- Two Saab 9-3 test cars have rolled off the line in Trollhattan, Sweden ahead of a production launch later this year, said National Electric Vehicle Sweden.
- "We now know that the plant is ready for production," said Mattias Bergman, acting president for NEVS, Saab's new owner.
- NEVS says that development work for its first electric vehicle is "in progress" as well, with a launch planned for early 2014.
TROLLHATTAN, Sweden — Two Saab 9-3 test cars have rolled off the line here ahead of a production launch later this year, said National Electric Vehicle Sweden.
"We have assembled our first car to verify all the production processes here in Trollhattan," said Mattias Bergman, acting president of NEVS said in a statement posted on the company's Web site on Wednesday. "Prior to our decision to start production of Saab cars, we need to finalize a few remaining dialogues to build partnerships with suppliers. We now know that the plant is ready for production."
This latest Saab 9-3 will be powered by a gasoline turbocharged engine. NEVS says the 9-3 will be sold in Europe and China initially. U.S. sales could follow at a later date.
"The 9-3 platform will be replaced by a new platform where the Phoenix architecture is one of the assets which will be put to use," the company said.
The Phoenix architecture, which originally contained parts sourced from GM, will be modified.
NEVS says that development work for its first electric vehicle is "in progress" as well, with a launch planned for early 2014. The initial EV model is based on Saab 9-3 technologies, enhanced and modified for electric drive, the company said.
The company has not released any official photos of the kickoff of production. It also has not issued any official photos of the new Saab logo, which does not feature the iconic griffin head. NEVS did not acquire the rights to use the badge when it bought Saab out of bankruptcy in August 2012.
The new badge will be a simple design.
"The visual identity features the company name National Electric Vehicle Sweden AB in black, and the Saab brand in dark grey or silver," said NEVS. "For certain product applications, including bonnet and wheel hub covers, the brand will be applied in silver against a white, circular background."
Edmunds says: The restart of Saab 9-3 production is a significant step forward in the rebirth of the brand.