The first new Saab has rolled off the production line at the Swedish manufacturer’s Trollhattan plant, more than two years after the company declared bankruptcy.
The new car, a 9-3 Aero saloon, is the first in a range of new products promised by the brand’s new owners, Hong Kong-based National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS). Following next year will be a 9-3 estate, as well as convertible and emission-free electric models.
Firstly, however, NEVS will market its initial batch of 200 9-3 saloons in Sweden. Expected for delivery in the spring, it will start from 279,000 kronor (£26,000).
Saab closed its factory gates in April 2011, ending six decades of production, after it was initially bought out by the small Dutch supercar makers Spyker, who struggled to finance the ailing operation.
Despite a reduction from the once 3000-strong workforce to just 600, many in the area are happy to see the iconic red griffin badge adorning new cars once again.
Speaking to The Guardian, acting president Mattias Bergman said he felt “incredibly happy, proud and humble” that production had restarted.
Currently there is no word on sales expectations for the new range of cars, but NEVS has stated that Saab’s comeback will start on a small scale, with production adjusted based on order received. It will also hold off introducing its all-electric models, focusing on petrol cars until their EV products can fully meet customer demands.
Swedish customers will be able to order a new Saab online from December 10. There is currently no word on when they will make it to the UK, though you can search our classifieds for a used example here.
December 3, 2013