Saab 9-3 Convertible May Return As An Electric Car, Hints Consortium

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2012 Saab 9-3 Convertible Independence Edition

2012 Saab 9-3 Convertible Independence Edition

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The Swedish-Chinese consortium currently controlling Saab could be set to resurrect the firm's 9-3 Convertible model as an electric car.

In an effort to get the defunct carmaker back on its feet, the National Electric Vehicles Sweden (NEVS) consortium wants to re-introduce several old models to reduce costs.

Some of these will be regular gasoline models, reports Dutch site Autoweek.nl--but the ultimate plan is to release a range of electric cars.

NEVS completed its purchase of Saab from the administrators in September.

Contained within the deal were rights to the Saab 9-3, tools, the manufacturing plant, and test and laboratory facilities. NEVS also owns the in-development Phoenix platform.

The company's first dedicated electric car is likely to be based on this platform, but building versions of the old 9-3--both electric and gasoline--will enable a quicker startup than developing an entirely new model.

Development into new models was already underway at facilities in Japan and China before the acquisition, but Saab's state-of-the-art facilities in Sweden are now the base for new model development.

An electric 9-3 convertible is likely to be one of the new models, plus sedan and wagon versions.

NEVS is even hopeful over a deal with GM.

GM, which part-owned Saab from 1989 and fully between 2000 and 2010, had previously bloked a Chinese concern from buying Saab to prevent the trasfer of trade and production secrets.

NEVS is keeping its options open, and a spokesperson confirms the company is also in talks with other carmakers.

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