My Swedish favorite journalist Jonas Fröberg from Svenska Dagbladet was in Trollhättan and tested the 2014 Saab 9-3 Aero last week.
His view of NEVS 'first vehicle looks something like this:
Is the Saab 9-3 a new car?
No, it roughly corresponds to the 2011 model we knew as Griffin. NEVS did exchange some 100 parts but did not improve that much. Because some suppliers are no longer in business and had to be replaced or could no longer be considered a partner due to the separation from GM.
engine and gears
These are the same components we know from Griffin. The engine is also used in the 9-5 NG, Saab still has some of these engines in stock (Note: NEVS has purchased these components). The 6 gearbox and the automatic transmission are familiar parts from the GM shelf.
How does the Saab go?
Good. The body seems to have gotten a bit stiffer, the engine provides the power when it is retrieved. But you realize that the Saab is getting old.
When will the electric car come?
The first vehicles are now produced, the first 200 go as a test fleet to China. Series production will start in the fall, and it should be possible to buy electric cars in Sweden next year.
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Is the 9-3 279.000 worth Swedish Krona?
If you like Saab, yes. The 9-3 is a really nice car. But the 12 years are palpable and there are no active safety systems and no modern entertainment.
Can you buy the car?
There is free service for 3 years. However, it will be difficult if Saab can not survive. But there are many service points.
What does everything depend on?
Everything depends on how much money NEVS has available. And you will need a lot of money to get water under the keel again. That requires perseverance and authorities in China who approve everything.
Is Fröberg correct ...
Fröberg is, as we know, Saab lover. Before he and his photographer Magnus Hjalmarson Neideman picked up the 9-3 at the Stallbacka, they both had a date with Peter Backström at the Saab Museum and then had lunch together. He is very diplomatic, but he is right. At the moment, NEVS is building nothing but an 2011 Griffin. As a finger exercise for the production and to train the workforce accordingly. And as an offer for the Swedish fans who want to buy a new Saab. NEVS has invested a lot of money to get this far and will continue to do so in the long run.
The upcoming update will show how good the idea was to try a new start with the "old" 9-3. After all, by then two years or more had passed since the brand was taken over. A lot of time in which a new model could almost have been brought to series production on the Phoenix platform.
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The cracks in the expresses ...
Not everyone in Sweden is as friendly as Fröberg. One day after his article at Svenska Dagbladet came a complete outline of the NEVS strategy in Expressen. There one also wonders if a completely new model would not have been the better way. And how much market success can an electrically propelled 12 years old platform have for then. There is something on that.
Also Vi Bilägare was not as friendly as expected in the test and can not praise the 9-3. The 9-3 is to mark his age and in direct comparison with a recent compact car, calculated on an Opel Astra, the Saab appears petite, says the magazine. Not without a breath later to note that you can still get along with the Saab very well.
The problem is homemade and the critical reports were not inevitable. Because, actually, the press in Sweden is set for each NEVS and sees the jobs that have emerged in Trollhättan, and the prospects for the future.
But - even with fan glasses - the 2014 9-3 is many things, but one thing is not. It sure is a good, safe, and elegant car. But it's definitely not a new car. Those who stick the sticker “Nya 9-3” on their vehicles like NEVS are not well advised and misunderstand the reality. Corresponding reports in the press as now in Sweden are the result. There are countless other ways to market the 9-3 accordingly.
The 2014er Saab is built only in limited edition. At some point between 2.000 to 3.000 models will be over, it comes probably the update, the station wagon and the 2015er vintage. Then, the 9-3 is likely to reach more markets. The 2014 edition was to warm up, the 2015er vintage is serious. This will be exciting, the cards will be shuffled.
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