Saab hopes that its new owner will be able to revive the brand and its Swedish hometown.
More than a year after it went bankrupt Saab plans to get back on the track introducing its new 9-3 sedans and convertibles beginning with August. The company expects the money from the sales of the diesel-powered vehicles to be enough to help Saab convert into an EV manufacturer.
The news comes as a hope for revival for the city of Trollhaettan, in Sweden, Saab’s hometown, which has had a rough time since the automaker went bankrupt and 3,400 people, or 7% of the city’s population, lost their jobs.
“Even in the darkest and hardest times, new hopes can be awakened through new possibilities,” said Birgitta Simson, a 52-year-old deacon at the Swedish Church in Trollhaettan. “We have to believe that God cares about our city and that in the darkest hours, a possibility can come from the most unexpected direction.”
Saab’s new owners plan to supply China with EVs, beginning with the 9-3X wagon in 2013 and the electrics based on the 9-3 in 2014. NEVS, which purchased Saab last August, plans to manufacture 120,000 vehicles by 2016, close to Saab’s peak of 133,000 vehicles set in 2006.