Saab Announces Canada will be in the Plans for 2011 Models

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You might not have noticed, being that Saab is an extremely marginal brand in Canada but the Swedish nameplate doesn't have much of a dealer presence anymore. "Much of" is an understatement. Go to and you see what previous owner GM Canada has to say about it.

"While SAAB vehicles will no longer be sold through the GM of Canada dealer network, rest assured that we will continue to support SAAB vehicles' full-service warranties and offer only the highest quality in customer service for your SAAB through our extensive network of Chevrolet, Buick, GMC or Cadillac dealers. If you're looking for a new vehicle, we're confident that you will find exactly what you want within our Chevrolet, Buick, GMC or Cadillac brands."

With zero new Saabs to sell and not enough buyers interested in purchasing to make a business case, at least not for GM, Canadian dealers aren't able to follow through with a business case of their own.

GM is no longer in the picture, however, supplanted by new owner Spyker, forming a new company renamed Saab-Spyker. The fit appears to be a good one, and follows a tried and tested model of a lesser brand creating a sales conduit to support a more premium brand.

In this case Saab will theoretically pull in entry-level luxury buyers and Spyker will keep them in the family with top-tier sport and luxury cars as they move up the economic ladder, while the two will undoubtedly share components and possibly even architectures as amalgamation continues.

Despite a lack of current Canadian dealers, around twenty have raised their hands in hopes to get a franchise, says Saab North American and its new distribution channel, International Fleet Sales.

Saab will have five models to sell through those twenty or so dealers for the 2011 model year, including the 9-3 sedan, 9-3 convertible and 9-3 SportCombi wagon, plus the upcoming 9-3X crossover SUV, and the all-new 9-5 sedan, Saab's impressive looking new flagship.

One of the brand's problems has long been the ability to be accepted in the premium fold, always ranked slightly below BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Lexus and even Infiniti, stuck in the entry-level luxury segment along with Acura and Swedish rival Volvo. Volvo is the only direct competitor to boast a V8 engine, seen as one of the key ingredients of a full premium brand, while front-wheel drive continues to be the mainstay of all entry-level luxury brands.

Looking to the future, with Spyker at its head Saab might soon be able to move up through the ranks and offer V8 power, if it chooses, and it will likely offer more cars with its advanced XWD all-wheel drive system, and lifting up the brand image in the process.

If you're a Saab fan or merely curious about the storied brand, you'll get your chance to see for yourself once again as Saab-Spyker reenters Canada this fall.

©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Koenigsegg, Saab,

Geographic location: Plans

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