|Rick Kranz is product editor for Automotive News.|
The Saab 9-4X could be the rarest new vehicle in the world.
It was one year ago this week that the wraps came off Saab's new crossover. The world debut was conducted at the Los Angeles auto show.
Saab had a modest global sales goal for the 9-4X, based on my interviews with executives and what was said at the company's L.A. press conference in November 2010. The company targeted a few thousand sales of the 9-4X in 2011, starting in the spring in the U.S.
Shipments to Europe, Australia, Taiwan and the Middle East were penciled-in for this past August.
Once full production was reached in 2012, the automaker aimed to sell about 15,000 to 20,000 units globally, of which about 50 percent of production was aimed at the U.S.
In case you've forgotten, the 9-4X is essentially a Cadillac SRX in disguise. What distinguishes the 9-4X is sheet metal, interior styling and suspension tuning. The 9-4X is assembled in the same General Motors factory, Ramos Arizpe, Mexico, as the SRX. Actually, I should say was assembled -- GM has not assembled 9-4Xs for months.
Of course, with Saab's much publicized financial problems, things did not turn out as planned. While vehicles were shipped to the United States, shipments to Europe and other areas of the world never materialized.
As for the U.S., just under 500 9-4Xs were shipped to dealers. Through October this year, sales totaled 194 vehicles.
Like I said, the 9-4X could be the rarest new vehicle in the world.