The Garage has returned from the New York Auto Show. We kick off our coverage not with the news that will grab headlines in mainstream media, but instead we will focus on what many predicted would never happen: that Saab would even exist when the New York Auto Show came around this Spring. Saab not only exists, but had a stand at the show. The Garage was honored to have been invited to a special reception after the show to learn more about the future of Saab at the Cooper Classic Car Gallery in tony Greenwich Village.
The highlight of the event was the new Saab 9-5-a car rumored to be brilliant, but with the future of Saab so uncertain, it wasn’t clear if the car would ever see the light of day. Thankfully, the 9-5 is in production, and will hopefully be arriving in US showrooms in a couple of months. With the sale of Saab from GM to Spyker now complete, Saab is now free move forward. But in what direction?
To explain, none other than Spyker CEO Victor Muller himself, and other Saab top brass was on hand to share where Saab is going. Perhaps most significant is that Saab will function as an independent company-Spyker will not dictate what type of cars Saab should build. Saab is on the verge of reinventing the entire product line, starting with the 9-5, followed by the 9-4X crossover, and finally, a new 9-3. Mr. Muller also suggested a premium small car, slotted under the 9-3, made in the spirit of the vintage Saab 92-teardrop shape and all, is in the works and should elevate Saab sales from “bit player” to player.
The will and determination is there. The challenge for Saab now is to reclaim the customers who grew tired of old, stale designs, in addition to bringing new buyers to the brand. Saab management was as polite as they could be about the subject, but there is simply no getting around the fact that GM allowed Saab’s cars to go far too long in a hyper-competitive market without a redesign. Saab is now ready, with new cars to show they are once again a brand to be taken seriously.
Considering that GM was fully committed to a wind-down of Saab’s operations, we should all feel good that Saab is still here. And we should feel better that new cars are on the way. If any manufacturer deserved to throw themselves a party, Saab trumps them all. The Garage is pleased to report that Saab is alive and kicking, and we are working to provide reviews of what Saab has to offer as soon as possible.
Please review the gallery for images of the new 9-5 (apologies if image quality is lacking, I was working with poor lighting), and images of the Gallery.