GENEVA -- Former Cadillac marketer Jay Spenchian wants to use the Cadillac template to give Saab a clear identity.
As crowds gathered around Saab's Aero-X concept sport coupe at the Geneva auto show, Spenchian, general manager of Saab Cars USA Inc., saw an opportunity to craft a Saab image. That's vital for Saab, which sold about 140,000 cars globally last year and only 38,343 in the United States.
Though it's just a "design exercise," he says, the Aero-X (see photo on Page 25) could provide cues for a striking brandwide design theme - as the 1999 Evoq concept did for Cadillac.
The most likely candidate for the X treatment? Spenchian singles out Saab's 9-3 mid-sized car, scheduled for exterior restyling for the 2008 model year. "Especially after this reaction, it'll be hard not to go in this direction," Spenchian said in an interview with Automotive News.