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I've also read that Subaru were none too impressed with the idea of producing the basis for a car aimed at undermining their own sales in traditionally strong markets such as Europe and Australia. As they own only 20% of Subaru's parent company, GM weren't in a strong position to put the pressure on.
 

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Tools Dent 9-2x Hopes


aab confirmed that the Subaru Impreza-based 9-2x will not come to Europe. A spokesman said: "Our dealers want the car, but will have to wait for the next generation. The cost of equipping dealerships with the servicing tools would be too much for the current model, which only has a limited production life."


From Auto Express
 

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Originally posted by StanleyB:
[qb]Ahhh, what servicing tools? Can't they just send the 9-2X owners to a Subaru garage/dealership instead? [/qb][/b]
which would concede the fact that this is just a Subaru by another name, as opposed to a new Saab model.
 

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which would concede the fact that this is just a Subaru by another name, as opposed to a new Saab model.  [/b]
Exactly! If you want one, go & buy a Subaru now!
Thank goodness someone saw sense...

M.
 

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Sounds like a wise strategy to me. Arguably, Saab UK was shouting the loudest about wanting the 9-2X here where other markets don't seem to have any real interest in the car; conversely the UK would be the market that faces the 9-2X with the fiercest competition - four official turbo Impreza versions (WRX, WRX PPP, STi, STi PPP) and a couple of dozen other options via import, a comparatively high image profile for Scooby and the Impreza in particular... Add to this the fact that this is an official stopgap that would last about 2-3 years - which might check with American buyer attitudes where 99.9% of sold vehicles are on dealer lease with fixed payments, but would be harder to swallow in markets where running costs (both for private buyers and lease companies) are to a large extent determined by residuals in the 'open' marketplace. No diesel either, which really ruins the car's chances to make any inroads to the fleet market in this particular segment ('premium compact').

Far better to wait another couple of years for the first real Saab/Subaru co-developed product before entering a market segment untouched by the marque for a quarter of a century. The 2006/7 9-2 version will assumedly sit less uneasily with the rest of the Saab range and sport a range of engines better tailored to the European market (read diesel).
 

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Yes, but you forget something Eric. Many of us waited for the 9-3SS, only to be disappointed with a number of aspects of that car. Who then fancy a 2 to 3 year wait for the new 9-2X? Having learnt from the Variable compression engine, the V8 9-5 engine, the 9-3X etc., etc., it would be a brave man to put faith in a release date for the new 9-2X.
 

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Originally posted by StanleyB:
[qb]Yes, but you forget something Eric. Many of us waited for the 9-3SS, only to be disappointed with a number of aspects of that car. [/qb][/b]
By the same token, I suspect that the same people will again be disappointed about a car that has been rushed to the US market as a stop-gap measure. The amount of development on the 9-2X can not be in the same league as the 9-3SS given the end result.

The fact of the matter is that the 9-2X is a cheap way for GM to bump up revenue in the USA given that the 9-5 is now looking very long in the tooth and the 9-3SS is having some teething problems. (how come the tooth analogies )
 

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Eric & Stanley both make good points,

Why introduce a car based on someone elses long in the tooth vehicle? Saab ne GM have shown a lot of "projects", yet we have not seen any make it to production!

Meanwhile in the other Swede camp, Ford have to some degree helped Volvo by platforming their new cars on new ford chassis.

If Saab is to survive they need to ensure the next model line up is both dynamic enough to compete with the competition, yet still retain the "saabish something" that strikes a chord with the individualists!

( Can't be done? Just look at the turn round of Audi & Volvo over the last decade!)


(( just seen your post /john... sorry more teeth))

Regards,

M.
 

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Originally posted by StanleyB:
[qb]Yes, but you forget something Eric. Many of us waited for the 9-3SS, only to be disappointed with a number of aspects of that car. Who then fancy a 2 to 3 year wait for the new 9-2X? Having learnt from the Variable compression engine, the V8 9-5 engine, the 9-3X etc., etc., it would be a brave man to put faith in a release date for the new 9-2X. [/qb][/b]
Yes indeed! What happened to the VC engine ? It was on the website one day, gone the next!!
 

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Birruvanobrainer, that, mate

Vibrated like hell, and simply wasn't a practical suggestion. Dead in the water when GM took over - far too clever for them.
 

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Can't help but think that rebranding a WRX as a SAAB would totally alienate current SAAB owners who are typically characterised as being thinking drivers, because only an idiot would pay more for exactly the same car on badge value alone unless there is some convincing difference (which clearly there is not) ....
 

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What about all the "Saab" owners driving around in rebodied Vectras/Cromas/Themas to say nothing of Audis/Skodas with Golf/Passat underpinnings?
As long as it's done well and the model sticks to the ethos of the brand,there's nothing wrong with platform sharing.Personally I hope Saab follow Audis' lead and ditch front wheel drive in the future!
 

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Originally posted by Nige:
[qb]What about all the "Saab" owners driving around in rebodied Vectras/Cromas/Themas to say nothing of Audis/Skodas with Golf/Passat underpinnings?
As long as it's done well and the model sticks to the ethos of the brand,there's nothing wrong with platform sharing.
[/qb][/b]
Therein lies the problem. The 9-2X is a Scooby with a different nose and a different badge. This is not platform sharing, this is basic badge engineering. Ford Fester/Mazda121 stuff. Honda something/Rover 213/216 stuff. Same car different badge, maybe a different engine.

The platform sharing that you refer to with VAG group may be likening to the sharing of the GM Epsilon platform with the Vectra and the 9-3SS. The 9-3SS is a vehicle in its own right, whereas the same can not be said of the 9-2X.
 

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Platform and parts-sharing is inevitable, and in most cases makes sense. As john has rightly pointed out the 9-2X is the same car as the WRX, minor cosmetic differences aside. Having said that I like Subaru and would be pleased to see SAAB adopt Subaru's proven all wheel drive system. But to take a high profile model like the WRX and wack a SAAB badge on it, really who isn't going to know its really a Subaru? Perhaps if the interior styling is more SAAB than Subaru and the pricing was comparable, would one entertain it.
 

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I will again post the reply (with his permission) from Bob Lutz (GM honcho) regarding a mail I sent him on this subject ,eg readging versus platform sharing. The following is what he replied to me;

"I know you feel strongly about SAAB, as I do. Without getting into a long harangue, let me say that SAAB was never pure. Remember the hue and cry when they went to the pushrod Ford V-4. Remember the owner base going nuts when Opel became the platform donor. Remember the hand-wringing over the current 9-3 as being too main-stream and not “quirky” enough.
> I wish that letting SAAB do it all by themselves was a viable alternative. We tried it for many programs and many hundreds of millions, but the volume just stays at around 13O,OOO world-wide, and the losses just keep reaching ever more staggering proportions. In todays marketplace, they can't grow with just two cars; we have to expand the product line fast and with reasonable investment.
> This admittedly takes some risk with respect to brand imege, even though SAAB controls the design execution, the ride/handling tuning,and a majority of the elements needed to make a Subaru architecture feel and sound like a SAAB. Simply put, if we do not take this risk, the brand is in a death spiral. With some shared-architecture strategy, there is an excellent chance for survival. Which one would you pick? And don't say “Neither, I'd just pour another Billion or two into Trollhattan” because that would never be approved by our board and it would be an irresponsible act vis a vis our responsibility to shareholders. Why not forget the origin of the parts and judge the vehicles on their merits? I think you will be pleasantly surprised."


So we can see the attitude, whether we agree with it or not, that prevails at the top. Until it makes money, it ain't getting any more. Whether they have gone too far down the road away from 'high levels of engineering and innovation' I don't know, let's hope not. I personnally do not see GM letting it go back to its old ways which is a pity, but maybe developing it as a premium brand that may become a cash cow rather than just milking it and strangling it, would be the way to go.

Who are we but the existing (and famously loyal)customers and unfortuneately, we are a smaller group that the larger pool of potential customers that they seek.

Regards
 
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