As reported yesterday by SAABs United, the first SAAB ever produced by NEVS has rolled off of the production line! It’s an exciting time for SAAB enthusiasts all over the world. Finally, after years of confusion, questions, bankruptcy, government intervention, and the possibility of SAAB permanently disappearing, NEVS and SAAB produced a silver colored 9-3 sedan. This feels like a birth announcement, doesn’t it? It’s a beautiful baby girl, 4,450 pounds and 182.9 inches long!
NEVS management hosted a small internal event yesterday to celebrate the historic event, attended by special guests including local and Swedish government representatives. The 9-3’s engine was started, its systems tested, and the car left the final station of the production line. As shown in the photo, a red digital sign read “NEVS SAAB car no. 1”.
Frank Smit, NEVS’s Vehicle Program manager, described the accomplishment of restarting the SAAB factory as walking uphill in a “tuned ski-slope”. A tuned ski slope is one which has been doused in water, which freezes and makes the course more slippery. It may have been difficult, and it may have required walking up an icy path, but right now SAAB-o-philes everywhere are optimistic about the things to come.
The 9-3 was manufactured with the old body style, but was cryptically described as having “some new goodies under the hood” by SAABs United. We’ll see what that means going forward, but NEVS has been tight lipped about the entire process. In fact, yesterday’s event was kept secret until very recently, proving that NEVS is being very cautious while restarting SAAB. This 9-3 beta series was built largely to “calibrate the production line systems and test the new components” according to SAABs United, which makes sense. NEVS doesn’t want to start rolling hundreds of cars off the assembly line without knowing exactly what that line is capable of.
As a tease, SAABs United also reported that “a few hundred meters behind car number one, was car number two!” SAAB is certainly not dead, although it remains to be seen what version of SAAB we get in the future. Considering everything SAAB has gone through this decade this is a huge step in the right direction, if only for the simple fact that Trollhattan produced a new SAAB.
As you can see, the SAAB griffin is conspicuously absent. NEVS does not own the rights to the griffin logo and may only use the name SAAB. The same, but different. Oh well.