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Saab unveils new 9-4X in Los Angeles

TT/David Landes · 19 Nov 2010, 08:58

Published: 19 Nov 2010 08:58 GMT+01:00

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“We’re very satisfied. There’s been huge interest in both the car and the company,” said 9-4X programme manager Mikael Jacobsson to the TT news agency.

Referred to by Saab as “muscular and sporty”, the looks and size of the 9-4X place it somewhere between the 9-3X and new 9-5 sedan.

“The 9-4X significantly broadens the appeal of the Saab brand,” Saab Automobile CEO Jan Åke Jonsson said in a statement.

“It gives us entry to the fast-growing crossover segment with a vehicle that reflects our brand values in key areas, such as progressive Scandinavian design and sporty, responsible driving performance.”

Saab sales took a hit in all markets following last year’s turbulence surrounding the company’s ownership, especially in the United States, which had previously been Saab’s most important market.

And reviving enthusiasm in the brand, as well as sales figures has taken time.

Thus Saab is pinning high hopes in the new 9-4X, its first crossover SUV, which was designed with an eye toward the North American market, where small- and medium-sized SUVs are quite popular.

Saab was ready for criticism, however, because there is no diesel or hybrid version of the 9-4X – a fact mentioned in several Swedish media reports.

“The car is directed primarily at the US market and there diesel isn’t number one,” said Jacobsson.

In addition to the United States, Saab hopes the 9-4X can gain a foothold in both China and Russia, although Saab still lacks a Russian sales infrastructure. But Saab CEO Jonsson hopes to have one in place by the end of the year.

Saab estimates it will sell around 12,500 9-4X’s annually during the vehicle’s life cycle. Board chair Victor Muller was even more bullish about the new model’s prospects, telling the Bloomberg news agency that Saab could sell between 15,000 and 20,000 vehicles in 2012.

Story continues below…

“That’s likely an expression of his feelings about the car’s potential,” said Jacobsson.

The new 9-4X is set to go on sale in North American in May 2011, with sales in other markets expected to start in August.

TT/David Landes (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

02:13 November 20, 2010 by volvoman9
Hope it's not a re-badged GM product. Looks a great deal like some of their current offerings. Then again if this is your market....
12:00 November 21, 2010 by J Jack
It's a Chevy Tahoe with a SAAB badge. That's all that's Swedish about it. You don't think Spyker would have developed and produced an entirely new vehicle in 6 months, do you?
12:01 November 21, 2010 by Alberto22
Don't know why Saab thinks it will sell well in he U.S. or elsewhere really. It looks good but probably doesn't have a hybrid (or any advanced-eco type engine), bad resale, and reliability less then a good Japanese SUV. Let me guess.. it will probably cost about 50-60k right? Or more? But it will probably be advertised as obtaining 0-60 in some kind of mega-second!! Who cares? Build a reliable, practical, and reasonably priced car and you may have a winner. Think more like the Japanese!!!
13:00 November 21, 2010 by wintermute
Oh, please don't make Japanese-like cars! Give me with a car that is cheap, looks outlandish, goes like hell and kills you in ten seconds on the winter road! Yes, and also make it unreliable and thirsty, just to make it feel special. Thanks.
21:29 November 21, 2010 by volvoman9
I suspected as much. This philosophy worked for the American big three for years. The American market may be the least sophisticated in the developed world when it comes to the automobile. it's all about flash and gewgaws. Strange when you think about it. One would think they would have matured to produce the finest rolling products in the world. Before and after WWII this was arguably the case. However the American public is easily manipulated by the industry. Planned obsolescence has been the theory that drives the industry. I fear this has permeated the industry in general. The buying public should demand more.
08:26 November 22, 2010 by wintermute
It's not surprising when you start thinking of their lifestyle as a whole - foods, cloths, etc. These cars fit there perfectly well.
02:43 November 26, 2010 by zeulf
SURPRIZE!!! Its almost always about flash and a new Bell. Customers Everywhere want to impress their neighbors. Look at Volvo, Jaguar, BMW...

The old philosophy VW had about constant improvment was the best ( In my book). and "volvoman" its not only the americans whom are easily manipulated, otherwise there would be no avertizing in Sweden. just think of that, no wasted effort in selling stuff. Packhard, "Just ask the man who owns one" is the best. Honda and Toyota dont waste their money on excessive ads.

planned obsolecence was never even worried about, just the quartarly sales and profit figures. a Volvo V-8 Crosscountry strikes me as odd for the Brand. i like my old 444
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