GERMANY: Saab, Cadillac, to share SUV platform, engine
Saab's managing director, Jan-Ake Jonsson, revealed that the 9-4X and an un-named Cadillac will be built at a plant in Mexico for world markets, both cars aimed at the burgeoning compact SUV sector.
The Saab is likely to debut at next January's Detroit motor show, reflecting the importance of making up lost ground on Swedish rival's XC90 in North America. Both cars are due on sale on both sides of the Atlantic within two years.
Jonsson said: "It is a growing segment and our vehicle will fit, size wise, between BMW's X3 and X5. It has become important in the premium sector to have an SUV crossover, almost an emblem or a range standard-bearer, a qualifier for brand credibility."
Both Saab and Cadillac will benefit from a new 2.9-litre, twin-turbo, V6 diesel engine under development with VM Motori, which is crucial to the upscale brands' success. The engine is also destined for Cadillac's CTS and the next generation Saab 9-5.
Saab's boss said: "Although they will benefit from shared architecture, the Saab and Cadillac will be two very different vehicles in terms of looks and driving dynamics with no chance of brand confusion."
Jonsson said the expansion of Saab's range, which includes a Trollhatten-built Astra (Delta platform)-based smaller model, was part of a "five to 10-year programme" aimed at attaining premium status on a par with BMW, Mercedes and Audi.
He added: "We believe the 9-4X, which uses our advanced X or cross all-wheel-drive technology shown in the 9-3 Frankfurt show car, fits into an emerging segment with the X3 perhaps being too small and the X5 too large."
Saab's chief executive said the brand was still having "intense discussions" about the format of its smaller car, aimed at BMW's 1-series, Audi's A3 and Volvo's C30 and likely to be badged 9-1.
He said: "We have a lot of combi or coupe customers out there in the market place, The car will be practical and sporty with the intent of bringing our average car ownership age down.
"Its production at Trollhatten helps underpin the plant's role as a compact car production centre. We might get round to sports cars when we are profitable but that is many, many years away."
A Cadillac insider said: "This project reflects the mutual benefit our two brands derive from sharing resources while maintaining our respective DNAs."
Inchcape, the company that no-one has ever heard of despite being listed on the London Stock Exchange fifty years ago (and having traded for a hundred years longer than that under a variety of names) ...
Tata's Nano may never be sold in Europe but it drew the biggest crowds at the Geneva show press days this week - though many of the journalists weren't really there to see the controversial Indian 'pe...
BMW's Spartanburg vehicle plant in South Carolina reportedly plans an 11am Monday celebration to announce expansion but officials refuse to release further details ahead of the event....
Hyundai plans to double its UK sales to 70,000 a year by 2012 once the tap is turned on at its new European production plant....
Nissan is planning an all-new, sub-Micra city car for launch in Europe in the early part of the next decade....
Motor Shows are always glitzy affairs and this year's 78th international show in Geneva is as glitzy as ever. In the background to this year's show are industry concerns over recession in the US, high...
General Motors has announced a next-generation hybrid system using a new, more powerful, lithium-ion battery made by Hitachi....
Magna Steyr is to build Aston Martin's four-door Rapide saloon at a dedicated facility in Graz in Austria....
- Recalls redux - the week that was
- Audi S8 plus - if 585PS just isn’t enough power
- Brexit could lift UK auto production – Asian view
- Driving the new Q30, and Infiniti future models
- Ford and Lincoln future models into the 2020s
- Mixed reaction to Tesla's latest plans
- General Motors re-thinks India strategy - report
- Volkswagen emissions scandal hits Porsche SE
- Auto business confidence hit but holding up
- Mahle opens vehicle engineering centre in UK