Shock new Saab 9-3 set for 2014 launch
A shock successor to Saab's current 9-3 could be launched as soon as 2014 despite the Swedish automaker's troubling financial times of late.
After reports yesterday that Saab could have its Trollhattan plant ready for production in eight weeks, just days after signing a rescue deal with Chinese automotive firms Pang Da and Youngman Lotus, the company was bullish about its future.
With thoughts that the only new model on the horizon for Saab was the upcoming 9-5 SportWagon scheduled for release at the 2012 New York Auto Show, news of a new 9-3 has come straight out of left field.
Details of the car were leaked from a presentation Saab gave to the European Investment Bank last year in order to try and secure cash to sure up the shaky ground the Swedish firm was resting on.
In fact, the new 9-3 is reported to look fairly similar in profile to the now appropriately named Phoenix concept first seen back in March.
The leaked 9-3 is just one of many new models Saab are hoping will take them back from the sheer cliff face that is bankruptcy in the automotive industry – just ask MG how difficult it is to come back.
There's talk of fastback and convertible versions to sit alongside the 9-3 saloon as well as a new premium compact motor to rival BMW's 1 Series too – possibly badged the 9-1.
It was thought initially that there wasn't much in the way of intellectual property included in the deal between Saab and its Chinese backers, but with Pang Da and Youngman Lotus willing to stump up £535 million of funding, as well as a £43 million bridging loan during Saab's restructuring, they're obviously confident the Phoenix concept can rise from Saab's smouldering ashes.
The two Chinese firms have also confirmed that there will be no job cuts made as part of the take over process either.
As we said yesterday, with this deal, and now the revealing of a new model for Saab providing yet another twist in the long-running saga at the Swedish manufacturer, Saab is edging ever closer in pulling off one of the greatest revivals since Lazarus.