The car company that wouldn’t die: that should be an appropriate title when the story of Saab is published.
Since GM decided to get rid of it five years ago, it faced lots of issues that resulted in bankruptcy. When it was acquired by the Chinese NEVS, which intended to build electric cars based on the 9-3’s platform, there seemed to be a glimmer of hope – only for NEVS itself to get into trouble and be bailed out by Dongfeng.
The latest news, however, reveal that Saab may very well stay alive. Turkey’s Science, Industry and Technology minister Fikri Isik announced that his country has finalized a deal with NEVS.
“We bought the Saab 9-3’s intellectual property rights, but not its name”, he told Anadolu Agency. “The brand [of the car that will be developed] will be a Turqish brand, not Saab. We will develop the technology in Turkey.”
Saan CEO Mattias Bergman presented three prototypes of the new car to Isik. According to observers, the car is indeed very similar to the 9-3 but with a Cadillac-inspired front end.
We inked a deal on May 28”, said Bergman. “Our engineering team and the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK) work together in developing the design with the contribution of our other partners in Turkey.”
The minister disclosed that the negotiations lasted six months and the price was not too steep: “I cannot give figures, but it was a very affordable cost”.
NEVS has already worked on turning the 9-3 into an electric car and the Turkish government wants to promote green cars in the country.
Looks like a happy marriage, then. Hope this one lasts.
Story References: NEVS, Hurriet Daily News