The Ghost Of SAAB’s Past Haunts Us As NEVS 9-3 EV Enters Production In China

We haven’t heard much about NEVS lately but that’s changing today as the company has begun production of the Saab-based 9-3 electric vehicle.

Billed as an “important milestone in implementing the NEVS vision to shape mobility for a more sustainable future,” the 9-3 looks virtually identical to the Saab version which was produced in Sweden years ago.

NEVS didn’t say much about the vehicle but the company has previously said the model will have a range of 300 km (186 miles) on a single charge. The car is also slated to feature a WiFi hotspot, over-the-air software updates and an advanced air filtration system to deal with China’s infamous smog problem.

NEVS is targeting an annual production capacity of 50,000 units but hopes to increase that number to 220,000 units in the future.

The company also announced it is developing three generations of electric vehicles and the second and third generations will be developed in close co-operation with DiDi Chuxing which is billed as the “world’s leading one-stop diversified mobility platform.” As part of partnership, NEVS will provide DiDi with “cost-effective high-end EVs.”

In related news, DiDi, GEIDCO (Global Energy Interconnection Corporation) and NEVS have formed a new joint venture that will “provide services and infrastructure to the increasing Mobility on Demand Electric Vehicles.”

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  • ErnieB

    Kinda wish they kept SAAB.. so much history erased.. I wouldn’t buy a NEV, but a SAAB owned by NEVS probably.. this is just a replica SAAB to me.. hope it sells well in China..

    • jfalckt

      Good point, they totally missed a trick here. A SAAB EV would have made a lot of sense and been insanely marketable

    • NEVS wished they still had the Name and could make SAABs. But SAAB AB, had enough of all the bad press and bankrupcies, so When came the money troubles of NEVS with one of their investors not paying, they said stop. So NEVS had to used NEVS as the name. Just kept the rights on the 9-3, Since at the Birth of NEVS GM refused to see Chineese sell and have the rights on the 9-5 NG and 9-4x… and access to their tech. To be honest, I hoped for a Big group such as Tata, or Geely to take over Saab, sure they wouldn’t have access to the 9-5 or 9-4x, but they would have the name, and the money to make great cars. Or that Renault-Nissan, or PSA would have bought SAAB, a name known all over the world, and front wheel drive, 4 cylinders engines with turbo… they know how to make that. And SAAB is already everywhere, better chances than DS, Initiale Paris to be global.

  • Liam Paul

    well that car now looks so dated, I think they will be lucky to sell 12k cars a year let along 50k and 220k lol yea I wouldntg bet a dollar on that, not unless they change the shape of the car to make it look much more modern looking.

    • The 9-3 doesn’t look so much dated. For non car people, SAAb still look like recent cars. For us sure.

    • KareKakk

      Don’t forget China is their main market… and relics from the 80’s is still fresh meat when we’re talking new cars there.

  • Six_Tymes

    Considering when this design first came out, it sure has held up rather well. That said, I also think it is ready for a re-design.

    • Marty

      Well, it has been looking outdated since 2003 – that’s a kind of timelessness. 😉
      The facelift was ok, especially on the wagon. But one has to remember that the facelift arrived when competing brands would already have replaced the model.

      • Not for the 9-3, facelift didn’t took so much time. But it just made the car look how it should have since the beginning.

        • Marty

          Didn’t the facelift come in 2008, the same year that the sister model Opel Vectra was replaced by a totally new car? And the fact that the 9-3 didn’t look like it should have in the beginning is just proof that is was a failed design.

          I love Saab, but if I list the values of the Saab brand (values created by for example 99 and 900), I can use none of those to describe the exterior design of the 2002 Saab 9-3. It looked even more like an Opel than the Vectra did (since the Vectra took Opel i a new design direction). 🙂


  • Nick099

    I have owned Saabs. Thought it was a lousy idea for GM to sell it off in the government controlled restructuring. Same with killing Pontiac. Saab interiors we’re better designed than any other GM division.

    Hey, can we get a peek under the hood of this car.

    • Enter Ranting

      GM was, and continues to be, a total train wreck. They squandered historically-significant Oldsmobile, and all the progress they made with the Aurora. Then blew off Pontiac, which had been mismanaged for decades. Saturn was an idiotic boondoggle.

      I went to the LA Auto Show last night. There wasn’t a single GM vehicle I would consider. The quality of the highest-end Cadillac paled in comparison to that of the new Genesis sedans. Tragic.

  • Jay

    Wish they would just let Saab rest in peace already.

  • Auf Wiedersehen

    Hilarious how they launch it like it’s some amazing new car…this could be shots of a SAAB launch in the 1990’s

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