Saab Sharpens its Image with New Product Blitz
After languishing on the sidelines for years, Swedish automaker Saab will add three new models over the next two years. The new productoffensive by parent General Motors Corp. is a bid to stoke demand and reverse losses that are undermining GM's overall performance in Europe, according to the Detroit News.Saab CEO Peter Augustsson has undertaken various cost-cutting and restructuring moves, but acknowledges that Saab's real problem is toofew models. "Despite the fact that our 9-5 and 9-3 sedans are good cars," Augustsson said, "the problem is that the business model won't work at our sales volume."The new goal for Saab is to top 200,000 unitsa year. "To do that," said Bob Lutz, GM vice chairman for product development, "Saab needs GM help." That assistance will come from two GMsources. The automaker's North American operation is providing the "GMT360" platform, the underpinning for the Chevrolet Trailblazer and Buick Rainier SUVs, for the 9-7X, a mid-sized Saab sport utility vehicle due on sale in early 2005, according to the News.