Saab is in talks with BMW and other car makers about securing a platform for its new 92 supermini

Saab is in talks with BMW about licensing its new front-drive platform for use on its new 92 supermini.

Saab boss Victor Muller told Reuters that he was in talks with other manufacturers over securing their underpinnings for the 92, but has hinted his preference is BMW after the firm's recent engine tie-up.

“Clearly we have a preference, but whether it's BMW, I can't tell you," he said, "BMW would make a wonderful partner.”

Read more about the Saab/BMW engine tie-up

The new BMW platform will be used to underpin a new range of front-wheel-drive BMWs, as well as the next-generation Mini. The 92 is a pet project of Muller's and is based around the evocative teardrop shape of the 1950s original.

Saab has also received interest from manufacturers hoping to use the platform for its new 9-3, according to Muller. “We're in constant dialogue with a number of players to share the [9-3] technology," he said. "There are parties that are interested in talking about possible licensing of the technology.”

Read more on the next-gen Saab 9-3, due in 2012

The new 9-3 is due to go on sale at the very end of 2012 and will feature a version of the 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine currently used in the Mini range.

Saab will only confirm use of the 200bhp version of the N18 engine so far, but further versions are likely, including a variant that runs on E85 biofuel. It will also incorporate BMW’s fuel-saving stop-start and regenerative braking systems.

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Comments
10

15 October 2010

BMW are so the right company to hook up with on this

The problem is the 92 may well end up costing over 30K at this rate especially using all the BMW gear.

I mean how would this be competetive compared to a 1 series?

15 October 2010

BMW are so the wrong company to hook up with on this.

A SAAB buyer is not looking for a BMW otherwise they would have bought one in the first place. BMW represents the antithesis of SAAB. If they simply offer German car lite then why bother at all. Do they realy think they are going to tempt punters out of BMWs by offering the same driving experience? Its all about the badge. Without offering some kind of USP why would any sane buyer choose such a car from a maker with a distinctly shaky future when they can buy the real thing.

15 October 2010

[quote comment8]Without offering some kind of USP why would any sane buyer choose such a car from a maker with a distinctly shaky future when they can buy the real thing. [/quote]

What makes you think that using a BMW sourced platform will eradicate the SAAB USP or appeal? It'll still be a SAAB up top, where it matters. It's a damn sight better than basing them on GM platforms and putting up with the 'it's only a rebodied Vectra' crap that so many forum geniuses spew. The worst they could say is 'it's only a rebodied BMW'.

[quote comment8]BMW represents the antithesis of SAAB.[/quote]

Then GM was it's nemesis.

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I am not a robot

15 October 2010

[quote comment8]Without offering some kind of USP why would any sane buyer choose such a car from a maker with a distinctly shaky future when they can buy the real thing. [/quote]

It's been 'distinctly shaky' for many years and has never stopped sales before. Even when they were officially bankrupt thousands of SAAB owners and enthusiasts were rallying together all over the world to show their support and desire to keep SAAB going.

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I am not a robot

15 October 2010

The BMW platform that Saab is looking at is the Mini platform, not the 1-series.

It makes a lot of sense for BMW too because the Mini brand, being so trendy (and we know what happens to trends) has quite an uncertain future.

It's also quite a sophisticated and expensive platform that isn't yet shared with any other manufacturer. That manufacturer will have to be a premium brand, and which is the premium brand which is least likely to hurt BMW sales? Saab probably...

15 October 2010

The media can print what they want but SAAB isn't out to take on the top P3 brands. However; they do need a competitive platform for the price they need to charge in order for that model to return a profit. I guess it would seem natural to assume that SAAB would try to steal sales from the Mini and 1-series. However; I feel what is more likely is that the SAAB 92 would appeal to buyers who want more than a mainstream vehicle but are not willing to join the 'me too' crowd. From what I've heard and read, the 92 will have very unique styling, it most certainly will not be retro and will be very much a niche model in the Premium market.

15 October 2010

If they want a decent front drive platform and decent spec engines why not try Ford, the Focus platform is well tried and tested capable of handing massive power and Fords new batch of petrol and the PSA diesels are better than the GM equivalent they have been using.

15 October 2010

[quote comment8]A SAAB buyer is not looking for a BMW otherwise they would have bought one in the first place. BMW represents the antithesis of SAAB. If they simply offer German car lite then why bother at all.[/quote]

BMW are the best to hook up with as they hold one massive similarity with Saab / Spyker and that is independance.

BMW also have the best brand image in the automotive industry, have among the best engines and even though i hate the things - the Mini does have a fantastic chassis.

So Mr comment8 who would you suggest a premium car maker that wants a future in that sector does hook up with exectly?

16 October 2010

Saab want to be a premium brand so need a premium partner really. They had all the issues with having GM/Vectra parts/platfrom and remember the X type Jag and the Mondeo!!! BM's new FWD platform which will be partly shared with PSA as well gives them an excellent base and as said having a BMW platform and engine does give Saab a little Kudos. Saab do not have the money to design and build a new platform for every model but to choose a partner and a good one will aid Saab's longer term recovery and sales figures.

17 October 2010

If they get the deal with BMW at the right price it's a big step in the right direction for them. They have the engine deal already and this can only be an advantage for both parties if it comes off. I just can't see BMW gifting a potential competitior a ticket to the game.

I'm sure these deals are decided more often by those who are willing to enter a partnership rather than those who may look best suited on paper.

I'd fancy Honda as the natural partner for SAAB.

Assuming both parties fancied it :-)

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