Saab Cars live again in two guises. Firstly, a reborn 9-3 that stopped production a few years ago but will re-enter into production only as a top spec Aero model featuring a petrol-turbo engine, the likes of which made Saab famous in the first place. Secondly, and more interestingly to AutoVolt readers, are plans to build an all electric version of the 9-3 which will initially have sales targeted toward China where the EV market is being forcibly encouraged by government and ‘green’ legislation.
With the likes of the Nissan LEAF being neighbouring Norway’s number one best selling car at the moment, electric cars and cold climes are an apparently appealing combination, in part no doubt due to their efficient electric pre-heating abilities. Saab then is not as mad as they may appear to be in concentrating a rejuvenation on both a high performance turbo petrol car as well as an all electric drive offering.
National Electric Vehicle Sweden AB (Nevs) has started reproducing the Saab 9-3 Aero saloon with a petrol engine. Sales will initially be focused in China with a small number of vehicles being sold directly from Nevs to Swedish customers via the Nevs’ website starting on 10th December 2013.
The car new production will be a high-spec Saab 9-3 Aero saloon with a 220 hp 2.0-liter turbo; the type of engine Saab is famous for.
Kai Johan Jiang, Nevs founder and main owner said:
“I am very proud of the dedication and the focus that Nevs management and employees have demonstrated over the year that has passed since we became owners of the plant in Trollhättan, and who have made this possible. Swedish expertise along with Japanese technology around batteries and new lightweight materials and our Chinese group’s focus on green technology is our strength for the future.”
Nevs’ President Mattias Bergman said:
“It is truly a complex mission to start a car production process which has been still for two and a half years. It is very pleasing that we have embarked on a journey where we want to and will make a difference with our partners and customers. Our electric car will be launched next year, and already today we can offer Saab cars with continued high, proven performance and quality.”
Nevs’ customers will be offered a first class and engaging customer experience. They will also be offered the opportunity to collect their new car from Trollhättan. While doing so, they will be invited to take a factory tour and the Saab Car Museum where they can get a flavor of the brand heritage and both past & present vehicles.
Service and parts distribution will be given in partnership with Orio AB (formerly known as Saab Automobile Parts AB) to give peace of mind for the future.
In less than a year, the purchasing organization has built partnerships with suppliers to the Saab 9-3. Nevs now has partnerships with around 400 suppliers needed for the saloon model. All in all the Nevs’ start of production engaged around 2,400 companies globally through the suppliers.
Nevs’ Purchasing Director Per Svantesson said:
“It’s been an intense year committed to ensuring Nevs’ start of production. I see our established partnerships as a trustful beginning of the long term and strategic relationships we want to build together with our subcontractors.”
To ensure high quality and the supply chain functions, the production rate will be very modest with only ten cars a week rolling off the production line. Gradually the pace will be increased to meet anticipated demand.
The electric car based on the Saab 9-3 will be launched in spring 2014, with China as the primary market. Nevs’ partner and part owner Qingdao has initially placed an order for a pilot fleet of 200 electric cars with delivery starting in spring 2014.
Sales in Sweden, via Nevs’ website, will start on Tuesday, December 10. The price is 279 000 SEK with manual transmission and 289 000 with automatic transmission. Additional specifications purchase and delivery conditions are presented when the sale starts.
Over time Nevs will develop their customer base to expand into more markets where we see potential for growth and profitability.
Nevs’ vision is to shape mobility for a more sustainable future. Our aim is to be a front runner in the automotive industry, with focus on electric vehicles, where China is our initial main market. The pace of change towards cars powered by fossil free fuels will increase and China currently has the most ambitious efforts for electrification of the vehicle fleet.
Source; Saab Cars / Nevs