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SOURCE: Motor Authority

Saab is planning to launch a new compact car based on its recently-revealed 9-X BioHybrid concept vehicle in 2010 that will be aimed squarely at premium hatchbacks like the Mini Cooper and BMW 1-series. The model will likely be called the 9-1 and was originally thought to share the Delta II platform with the next-generation Opel Astra due next year.

Latest reports indicate Saab could use its own in-house platform for the 9-1. Speaking with Just-Auto, Saab boss Jan Ake Jonsson said engineers want to make the 9-1 similar in size to the next-generation 9-3 and build it on a brand new platform.

One option was to use General Motors' newly developed Gamma platform, which will be used for a range of new FWD compact cars being designed in South Korea. However, Jonsson points out that Gamma’s lack of an AWD option is unsuitable for Saab.

According to Jonsson, engineers at Saab’s headquarters in Trollhattan are instead designing a unique platform for the upcoming 9-1 that will borrow elements from both Gamma and Delta. However, the green light is yet to be given by the higher ups at GM.
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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
...Saab boss Jan Ake Jonsson said engineers want to make the 9-1 similar in size to the next-generation 9-3 and build it on a brand new platform.
......

However, Jonsson points out that Gamma’s lack of an AWD option is unsuitable for Saab.
Why would they make the 9-1 similar in size to the next 9-3? Does this really make sense? Isn't the point of offering different products to attack different segments of the market?

I could imagine a situation similar to the S40 and C30 -- but even those products aren't the same size and attract different types of consumers.

More puzzling is how they think it will compete with the likes of the Mini size-wise if it will be similar in size to the 9-3. If the next 9-3 is based on DeltaII, and is roughly the size of the Cruze, it simply could NOT be a direct competitor to the Mini in anything but price. The dimensions just dont add up.

I'd rather have seen a Saab product about the size of the Mini (or perhaps a tad larger) that could compete with the likes of the Alfa Mi.To, Audi A1, etc.

I'm glad, at least, that Saab is considering baking in AWD capability to all its future products. This, at least, will help it stand out more from other GM products and offer versatility some of its competitors may lack. Good for them.
 

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I'd rather have seen a Saab product about the size of the Mini (or perhaps a tad larger) that could compete with the likes of the Alfa Mi.To, Audi A1, etc.

I'm glad, at least, that Saab is considering baking in AWD capability to all its future products. This, at least, will help it stand out more from other GM products and offer versatility some of its competitors may lack. Good for them.
The question is, then, given GM's "global" focus, why was the gamma platform redesigned without Saab's input from the start? Why was the Beat (also on gamma) not designed to meet US crash test standards (although this may not be true)?

A lot of questions. I don't have the answers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The question is, then, given GM's "global" focus, why was the gamma platform redesigned without Saab's input from the start? Why was the Beat (also on gamma) not designed to meet US crash test standards (although this may not be true)?

A lot of questions. I don't have the answers.
Absolutely. I question this kind of stuff all the time.

What's even more questionable is the fact that Saab says it can't make the Gamma architecture AWD viable -- but wasn't the Chevy Orlando supposed to have AWD capability? Didn't GM say they had a number of small crossover/SUVs lined up that would offer AWD? I don't understand...

The bit about the Beat is 10000% true: If the next Aveo is also Gamma based - as is the Beat - then how can the next Aveo come Stateside, but the Beat wont make it here? Same platform, but one can meet regulations and one cannot? I'd rather GM just be honest and say they can't make a profit on the product here in the US.
 

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Why would they make the 9-1 similar in size to the next 9-3? Does this really make sense? Isn't the point of offering different products to attack different segments of the market?


Isn't the 128i only 6 inches smaller than the 328i?? I ask because when I actually look at the two side by side.. I simply can't tell WHY they have different numbers on them.:confused:
 

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This really doesn't make sense. GM is supposedly developing a Gamma based crossover with Groove-like styling, primarily for Europe and Latin America, where one could speculate it would battle the Ford EcoSport. Surely it'd be AWD compatible.

Saabs need to be strange, quirky, and intelligently-designed. A Saab should be distinctive, standing out on the freeway like Liberace at a Longshoreman's Picnic. Saab shouldn't be competing with anything out there, except on price; and on price, Saab need affordable small models, comparable with, say Subaru, with the upper models treading into Audi's territory.
 

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T-rex I completely agree with you on who Saab should be competing with.

I wouldn't mind if Saab went it their own for this 9-1 model. People are downsizing and the 9-3 and 9-1 could easily be volume cars for Saab. The 9-1 needs to a homerun and I don't see that happening with Saab using one of GM's platforms as it won't be different enough. Why buy the Saab when you could get the same thing as an Opel for cheaper. Either their own platform or allow them to heavily modify the platform like they did with the 9-3. Its like no other Epsilon out there.
 

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Nick:

1. The Alfa MiTo, A1 et al. are all unproven concepts. We have yet to see whether one can really make money on those. The only more or less proven concept is the Lancia Ypsilon, but it is 1) unique 2) very different from what Saab could offer.

2. MINI is MINI. There is no point trying to "rival" it. People are buying the MINI because it's a MINI, and you cannot possibly outMINI a MINI. The only thing you get are heartwarming comparisons in magazines, but customers either want a MINI or something else. Making a small, cramped car just because BMW did is a bad idea.

3. It makes perfect sense for the 9-1 to be close in size to the 9-3, or even to be essentially a body style thereof. Think Lancia Delta/Dedra, Alfa 147/156, the mentioned Volvos, BMW 3 Compact, Mercedes CLC. While the "regular" family midsizers/repwagen grew expotentially in size, compact executives still remain pretty "compact", while compacts as such have also grown. Having a larger, more expensive model with 5 doors, and a smaller hatchback is a great way of pricing discrimination and cutting unnecessary costs.


In general:

What Saab just said speaks volumes, and not very favorably indeed, about GM's platform management, global product planning and all the other stuff LaNeve just wanted us to praise them for. Not planned for AWD? Why they NEVER ask Saab, and then let Saab do their thing, ending up in Saab incurring a lot of costs, being incompatible and certainly not contributing to the bottom line.

IMHO, all platforms should be flexible, and it should have been possible from the beginning to build Gamma-Delta hybrids for those two platforms to cover everything from city cars (Beat) to small midsize cars (Orlando/Zafira wheelbases are over 2700 mm!), and also be able to host FWD, AWD, IRS or torsion beam or whatnot. Once again, GM is not even building modular architectures, it is just calling vastly unrelated development programmes in different parts of the world the same name and remains content.
 

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BWaaaaaaaahahahahahahhahahaha...
Platform sharing?
Lack of platform diversity and adaptability??

Oh geez. The General is sooooo lame!!!
I cannot believe that after years of bitching and moaning about platforms not being versatile enough.. They still aren't!!

Well, if they can actually get their "own platform" greenlighted, hopefully, they will be able to share as many parts with Gamma or Delta II, in order to save costs.
 

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Saab needs to be perceived as different and unique. They need to say that you are not buying an aveo, even when you buy one.
So, this is a good move. Though I am dissapointed that Lutz great global design and engineering move is not turning out to be what we were promised.
 

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Wait What. Why. So we have zero dollars to spend on new products, so lets spend extra money making an all new platform. Uh Huh sure that makes loads of sense. Oh and lets make it the same size as the 9-3 so everybody gets confused. Yay smarts.
 

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BWaaaaaaaahahahahahahhahahaha...
Platform sharing?
Lack of platform diversity and adaptability??

Oh geez. The General is sooooo lame!!!
I cannot believe that after years of bitching and moaning about platforms not being versatile enough.. They still aren't!!

Well, if they can actually get their "own platform" greenlighted, hopefully, they will be able to share as many parts with Gamma or Delta II, in order to save costs.
I think it's where you live at which is the problem. San Francisco Water and Air has damage your brain.
How do i know your brain is damage? Because you believe this article:p:.:rotf::rotf:
Because this article is not true at all.
 

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...and I'm sick of these people constantly crying

Saab never makes money...

Saab never sells 500k a year...

Saab's platforms aren't compatible with other GM products...

GM should sell Saab to Tata...


Firstly, Saab never has been, and never should be, a high-volume brand. That defeats the entire raison d'etre of having a quirky niche brand.

Secondly, if GM wish to rationalise platforms, then it has to design the G-ddam platforms to where Saab can use them to create unique models. Why aren't any GM car platforms AWD compatible?

And thirdly. Maybe Saab would've turned a buck if GM had given it more than TWO friggin' products since buying the marque two decades ago (9-7x doesn't count because it's not a Saab, though it's an excellent iteration of the GMT360, and the 9-2x was a Subaru).

Where's Saab's quirky hatchbacks? Where's Saab's Audi A6-fighter? Where's Saab's crossovers?

You can't put an ignition key between the front seats of an Opel Vectra and call it a Saab. GM has never understood Saab, or even attempted to understand what the marque represented.

I wish a company that cared about this unique brand would snap it up and give it the attention it deserves, rather than giving us Ikea-ized Opels and totally unsuited American trucks.

I yearn for the days of the strange, intelligent and highly desirable 99 and 900...
 

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Here's what I'd like to see (similar to what others above have been saying):
9-5: Epsilon II
9-3: Delta II
9-1: Gamma

I'd be fine if Saab took some extra development dollars to get Gamma AWD compatible, but that isn't really necessary in this market IMO as it will never have enough power to challenge traction, except when inclement weather is an issue, and then FWD with stability control is the way to go anyway. As long as the car is sporty and has a quiet, upscale ride to it, Saab should save the cost of development for the interior. This is where Saabs should really stand out as a designer purchase.

If they do invest sufficiently in Gamma or a new platform that is AWD capable, I really would like to see that take the place of the G3 in the Pontiac stable. The Pontiac could be tuned more for handling by sacrificing some of the Saab's luxury, and would be sufficiently removed from the Aveo.
 

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I agree that SAAB needs a MINI fighter. I also agree with many of you that SAAB is a niche brand. I do not think they will get a dime out of GM to build their own platform, because GM doesn't have any to spare. So, let them engineer Gamma II while the current slew of products hits the showroom. Let GM rebuild their finances, and then give them a MINI fighter based on an AWD version of Gamma II. It will take a few years, but that is fine, because they are a niche brand.
 

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I'd be fine if Saab took some extra development dollars to get Gamma AWD compatible, but that isn't really necessary in this market IMO as it will never have enough power to challenge traction, except when inclement weather is an issue, and then FWD with stability control is the way to go anyway.
But it would be an added benefit for Saab if it had XWD, don't you think?
What's to stop Mini from adding it? Or Audi coming up with something? Or Acura?

Best to hit the ground running with the correct product, instead of waiting 5 years for something down the line, like Saab did with 9-3.
 

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GM should overrule Saab, tell them to push it on Delta II and be done with it.
Its not that GM's gobal archutecture isnt working, its that Saab wants its own. And like a greedy kid, you slap them on thier knuckles and say no.

Its Delta II or nothing. Built your hatch off the same platform as your sedan, stop crying Saab. My question is why isnt Delta 2 good enough? If its not, shut down the 9-1 production and just make a hatch back 9-3.
 
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