Saab's eagerly-awaited 9-3 SportWagon is breaking sales records for the premium Swedish brand even before entering dealer showrooms.
First customer deliveries began in Europe on September 5 and Saab dealers around the world have already placed advance orders for more than 8,500 cars, a record for the launch phase of a new Saab model.
To meet such unprecedented demand, overtime working is being introduced at the Saab factory in Trollhättan, Sweden, and this year's production target for the model has been raised by more than 30 per cent, to 20,000 cars.
"We are delighted to have a bulging order book for this new product and our main challenge right now is to meet the high level of customer demand at our dealerships," says Jan-Åke Jonsson, Saab Automobile's managing director. "Customers have so far placed orders purely on the basis of what they have seen and read about the car, so we can look forward to building on this strong momentum as the first display and demonstrator models become available."
Sporty, five-door styling and a strong, muscular 'hewn from solid' stance give the 9-3 SportWagon a distinctive character alongside its successful 9-3 Sport Saloon and Convertible peers. The comprehensive line-up includes five turbocharged engines and is led by the 250 bhp/184 kW, 2.8V6 Aero model. The most popular engine choice so far is the 150 bhp/110kW 1.9TiD option, available in all Linear and Vector specifications, which currently accounts for more than 50 per cent of orders.
The arrival of the 9-3 SportWagon takes Saab into the premium, mid-size estate class for the first time and is set to give the brand a strong presence in this growing market segment. Customer deliveries begin first in Sweden and the United Kingdom, to be quickly followed by the rest of Europe, with deliveries on the North American market expected to commence in the late autumn.Published 17 September 2005