Is there a new Saab coming?

The spirit of Saab might prevail, finally. An unknown investor has probably purchased the NEVS Emily GT project; hope is glimmering for the ill-fabled manufacturer. There is now a slight chance that a purely electric Saab sedan will occupy the streets again.

The mismanagement of owner General Motors and the horrendous fumbling of potential overtakers made Saab go bankrupt at the end of 2011. In June 2012, Saab Automobile was bought by NEVS (New Electric Vehicle Sweden). NEVS was a new company owned by two Hongkong and one Japanese company that wanted to produce electric vehicles for the Asian markets.

NEVS

NEVS began working on an electric version of the Saab 9-3 (called the 9-3EV), offering around 175 horsepower and 350 km of range. Despite some deliveries in 2018, the NEVS 9-3EV never reached the mass production stage.

Within the next two years, China-based Evergrande Group purchased a majority stake and eventually wholly acquired NEVS. In the same period, the Chinese conglomerate faced a series of financial woes leading it to want to offload the recently acquired automaker. In 2023, to prevent bankruptcy, NEVS announced it would enter ‘hibernation mode’ and lay off 95% of its employees (320 out of 340).

In light of the ‘hibernation’ announcement, the team at NEVS decided to showcase one of their creations, the Emily GT. The Emily GT is a sports sedan packing a massive 175-kWh battery pack, targeting a ‘magic’ 1 000 km range. It comes with four in-wheel electric motors, allowing for true torque vectoring.

Sharing the Emily GT with the world was to reveal the firm’s technology and gain investors to save the company. In a recent report made by Saab Planet, the team’s plan is rumored to have worked. A still unidentified investor signed a purchase intent letter for the Emily project.

Within the purchase agreement, the Trollhättan, Sweden, assembly facility will commence production again. There’s a chance that more information will surface this month.

Saab or no Saab?

Details regarding the new brand name have yet to be released, but the Saab name might not be used due to legalities. In 2014, Saab AB, the Swedish defense and aircraft specialist, withdrew the right to use the Saab name from NEVS. In 2016, a court ruled that the Saab name couldn’t be used for coming cars anymore as the name was in full possession of the airplane manufacturer Saab AB.
Since then, some other brand names have been floating around. They have in common that they will never be famous or well-known. Most people outside Scandinavia will find them weird or break their tongues. Or what do you think of ‘Saablar’ or ‘Annama’? There are also votes for names like Sonett (a Saab sporty model from the early days) and Gripen (meaning ‘griffon’ and the name of… a Saab airplane fighter).

Regardless of the moniker, the Emily GT tries to capture the essence of Saab in a modern package. With its signature floating roofline and muscular proportions, the electric sedan embodies the vision of Saab’s 9-5 Aero successor.

Until the end, Saab had its vision of how a car had to look like, witnessed by this last Saab Aero concept car /Saab

The NEVS Emily GT project has faced numerous challenges since the acquisition of Saab’s remnants by NEVS. Despite several attempts, nothing came to fruition until now, making the recent announcement all the more remarkable.

The intense passion and dedication of Saab enthusiasts worldwide have played a significant role in keeping the dream alive, and their unwavering support may finally pay off.

Of course, the automotive world has changed significantly this last decade, while many start-ups are also trying to keep their heads above the water. But an iconic brand like Saab and the whole quirkiness of its ideas merit a new life. Fingers crossed.

The new 9-5 Saab flagship had just been launched when GM pulled the plug /Saab

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