Saab will resume production of the 9-3 on Monday at its Trollhattan, Sweden facility.
The company’s long road to temporary ruin came to a head almost exactly two years ago when it was forced to file for bankruptcy. At the time, it was owned by Dutch company Spyker N.V. but has since been scooped up by National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS). The company confirmed to Automotive News that production well resume next week on Monday at a “humble” pace.
An agreement between NEVS and parts suppliers allowed production to resume and is likely behind the modest volume. While Saab hasn’t said as much, the slow start probably has to do with reluctance by suppliers to tool up for a product with such an uncertain future.
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The upcoming 9-3s will use a turbocharged gasoline engine, although it isn’t clear if it will be the same GM-sourced mill as before. The previous generation of 9-3 was based on General Motors’ front-wheel drive Epsilon platform shared with the Chevrolet Malibu. Before the brand went under, plans were in place for a third generation intended to arrive in 2012 as a 2013 model.
The 9-3 will closely resemble the last production version, although NEVS has previously expressed plans to built the 9-3 on Saab’s Phoenix platform. NEVS, which is owned by Hong Kong-based National Modern Energy Holdings, will also built an electric version of the 9-3 meant initially for the Chinese market. Production of that version is supposed to begin in 2014.
U.S. sales are possible, but the company will initially market its products in Europe and China.
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[Source: Automotive News]
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