Production to resume by Saab
Swedish car maker Saab, which went bankrupt two years ago in 2011, has recommenced production under its new ownership. Saab began manufacturing cars in 1949 and was owned by GM from 1990 to 2010. Then it was sold to Victor Muller, owner of Dutch supercar manufacturer Spyker. Muller's plan had been to boost production and relaunch models, but he had to put in great effort to secure finance from the European Investment Bank.
A Chinese-Swedish investment group, NEVS (National Electric Vehicle Sweden), took control of the company last August and announced plans of building an electric car bearing a Saab badge. However, today, the first cars which are to surface from the Trollhättan factory are petrol-powered 9-3 models, with a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine.
An electric version of the 9-3 (using batteries developed in Japan) is scheduled to come into production next year. They will probably be aimed at the Chinese market initially, which NEVS previously said is set to become the largest and most important electric vehicle market.
The model has the same exterior and interior design as the cars while production stopped in April 2011 but it has been given an updated navigation system.
Mikael Oestlund, NEVS spokesman said "It's very similar, you can't change or develop very much in a year."
He also said, "Our focus has been to get the co-operation up and running with 400 suppliers and ensure the facilities were working."
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