Saab 9-3-based development mules for Turkish national car projectEnlarge Photo
Fresh from securing a deal with state-owned Chinese automaker Dongfeng to help stave off bankruptcy, Saab’s struggling parent company National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS) has now announced a new partnership with the government of Turkey. Tübitak, Turkey’s science and research body, has been tasked with developing a new ‘national’ car to help spur local industry, and to help speed up development of this national car Tübitak turned to NEVS.
Specifically, Tübitak plans to license Saab 9-3 technology from NEVS to use for its own car. NEVS will also provide its know-how in the developing of the business plan and establishing of the supply and distribution chains for car production. Crucially, the new car will be sold under a Turkish brand and not Saab, which even NEVS may no longer have access to.
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NEVS and Tübitak only joined forces in June of this year and at present no timeframe for the launch of Turkey’s new national car has been mentioned. A single image showing three development mules based on the former Saab 9-3-based Cadillac BLS has been released.
“We bought Saab 9-3’s intellectual property rights, but not its name,” Turkey science, industry and technology minister Fikri Isik told the government-backed television broadcaster TRT. “The brand of the car will be a Turkish brand; it will not be Saab.”
Isik went on to reveal that further development of the car will take place in Turkey and that a minimum 85 percent of the parts will be sourced locally.
In a statement, NEVS president Mattias Bergman said the Turkish government was focused on electric cars and that this was part of NEVS’s our vision of a more sustainable future. It’s being reported that Turkey’s new national car will feature a battery-electric option that NEVS had developed for the 9-3.