The production model will likely be called the 9-1 and it will share a next-generation GM FWD platform with the next Opel Astra. With production likely to commence sometime after 2010, MotorTrend reports that the only real question left is whether the baby Saab will make it to the States. According to the source, Saab officials have confirmed the new 9-1 is being considered for North America and that it could arrive soon after the 2010 debut.
While the premium hatchback segment is big in Europe, in North America only the Mini Cooper has been a real success among the motoring public, whose sales have been buoyed by the brand’s charm and iconic status. The Saab, however, does have its interesting looks going for it, as well as some momentum from its previously well-received concepts such as the Aero-X. As long as GM puts its advertising power behind Saab and can maintain the quality and appearance customers expect in a premium brand, there's no reason there can't be more manufacturers in the premium hatch segment.