It's not unusual to see upwards of 20 concept cars at major European shows like Frankfurt or Geneva - but it is rare to see a Saab among them.
The last time the GM-owned Swedish manufacturer unveiled a concept car was 1985, when its EV-1 made its first appearance.
But this year Saab has developed a new model, the 9x, which showcases its future design philosophy. Saab described it as having 'clean lines that define a sporty and compact shape, with strong Saab styling cues that are dramatically evolved.'
Saab has been starved of investment since becoming part of General Motors. It has compared poorly with the rapid expansion of Ford's Premier Automotive Group, featuring Volvo, Land Rover, Jaguar, Aston Martin and Lincoln - most of which have benefited from rapid growth in sales and number of models.
But, since the co-operation between GM and Fiat Auto was announced, Saab has joined with the upmarket brands of the Fiat group - Lancia and Alfa Romeo - to develop new models.
Based in Sweden, the programme is planned around a system called 'Premium Architecture'. This will be used by all three brands to reduce development costs, while maximising knowledge and resources.
Peter Augustsson, chief executive of Saab Automobile, said: 'The 9x spearheads a major offensive from Saab, with at least one new product or concept to be announced every year for the next six years.' (September 2001)