For a company on the verge of extinction just 12 months ago, Saab was in remarkably robust form at Geneva, aside from the European debut of the 9-4X SUV and the world debut of the 9-5 ‘sportcombi’, the Swedes also unveiled the Phoenix concept.

Bosses describe the 2010-2012 period as 're-building the company' which means not just embarking on the all-new, scalable, Phoenix platform but re-establishing stand-alone sales networks around the globe.

Victor Müller is predicting 80,000 sales in 2011, with around 35,000 coming from the 9-5 and 10,000 from the 9-4X.

So while it struggles to build its business with today's line-up, work on the all-new Phoenix platform and new 9-3 continues at a ripping pace behind the scenes.

I had a covert chat with a senior engineer who explained that virtually the entire structure and chassis of the Phoenix is new and a very hefty investment for Saab.

But it will serve under a wide range of new cars, not just the 9-3 and next 9-5 and 9-4 but also for as yet undefined models slightly smaller than the 9-3 and bigger than the 9-5.

However, it's the android mobile-phone based infotaimnent systems and giant touch screen planned for the interior of the new 9-3 that will catch the public's imagination.

Talk to Saab bosses and it's clear that they are delighted to be free after two decades of being a small cog in a giant corporate machine, but also well aware of just how finely balanced their chances of survival are.