Saab 9-3 production is moving to Turkey

So the latest twist in Saab's ongoing saga is going to see the 9-3 emigrating to Turkey. Not many people would have predicted such a turn of events.

National Electric Vehicle Sweden – the current owner of Saab – has confirmed that it's working with TÜBİTAK (the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey) to develop a 'Turkish National Car'.

According to Fikri Işık, Turkey's Science, Industry and Technology Minister, intellectual property rights to the 9-3 have been purchased as part of the deal. However, when Turkish production begins in 2019, the cars won't wear Saab badges. That means a local brand will need to be invented.

Three prototypes have already been built. Interestingly, they appear to feature a modified front end borrowed from the defunct Cadillac BLS (itself a restyled version of the 9-3, of course).

TÜBİTAK 'Turkish National Car' Prototypes (2015) Front

Their different powertrains indicate the various technologies being pursued by TÜBİTAK. The first has a traditional petrol engine, while the second is all-electric.

The third is perhaps the most relevant, though. That's because it's a range-extender with electric propulsion and a small-capacity engine-generator for recharging the car's battery pack.

Nevs has provided further details of the agreement via a press release, which states: “The cooperation has started in June 2015 between Nevs and TÜBİTAK and future industrial synergies in terms of development and manufacturing shall be generated with this cooperation. In the short term perspective this cooperation shall put Nevs' assets to work and shall give Turkey quick access to extensive automotive knowledge and experience.

“Nevs shall also provide its know-how in the developing of the business plan and establishing of the supply and distribution chains to TÜBİTAK.

“Together with the new shareholders Tianjin and SRIT, the partner Teamsun as well as the cooperation with Dongfeng Motor, the cooperation with TÜBİTAK is an important step in building up Nevs as a strong automotive company with industrial, technological and financial partnerships.”

Related posts:
Saab 9-3 Electric Vehicle prototypes exist
2014 Saab 9-3 Aero production begins

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