With Saab now in the dubious hands of niche sports car manufacturer Spyker, the once proud Swedish automaker is now on a slow journey towards rebuilding credibility and financial security. To reestablish itself as a prominent automotive brand, Saab is planning to launch a host of new models starting with the 2010 9-5 later this year, followed by the 9-4X crossover, a brand new 9-3 and possibly an entry-level 9-1.
While development work for the 9-5 and 9-4X is already complete, thanks to former owner GM, the new 9-3 and 9-1 will essentially have to be redesigned from the ground up. Not an easy task for an automaker in Saab’s position, but there is one possible solution.
According to Spyker CEO Victor Muller, who spoke recently with Automotive News, Saab is already in talks with a handful of rival automakers about sharing technology on future models. Muller wasn’t willing to reveal any names but did hint that one of the potential partners was a German automaker and that the cooperation could involve engines, components or even whole vehicle platforms.
Incidentally, Spyker’s own vehicles rely on outside suppliers for many of its components, with Audi, for example, offering its V-8 engines for the Spyker C8. As Muller explained: "That's the beauty of being independent."
[Automotive News, sub req’d]