Saab Cabriolets come from the north. From Finland, not from Sweden. The 900 was built there, the successors up to the 9-3 I. The change to the south came with the 9-3 II. From 2003 the open Saab became a convertible from Austria. A decision that is difficult to understand. Because while the production was relocated to the Alpine Republic, the main plant in Sweden fought for every single job.
The decision in favor of Magna production was made by Peter Augustsson. A manager who came from competitor Volvo and during his tenure the course was set in a questionable direction. This included awarding the production of the new convertible to Magna Steyr. Instead of better utilizing the plant in Trollhättan, the highest-yielding Saab model was still manufactured on a contract basis. In Sweden meanwhile, jobs were cut on a large scale and the company was ordered to implement a strict cost reduction program.
Graz instead of Uusikaupunki
The video shows the production in the Graz Magna plant. The film was produced for the Saab partners' sales rooms; the speaker in the background uses empty phrases that the marketing departments came up with in the early 2000s. Premium is the key word, from bed rugs to toothbrushes, every product wanted to be just that. Saab too, of course, and today this term is so used up that you don't want to hear it anymore.
One problem with this: The Saab 9-3 Cabriolet was not premium. At least not at the beginning of its production, which was hardly due to Magna Steyr. The materials were not of the usual Saab quality. Some components of the interior, such as the dashboard surround, were simply out of the question in terms of appearance and feel. The only remedy was a visit to the Saab dealer, who brought the interior to the desired standard for several notes with parts from Hirsch Performance.
That being said, the quality improved over the course of production and facelift, and the 9-3 Cabriolet had never been a bad car anyway. Driving it is a lot of fun, no matter which engine variant you choose. At the beginning of his career it was even available with 3 gear versions. Manual with either 5 or 6 gears or an automatic transmission. The manual 6-speed transmission was delivered by Opel, the variant with the 5-speed came from Saab. No question which one was better to switch.
5 stars for the Saab 9-3 Cabriolet
Sweden was extremely proud of the 5 stars that the convertible received in the NCAP crash test. All Saab vehicles thus had the highest safety standard, a major selling point. The production of the new Saab 9-3 Cabriolet at Magna Steyr ran until GM left the company and Spyker took over the company.
Victor Muller then brought the production home to Sweden, even if not many vehicles were built under his direction. At Magna you won't be too sad about that. The bottom line is that production for Saab has never been big. It was much more about the image gain. Magna wanted to build convertibles for a traditional European brand.