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Upcoming Concept Vehicle Will 'Define The New Saab'

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The good news for Saab keeps on rolling: last month, we mentioned that the company's sale to Koenigsegg was looking like a done deal (thanks to a €400 million loan from the European Investment Bank), and now comes word that Saab is developing a new, small concept vehicle to presage the company's future lineup.

The concept vehicle is set to debut within the next 12 months. Saab's Director of Global Operations, Knut Simonsson, says, "It's going to be very important and will indicate what the Saab message is going to be." In short, it will "define the new Saab".

Although Simonsson declined to elaborate on the vehicle's particulars, he did say that the concept car will move Saab into a new segment -- one in which the company doesn't currently compete. That could mean a number of things, but rumor has it that Saab is looking to add a smaller vehicle to its lineup, something beneath the mid-size 9-3 (which is itself in need of refreshing or replacing). It sounds as if we might well see a Saab BEV compact or minicar making the autoshow rounds next year. We'll try very hard to look surprised.

In other Saab news, the company is in the process of shifting much of its European production back to its home base in Trollhättan, Sweden. That includes manufacture of the 9-5 (currently centered in Germany at Opel's Rüsselsheim factory) and the 9-3 Cabrio (manufactured by Magna in Graz, Austria).

All in all, it sounds like an exciting time for Saab. Now if we could just square away things with its Swedish sister.

[InsideLine]

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