Fleet News

Saab playing catch-up

Saab is ramping-up production of its twin-turbo diesel engine to avoid delays on vehicle delivery.

The 1.9 TTiD was introduced last year and is now available on higher-end 9-3 models.

But demand for the 180bhp unit has been such that there is a backlog of orders and Saab UK cannot get the vehicles to customers quickly enough.

Speaking exclusively to Fleet News, Saab’s UK managing director, Jonathan Nash, said the situation was in hand and should be remedied soon.

“We’re ramping production up,” he said.

“I wouldn’t say we are behind on orders, but it’s not as we would like it.

"There is a six or seven- week delay on new orders.

“You don’t want to keep customers waiting. If you can get it down to five to six weeks that would be acceptable. Beyond that people will say they are not going to want the car anymore.”

Mr Nash said Saab had, to an extent, been a victim of its own success.

“The TTiD is perfect for fleet,” he said.

“At the moment it’s the hot car and we could do with some more of them because the fleet team is doing a good job of selling them.”

He assured fleet managers that Saab was very serious about providing the best possible service to business customers.

“At the moment fleet is very important to Saab,” he said. “It makes up 50% of our volume.”

Saab has several new products on the way, including a replacement for the existing 9-5 in September next year.

Mr Nash also promised heavy revisions to the 9-3 before the new version arrives in around three years’ time.

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