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by David Zalstein

New Saab owner National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS) has reportedly re-opened the former Swedish brand’s Trollhattan factory that shut its gates in April 2011 prior to the company filing for bankruptcy later that year.

According to a report by Swedish publication Aftonbladet, NEVS – a consortium comprising a Chinese renewable-energy powerplant builder and a Japanese investment firm – has 180 employees at the plant working on test manufacturing.

With the company’s relaunched Saab 9-3-based vehicle long planned to go on sale by 2014, the report says production of the model is to commence next month.

Saab 9-3

Despite originally being planned as an all-electric model, pressure to have the car reach market appears to have pushed the new car maker to continue with combustion powerplants. EV variants are still expected to follow.

Likely to be offered in both sedan and convertible guises, the relaunched 9-3 is believed to be almost identical to the previous model with a facelift in the pipeline.

After signing a deal with China’s City of Qingdao in January, NEVS announced its intention to make the city its Chinese operations hub, with part of the plan being to shift production to a new manufacturing facility in the city once production at Trollhattan reaches capacity.

NEVS acquired the main assets of the Saab Automobile bankruptcy estates on August 31, 2012.




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