National Electric Vehicle Sweden has commenced the series production of the Saab 9-3 mid-sized sedan at its Trollhattan site in Sweden, with sales to be ''initially focused'' in China. In a statement, NEVS said that production of the Saab 9-3 Aero sedan featuring a 2.0-liter turbo gasoline engine will be ''very modest'' with output initially placed at around 10 cars a week.
NEVS said that a small number of units will be sold directly to Swedish customers through its Web site starting next week. The 9-3 Aero, which looks similar to the last production 9-3 produced at Trollhattan in 2011, will have a starting price of SEK279,000 ($42,600).
Mattias Bergman, NEVS president, said in the statement that to begin a car production process that had been stagnant for two-and-a-half years is “a complex mission.”
The last Saab vehicles had rolled off the production line in April 2011, when the carmaker was still owned by Spyker. In December the same year, Saab filed for bankruptcy. NEVS bought Saab out of bankruptcy in August 2013. NEVS was able to start production after inking a deal with 400 parts suppliers to produce the 9-3.
Service and parts distribution for the sedans will be provided in partnership with Orio, formerly known as Saab Automotive Parts. NEVS plans to start production of an electric version of the 9-3 in 2014, targeting China as its initial market. NEVS has to modify Saab’s Phoenix platform to remove the 20 percent of parts sourced from former owner General Motors.