Back in 2012, after Saab finally went bankrupt, a Chinese consortium calling itself National Electric Vehicle Sweden purchased Saab’s assets. The plan was to turn the 9-3 into an electric car for China and potentially even Europe. Earlier this year, NEVS shared a rendering of the 9-3 it planned to build, as well as an SUV it said would soon follow once the 9-3 began production this year. Today, NEVS announced that it has officially begun production of the electric 9-3.
Previously, NEVS said it will have a range of 186 miles and that it has more than 150,000 preorders. Other than that, however, there isn’t much information available on the car. Sadly, it won’t be badged as a Saab since NEVS lost the rights to the name back in 2014.
NEVS says there will be two phases of production. For now, it only has the capacity to produce 50,000 vehicles per year. After it expands for phase two, it expects to be able to produce 220,000 per year. It’s also already working with DiDi Chuxing, a major Chinese ride-hailing company, on a second and third generation of electric vehicles. From the sound of things, a ride-hailing program is in the works along with a future autonomous vehicle.
Unfortunately for Saab fans in the U.S., it’s highly unlikely that NEVS will ever sell vehicles here. So while it’s neat to see the 9-3 brought back to life, don’t expect to be able to buy a zombie Saab of your own.