Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

9-3 writes a different Saab story.(Final)

Byline: Ken Walston Of the Journal

* Swede shows promise in competitive sports sedan market

Saab is but a bit player in the U.S. marketplace. The General Motors-owned Swedish firm moved a mere 38,000 new cars here in 2002 out of a 17 million-plus total U.S. car and truck sales.

GM likes to make money. It wants Saab to make some. So Saab has a lot riding on the new 9-3 sports sedan. Thus far, sales are promising.

The new 9-3 deserves to succeed. But consider the competition the Saab is up against in its premium sports-sedan segment: Audi's gorgeous A4, BMW's sweet 3-series, Volvo's stylish S60. Then there's Infiniti's hot G35 and Lexus' neat IS 300. Not a dog in that pack.

And therein lies the problem. What would make you buy a Saab over one of the better-known marques?

Well, there's exclusivity, for one. Handsome styling, inside and out. …

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