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hmmm... saturn had some unique vehicles, and GM is phasing them out while phasing in products similar to those offered at other GM brands. same deal with saab... from quirky, unique vehicles to versions of other corporate GM hardware. you'd think GM'd be content with it's mix-matched chevrolet/buick/pontiac/GMC portfolios, and be glad to have cadillac, saturn, saab and hummer as distinctive marques with varied appeal. alas, this isn't so.
 

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Originally posted by MelvinJ@Jun 8 2004, 02:56 PM
We need to keep in mind that if they were left on their own, Saab would be dead in ten years (or less) anyway. The industry simply won't allow small, stand-alone players like them anymore.

If GM bought them and then let them keep going the same direction they were headed anyway with all their own engineering, keeping their full Saab-ness in tact, they would still continue to bleed money profusely like they had been doing on their own, and what's the point of that? Saab's quirky character assured them of an audience for many years, but it was a small audience and was not going to grow.

The complexity and cost pressures of the industry today are to blame for Saab's troubles. A company with the volume Saab has had simply can't survive without sharing products from a larger manufacturer. This started back in the 80's. Wasn't the Saab 9000's basic platform shared with Alfa and some other car (that I can't think of right now)?

Everyone thinks they know how to do things better than GM has while knowing a tiny fraction of what it takes to run an automobile company. When you dismiss GM's platform sharing with Saab, the alternative is to keep throwing a lot of cash at this money pit simply so that they can keep their own identity, or let it go belly up.
i'm curious why saab can't be volvo though. i'm on the "don't care if it looks different" side of the platform sharing debate (and am not trying to start a new one here!). volvo, to my eyes anyways, has retained all of it's character and positioning despite being under fords control and using shared platforms. volvo doesn't compete in every market, but does well within its narrow field of vision. and yeah, it's easy to sit here and decide how GM should do things, but i'd rather see saab fade away than become another full-line GM division with nothing substantial to differentiate its vehicles. and i'm not saying it's there now... but looks like it's heading that way.

the article says 150,000 is the magic number of vehicles for saab profitability... done properly a 9-5 sedan & wagon (maybe with an AWD all-road sorta option), 9-3 sedan, hatch and 'vert, and perhaps a unique 9-2x could reach that, no? again, it's easy to be an armchair expert... but that's the place i see for saab within GM's quagmire of vehicles.
 

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Originally posted by jwvrod@Jun 8 2004, 07:51 PM
I find it pretty amusing that so many people cry about Saab loosing its "unique, quirky character". If all of those people owned a Saab we would not be discussing this.
oh i'd love to own one. but i can't afford it now. someday i hope. i'd absolutely love a 9-3 sedan. it has just enough of that 'uniquness' and 'quirk' (great buzz words!) i want. even the 9-2x is a little pricey. just because i can't afford a cadillac or ferrari doesn't mean i don't wanna see the vehicles head in the right direction. same thing with saab. something to aspire to!
 
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