Home / Auto News / News article: Saab Resumes Production at Trollhattan Plant - AutoGuide.com News
 |  Sep 19 2013, 7:31 AM

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Saab‘s production has resumed at the Swedish automaker’s Trollhattan plant as a prototype 9-3 sedan has rolled off the assembly line.

After filing bankruptcy, Saab found a new owner in National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS) and the brand is now officially back in business. As for the prototype 9-3 that was built, while Saab hasn’t released any photos it looks just like the 9-3 of old, but is sporting some new technology under the hood. Unfortunately, NEVS and Saab didn’t elaborate on what’s there, but did promise that the new, upgraded facelift will be applied to future 9-3 production models.

SEE ALSO: Saab Poised to Resume Production, US Sales Possible

Essentially, the automaker is playing it safe to ensure that its new components are sound and function properly in testing before applying it to mass produced vehicles. It also wanted to calibrate its production line so that when production capacity is reached, it’s smooth sailing.

Once thought to be a casualty of the “Great Recession”, Saab is back. For now.

[Source: Saabs United]

Discuss this story at SaabCentral.com

  • Blaise

    Please sell in the US, I will buy!

  • raymond hart

    Good cars nice to see them back in production

  • Rod Elliott

    My suspicion has always been that it was a deliberate GM policy to kill off the SAAB brand rather than economic conditions. There was ample opportunity for SAAB to be rescued. Rathermore likely that lack of investment into new models coupled with build costs for cars that were too high quality for GM culture were contributory factors and it is my view that SAAB was not a marque the GM wanted around when it was set to launch a whole raft of Chevy’s on to unsuspecting EU buyers. In other words, hard nosed accountants that know the price of everything but the value of nothing.

  • FiatSaab

    I’ll believe it when I see it. I just hope it is as good as the Saabs of old (900, 9000, etc.)

  • bobble293

    Nice to see the marque has hope. They need to get on top of the niggles, though. My 9-5 is superb from a performance and handling point of view, but the electrical gremlins…and the expense of a dual mass clutch… I’d have another, though!

  • bill_jackson

    overly simplistic. read the report from the University of Cambridge and University of Edinborough business schools titled “who killed Saab” for the gory details.

    Bottom line is that Saab was stuck in between the brands that can charge high margins for their vehicles (BMW, MBZ and Audi0 and the brands that have to make a ton of cars to survive (Chevrolet, ford, etc) and without a ton of cars sold, the cost of development overwhelms you with a mid-range vehicle.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love my Saabs, but it’s not accountants who weren’t buying Saab automobiles.

  • whturner

    All the financial and marketing analysis misses one important point – the dealerships in the US with rare exception, were just dreadful. I know several people who would buy only USED Saabs – even a new one under warranty could not entice many of us to put up with with the dealership service.
    I have owned a Saabs since 1975, and except for a short time before they changed hands, there was no Official Saab dealer in the Pittsburgh area that I could trust with my Saab
    Essentially Saab USA gave away, at the grass roots level, the market!

  • Rod. Elliott

    I accept that premise that SAAB was stuck between what is claimed as being superlative (I am not convinced about the invincibility of German marques!) and those with a lesser personal image value, but that was not a historical position, it was one created by (a) a historical low sales volume (b) under investment because SAAB was not selling enough cars and (c) continued under investment under GM influence. Indeed, one can but wonder why GM was interested in acquiring SAAB in the first place, unless GM perceive the SAAB brand was going to add prestige to the GM stable. If that was so, why did not GM set about funding the marque adequately so that better cars could be developed and then strategically marketed to capitalise on its non-Tutonic origins. For years, I had coveted the notion of owning a SAAB based on its original reputation but they were always just out of reach finanically. When I eventually could justify spending on a 1999 2.3 LPT 9-5 auto estate I found it to be magnificent with both exceptional comfort and more than adequate performance. But oh! those disgusting Opel (GM) components cloned straight from the European Vectra range which were, simply, rubbish and inevitably gave SAAB a thumbs down on reliability.
    Not to be deterred, I then changed to a 2009 9-5 1.9 ‘Edition’ diesel auto estate, not quite as high quality trim-wise, but still avery nice car and, as I understand the last of type to be built on to a proper SAAB platform.
    As for my comment about accountants, I was not intending that to refer to buyers but to the GM goons who conspired to wreak havoc on SAAB. Sadly, though, SAAB is not exceptional in that respect. Lawyers and accountants have conspired to wreck many a buisness whilst comfortably filling their own pockets.
    Whatever the recent past may have been for SAAB, though, let us all hope for the success of a ‘Phoenix’, if only for the hapless workers in Sweden

  • bill_jackson

    Did you read the report?

    GM acquired Saab around the same time Ford acquired Volvo and Jaguar. Both were looking for new brands that could possibly help them in ever fracturing markets. The thought was that platforming, which VW and Audi very well, coulid bring down the development costs and justify the continued work on the brand. Unfortunately the cultures didn’t click as well as VW/Audi and the platform development never really took hold between the people at GM that wanted to push more toward a platform and the folks at Saab who wanted to keep the unique brand identity. (both were right! And this is VERY hard to do)

    But as is disclosed, Saab was on a death march before the first GM investment and was only profitable one year during the GM period. So GM coming along prolonged the death, but it certainly did not cause it.

  • Rick W.

    It’s ludicrous that at least initially GM bought Saab and intentionally tried to kill it. GM simply mismanaged it into the ground and the market they thought they were buying when acquiring the marque were their worst enemy. They hate the word quirky, but if any car has a quirky clientele it is definitely Saab, and because they buy Saab because they wouldn’t get caught dead in something mundane, it did not matter to them what GM did. As long as it was a GM, the purists complained. Then the handling of the company was another matter. To GM, platform sharing was, here is an Opel or Vauxhall model, put a Saab badge on it. Saab had to rebel and change as many components as they could just so they could in good faith call it a Saab, then GM never got their cost savings and shortchanged development on the next model. A downward spiral ensued.
    In the end, GM could have found a partner to save or resurrect the company but instead did deliberately kill the company. They were too wishy washy to deal with during the bankruptcy proceeding and once the US government took their boot off of GM’s neck they quickly backpeddled on any divestment activities. Look what they did with Opel.

    In the end I don’t think BMW and Mercedes were really the competitors that killed Saab. More likely it was Acura, Lexus and the other “lesser” marques, competing below the premium brands but all beating Saab in either styling, performance or value.

    To me, the irony of it all was that success was within GM’s grasp. The recent resurrection of Buick, especially in the Chinese markets, was solely due to letting them develop their own unique models. The freshness of the designs is everything that Saab (and Pontiac) wasn’t under the old GM.

  • jiml64

    I hope Saab can make a go of it on their own this round. For my opinion, when GM took over, quality went to crap. My company used to have Saabs for fleet sales, but quickly stopped because of so many repair issues. My own 9-3 had a string of electrical problems and finally a transmission problem that led me to sell it around 90k miles. Never had to get rid of another car with that few miles. Best was a Jeep Comanche that lasted to 235k miles.

  • mart2008

    If Saab want to survive, they need to match other marks in terms of the amount of models that they offer. Just having 2, the 9-3 and 9-5, is their biggest problem, not their reliability. They need to offer a whole range of up-to-date cars, from a city car up to a 4×4, as other marks do in todays market.

  • squatswitch

    I would like to see SAAB resurface and concentrate on keeping the range small so that they can concentrate on the quality. Get that right and then start to expand slowly GM did a huge amount of damage to this Marque.
    I’ve been involved with SAABs for 35 years and they have been the most comfortable and satisfying (when they worked) cars I have driven.
    Best of luck SAAB.

  • kilo

    I said I wudnt change my Saab until I see a new one.
    Maybe I see it sooner than I thought.

  • vorlon7

    I have a Saab 95..but its av4 from 72 and the tailgate still stays up when you open it, but nice to see them back GM had no idea what to with Saab

  • Vincent Cammarato

    Make a 9-5 in a diesel model for the US and you will have a winner !!

  • Rick S.

    I love my 9-5…I hope that this time they make it work.