The official line may be that Saab Australia has 'realigned' its pricing, but make no mistake, the beleaguered Swedish brand has bitten the bullet and dropped its prices substantially for 2006.
In a move not unlike VW Oz undertook around 12 months ago, Saab Australia has cut up to $8000 of its model line-up's RRPs.
According to Director of Saab Australia & NZ, Ralph Stevenson, the move is to ensure Saab can offer "some of the most attractive and well specified luxury vehicles in the market."
"Our 2006 pricing is extremely competitive. Saab offers exceptional European value, with Swedish style, luxury and safety features as standard, and is set to attract a new generation of premium car buyers to the brand," Mr Stevenson said.
Saab's entry level 9-3 Linear Sport Sedan is the most significantly reduced model. Now offered with leatherette/woven textile seats and steel wheels as standard, Linear's recommended retail price reduces by $8000 from $47,900 to $39,900.
A Linear Lux model, with leather seats and alloy wheels will be available from $42,900.
Vector Sport Sedan has also received a makeover. Vector RRP has reduced by $4000 from $57,900 to $53,900 and at the same time receives a significant power upgrade via the 2.0-litre high output turbo engine which previously powered the 2005 9-3 Aero. Power is now 154kW, up from 129. Torque has been boosted from 265to 300Nm.
Saab's top-seller, the 9-3 Convertible gets a $2000 saving on Linear and Vector models. The four-seater now starts from $64,900 for the Linear variant, while the Vector (with 154kW engine) is priced from $71,900.
The recent addition of Saab's 184 kW 2.8-litre V6 turbocharged engine to the 9-3 Aero models, sees Aero Sport Sedan increase from $67,900 to $69,900. However, Saab has held the Aero Convertible' price at $89,900.
According to Saab, pricing for the 9-3 SportCombi and updated 9-5 will be announced at the models' launches in early 2006.
Note: all prices quoted are for manual models.