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Pre-production has started

September 18, 2013 in News

20130918-135944.jpgToday at 12:50, a team of three reporters from SU met with NEVS at the Saab main gate in order to witness something very special. The first car ever produced by NEVS!

At 13:22 Central European Time the first pre-production car of the NEVS chapter in the Saab history book left the production line. At an internal event hosted by the NEVS management and with some specially invited guests, SU being one of these, people gathered at the end of production-line and witnessed this historic event. A silver colored Saab 9-3 sedan had its engine started and systems tested before it left the final station of the production line and was rolled off with admiration by the spectators. A lot of people had gathered in the final assembly building and everyone felt that the Saab-spirit truly was alive.

Mattias Bergman talked about the effort of getting to the point of where NEVS are right now and how grateful he is for all the work that everyone has made.

After that Stig Runesson took over and talked about the emotions that this moment and the restart of the factory brought, a factory is supposed to sound and smell a certain way. Stig pointed out that this kind of job of restarting the factory will only happen once, probably never again.

Frank Smit described the work as walking uphill in a “tuned ski-slope” which is one where you’ve the night before poured a huge amount of water on in order to make it more slippery. Trying to walk uphill on that, if someone slips, others are affected as well, but right now NEVS has come a long way up the hill.

Representatives from the Swedish Government and the local government also spoke about the admirable job done by the people at NEVS.

This car is on purpose built as the old version of the 9-3 but with some new goodies under the hood. It does not have the new upgraded facelift exterior which NEVS will launch at a later time. This beta-series is mainly built to calibrate the production line systems and to test the new components. This precautionary mentality is something I consider a wise one, just imagine if NEVS would have entered full production with un-tested components and it turned out that some of them had issues, replacing these components on thousands of cars would have been a real nightmare.

We are extremely grateful to have been invited to this otherwise completely internal event at SAAB and as the only form of media be able to share this highly important event with the Saab fans of the world. That NEVS decided to invite us really demonstrates the willingness within the NEVS management to embrace the importance that is the fan-based community.

That this event was kept secret up until the point of this article also enforces the fact that NEVS wont tell the world of things they are going to do until they’ve done it.

It can be noted that just a few hundred meters behind car number one, was car number two! One important detail we can announce is that the chassi-number of the car has changed, from the YS3 which Saab used to have for cars built in Trollhättan to: YTN (Which I think stands for: Sweden, Trollhättan, NEVS)

From us at SAABSUNITED we can only say job well done to NEVS and a big thank you for allowing us to share this moment with the world!



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191 responses to Pre-production has started

  1. I like, I like!!

    • What! I thought you hated metallic grey cars? Apparently not grey Saabs 😉

      • I don’t hate metallic silvers/grays—-am just tired of seeing them on the road. For this one, I’ll make an exception though! In fact, in 1972-73 when I was 9 years old, my father ordered a new Cadillac Sedan DeVille and let me pick the color. My choice was metallic silver, with a dark blue vinyl top and dark blue interior. Back then, every single option was stand alone. As I recall, he ordered a vanity mirror for the visor on the passenger side—-for my Mom. I think that was $40.00. No “packages” back then. Completely customized to the individual customer.

        • Some cars, like Mercedes sports cars, are “meant” to be silver, others not.
          I always thought the 1975 Saab V4 “jubileum” looked odd in silver even though I understand the reason.

          This car looks good in som many ways. :-)

        • Good answer and I agree. There are simply too many not so well designed cars driving around in silver (like it’s going to make them any better), but all the 9-3’s over the past 15 years have looked very nice in this colour.
          Probably the best option for the wagon also.

        • Curious to know what the $/£ rate was like back then but still $40 for a mirror in 1972 – hope that was a very fancy mirror for that price!

          • It was a lighted vanity mirror, very similar to the ones in my 2004 9-5. Back then—-they were far less common. I just think it was so cool that you can customize it to the extent of having that fancy mirror on one side and on the other side—a plain mirror or no mirror. Looking at build sheets from that era is fascinating. I bought a 1969 Cadillac Coupe DeVille back in the 1990s. The original owner was a traveling salesman. The people I bought it from were the 2nd owners and still had the sticker and build sheet. That car was San Mateo red and the customer specified a white vinyl top, white leather interior (Ostrich hyde), black carpeting, white dashboard, black steering wheel, white Cadillac floormats. Also, separate options included twilight sentinel, cruise control, mirror for passenger side visor, whitewall tires—-there weren’t “packages” just a long list of options to pick from that you ordered a la carte.

    • +1 😀

    • Impressive! Still a lot of unanswered questions of course but this is great progress!

    • The Griffin Not Necessary!!

    • fantastic news. long may it continue… happy happy happy

    • Awesome!

    • Very curious about the “new goodies under the hood”. Like that it has dual exhaust.

  2. Yes! Good work, guys!

  3. Perhaps someday, I will replace the peeling “Griffin” badge on my ’04 Saab with one of these nice, simple, silver on black SAAB badges. This one looks better to me anyway, than the one on my car.

    • Quite nice, isn’t it?

    • Agreed! Love the straight, black badge!

    • Is it just me or does it look like that badge has chips under neath around the edges?

      Silver is a great choice of color for that car too. Looks great!

      • those are reflections of ppl around and the lighting.

        • Okay, I zoomed in a little and can see legs and the production floor. I guess the rim is silver and is reflecting some black. That should be considered when taking pictures of it.

          I want one to replace my paint peeled silver one on the hood of my 9-3 and a smaller one for the steering wheel.

    • Angelo…I know the company who produce them…want some? 😀

      • Count me in! I’d buy 4 wheel-centre badges right now (I only have one left :( )
        Seriously, it would be great if there was a way of buying them.

        • If they get it licensed out maybe eu-decals could start selling versions of them or they could get Saab Parts involved to start selling them as a way to better reach out to existing owners.

  4. Can not find any difference in the exterior (besides the logo). I wonder what the modifications were to pass the pedestrian collision tests.

    • This is pre-production (i.e. essentially, possibly entirely, identical to MY12 Griffin).

    • Could perhaps be enough with a active bonnet ?
      That at least one of the suggestions I found when I did a little research on the matter, but I have no clue if it is enough.

    • I guess we’ll have to wait for details.

      • This one does not have the exterior modifications since it will be used for testing on open road.

        • But what about the interior? I see no pictures of the interior. Is there something interesting there? 😉

          • Things will happen interior-wise prior to launch, but NEVS are keeping those cards close to their chest for the time being.

  5. Very exciting to see. I also agree the new badge looks great.

  6. We’re getting there. May I venture that this is another one for the museum?

  7. Looks great!

  8. What’s under the bonnet ?

  9. Facelift? Perhaps it just had a few small wrinkles ironed out? More likely the pre-production cars haven’t got the facelift yet so they don’t attract attention. I’d love to see what’s under the bonnet. The badge looks okay. It reminds me of what was on the horn button in my first Saab, a 1976 99 EMS.

  10. I know I´m a bit biased (aren´t we all) but 9-3 is just a gorgeous car. I am very happy that NEVS has been able to pull this off!!

  11. Great news ! 😀

  12. One would almost become emotional with the thought that production has restarted. Hope there will be many more to come for many years. Way to go Nevs, great logobadge.

  13. Oh, happy day! Saab is back!

  14. Holy Smokes – much earlier than I expected!!!!
    Fantastic News!!!
    More like these news, asap!

  15. Bring it on Saab

  16. Things can only get better…

  17. Excellent! Congratulations!

  18. A black roundel with silver SAAB wording, I think I’ve seen this before!! 😉

    The Griffin Front with the pre-Griffin lights look kind of interesting in a silver car. I mean the whole blue of the Griffin is gone, it makes sense to take it also from the lamps.

    BTW, where can I get those black hubcaps??

  19. Truly fantastic !!! Well done NEVS !!!

  20. We’re on the road again! :-) Continiue the good work guys.

  21. Great! Nice car, nice logo, very Saab!

    • And as you mention Tim, indeed a very nice gesture towards the Saab fans. Certainly shows they care for the Saab drivers. We like these news items! Please keep them coming! :)

  22. I believe in SAAB yes

  23. Fantastic news!!
    NEVS: with this important point up to the realy production of new SAAB’s!!
    (I couldn’t think about a better song for this great news)

  24. I thought we all voted for a black one!

  25. Absolutely Great News, Congratulations and the very best wishes for the future. This is truely something to celebrate!!! :-)

  26. I hope they fixed the badges so they don’t fucking peel of after 3 years.

    • it’s a good day swearing not required, at least the badge looks better than the last one…

      • @ bass900i +1… I like the fact that people don’t use bad language on this site (up til now anyway!!)

  27. Les sceptiques seront confondus dus dus dus! :-)

  28. Truley excellent news! Now we must wait to see what the production 9-3 will be offering… I think this deserves a drink 😉
    Cheers all

  29. Great news Nevs!

    Interesting to read that there are in fact some visual facelifts on the exterior to come :)

    Tim, so, what about that engine, did you see it inside of the 9-3?

  30. Incredible day. Incredible people. Incredible car. And it is a very good color, although I hope it has the sand interior. And I also hope that they have a new supplier for the hood badge. But all around… Incredible! Well done to NEVS!!!!

  31. This is a very emotional and poignant moment for many many people. Not least of all the factory workers who lost their jobs but maintained their passion for SAAB even though many of them are now working elsewhere. To those that are now back at the factory it must be a fantastic feeling and to those who are not we hope you will be one day as production ramps up. Well done NEVS on an extremely orderly professional and discreet job, but this is only one stage in many. A fantastic day for anyone with even the slightest drop of SAAB blood running through their veins!

  32. What an outburst of news, what a breakthrough in events, it’s truly emotional – SAAB’s BACK in full combat gear!
    Congratulations NEVS for making it possible, and SU for keeping the faith, and keeping us together!

  33. Nice! Would be nice to know what’s under the hood though.

  34. Great day for Saab-Nevs. Great day for all who kept on believing in it. Saab will never die.

  35. My criticisms of NEVS Public Relations efforts not withstanding—–taking everyone back to late December, 2011 and first quarter of 2012—-did anyone here really believe we’d see a SAAB rolling off that assembly line in September of 2013? I did not. We might have all been hoping for this day back then—-but honestly, did any of us see a path to get here? NEVS owners, management, staff—-all deserve a really enromous amount of credit for making all of this happen. Putting together a plan to purchase the bankrupt Saab, getting their house in order to sign on with suppliers (I should say, convincing suppliers to sign on with them), making this day a reality—-a newly built 9-3 assembled and being shown to the public by this website. This is a remarkable achievement. I know it’s pre-production—-it might not be exactly what we’ll be seeing when the cars that will be sold to the public start to roll off the line—-but still, what a great story this is. Hopefully this will make it to the screens of some former U.S. and Canadian Saab dealers and hopefully they could be part of the charge to bring Saab back to North America—-politely asking NEVS to “BRING IT ON!”

  36. This is Great news!!!! I am so happy !!!!!!!!!

  37. SAAB is back and it is indeed time to celebrate. :) Keep up your great work, NEVS!

  38. Angelo, I couldn’t have said it better. Congratulations to NEVS! This is a huge milestone. Well done!! Now, if only we could see some production models for sale in Canada… :)

  39. Well, I’m big enough to admit when I’m wrong. A big CONGRATULATIONS to NEVS for getting this done, and to SaabsUnited who obviously never lost faith, despite jerks like me. The end of the beginning for NEVS, and now the start of a new chapter for Saab.

    Good stuff.

  40. Good work

  41. Great work guys!

    Those don’t look like ‘standard disc brakes’ to me… am I wrong? Maybe a hybrid drive train with brake regeneration?

    • These could, in fact, be electric wheel hub motors – or, as you guessed some sort of brake regeneration or retarder. Now I’m on the hook… Are we looking at something totally unexpected? The next days are going to be very, very interresting… Go NEVS!

      • Nope they are plastic covers to protect the brakes from corrosion, used by most manufacturers and only removed just before the customer receives the car.

        • What a pitty. At least you could have left us with the imagination of something like that… 😉 Thanks Tim for clarifying.

        • I’m absolutely not implying that you are wrong now Tim (!!), but aren’t those usually just white saran wrap like ? Have they upgraded or does it perhaps differ from different manufacturers ?

          I don’t usually study brake disc covers that intensely but my last recollection of seeing this on was that it looked like saran wrap, but I could be totally off. It has been known to happen.

          Besides, a whole plastic cover would be easier to get off then peeling and hassling with saran wrap so it makes more sense.

          I have a hard time believing that some new tech like that would be that visible (Why not at least paint it black if it was something new ?) so it’s not that I’m implying that you are wrong. I’m just thinking out loud.

  42. I’m almost speechless… Amazing news – amazing NEVS! Great job you guys!!!
    Now, what in the whole wide world of Saab enthusiasm was under this beautiful silver bonnet???
    Cheers anyways!

  43. Congratulations to NEVS and Saab!

    This is fabulous NEVS(sic!) Kudos to all staff and employees. Can’t wait to hear a full story on the cars and be able to see the specs on them. Truly a great day for all Saab fans and for Trollhättan.

    Now I’ll go out for a celebratory drive in my trusty 2002 9-5!!!

  44. Fantastic news…let’s all have a beer tonight!

  45. Amazing news! Would love to get some news about the engine, and about how the car sounded :) So eager to see the face-lifted version now as well, but even more eager to find out who’s in charge of the design team.

    Guess we’ll have to wait a couple of weeks, but we sure do have something great to celebrate until then now that the phoenix has once again resurrected.

    Welcome back, SAAB, and thank you NEVS!

  46. SAAB’s back!

  47. Wonderful, this should keep me in good spirits for awhile!
    Congrats to all for their hard work. Can’t wait for more good news.

  48. Here we go again. Good luck guys ! With the old/new, new/old but very good design of the 9-3 ! Restart as a small car manufacture – months ago I thought it could happen. I am very glad. :-)

  49. Super !
    I realy want to know,how look’s inside and under the hood.The factory whitch made my car is alive.Amazing,Saab realy have nine lives like a cat.