Saab has announced that production of the 9-3 sedan will resume at their Tollhattan assembly plant in Sweden.
Saab back after two years of bankruptcy
The Swedish car manufacturer was founded in 1947 and was an independent automaker until 1989 when General Motors began the decade-long process of acquiring it. However in 2010, GM sold Saab Automobile AB to the Dutch automobile manufacturer Spyker Cars.
After struggling to avoid insolvency throughout 2011, the company petitioned for bankruptcy, which is when much of the company’s assets were acquired by National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS), which in turn is partially owned by the Chinese city of Qingdao.
In early 2011 SAAB closed up shop while being under the control of Spyker. On June 13, 2012, it was announced that a newly formed company called National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS) had bought Saab Automobile's bankrupt estate. In September 2013, SAAB started to roll off pre-production 9-3 models and now they have announced regular production series will commence before the end of the year.
The new SAAB 9-3
Details about the car are limited at the moment, but NEVS spokesman Mikael Oestlund said it will be very similar to the 2011MY 9-3 and will be offered with a turbocharged petrol engine.
A facelift and China-only electric version is also planned for 2014, and the 9-3 will be sold initially in Europe and China, and in other markets later on.
Oestlund said that initial production levels at their factory in western Sweden will be ‘modest’ and rise if demand grows.
“You can’t change or develop very much in a year. We acquired the assets in August last year. Our focus has been to get the co-operation up and running with 400 suppliers and ensure the facilities were working,” he continued.
"We are humble and say we’ll start the production volume with low figures and be able to increase over time according to the market’s demand.”