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

New Saab 9-5 to be a Buick or Opel: report
Hopes are fading in Trollhättan regarding Saab Automobile's survival amid rumours that General Motors (GM) plans to release the latest Saab model as a Buick or Opel.

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.

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.

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