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Official Photos of the NEVS Saab 9-3

Published on December 3, 2013 by Joey Wang

Official Photos of the NEVS Saab 9-3

The very first official photos of the new NEVS Saab 9-3. Production started on Monday and it will go on sale in Sweden before the end of the year. Debut in China is scheduled for the April 2014 Beijing auto Show and the NEVS 9-3 will be launched on the China car market around the same time.

The NEVS Saab 9-3 is based on the second generation Saab 9-3 (2002-2012). NEVS, or National Electric Vehicle Sweden, is partly owned by several Chinese semi-government entities including Beijing-based State Holdings and the city of Qingdao in Shandong Province.

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The NEVS Saab 9-3 is powered by a 2.0 turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 220hp. The origins of the engine are still unknown. The number that does not match with the original GM-supplied engines for the Saab 9-3, and it seems unlikely anyway that GM would be willing to supply the engines.

The NEVS Saab 9-3 will be the second Saab 9-3 on the China car market. Beijing Auto is currently developing the Beijing Auto B60, which is also based on the first generation Saab 9-3. Beijing Auto bought the rights to the Saab 9-3 and Saab 9-5 from GM in 2009. How NEVS managed to get the rights on the same car is a bit murky, but it seems that the Beijing municipal government, owner of Beijing Auto, has played the role of kingmaker here.

Interestingly, Beijing Auto also bought the Saab-developed 2.0 turbo and 2.3 turbo engines that powered the first generation Saab 9-3. The 2.0 turbo has an output of 204hp and 290nm in the Beijing Auto Shenbao D-Series, which is based on the Saab 9-5.

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NEVS has the rights to use the Saab name on cars, but not the right to the Saab-Scania logo.

NEVS will also built a electric variant of the Saab 9-3. Chinese media say the first batch of 200 electric vehicles 9-3 cars will be delivered to the Qingdao Municipal Government for demonstration operations.

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Inside the factory, in Sweden.



8 comments

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  1. Dave- December 3, 2013 Reply

    It’s been said that this vehicle is an Opel Vectra with the profit engineered out of it. It is based on the Epsilon I platform that also was in the 2004 Chevy Malibu.

  2. dragin- December 3, 2013 Reply

    “…is partly owned by several Chinese semi-government entities including Beijing-based State Holdings and the city of Qingdao in Shandong Province……………………. it seems that the Beijing municipal government, owner of Beijing Auto, has played the role of kingmaker here.”

    Can we conclude from what you are saying that there is a link between BAIC and NEVS? That would mean BAIC may be involved when NEVS decides to produce in China.

  3. Remi- December 4, 2013 Reply

    1) “The NEVS Saab 9-3 is powered by a 2.0 turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 220hp. The origins of the engine are still unknown.” :

    – Wrong, the origin of this Engine is a GM-Saab engine, the very last generation that was delivered with the 9-5 (2010) Turbo4. It is a direct injection, petrol engine that can be easily upgraded to 300hp. High performances and very economical.

    2) “How NEVS managed to get the rights on the same car is a bit murky,” :

    – No, not at all! NEVS has bought in sept 2012 the assets of the previous swedish company named…”Saab Automobile AB”, which has been in bankruptacy at the end of 2011.
    In 2009, GM, Saab ‘s previous owner, sold to Beijing Auto IP rights of the Saab 9-3 and 9-5 but not exclusively.
    As to the old engines (2.0l T and 2.3l T) they are from an older range than the new 2.0l T Petrol engine that is the Saab 9-3 2014 from NEVS.

    3) “it seems that the Beijing municipal government, owner of Beijing Auto, has played the role of kingmaker here” : really?! ha ha ha

  4. Ed_Z- December 4, 2013 Reply

    @ Remi.

    “In 2009, GM, Saab ‘s previous owner, sold to Beijing Auto IP rights of the Saab 9-3 and 9-5 but not exclusively.”

    Not exclusively?!? Sorry, but that is nonsense, evidently not true. The only reason Beijing Auto didn’t get mad with NEVS is that both companies are closely related to the Chinese government, as Joey correctly states in the article.

    1. Remi- December 5, 2013 Reply

      Dear ED_Z,

      I did not say at all that Beijing Auto or NEVS were not related to Chinese governement. I had to correct the mistake(s) in the post which states that NEVS had bought the IP rights in “a murky” way, which is NOT true at all: the IP rights of the Saab 9-3 were assets of Saab Automobile AB, the previous company that went into bankruptacy at the end of 2011. NEVS legally boughts the remaining assets of Saab Automobile AB in august 2012.
      So that the chinese governement had to approve the deal is highly probable but stating that the deal was not clear is just wrong because anyone else than NEVS could have bought these 9-3 IP rights from Saab Automobile because GM did sell (in 2009) them to Beijing Auto but in an exclusive right to use it. These are facts and you can very easily seek these informations on the web.

      1. Remi- December 5, 2013 Reply

        My mistake this time:
        “because GM did sell (in 2009) them to Beijing Auto but NOT in an exclusive right to use them.” 😉

  5. CarsAroundTheWorld- December 4, 2013 Reply

    Any news on when they are going to roll out a new Saab 9-3? After all, this version was already 10 years old and based on an obsolete architecture when Saab stopped building it. While the 2.0T with 220 horses is a nice touch, they are going to have to do much more in order to make it work.

    1. Remi- December 5, 2013 Reply

      “Obsolete”? At the quality level of this chassis, I would not say that. I drive a Saab 9-3 from 2008 every day to go to worK and I drive company cars as well which are new french models. I cannot agree with the word “obsolete” if it means that recent cars are more fun or safe to drive. Saabs are not just toilett papers that you throw after using them.

      Do you think that Audi makes new architecture every 2 years? For what? Maybe more for journalists that rarely test drive cars but comment (or try to) automotive commercials and press releases…

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