National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS) has licensed the Saab 9-3 to Turkey to use as the basis of its new national car project.
Fikri Isik, Turkey's science, industry and technology minister, told TRT, Turkey's government-backed national television network: "We bought Saab 9-3’s intellectual property rights, but not its name. The brand will be a Turkish brand, it will not be Saab. We will develop the technology in Turkey."
Isik told the TV network that the country had two options for developing its own car: co-operate with another company, or go it alone over the course of three to five years and invest US$1 billion ($1.4 billion).
A report by the Anadolu Agency, Turkey's state run news service, stated development of the new car will be lead by the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK). The minister claimed that once the car entered mass production, around 85 percent of its components will be made in the country.
According to NEVS, co-operation between the Swedish car maker and Turkey began in June 2015.
Matthias Bergman, president of NEVS, said in a statement: "Turkey will be a long-term partner and we will both gain a lot from this cooperation. With Turkey’s focus on electric vehicles we also see this as an important step towards our vision of shaping mobility for a more sustainable future."
The Anadolu Agency issued a single photo to press of the new car (top). The as-yet-unnamed vehicle looks to be based on the Cadillac BLS, albeit with a revised front bumper and grille.
Produced between 2005 and 2009, the Cadillac BLS was a heavily restyled Saab 9-3, and served as the American brand's entry-level model in Europe.