LOS ANGELES -- Saab expects 75 percent of 9-4X output to go to the United States. But even so, the number isn't large by industry standards.
The 9-4X is Saab's new crossover, developed with former owner General Motors Co.
The crossover's output will average 12,500 units annually when full production is reached next year, said Jan Ake Jonsson, CEO of Saab Automobile AB. Jonsson said it is a conservative production forecast. About 9,400 are for the United States, he said.
"It is not that we don't believe in the car. We are trying to be responsible in how we set our volume," Jonsson said during an interview last week at the Los Angeles auto show, where the vehicle debuted.
The 9-4X and the Cadillac SRX share engines, components and a front-wheel-drive vehicle platform. All-wheel drive is available.
What separates the two crossovers is styling and suspension tuning. The 9-4X will be assembled in the same GM factory in Ramos Arizpe, Mexico, as the SRX crossover.
U.S. sales of the 9-4X will begin in May, followed by shipments to Europe, Australia, Taiwan and the Middle East starting in August. Sales of the 9-4X in Europe are expected to be slowed because the crossover will not offer a diesel engine.
The base U.S. fwd 9-4X has a sticker of $34,205, including shipping. The Aero model has a sticker of $48,835. The base SRX stickers for $34,705 including shipping. Standard and optional equipment differ.
Said Mike Colleran, Saab Cars North America COO: "We need a crossover utility, and we need one that fits the Saab brand and what our customers expect from us.
Saab is targeting Audi Q5 and BMW X3 shoppers.
The 9-4X will expand Saab's model line to three vehicles, including the 9-3 and 9-5. This is the second new product launched by Saab since Spyker Cars NV purchased the Swedish company from GM in February. The redesigned 9-5 went on sale in summer.