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Posts Tagged ‘saab 9-4’

Saab Re-Starts Plant After Unpaid Suppliers Temporarily Halt Deliveries

Shutdown hints at other challenges facing Swedish maker.

by on Mar.30, 2011

Production of the Saab 9-5 was temporarily halted over unpaid parts bills.

Saab assembly operations in Trollhattan, Sweden got back to normal – more or less – this morning, following a day long shutdown triggered by suppliers who refused to deliver parts pending payment of outstanding bills.

Company officials insist they are working to “resolve these issues,” but there is no question the Swedish maker is struggling in its attempt to rebuild itself after nearly shutting down permanently last year.

Operations at the facility, which produces Saab’s flagship 9-5 sedan, ground to a halt, yesterday, when a number of suppliers refused to deliver more parts until they were paid.  It’s unclear precisely what arrangements were made to get those vendors to restock the plant and let it reopen this morning.

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But a statement from Saab says it “expects to resolve these issues in the short-term.”

The brief shutdown is the latest twist in an ongoing saga of a company that has long struggled for survival.  Going into its 2009 bankruptcy, former owner General Motors Corp. announced plans to sell or close Saab – while eventually also shutting down its Saturn, Hummer and Pontiac brands.  Initially, with no buyer coming through with the necessary deal, GM began shutting Saab down.


Saab Ready to Launch New 9-4X

New crossover critical to survival plans, maker acknowledges.

by on Feb.16, 2011

Saab's first-ever crossover, the 9-4X is finally heading to dealer showrooms.

The first Saab 9-4X crossover scheduled for retail sale has rolled off the assembly line at a General Motors plant in Ramos Arizpe, Mexico.

Saab Automobile chief executive officer and president Jan-Ake Jonsson was on hand to see regular production begin, just three months after the 9-4X was unveiled at the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show.

“This is a great day for Saab,” said Jonsson who survived the maker’s brief insolvency before Saab was sold to Dutch automaker Spyker, a year ago. “The arrival of the 9-4X is another important step in the fulfillment of our business plan. This sporty and distinctive product will significantly broaden the appeal of our brand.”

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The 9-4X gives the newly-independent company access, for the first time, to the growing, mid-size crossover segment. An earlier attempt to target the large SUV market with the 9-7X fell far short of expectations, in large part because there was little differentiation between the Saab model and similarly-sized GM offerings.


Saab To Get BMW Technology For 9-2, Possibly Other Models

Makers plan to sign alliance on Wednesday.

by on Sep.27, 2010

A deal between Saab and BMW will result a replacement for this old Subaru-based Saab 9-2.

Struggling Swedish automaker Saab will formalize a new alliance with its erstwhile German rival, BMW, later this week.  The long-rumored deal should provide “technology” for Saab’s downsized 9-2 model and possibly other additions to its line-up, the maker has confirmed.

Purchased from General Motors by Dutch-based Spyker, early this year, Saab has laid out an ambitious plan to reverse years of red ink, but the company’s Chairman Victor Muller, has acknowledged it doesn’t have the money to bring all the necessary products to market and needs to find allies – such as BMW.

The alliance, which will reportedly be signed on Wednesday, would give Saab access to what is being described as BMW parts and technology.  Specifics remain to be seen and could include anything from individual components, such as a small gas or diesel engine, up to and including an entire small car platform.

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The initial manifestation of this new partnership will be in the form of the proposed Saab 9-2, a small car of similar size to the BMW 1-Series.  It is to be a complete replacement for a prior model sold under that nameplate that was based on an old Subaru platform.


Multitasking with Victor Muller, Saab’s Unlikely White Knight

Can a Dutch lawyer-cum entrepreneur turn the long-troubled company around?

by on Jun.07, 2010

Victor Muller's Spyker pulled off an unexpected coup by acquiring Sweden's Saab from General Motors.

Despite his congenial and seemingly relaxed manner, Victor Muller isn’t a man to waste time.

Joining some journalists for a meal at a hillside restaurant in the Swedish town of Trollhattan, one evening last week, Muller readily fielded questions with only the occasional pause for reflection.  When his guests spoke, he’d quickly grab utensils and stab a bite of food, glancing down at a pair of cellphones as he’d chew.  When it was time to respond, Muller would exchange fork and knife for two cellphones, a new Blackberry in his right hand for e-mail, a battered old Nokia in his left to handle text messages – often keying in one-handed responses on each as he spoke.

It was a skill the one-time lawyer learned in the days when he was making, rather than spending money, building up a reputation as a mergers-and- acquisition specialists in the Netherlands, then as an entrepreneur, building his bank account with a shipping company and, later, a fashion firm.

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But a decade ago, the tall and lanky Dutchman quite literally shifted gears, turning to a more risky, albeit more passionate, series of ventures that now put his comfortable fortune at risk.  Muller’s current pursuits bring several biblical references to mind: David and Goliath, perhaps, though the deal he inked barely 100 days ago might better be likened to Jonah swallowing the whale.


First Look: 2010 Saab 9-5

Out with the old, in with the new?

by on Aug.28, 2009

Just weeks after formalizing the sale of Saab to Sweden's exotic automaker, Koenigsegg, GM will reveal the 2010 Saab 9-5 at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

Just weeks after formalizing the sale of Saab to Sweden's exotic automaker, Koenigsegg, GM will reveal the 2010 Saab 9-5 at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show, which opens next month.

Mere weeks after its sale was announced as “final” but without the requisite government financing, the long-struggling Swedish automaker, Saab, will unveil what is arguably going to be the most critical new product in its history, an all-new version of the flagship 9-5 sedan. 

A prototype of the 2010 Saab 9-5, bearing the unmistakable imprint of the Aero X show car, will make its debut at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show, next month, with the actual sedan due to hit showrooms late in the ’10 model-year.

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Like the Aero X, the new 9-5 features wraparound glass and a gently tapered roofline.  There’s also the Saab signature “hockey stick” beltline.  The overall look falls somewhere between the hatchback styling the Swedish company was once known for and a more traditional “three-box” sedan.