Parveen’s certainly shaking things up at Saab Oz, one of the benefits of having a Saab guy in charge as opposed to some of the GM-career-builders they’ve had in the past.
I made first mention of a diesel possibility for Australia early in July. I’m pleased to report that it’s now confirmed with press releases coming out yesterday (hey, an advance copy to your faithful Saabblogger wouldn’t have hurt, would it?).
Diesel Saab confirmed for Australia
Saab is expanding its product offering in Australia with the addition of the highly anticipated diesel range of 9-3 TiD vehicles.
The common rail 1.9 litre turbo diesel engine joins the Saab Australia line-up in January.
Saab will initially offer diesel variants of 9-3 Sport Sedan and SportCombi, but is also considering the introduction of a diesel version of its market leading 9-3 Convertible.
The cars will come with stadard six speed autos or manuals and will be available from January 2007. Pricing is yet to be determined.
Not only are we getting the diesel, but Saab Oz are also bringing in a couple of Biopower test vehicles to stir up the ethanol debate here in Australia.
Big plans for Saab BioPower in Australia
Saab BioPower, the best selling environmentally friendly vehicle in Sweden, is on its way to Australia to promote the benefits of ethanol, a renewable alternative fuel…..
…..Saab Australia will be running a demonstration fleet of BioPower 9-5 vehicles in Australia to help media, industry and government understand the benefits of ethanol and to stimulate serious debate about alternative fuels in Australia.
Director Saab Australia and New Zealand, Parveen Batish, says with a focus on fuel prices and the need for renewable energy, the time is right to start planning a BioPower roll-out in this market.
“Ethanol fuel makes sense in a country like Australia. It is a renewable, sustainable fuel – unlike fossil fuel,” Mr Batish said.
“You don’t have to sacrifice performance, boot space or the environment to switch to an alternative to petrol.”
The reference to boot space is a good one. Australia’s answer to the rising price of fuel has been the promotion of LPG gas. The Australian Government recently announced a $1,000 rebate on the price of installing LPG on a new car, and a $1,500 rebate on converting an existing car. The installation of LPG requires a rather large tank, which is installed in the boot of the car.
I should stress at this point that these are test cars only. There’s no E85 available in Australia. We’ve been having a hard enough time getting any ethanol blend accepted here. Hopefully the arrival of these test vehicles will do a little something to stir the debate through.
Any chance Saab Oz could do the media runs for the Biopower cars here in Tassie?? Enquiries must be made!
The full Biopower in Oz press release appears after the jump.