Fleet News

GM's Swedes plan major product offensive

A MAJOR product offensive is to be launched by Saab, with at least one all-new vehicle a year entering the market between 2002 and 2008. While the Swedish manufacturer, wholly owned by General Motors, is saying little about its new model plans, it is understood that 4x4s, MPVs, so-called crossover vehicles (MPV x 4x4) and a roadster will be among the up to seven expected new vehicles.

President and chief executive officer Peter Augustsson told Fleet NewsNet at the Geneva Motor Show that the size of vehicles would be similar to the existing 9-3 and 9-5 and said a small car was 'not a priority'. 'We will be looking at developing the 9-3 and 9-5 model ranges with new models,' he said. 'We will not produce vehicles larger than the 9-5.'

Meanwhile, Saab is to double its diesel engine vehicle line-up with the summer launch of a 170bhp 3.0 V6 common rail unit sourced from Isuzu entering the 9-5. Presently in the UK Saab only offers one diesel engine - the 9-3 2.2 TiD powered by an Opel-sourced diesel engine. The new unit will power both saloon and estate 9-5 variants, with vehicles badged 3.0 TiD. It produces 258lb-ft of torque at 1,800 rpm. The 3.0 V6 turbodiesel engine will subsequently appear in other General Motors' vehicles following its Saab debut.

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