Zombie Automaker Saab Could be Back From the Dead Again

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Zombie Automaker Saab Could be Back From the Dead Again

Like a zombie, Swedish automaker Saab just keeps coming back from the dead.

National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS), which owns Saab, took another step towards becoming a player in the electric car segment by obtaining approval for a factory in China that could manufacture up to 200,000 vehicles a year.

The company’s electric vehicle production license was approved by the Chinese National Development Reform Commission (NDRC) and allows NEVS to officially begin production of its vehicles, reports Green Car Congress. Companies must receive approval from the NDRC before manufacturing electric cars in China.

NEVS, which is a joint venture company that has investors from within and outside of China, is the first of its kind to get its investment approved by the NDRC. As of right now, the NDRC is requiring companies to get approval before going ahead and investing in the automotive industry within China. The government, though, is working on a plan to make it easier for foreign automakers to invest in the country.

The plant in Tianjin, China, is still under construction, states NEVS, but should be operational by the end of the year. When the facility is up and running, it will have the ability to manufacture up to 200,000 electric passenger vehicles a year.

SEE ALSO: Saab Owner NEVS Announces New Lineup

The electric vehicle segment is booming in China. NEVS already has an order that will see the company manufacturing vehicles for the first three years after the plant in Tianjin opens. Panda New Energy, an energy vehicle leasing company in the country, placed an order of 150,000 of NEVS’ 9-3 electric sedans in 2015. According to the company, the deal could be worth as much as $12-billion.

Ever since acquiring Saab’s assets in 2012, NEVS has turned Saab’s old vehicles into electric ones that would first be used to serve China’s expanding market and then globally in the future. A large manufacturing plant solidifies the automaker as a serious competitor.

A version of this story originally appeared on HybridCars

Discuss this story on our Saab Forum

  • Joe Farmer

    I believe NEVS doesn’t have the rights to use the SAAB name….

  • or the Griffin; so it’s like…what does this have to do with SAAB?

  • BlackH20River

    Who cares what name they use, how about just being able to get a cupholder or a headlight if it breaks. Worse yet, how many years do I have to wait on a airbag exchange GM? Parts for Saabs is drying up, already dumped one on a dealer a couple years ago, probably going to dump my 2009 with only 40K miles soon, hard to even get a rear window washer nozzle these days. Thought a company had to provide parts for a few years after they went out of business. GM is hiding behind Saab on this one, hard to get any parts and have to waste a good car just because there isn’t a part. Go ahead and build them, I don’t care want name they put on them, Saab and GM ruined their own name. Had 5 of them over 30 years, but never such a pain in the rear as the current one and getting a simple part.

  • Jim Coda

    Absolutely LOVE my 2002 9.3 Convertible. Would love to see SAAB come back.. but not interested in the electric cars.

  • Jeff Z

    They have this twisted idea that planned obsolescence will force you into a new model. Volvo tried this several years back. They figured if you couldn’t get a sunroof seal for your $5k 20 yr old car, you’d HAVE to buy a new $60k model.

    Nooo…..it just forced me to buy an older BMW. Idiots.

  • dickerin

    I currently have two 2010 9-3s and have never had any difficulty getting any parts. Mine (92K miles) just had a significant rebuild in August after my daughter crashed it.

    Not only that, I just saw my first 2010 9-3, that was totaled in a flood in 2013, being driven around town. The only thing that I saw missing was the tow hook cover from the front bumper (they are listed on eBay).

    The rear washer nozzle has got to be available.

  • APC900

    As long as they keep Saab’s innovative ‘spirit’, I don’t care where they made.
    I love the cars.
    Haven’t driven anything else since 1991… and have not had any issues with any of my three Saabs.

  • BlackH20River

    Did you get new airbags? You need them. Body work is not a problem either, since it doesn’t involve the smaller outsourced parts that Saab used. After 2006 Saab outsourced as much as they could, and built less and less of their own parts in Sweeden. Headlights are from Poland, try getting those from your Dealer for under about $500.
    One of the larger Saab Dealers in their day, Suntrup Volvo and Saab in St. Louis at 636.227.8303, ask them if they can get the rear washer nozzle? You can ask for Joe, I know him well, been bringing Saabs in there since my first 84 SPG. Ask them if they have Airbags to replace the faulty ones (shards of metal reported, going to be a hard to sell car with an open recall).
    I’m not posting this stuff for fun, it’s just the facts.

  • naftoirtap

    Saab parts are readily available on Ebay and on specialized Saab sites. As for the airbags they are working on replacing them. Obviously with a recall on a brand that is no longer in production that would take a little time. Seeing as the last Saab was made 6 years ago and didn’t sell well, you can expect parts to diminish yes. As for Nevs…if they are not using the Saab name, and not building them in Sweden, I don’t really see the connection? Saab is dead, and its GM’s fault.

  • naftoirtap

    Seeing as they don’t make Saabs anymore I don’t really see how they want you to buy a new model?

  • naftoirtap

    There is no SAAB anymore. GM ruined them.

  • dickerin

    But, there are SAABs, which makes some of us happy.

  • BlackH20River

    A recall on a brand that is no longer in production should not take anymore time, the bags are not specific to one vehicle, numerous vehicles use the same bag that are still in production. Yes, parts are diminished, that was my first post in the thread! I belong to several Saab clubs and sites and have access to eBay, sorry parts are not that available. GM ended Saab, but they were dying before GM purchased them (hence why they sold out). Saab never could define their market and either people loved them (like me) or hated them (more the majority). Four Cylinder Turbo’s were laughed at, but now seems to be the norm in the industry. Enjoyed my 5 Saabs, but getting parts for the 2009 is a problem. For instance, a cupholder replacement now in the dash of a 2009 cost nearly $500 to replace. Parts are there, they are in small supply and the cost are ridiculous. If an American car company goes out of business, parts need to be available for 10 years. GM got around this with Saab, your not finding parts available through Saab now and surely won’t find any (unless in the junk yard) in 2020. Look at the poor guys that bought the new 2010 9-5’s, mostly are sitting collecting rust with no miles on them. Won’t find parts on eBay or a dealer for these.

  • Kimberly Lazarski

    No, there will not be any new Saabs made. SAAB AB took away the rights to the SAAB trademark because of all the shenanigans that went on.

  • lansen

    Interesting. My son and his family recently returned from a trip to New Zealand. Had a bad rental car experience – it was a Japanese car. Not a Japanese brand, but a car that came from Japan. All labels were in Japanese, and the radio didn’t work because it only received Japanese radio frequencies. Apparently registration costs for cars in Japan go UP as the car gets older. Forces people to buy new ones (Japanese only needless to say), and the old ones are dumped in other countries where people drive on the left. Now that’s government mandated planned obsolescence!

  • Michael Cavo

    I have a Hazelnut SAAB 9-3, 2 Liter that I have $6000.00 invested in! I have only driven it a thousand (1000 miles) and I am looking to get back just 1/2 my investment. I have many brand name new top of the line parts installed.It needs extremely minor works,can be done in a couple hours at best! These parts are quite easy to find OEM as well! I always buy the best I can afford. But I now have to sell it because I have a Honda CRV I bought for the AWD due to the New England winters. This car FLIES and the gas mileage is exceptional!The turbo is flawless as well as NO leaks at all! If I had the time and a plce to store it I would keep it,never sell it. But I have to part with it sadly! I am asking 3000.00 and this is am extremely fair price given what I have into the car… Contact me and we can talk. I am in Connecticut!