Saab is considering ditching the ‘Saab 9-3’ model name for its next-generation compact car, with company executives suggesting the new name could come from the history books.

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Speaking with Automotive News, Saab Cars North America President, Tim Colbeck, admitted the 9-3 name was not yet locked in, and said a decision was still to be made either way.

“There's a chance we might move away from [the 9-3 name],” Mr Colbeck said.

Due at the beginning of 2013 – assuming Saab can get itself back on track financially – Mr Colbeck said the design of the all-new compact Saab would take cues from the past but incorporate an “edgy” character.

He hinted the new name could also draw inspiration from the past, without going into detail.

Also on the drawing board at Saab HQ in Sweden is a modern take on the Saab 92, which was produced between 1949 and 1956. Mr Colbeck said Saab CEO, Victor Mueller, and executive design director, Jason Castriota, were currently reviewing a handful of potential designs for the new model.

As we reported last month, Saab’s Chinese owners plan to expand the brand’s line-up to include 9-1, 9-6 and 9-7 model lines in the future.

Saab expects to recommence production at its Trollhattan assembly plant on August 29, after paying its white-collar workers last week and anticipating new supply stock later this month.

Looking back through Saab’s history, there are a few names that may have potential for the new model.

Sonett, Monte Carlo, Monster, Quantum, Catherina and Toad have all appeared on Saab production or concept vehicles at one stage or another.

Let us know your favourite in the comments section below.

Read more about the Saab saga.