Saab Community Is Blowing A Hole In The Air
By Henny Hemmes
Senior European Editor
THe Auto Channel
AMSTERDAM, January 29, 2010; The Saab communities in many countries are happy with the fact that ‘their’ brand is saved. Last night, Cees van de Berg, managing director of the Saab distributor in The Netherlands, was sitting on the first row of the Pauw & Witteman talk show, that had Spyker CEO Victor Muller as one of its three guests. Muller was many Saab owners and dealers in the public. They had parked their cars in front of the studio, as was showed during the program.
Saab sold some 2,500 to 3,000 units on the Dutch market, that in the good years accounted for 450,000 to a half million units (remember this country only has around 16 million inhabitants). In 2009, due to the fact that both Saab Automobiles and the former Dutch owner of Saab import went bankrupt, the market was more than reluctant to buy. The new distributor and its 26 Dutch dealers saw a dramatic decrease in sales to some 500 cars. In 2008 when it was already bad, still some 1,880 units were sold.
At the moment, the new generation Saab9-5 is ready. The car was unveiled last September at the Frankfurt auto show en will be again in the spot lights of the Geneva show in March. If all goes according to the plans of Spyker CEO Victor Muller, the new Saab Spyker Automobiles N.V can go into business from the middle of February.
It will do so with the new generation 9-5, that will then hit markets world wide by May with new petrol and diesel engines. From the change of the model year in August, also a new and clean 1.6-liter turbo engine will be available, which has 180 hp and a CO2-emission of only 139 gram/km. In fall the facelifted 9-3 will arrive on the markets. It will have a new front to enhance its family ties with the 9-5 and an updated interior. The station wagon model of the 9-5 can also be expected in fall.
The Saab distributor in Holland expects that sales of the brand can be back to what was normal in normal years”: “Our dealers have seen more people in their show room now, and some of them have written orders for the new 9-5.