According to recent reports, the 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.
According to the 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. The production for the company’s re-launched Saab 9-3-based vehicle should commence next month and its sales should begin in 2014.
Likely to be offered in both sedan and convertible guises, the re-launched 9-3 is believed to be almost identical to the previous model with a facelift in the pipeline. Also, despite originally being planned as an all-electric model, rumors state the production will begin with conventional combustion engines under the hood, the EV’s following only at a later date.
After signing a deal with China’s City of Qingdao in January, NEVS (which acquired the main assets of SAAB in 2012) 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.