Date: Sun, 06 Dec 1998 04:54:35 -0800
From: Justin VanAbrahams <jvanabranopsamnet>
Subject: Re: GM motors in SAABs"?

Harrie van Dijk wrote: > > Justin is sadly enough only partially right. Saab has been putting enormous > effort both in manpower and financial in developing the 2.0 and the 2.3 to > what it is today; one of the best in performance, motormanagement and low > emissions. Compared to the small mercedes you can get here in europe, the > Saab engines are top of the bill. > > However, like many other things over the past few years Saab has to do > concessions to GM. The question no longer is what saab wants thinks or > developes or what is best; The price of the product determins what happens. > I'm sad to say that even my local dealer thinks that Gm will only allow the > Saab engines to be used as long as they are cost effective. Mayor on going > development may be jeopardised by this. > I dunno about that... only time will tell. Last I heard, Saab is busy at work developing other engines as well, including a small displacement six cylinder turbocharged engine. The General can do all sorts of things to Saab, but seeing as Saab is 100% about turbocharging, and GM has *no* turbocharged engines whatsoever, it's pretty unlikely things are going to chance. Furthermore, since GM only has 51% of Saab, they don't have full control - the can make influences but they *cannot* dictate policy. Also, while it may seem like GM is wreaking havoc with Saab and changing our beloved company, the fact of the matter is GM is *not* the bad guy here. If GM wanted another flimsy car to throw around, they could have created another division not unlike Saturn... They bought Saab because they saw an opportunity to buy their way into the upmarket European market, just like Ford did when they bought Jaguar. Saab has benefitted greatly from GM's involvement (as did Jag from Ford), and whilest I'm sad to say I think Saab has lost some of their character, fact of the matter is that sales have gone up out of the deal, and they've got more new products in the last five years than they have in the last two decades. I'm pretty sure we're gonna keep the turbo fours and maybe grow some *good* turbo sixes in the future... The 2.0l and 2.3l fours paid for themselves *years* ago in terms of tooling and development, and since the intro of the '94 900 virtually no new $$$ have been invested in R&D, meaning the engines are "free." The money they're spending now is going into other things, like chassis and interior work, and with all the innovation packed into the 9-5 in terms of electronics integration, Saab is obviously pushing to reduce costs there as well... -Justin

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