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The first Saab-badged vehicle built under the control of new owner National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS) has rolled of the production line at the former Swedish brand’s Trollhattan assembly plant.

The first pre-production car to be built under NEVS ownership, the silver Saab 9-3 sedan is the first Saab model to leave the plant since Trollhattan shut its gates in April 2011 ahead of Saab filing for bankruptcy eight months later.

Looking near identical to the Saab 9-3 that ceased production in 2011, the model built by the Chinese-Japanese consortium does differ with the car missing the company’s griffin head logo – the result of a 2012 agreement with truck maker Scania and defence and aerospace group Saab who continue to use the original logo.

Saab resumes production - 1

Intended to assist in calibrating production line systems and as a test bed for new components, the pre-production 9-3 does not feature a new facelifted exterior planned for the final production model due to go on sale by 2014.

Likely to be joined by a convertible variant, the relaunched Saab 9-3 was originally slated to be an all-electric model, though, NEVS is yet to announce powertrain details.

A second pre-production 9-3 was also present at Trollhattan, further down the assembly line, both branded with new YTN chassis-number designations, a change from the previous model’s YS3 identifier.

Click on the Photos tab for more images courtesy of saabsunited.com.

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  • Phil

    Not again. More comebacks than Kevin Rudd. Why won’t they accept the inevitable and just die?

    • JoeR_AUS

      Too good to die!

      • Phil

        I’m sure a Saab from the Chinese will be as convincing as an MG from the Chinese 😛

    • Igomi Watabi

      more comebacks than John Howard even!

  • Shea Quinn

    Let’s hope they bring the old girl back to Aus so I can get my hands on one.

    • JoeR_AUS

      agree, our 9-3 after 10y is still going strong, love the turbo engine and still averaging 10l/100km and the Germans utilitarian approach will never appeal to some.

      • Shea Quinn

        Funny you should say that, I am actually looking at 2003-5 as a backup. What are they like these days??

        • JoeR_AUS

          Good, check service history is genuine SAAB or specialists, better to have lower mileage.

          Things to watch, the rear track is wider than front, so some people keep hitting the rear wheels on round about and corners, it stuffs the rear bushings so check tyres and rims for marks. Make sure you have two keys that work as it unlocks the steering electronically. Check the oil colour and listen to the engine if the oil was not changed regularly the engine clatters because the timing chain has stretched and its hitting the case , big job to fix ($2800).

          Most popular car in the family, BMW 3 series was always last to leave the front yard….

          • Shea Quinn

            Thanks for the heads up sounds simple enough, the other thing was steering wheel controls. I know they have them for phone/bluetooth but I’ve been reading that they have not been wired up and thus useless?

  • zahmad

    With being such an old car, it still is a great looker!

    • JoeR_AUS

      No older than a Mazda 3

  • Martin

    Yay! Bring back SAAB!

  • Dan Pacey

    still a fantastic looking car, good luck to them. Now, build the Aero X :)

  • $29896495

    Good to see them back. This should give some one (company) ideas about the soon to be vacant Ford plant. The Gov should have feelers out to see if they can get a new builder in there the moment Ford exit. Still feel Tesla would be a good fit for this country.

    • JoeR_AUS

      huwtm, you always mention weight, the lightest Tesla is 2100kg

      • $29896495

        I don’t actually. You must have me confused with some one else. By the way, there is NO mention of weight in my comment.

        • JoeR_AUS

          google huwtm weight

          4750 hits

          • $29896495

            You proved nothing YOU ARE WRONG it is right in front of you that I didn’t write it . It’s unedited. Just because every story that’s ever contained the word weight in it comes up does not prove I commented – Noticed Zaccy and you in there too.

          • guest

            But when you click on your name, the comments associated to your profile are identical to those comments made by hutwm.

  • Ray

    The rise of the Phoenix! Well done!

    • Tone

      Not quite … I’m guessing it’ll be a couple of years before we see Phoenix-based Saabs.

  • 3D4

    Are there electric motors in each wheel hub? Do I see it right?

    • MNTHNY4


  • Busang Motsepeng

    GM ruined SAAB the very same way Toyota has with Subaru. Is there no longer a place for small eccentric manufacturers in the automotive industry? I really miss the days when SAAB and Subaru were real and pure.

    • superguru

      How in the world has Toyota ruined Subaru?

      • Phil

        By having them build Camrys in the US? A better comparison might have been what Toyota has done with Daihatsu, another somewhat eccentric carmaker that has contracted significantly since the big T took control.

        Bit rich blaming GM. Saab had already partnered with Fiat well before that, bringing the abomination that was the 9000. The real Saab died when the 99 was replaced. It’s been an imposter wearing the name ever since.

      • Busang Motsepeng

        Subaru is no longer the same, it has become ordinary and soulless thanks to Toyota. Its cars have become white goods.

  • Zaccy16

    Saabs downfall was its parent company GM, Saabs use to be interesting good cars but with GM underpinnings they were ruined!

  • Quinn

    I’m really excited Saab is making a comeback. While I own an S40 from Saab’s chief rival Volvo, that doesn’t mean I’m angry the company is coming back to life. GM really mismanaged the company to its breaking point. Hopefully it can make a turnaround.


    As long as its not a re-badged subaru or a reskinned malibu , I still am exited about getting behind the wheel of those beloved 4 letters SAAB !!