General Motors plans to add a midsize Saab-badged sport-utility vehicle to its Swedish car division's range, Reuters reported, citing GM officials familiar with the plans.
The news agency said the SUV, a version of GM's current trio of North American-built midsize models, could arrive as early as next year as GM phases out the Bravada sport-utility as part of its plan to end the Oldsmobile brand. GM also builds the Chevrolet TrailBlazer and the GMC Envoy on the same chassis as the Bravada.
Reuters said the quick addition of the seven-passenger SUV would allow the brand to compete in one of the fastest-growing segments of the luxury market, also noting that most other upscale and luxury car makers already sell SUVs.
Reuters said the SUV, expected to be manufactured at GM's Moraine, Ohio, assembly plant, would be Saab's first product built in North America and its first vehicle made exclusively for the US market, its largest.
Saab has trademarked the name 9-8, which could possibly be the name of the new vehicle, automotive analysts told Reuters.