Wednesday, June 22nd 2005

Saab Getting Desperate

It looks like the Saab 95 is getting a second facelift:

Spy photo of the updated Saab 9-5.

The industry standard is to facelift a model line once, to up it’s market appeal a little while you ready a completetly new replacement for the model in question.

For some (to me) unknown reason, Saab haven’t got the all-new 95 ready in time, so they’re now having to extend the current 95 far beyond it’s intended (?) lifetime. The next 95 isn’t expected to be introduced until 2009, by which time the current 95 will be 12 years old! That’s four or five years older than most car models get before they are replaced. Whether all of this is due to bad management on GM’s part or bad planning on Saabs part (unlikely), the whole thing will most likely have a very negative effect on the Saab brand.

It’s a real shame to see the Saab name being torn to pieces by moves like this one. Also, sticking the Saab badge on A) a 4×4 Subaru and B) an outdated GM truck frame won’t do the brand a great deal of good. (At least not in the eyes of the Saab fans, on which Saab presumably to a large extent relies on for income.)

Update: Found some more (blurry) photos here.

Update: Just found an article (in Swedish) which confirms my suspiciouns that the 92X and the 97X will have a hard time charming the present Saab owners (or even car buyers in general). Saab has already had to lower the price of the 92X and the 97X hasn’t exactly got off to a flying start either.

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