SAAB has emerged from bankruptcy and has signed a licensing agreement with National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS). This means that SAAB will restart production at its Trollhattan factory in Sweden the first week of December by building the SAAB 9-3, which is basically the same 9-3 that was built in 2011. SAAB says they will build the new 9-3 in small numbers for the Chinese and Swedish market.
No mention of North America yet.
NEVS had to reach an agreement with over 400 part suppliers and replace the 20-percent of General Motors components to get the ball rolling. Last year, they did a test run building one SAAB 9-3 to calibrate the assembly line (I bet that one-off will be worth some money one day). The point of all this seems to be: start production, build SAAB 9-3s to regain market footing, then begin building electric vehicles based on the SAAB 9-3’s platform.
Here’s the public information about NEVS via Wikipedia: “National Electric Vehicle Sweden AB, abbreviated as NEVS, is a Swedish holding company, which has acquired the assets of Saab Automobile AB, Saab Automobile Powertrain AB, and Saab Automobile Tools AB from a bankruptcy estate. NEVS is majority owned by British Virgin Islands-registered, Hong Kong-based, National Modern Energy Holdings, an energy company with operations in China, Macau, and Hong Kong.”
If things go according to plan, SAAB/NEVS will launch an all electric vehicle sometime next year. This should boost the number of workers at the Trollhattan factory in Sweden from 600, its current number. When the plant shut down, there were approximately 3,500 workers at the plant.
What type of vehicle is SAAB about to assemble? It sounds like the SAAB 9-3 Turbo Sedan at first. I suspect the models may increase based on demand. I bet there will be demand in China. Keep in mind: China’s driving population, if they embrace the new SAAB, could turn NEVS and SAAB into a full line automaker. Granted, it will be an electric automaker – but that’s the future for you.
What about the Griffin logo? NEVS wasn’t given the right to use it, so they will simply logo the cars as “SAAB.”
Speaking of electric cars, check out this all electric 2015 Volkswagen E-Golf’s North American debut!