Saab's 1st birthday and future cars

* Saab celebrates separation from GM * Workers to have a party * The focus is on future models...

Saab's 1st birthday and future cars

Nearly 4000 Saab employees will down tools on Wednesday to celebrate the company's first birthday.

Although the aircraft manufacturer first built cars in 1947, the company wants to celebrate its independence from General Motors (GM). February 23, 2010 is the date that GM sold Saab to Dutch supercar manufacturer Spyker.

New future new cars
While the separation from GM has inevitably involved some trauma, Saab has remained upbeat about the future and is looking forward to introducing a fresh range of distinctive models.

9-5 Sport Wagon September, 2011
The BMW 5 Series-rivalling estate makes its first appearance at the Geneva motor show in March.

It's likely to cost from around 28,000 and will be available to order from this spring with the first deliveries of the car in September.

9-4X late 2011
A swansong product from the marriage with GM, the 9-4X arrives in the UK late this year.

It's built at GM's factory in Mexico, and is based on the Cadillac SRX. It will be available with V6 petrol engines only.

All-new 9-3 - 2012
A fantastic opportunity for Saab to use its independence to produce a high-quality alternative to the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class.

9-2 2013?
Saab has signed an agreement with BMW for the supply of engines, and the partnership could extend to using a BMW platform to provide Saab with a rival for the likes of the Audi A3.

Buyers are downsizing, so this type of car looks like a desperately needed addition to the Saab family.