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by Tim Beissmann

The first production model of the Saab 9-4X SUV has rolled off the assembly line in Mexico ahead of its introduction into the Australian market either at the end of 2011 or early in 2012.

The first vehicle – chassis number 00001 – was an Aero model finished in Ice Pearl metallic paint with a Holden-built 221kW/400Nm 2.8-litre turbocharged V6 engine.

It will be driven by the media at a test event in the US before being put on display at the Saab museum in Sweden.

Saab Automobile President and CEO, Jan Åke Jonsson, was joined at the Ramos Arizpe plant in Mexico by Saab executive director vehicle lines, Anders Svensson, and 9-4X product manager, Mikael Jacobsson.

“This is a great day for Saab,” Mr Jonsson said. “The arrival of the 9-4X is another important step in the fulfilment of our business plan.

“This sporty and distinctive product will significantly broaden the appeal of our brand and give us access to an important new vehicle segment that is still growing, particularly in the United States.”

The 9-4X goes on sale in the US in May, followed by the UK in the fourth quarter and other world markets progressively from August.

The 9-4X will join a reinvigorated Saab line-up in Australia in around 12 months, which will include the new 9-5 sedan (second quarter 2011), 9-5 SportCombi (fourth quarter 2011) and new stock of the current model 9-3.




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