of Scania

Posted: October 15th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Saab | Tags: , | No Comments »

Former Saab CEO, Victor Muller who now runs Spyker have wanted to remove the Griffin logo from the hood of its vehicles long before National Electric Vehicle Sweden or NEVS was pushed against the wall to end the use of the symbol.

NEVS was granted the right to use the Saab name but has faced objections from Scania, that also makes use of Saab’s iconic Griffin symbol. The truckmaker did not want the new owners to use the logo in fear of piracy.

Muller shared that he wanted to cut the ties of the brand with the Griffin logo since it did not have the name of Saab on it nor of Scania. The former CEO of Saab wanted to use the aeroplane logo which he said is more beautiful.

The topman of Spyker wishes the new owners good luck although he admits that he does not understand the business model NEVS will be implementing.

Muller expalined that Youngman, a Chinese manufacturer that was approached by Saab for a collaboration before its bankruptcy, is jumping on board with the brand to pursue its license to use the Phoenix platform. He said that this shows how the Chinese company saw the efforts of Saab to save the brand.

NEVS is not worried about the issue on using the old logo of Saab. Instead, they are focusing on carrying the Saab name for the production of their electric vehicles. They see it as an opportunity to built their own identity, using a logo that they will be creating themselves.


New owner of Saab still cannot use Saab name and logo

Posted: July 13th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Saab | Tags: , , | No Comments »

saabSaab had a rebirth just recently as the National Electric Vehicle Sweden or NEVS acquired its assets. Now things take a twist. Apparently NEVS does not have the right yet to use the Saab name and logo.

The acquisition of Saab only included the physical assets and not its name and logo. Saab AB and Scania still has the rights to these. In order for the new owner to use them, the other two companies must sign off their usage. The companies now are negotiating how NEVS should go about the process so it can productively move forward.

The truck producer, Scania, might really not have an issue about the use of the name and the logo but maybe interested to get a good chunk of the resurrection pie. Saab AB though still holds the parts aspects of the brand. Saab can actually use this opportunity to discuss possible dealerships when NEVS implements its plan of producing electric vehicles carrying the brand name. Saab also wants to protects its image as a brand since a failure of NEVS during this revival will mean a really bad future for Saab.

Most likely an agreement between the three companies will be closed soon and allow NEVS to use the logo and the name of Saab. We have a feeling though that Saab will be imposing a lot in terms of using the brand.


Saab 9-3 TTA Racer hits the track on test run in France

Posted: April 24th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Saab, Saab 9-3 | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

saab-9-3-TTA-racerSaab might have gone as a car manufacturer but it lives on thru a partnership which produced the 903 TTA racers joining the elite league of racing in Sweden. The racecar 9-3 TTA was a product of collaboration between the bankrupt carmaker with the people behind Team Tido and Flash Engineering.

The first examples of the 9-3 sedans which will join the 2012 racing circuit in Sweden recently completed the first round of tests conducted by the team at Ales race track in France.

The technical director of the race noted that the Saab is the first set of vehicles for the TTA with carbon fiber setup and complete technical specs so far and they are glad to see the race cars on track. After the initial test in France, the team will be bringing the cars to Sweden do some final test runs prior to the start of the league.

The test runs to be conducted in Sweden will happen at Karlskoga and then in Anderstorp in early May.

According to the team manager, they are preparing for the expected three more race cars and is still waiting for the body parts which they will use for the Chassis that they already have in Karlstad.

Fans of the brand will have their hearts thumping as they see for the first time in 40 years how Saab will deal with Volvo on the race track. Of course, Saab will also battle it out with Citroen, BMW and other brands joining the elite league. Some of the drivers lined to go on track will be Linus Ohlsson, Mattias Andersson, and Jan Nilsson.


Why GM is not totally at fault for the downfall of Saab

Posted: January 26th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Saab | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

Almost everyone might be blaming GM for the dying Saab brand. Experts though tried to look at the scenario from different perspectives and reason out that it is not all GM’s fault:

The first decade of ownership of GM involved having a 50% stake which has only minimal management control .
Saab as a brand has already been compromised with components and chassis sharing even before GM got involved.
GM also issued their reservations and concerns when the Chinese showed interest because of inevitable technology transfer.
Selling the brand to Spyker showed that GM did not want to kill the Saab brand but what could have been the right step during that stage.
If due diligence was done on the end of GM, Saab should have not been sold to Spyker and should have just been closed.
The Spyker purchase of Saab was an impulsive purchase. Spyker acquired Saab as a trophy brand to pull up their credibility. Spyker and its management did not have the skills and experience to manage a big brand like Saab.
Spyker did not handle the negotiations with the Chinese well. They were not in control. It was naïve of them to think that GM will waive its objection to the involvement of the Chinese.
The initial 54% stake of the Chinese was given a go signal by GM and was only blocked when the Chinese wanted a total ownership.

Looking back, GM took Saab from the noses of Fiat after Ford out maneuvered them for Jaguar. Just the what if’s of life, what might have been if Saab remained with the Italian company.


Saab rescued by equity firm in the United States, but challenges remain

Posted: October 24th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Saab | No Comments »

An investment firm headed by racing car lover Alex Mascioli which purchased the sports car firm from the Saab Dutch owner last September is thinking of injecting $70 million to help keep the car company afloat as the bridge financing from Chinese investors look bleak.

Swedish Automobile that holds control of Sweden’s Saab confirmed that they are accepting a $10 million investment and a loan of $60 million from the North Street Capital owned by Mascioli to help with its reorganization.

The overall picture though is still not good enough for Guy Lofalk, the administrator of Saab, who plans to file a petition in the Swedish courts so it will stop the voluntary reorganization of the automotive firm. Saab however said that it will block this petition and request the courts for the replacement of the current administrator.

Last June, Swedish Automobile had a non-binding understanding with Zheijiang Youngman Lotus Automobile of China to acquire a 29.9% share and Pangda Automobile to get 24% stake for a combined funding of around $338 million.

In the early part of 2011, Noth Spyker acquired luxury car brand Spyker from Swedish Automobile for around thirty two million euros.

Swedish Automobile has been trying hard to avoid bankruptcy for the past months while looking for new investors and releasing a number of assets in order to pay off employees, settle bills with suppliers, and resume production in their factory in Sweden.

North Street will be acquiring 2.38 million shares of Swedish Automobile which were recently issued. Documentation for this transaction is expected to be completed by next week.


Hearing for Saab bankruptcy scheduled before the end of the month

Posted: September 15th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Saab | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

Struggling car manufacturer Saab’s hearing for its bankruptcy is scheduled on 26 September according to a district court in Sweden. Saab will be appearing in a lower court in Vanersborg, a town in the southern portion of Sweden.

Saab has to deal with two white collar worker unions complaining about unpaid salaries for the month of June thru July. They are also not compensated yet for the month August. . The unions served applications for bankruptcy last week to push for the activation of an insurance scheme by the state to handle the wage problems.

One spokesperson of the worker unions shared information that the process might take 3 to 5 weeks.

Saab, on the other hand, announced money-raising activities spearheaded by the company’s CEO Victor Muller. The car producer arranged for around $96 in bridge loan with the aid of a Chinese guarantor. The bridge financing gives Saab some more time as they take legal steps to protect the company from creditors. It has sought for the court’s protection for the second time as it tries to restructure.

One of Sweden’s lower court rejected the case of Saab but the car manufacturer filed for an appeal so the case can be reconsidered.


Saab reveals specs of US version of 9-5 SportCombi

Posted: July 15th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Saab | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

While Saab is struggling to get some good funding, the carmaker aims to maker cars and sell them. The 9-5 SportCombi is one that might help it get the ball rolling again and we have been waiting for news about what version will be rolling onto the US soil. Good thing Saab recently released a brochure about the Saab 9-5 SportCombi prior to its scheduled release in North America.

According to the Saab document that is all over the net, the 2012 905 SportCombi will make use of a 220 horsepower 2.0L 4-cylinder, turbocharged powerplant with a torque of 258 pound-feet. The engine of this handsome wagon will be linked to an automatic gearbox with six speeds and its XWD or Cross Wheel Drive technology implemented by Saab.

The 9-5 SportCombi also gets a good setup for its interiors as Saab gives it an upscale, pricier treatment. It will come with heated seats, panoramic moonroof, keyless start, and touch screen navigation unit as standard issues. Other options include a Technology Package which will give he 9-5 SportCombi a park assist system, lane departure warning, head up display, and bi-xenon lights for cornering. Another option will be the Rear Passenger to give you a DVD player, eight inch screens, tri-zone HVAC, and wireless headphones.

There is still no word about the pricing of this ride.


Saab plans to distribute in China and Russia

Posted: December 10th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Saab, Saab 9-3 | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

Saab Automobile is laying out their plans to sell their cars in China by 2011. According to its CEO Jan Jonsson, the initial roll out will involve a few thousand vehicles every year with the supply line depending on importing the units. It will be a wait and see situation until the company launches the new 9-3 before the end of 2012, and when they will manufacture the car locally.

The top priority of Saab is to outline their first web of dealerships in the Chinese market. They are looking setup initially in six cities and have around 15 dealerships. If ever Saab will produce the vehicles in China, the next gen 9-3 will be the starting point followed by the 9-5 and the 9-4X crossover. The car manufacturer is aiming to sell around 10,000 units per year before considering the local production of its vehicles. The 9-4X will hit the US market by April while non-US consumers can expect it by August.

The Saab 9-4X comes with two V6 powerplant options. Both of the engines are coupled with a six-speed automatic gearbox. There is a 3.0L engine that produces 265 horsepower which speeds up the 9-4X from 0 to 60 miles per hours in just 7.9 seconds with the FWD version while the XWD version comes in at 8.4 seconds.  The 2.8L variant of the V6 produces 300 horsepower and a torque of 295 lb-ft. This version on an XWD configuration blasts from 0 to 60 in 7.7 seconds. The tag price for the 9-4X begins at $34,205.