This past week Saab CEO Jan Ake Jonsson announced that he would be leaving his post, nearly 40 years after he first joined the company. In his place is Saab chairman Victor Muller who will look after the helm until a suitable replacement can be found.
Muller, as you may recall, is the man behind the rejuvenated Spyker, the current owner of Saab. The Dutch businessman has now revealed his future plans for Saab, confirming that the company is committed to launching a new model positioned below the 9-3 and that it may even starting building cars for rival firms.
"We are talking with other manufacturers to buy a platform or drivetrain technology for this entry-level car," Muller said, during a recent interview with Automotive News. "It should come as soon as possible, in 2014 the earliest."
We’ve previously reported that Saab was in talks with BMW about the possible use of MINI’s front-wheel drive platform for its new entry-level car. According to Muller, a new platform is yet to be sourced but once it has the new Saab could sell for around $28,000.
In order to fund such a project, Muller is ruling out a direct loan and is more interested in building cars at Saab’s underutilized plant in Trollhattan, Sweden. The plant has the capacity to build 190,000 cars per year but is currently only churning out a fraction of that number. Last year Saab’s total sales were just 31,696 cars.
[Automotive News, sub req’d]