Date: Tue, 15 Apr 2003 20:24:43 -0400
From: The Saab Network
Subject: Press: Saab Announces 9-2 Model at NY Auto Show [saabnow]
Saab to add 9-2 Model to its Product Line in 2004
Saab announces a cooperation with Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. (Fuji) to produce a new performance-oriented all-wheel drive model - the Saab 9-2 - in Spring 2004. The new vehicle will provide Saab with a capable, dynamic entry below the new 9-3 Sport Sedan.
NEW YORK - Continuing with its biggest ever product offensive, Saab Automobile AB expands its product line further with the introduction of the new Saab 9-2. The 9-2 will be Saab's entry offer and will help attract new, younger customers to the brand. It is targeted at customers looking for a distinctive, fun-to-drive car with the versatility to support an active lifestyle. As customers would expect from Saab, the 9-2 will feature excellent driving dynamics with its sophisticated all-wheel drive system and turbo performance as well as great versatility with its hatchback body style.
Leveraging the global resources of the GM Group, Saab Automobile AB is collaborating with Fuji of Japan to create the new Saab 9-2 model in cooperation with Subaru, Fuji's automotive division.
"We see an emerging segment in the United States for a premium, small car below the Saab 9-3 Sport Sedan," says Peter Augustsson, President and CEO of Saab Automobile AB.
"The Saab 9-2 is a result of collaboration between two like-minded brands. We both have a special aircraft heritage and a successful history in rallying, and our cars are known as dynamic, safe and fun-to-drive. It makes a lot of sense for us to combine our strengths in creating the next Saab and bring it to the market quickly," says Augustsson.
Saab will offer two versions of the new 9-2, both five-door, all-wheel drive cars. The base Saab 9-2 will be equipped with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, while the Aero version will feature a high performance, 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine.
Initially, the vehicle will only be offered in the United States and Canadian markets.
"Both brands have this special flair," said Bob Lutz, GM's Vice Chairman for Product Development. "It is such a natural fit for them to combine their talents and expertise to bring the first all-wheel-drive performance car into the Saab family - a car with great dynamic qualities and exhilarating performance."
The new Saab 9-2 will be produced in Fuji's facilities in Japan, beginning in the spring of 2004.
Saab Automobile AB, based in Trollhattan, Sweden, is fully owned by GM, which has a 20 percent stake in Fuji.
The Saab Network
Found at http://www.automedia-online.com/spion/e_000067.htm
Saab Automobile AB
To be introduced: Summer 2002
"No decision has been done yet in Tollhättan whether or not to built a car below the current 9-3. Informants report that plans for this car are not only penned but that prototypes are yet existing - probably clay models not able to drive. The Saab 9-2 could be a success and a serious competitor to cars such as Golf VR6 and BMW Compact."