March 15, 2004
Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. (FHI), a Japanese auto manufacturer known for Subaru, has begun rolling out the Saab 9-2X, a model intended for the North American market it jointly developed with Swedish automaker Saab Automobile AB (Saab), a wholly owned subsidiary of General Motors Corp. (NYSE: GM), at its Gunma Yajima Plant, and held a line-off ceremony for the first mass production at 4:00 p.m. on March 12.
The Saab 9-2X has been co-developed by FHI and Saab under the framework of GM alliance. Based upon FHI's AWD (all-wheel drive) platform with excellent driving dynamics, the new 5-door hatchback features Saab's styling and design.
It premiered in Los Angeles in December of last year, while being exhibited at the North American International Auto Show at Detroit in January this year, which significantly drew visitors' attention.
Saab will market the 9-2X positioned as an entry model of the product range, targeting primarily those in the young age bracket in North America, starting July this year.
"The Saab 9-2X is the fruits of collaboration between FHI and Saab, both of which focus on making cars with fun-to-drive. It makes a lot of sense to combine our strengths in creating a Saab that can be brought to market quickly," Saab Chairman and CEO Peter Augustsson said.
"It is such a great pleasure for us to have been able to launch the production of our jointly developed vehicle of GM alliance. For those who choose the Saab 9-2X, we will continue to work hard to keep delivering excellent quality cars," FHI President and CEO Kyoji Takenaka said.
FHI and GM have been strategic alliance partners since December 1999 and have collaborations underway in many fields such as engineering, purchasing, and product development, etc.
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