Evergrande Auto has started test production in Shanghai and Guangzhou. The Saab 9-3 sedan rolls off the assembly line in both plants. Or rather, what was once a Saab. Because the Saab logo can no longer be found on the body, and the vehicle is purely electric. What Saab never existed in series.
Industry standard 4.0
What Evergrande Auto has done with a billion dollar investment in Shanghai and Guangzhou is impressive. Two ultra-modern factories according to industry standard 4.0, almost deserted. 2.545 robots can produce a car per minute, according to the highest quality standards, which are consistently adhered to.
The difference to the old plant in Trollhättan couldn't be greater. Windows and seats are inserted fully automatically into the body, while the computer at the end of the painting line checks the quality and reports the smallest error. Fanuc and Kuka provided the intelligent cutting-edge technology. German quality, as you can see proudly at Evergrande.
Test operation and debugging will take a few months. Both plants should run error-free by the second half of 2021 at the latest, when Evergrande Auto will start mass production. But it will no longer be the old Saab 9-3 that rolls off the production line. Its production is in fact a final dance, then ends a story that began around 20 years ago in Swedish design offices.
Record production time
If you like, the Saab 9-3 in all its variants is one of the vehicles with a record-breaking production time. From September 2002 to the presumed end of the first half of 2021 it would be 19 years. Hardly any other modern model has lasted as long. And hardly anyone has such a dramatic story.
You cannot buy the vehicles made in China. It was originally communicated that they would be used for internal testing purposes and for use within the Evergrande Group. Authorities and the military should also receive copies. It is not clear at the moment whether the plan will be implemented. Perhaps it will come to that, the produced specimens of the test series may also end up with the recycler.
Which would really be an unworthy end to a long career.