For the first time since Saab‘s bankruptcy at the end of 2011 a car rolled off the assembly line Wednesday at Swedish carmaker Saab Automobile‘s former plant, built under the control of new owner National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS).

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.

The vehicle was a test car, and based on the Saab 9-3 model with a petrol engine, said a spokesman for the National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS) that bought the main assets of Saab in June 2012.

“There will be more test vehicles and this car did not have all the components in the car that is planned for serial production,” spokesman Mikael Ostlund told Swedish Radio.

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.

NEVS has announced plans to make electric vehicles using the Saab name. Ostlund said that was not likely due until next year. The China-owned company is still negotiating with some of its estimated 500 suppliers but wanted to test the production chain.


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