Saab, which is now owned by National Electric Vehicle Sweden (which sadly can’t use the Saab name anymore), is slightly off track but seemingly still on the way to producing electric not-Saab 9-3s for the Chinese market later this year, thanks to new approval from the Chinese government.
NEVS has received its electric vehicle production license from the Chinese National Development Reform Commission, according to GreenCarCongress, which means it can now start cranking out electric 9-3s for the Chinese and Swedish markets. Just as soon as the Chinese plant currently under construction gets completed later this year.
The original plan for 100,000 electric not-Saab 9-3s came in a $12 billion deal with Chinese leasing firm Panda New Energy, and sales of the new EV were supposed to start in the first half of this year.
It would seem things are slightly behind from that plan, but still going forward. If that’s the case, and NEVS bankruptcy issues are a thing of the past, then we should expect the not-Saab lineup to expand to four new models including an electric “fastback” and multiple electric crossovers.
Of course all of this sounds quite extreme to happen so quickly, even if slightly delayed, for a brand that’s been on-and-off dead for almost a decade. I guess all we can do is hope they pull it off later this year, and eventually find a way to get some not-Saabs back on American lots.
Really, who’s even still hoping at this point? The only thing still technicaly Saab is a body shell designed in 2008.
My only glimmer of hope is manifested by the dealership just down the road that never took down its Saab sign. Bless you, dealer. May we never forget.