Thursday, July 25, 2024

Opel stopped the rare Saab at the last second

It would hardly have saved Saab from bankruptcy – mostly because it happened years ago – but Opel prevented the Swedes from building a special edition of the 9000 model.

Saab was not allowed to steal customers. At least not from Audi and BMW. Opel believed that they themselves should. Therefore, the Germans prevented the Swedes from building a special version of the 9000 model.

The model, which should have had the nickname Ecosport, was presented at the now closed Geneva Motor Show in 1992.

That's what Saab Cars Magazine writes.

However, Saab was never allowed to do anything other than show off a prototype. According to Opel, Saab was not allowed to sell a version of the 9000 with four-wheel drive and 280 horsepower.

READ ALSO: Ferrari crushed 400,000 fakes last year

In fact, the German brand, which at the time was related to Saab via General Motors, prevented the Swedes from ever starting production. Even if Saab didn't actually go after Opel's customers at all.

By contrast, in the early 90s, the Swedes would fight for customers against brands such as Audi and BMW.

Opel wanted to be first with the technology that Saab had. So at the last second the Germans stopped all development work. In fact, the assembly line had already been geared for the top-spec 9000.

– The posters were printed. Everything was ready. Instead, the car went into the container when the four-wheel drive was scrapped, writes the media.

In a hurry, Saab had to produce a front-wheel drive model in order not to waste all the development work on the floor. However, that model received almost no attention. Neither internally at the factory nor from the customers. It all ended up being a very expensive flop.

The front-wheel drive car had to do without a large number of technical innovations, which Opel insisted on being first with. Among other things, a way to adjust ground clearance, UV headlights and thermal technology in the engine compartment.

Today, one cannot exactly claim that Saab has taken revenge on Opel. Because Saab no longer exists. But Opel is – at least in Denmark – just a shadow of itself.

With 2,050 cars sold during the first half of the year, brands such as Kia, Chinese Volvo and French Renault sell much better. Last year, Tesla smashed Opel's 37-year-old Danish record completely. Read more about it here .

Read more exciting news from and about the world of cars right here

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