The Saab 9-7X has its sights aimed squarely on the burgeoning midsize SUV market in North America. The U.S. mid-luxury SUV segment increased from approximately 50,000 units a year in 1997 to 401,000 units in 2003, and by the end of 2006, sales are projected to exceed 500,000 units.
The new 9-7X, with an automatic all-wheel-drive system, brings unique Saab characteristics to this growing segment, including: sophisticated exterior and interior styling, premium design features and quality, a chassis tuned to deliver sporty and fun-to-drive performance and the signature ignition cylinder in the center console behind the gear lever. It was developed from the award-winning General Motors GMT360 architecture and is scheduled to reach the market in early 2005.
“The Saab 9-7X emphasizes the ‘sport’ aspect of the sport utility vehicle nomenclature,” said Peter Augustsson, Saab’s president and CEO. “As with the 2005 Saab 9-2X, it is very dynamic and is a vehicle that you want to drive.”
Market research conducted by Saab revealed that 39 percent of Saab customers in the U.S. currently have an SUV in their household. Furthermore, almost 30 percent of Saab customers who leave the Saab brand purchase a four-door SUV.
“The new Saab 9-7X will provide our retailers with a world-class SUV to satisfy existing customers and to attract new ones,” said Debra Kelly-Ennis, president of Saab Cars USA. “In 2003, with an increase of 26.7 percent, Saab was the fastest growing European premium car brand in the United States. Our unprecedented model offensive will help continue this strong momentum.”
The Saab 9-7X will be positioned in the $37,000 to $45,000 price bracket in the U.S., with the I-6-powered 9-7X Linear leading the lineup. The 9-7X Arc, with its 5.3L V-8 delivering 300 horsepower (224 kw), is aimed at mid-luxury SUV customers who demand uncompromising performance. Standard equipment for both models includes leather-trimmed seats, 18-inch aluminum alloy wheels, all-wheel-drive and a state-of-the-art sound system.