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This Is Pathetic

At the New York Auto Show this past week, Saab unveiled the 9-7X, its first attempt at an SUV:

The early reaction has been ugly, to say the least. From AutoSite:
The 2005 Saab 9-7X may be badged as a Swedish import, but it's actually a good ol' Chevy TrailBlazer (or GMC Envoy, or Buick Rainier, take your pick) with a "Queer Eye" makeover...

Making a silk purse out of a sow's ear is never easy... Given the fact that Saab is a premium brand that has traditionally appealed to well-educated buyers interested in taking the path less traveled, aligning the 9-7X with a run-of-the-mill Chevy spells suicide to us...

While there has certainly been a precedence set for making money hand over fist by slapping luxury features, leather upholstery and a fancy badge on a truck, Saab buyers have traditionally been savvy and proudly quirky. The 2005 Saab 9-7X not only represents the antithesis of this once strong Swedish brand, but its association with plebian workaday vehicles will certainly force huge incentives right off the starting blocks.

As a former Saab owner, I have to say, slapping a Saab front end and cockpit on a TrailBlazer is nothing less than pathetic. As the AutoSite preview noted, Saab owners tend to be quirky (though the savvy appellation is questionable given the notable unreliability of their cars). They won't go for tarted-up Chevys. And does Saab actually think it can lure people away from their Acura MDXes and Lexus RX-330s with this?

As my former boss, the eminently quotable Jean-Louis Gassée once remarked:

At a risk of being called sexist, ageist and French, if you put multimedia, a leather skirt and lipstick on a grandmother and take her to a nightclub, she's still not going to get lucky.


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