The very last Saab. But really.

No Saab Festival without a surprise! Also this year was NEVS good for a headline. The very last Saab was announced for auction. One of 420-built Saab 9-3 model year 2014 and actually intended for a crash test. But then put away and now rolled to the festival in front of the factory gate.

The number 1 model year 2014
The number 1 model year 2014

Actually, the model year 2014 should have been the prelude to the rebirth of the Saab brand. With some effort NEVS celebrated the start of production, and a minister flew specially from Stockholm to Trollhättan. Unfortunately, after just 420 copies were final, which was not due to the car and its qualities.

Prelude to rebirth. The not working.

NEVS installed seats from the old Volvo XC90 that were a few centimeters too high, but provided them with a Saab logo. But the chassis was the best, a mix of Aero and Turbo X setup. And thus probably the best that there has ever been in the small series. The workmanship and the noise comfort were impressive, the earlier Saab engineers had put emphasis on fine-tuning. A big expense for an even bigger plan. A facelift for the 2015 model year, the rebirth of the sports suit. That was all decided, but failed due to several factors.

NEVS failed to establish a sensible supply chain. Evil tongues claim that the scrap yards in the area were searched for production. It can not be proved, but it is clear that NEVS was using the well-stocked Orio spare parts warehouse in Nyköping. The engines were bought expensive at the free market, a supply contract with GM or Opel never gave it. Larger quantities would not have been possible under these circumstances, the lack of liquidity ultimately ended the adventure.

For months, unsold vehicles for the Asian market were still in front of the factory. Finally, they were converted to European specifications and sold to employees on attractive terms. In the meantime, NEVS had also lost the rights to the Saab brand, which was the last chapter in the brand history.

The very last Saab. And one of the best.

Today, 2014 vehicles have a collector status. Not as pronounced as 9-5 NG and 9-4x, but at least. They are without question the best vehicles in the 9-3 series that ever left the factory at Göta Älv. They are the result of a long evolution since the premiere 2002 and follow the typical Saab tradition.

The very last Saab. NEVS via Instagram
The very last Saab. NEVS via Instagram

Now it's time for an end and the very latest Saab, a silver 9-3, will be auctioned off. The auction will start in the autumn and the proceeds will be donated by NEVS AB for a charitable purpose. That could be the end of a saga. But you are never sure. Because maybe in a hall between, let's say Trollhättan and Vänersborg, still a Rohkarosse. A former employee parked as a precaution and from which he eventually assembles the really last Saab.

16 thoughts on "The very last Saab. But really."

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    Tellement sad, désespérant de voir qu'une also belle marque automobile soit anéantie!

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    ... these stories and background information. And always exciting to read.
    And the evil tongues are not entirely wrong if a complete chain of suppliers is never organized, if everything has been gathered together or bought at a high price on the open market. You just exaggerated a lot ...

    ... to give expression to a valid thought. NEVS wanted with all their might and hell out of it the title automobile manufacturer. And you are not a manufacturer until you have delivered cars.

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      Hopefully that's not the 9.3 we donated to get into the museum

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        Do not worry, he is not. At that time it was about a model year 2012.

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          I searched in my folders and the 2012 would have been a white, license plate DJA 880. Thanks Tom.

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            Hey 9.3Wolfgang,
            The white DJA 880 is safe in the museum. I first saw him at the SAAB Car Museum Festival 2019.

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        That was the last 9-3 manufactured by Saab AB, this is the resurrected 9-3 that NEVs were going to market direct to consumers, as by this time, the worldwide Saab dealer network virtually no longer existed.

        I think it was only available i Black too ...

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          I think it's only available in Black ... ..

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      Adventurous or opaque, who wanted what? NEVS certainly wanted to be an automaker, but I suspect they were more driven then too brave and adventurous.

      In my memory, I put it so that a new Chinese investor (city / region Tianjin?) Has made its financial support dependent on the fact that NEVS has a functioning production.
      Initially, there was also the statement from NEVS that the production should be restarted as soon as possible, but then nothing happened. Instead, there have been discussions that the 9-3 does not meet pedestrian protection requirements, which is a problem. That surprised me at the time, because it was a type-approved vehicle that did not have to meet the relatively new pedestrian protection requirements. Presumably, as part of the settlement of Saab a production end notice went to the regulatory authority, so the 9-3 had to be homologated again. Therefore, only a small series production with a maximum of 1000 vehicles per year for the EU should be started, because then the pedestrian protection requirements were not met. More than 1000 EU vehicles a year were never planned anyway.

      In retrospect, this looks to me as if NEVS, presumably desperately, had been busy building supply chains in order to restart production at all. The Volvo seats show that it was apparently not so easy to find suppliers for all the parts needed. I remember how surprised I was when it said that production will start again in December, just before Christmas, rather than January 2014. Presumably, they had agreed to start production 2013 but and then hoped for the expected financial support from China.

      But then it never seems to have come. In this context, the whole on-pile Asia vehicles seem interesting to me. Presumably they should go to China, but they are obviously not. Have they been held back because the money did not come? Could not you be delivered because a Chinese permit was missing? Should NEVS have to get it, or the investor?

      Although this does not change anything, it could at least tell you whether NEVS made mistakes or was left hanging by the Chinese investor? On the other hand, it always takes two for something, so maybe it does not matter?

      At least NEVS has come into insolvency because of this, which is why they have lost the naming rights to Saab. Maybe somebody in 20 years is writing a book about how it came to the final end of Saab as a car brand, if this somebody gets it out.

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        I wanted to avoid having to go through the events of 2013/14 again. The “lack of liquidity” best describes the situation that arose from the lack of payments from Quindao. It was about corruption and not keeping promises. The matter had ramifications for everyone involved in China and the mistakes made lie on both sides.
        NEVS planned with more than 1000 vehicles. With the MY 2015 (facelift) all valid rules would have been respected. How the 9-3 would have looked then shows Turbo Edition.

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        Hello StF
        I understand her way of thinking and can sign her absolutely. But I believe that in addition to corruption (not uncommon in China and certainly not in Germany), the supplier's lack of readiness to deliver has also played a major role. The bad experiences of suppliers in the past have certainly left their mark. For this reason, I suspect the use of Volvo parts, because no one believed in the realistic continuation of the brand. Anyway. Maybe someday we will find out what the real reason was. It is a pity about Saab, anyway.
        So take care of your Saabs. I do it too. Despite 250000 kilometers on the clock.

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        THE BOOK …

        ... I would also like to read. Until then, I find the story both adventurous and opaque.

        I find it understandable that a potential investor makes his financing commitment dependent on a functioning production.
        Who has made which promises to whom and has not kept it is then also in the hypothetical book, “if this someone (who writes it) finds out,” as you quite correctly say.

        For example, which page has defined a functioning production? The definition of NEVS is described in the article. This included looting Orio's spare parts warehouse, buying up Volvo's engines and seats on the open market.

        But has the potential investor as well defined a functioning production in terms of manufacturing costs and a reasonable supply chain as NEVS?

        However, NEVS has become a manufacturer and has found other investors and partners.
        Without having ever realized a small series, they would probably have been away from the window long ago.

        Instead, they build new factories and have lofty plans. What and if it will become something remains to be seen. Thanks to the MY 2014, they owe it to the last ever built SAABs.

        It's amazing what you can build on a handful of 9-3 ...

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    So quite NEVS can not resist playing the SAAB card, right? Somewhere you can still find a SAAB parked in the magazine or elsewhere. But when do your own products come?

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    Is the headrest Volvo or Saab or something own?

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      Volvo suppliers, hardly anything of their own.

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      Nevs had to change the mounting, as GM owned the copyright ...

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