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New Saab 9-5 to be a Buick or Opel: report

TT/The Local · 29 Dec 2009, 08:13

Published: 29 Dec 2009 08:13 GMT+01:00

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In addition, there has been no news concerning the recent bid for Saab from Dutch sports car manufacturer Spyker.

And while Saab employees cling to hopes that a new owner will emerge for the beleaguered Swedish brand, they are also working to close the Trollhättan factory as outlined by GM.

On Monday, the Dagens Industri newspaper, citing sources within Saab Automobile, reported that GM is planning to use the new Saab 9-5 model as a future Buick to be released in the United States.

Another option may be to let the new 9-5 serve as the basis for the previously discontinued Senator, a luxury model developed under the Opel brand.

But Håkan Danielsson, chair for the Saab chapter of the Swedish engineers’ union, has doubts about the idea.

“I’ve heard about it, but I don’t feel like there’s any substance in it. Every car’s design has its own language and this car looks like a Saab,” he told the TT news agency.

“If you’re going to turn it into a Buick, you’d have to remake the entire chassis and that would cost a lot of money. So it’s an open question whether it’s a good business proposition.”

He’s afraid that large portions of the 9-5 project will ultimately be scrapped.

After the holidays, a working group will be set up to go through Saab’s entire operation to determine which parts are vital.

Story continues below…

In a letter from Saab delivered to suppliers, the company indicates it may take up to five years to liquidate Saab in a controlled fashion.

Meanwhile, Spyker spokesperson Mike Stainton told TT on Monday that he has no new information about the company’s offer to GM for the purchase of Saab.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

11:21 December 29, 2009 by Rick Methven
I for one would NEVER buy a Buick or Opel 9-5.

In fact I will never ever buy any GM heap of crap
11:40 December 29, 2009 by Renfeh Hguh
What is Håkan Danielsson going on about?

GM has no real design philosophy behind most of their brands, so a simple headlight and grill change will be sufficient to make it an Opel or Buick. As the 9-5 will never exist as a Saab it will not look like a reverse of the ill concieved Saabaru.
14:48 December 29, 2009 by markac
This report makes no sense as Buick already has the LaCrosse, which is a sister of the Saab 9-5 and is in the same size class.

The LaCrosse could easily be re-badged an Opel Senator since it is a similar (but larger) car to Opel's Insignia (and Buick's Regal). Changing the Saab 9-5 would not be cost effective and serves no purpose. This car needs to be sold only as a Saab made by Saab, and not made by GM with any other badge.
15:20 December 29, 2009 by repat_xpat
Most of the new 9-5 was developed by GM Global Engineering. It could never be a SAAB again; there is too much GM IP in it to let it go to a buyer. It's a great car and I do hope GM launches it under a different name.
19:02 December 29, 2009 by Henckel
The situation with Opel and Saab shows how clueless GM's management has been for a very long time. It would serve them right to follow Saab to the graveyard of has-been automobile brand names.
01:02 December 30, 2009 by GlobalDispute
"If you're going to turn it into a Buick, you'd have to remake the entire chassis"

Please tell me that this is not a comment from the chair of Swedish Engineers.

If so, maybe this is part of the larger problem. The new 9-5 rides on the Global Epsilon chassis. This chassis has a Buick and an Opel already sharing it's architecture.

Go to GMs website and look at some of the vehicles that are available today. Some of the coolest cars on the market, some not so good also.
18:18 December 31, 2009 by steve_38
Agree with Global Dispute.

Look at the new Astra and Vecta repalcement, both very good cars.

Why have a SAAB when you can have a VXR or the aussie Holden brand, which is real hariy performance on the cheap.

SAAB has had an extra 20 years of life under GM, let it die with peace. Its a nothing brand now, its been outpaced by the Germans it does not matter who would have owned them the rate of change by the German auto industry has been to fast for most european car makers.

The argument about GM owning SAAB is irrelevant.
16:07 January 3, 2010 by texasgubbar
Naturally it should be a Buick since Tiger Woods is the spokesman for them, it would help sales in Sweden.
04:51 January 8, 2010 by wenddiver
It would take five years to wind down????? It sounds to me like they are really mothballing it, like they did the Camarro.

Hopefully to be brought back to life, when enthusiasts are willing to vote with their hard earned money, not their computer posts.

Creating demand will be what brings back SAAB, both in Sweden and abroad.
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