TROLLHATTAN, Sweden -- The redesigned 2010 Saab 9-5 Aero sedan is big, filled with technology, and designed and engineered to compete with the Audi A6 and Mercedes-Benz E-class sedans.
“The new Saab demonstrates that we are alive and kicking,” said Victor Muller, CEO of Spyker Cars NV, the Dutch sports car maker that purchased Saab from General Motors Co. in February.
Basics: The new 9-5 shares GM's global mid-sized architecture with such vehicles as the Opel Insignia, Chevrolet Malibu, Buick LaCrosse and Cadillac XTS, due in 2011.
While GM invested heavily in Saab's facilities in Sweden during the 20 years it operated the company, product development suffered. The previous generation 9-5 was in the marketplace for 13 years. Besides its age, the car was criticized for being too similar in size to the lower-priced 9-3.
“We agree, so we spread them apart,” said Magnus Hansson, product marketing manager, during a presentation in Trollhattan this month. The 2010 9-5 is 3.7inches longer than the Audi A6 and 5.5 inches longer than the Mercedes-Benz E-class sedan. Saab is targeting Audi intenders.
The redesigned 9-5 fits “right into the territory of the premium large segment,” Hansson said. “We believe the brand can play there.”
Assembly begins in fall
Styling draws on cues first seen on the Aero X concept unveiled at the 2006 Geneva motor show. A wagon debuts next year.
The 9-5 bodies currently are assembled at GM's operations in Russelsheim, Germany, then shipped by truck to Trollhattan for final assembly. The tooling will be transferred from Germany to Sweden in August. Assembly of the 2011 9-5 in Sweden will begin in the fall.
The U.S. market will receive only 500 2010 9-5s; 2011 models for the United States will arrive this fall.