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Can The 2011 Saab 9-5 SportCombi Make A Difference?

2011 Saab 9-5 SportCombi

Let’s assume for the sake of analytical enjoyment that Saab will survive these months of turmoil and come out as a pseudo-stable automaker. 

The 9-3 is an old horse. The 9-4X is a good looker but must fight for sales in a fiercely competitive segment where a handful of players have established themselves as go-to premium products. The new 9-5 sedan is unique in a way no Saab has been in years, but it hasn’t had much of an opportunity to catch on in the marketplace.

Saab sold just 93 9-5s in the United States in May. Mercedes-Benz sold 62 E-Class sedans for every 9-5 sold last month. Even the Cadillac STS was a more likely purchase than the 9-5.

Yet here we have the Saab 9-5 SportCombi, a vehicle I wouldn’t hesitate to call one of the most beautiful new wagons the world of automobile manufacturing has to offer. Can it do anything to stem the tide at Saab? Long before the recession, long before its former parent’s problems, Saab sales were tumbling hard and fast. That’s borne out by the chart you can scan below. Can a wagon, of all things, be the change that will turn Saab from a dying marque into a powerful luxury rival for, at the very least, Volvo? 

No, probably not. 

Saab USA Sales 2002-2011
  1. Looking back, Impreza/TrailBlazer thing didn't work in more than one way. Hurt the brand image and didn't do much for sales.

  2. These wagons will sit on the lot the same way the 9-5 sedan is. There is no advertising to make people aware that there are new products for sale. Combine the lack of advertising with the recent terrible finanacial news and no one will purchase these cars at nealy $50,000 a pop. There is simply too much competition from Audi, BMW and Subuaru and they are all stable companies.

  3. The banks in Europe are in no mood to lend money; and so Victor Muller is in the States, looking for investments partners, to go along with a Chinese company he has an investor. Meanwhile, the factory in Trollhatten has been shut down since what, May?

    What this all brings to mind is the sad, final days of Studebaker, before its board of directors took it to one model and moved to Canada. Studebaker also had grand plans and projected models, designed by the likes of Raymond Loewy and Brooks Stevens.

    Maybe SAAB can beat the odds. It would be good for automotive enthusiasts. Since cutting its ties to General Motors, SAAB really seems to be getting its act together, in terms of product. But it needs a new ad campaign that can convince people it's got a future.

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