With the rumor of a very large sale of the first EV’s yesterday that could potentially be a whole year or more of production, believe it or not there is further speculation of increased production coming to the Trollhättan factory.
Today Simon Warburton at Just Auto has written that if given the green light to start producing the gasoline and diesel versions of the current 9-3, NEVS say they could be hiring as quickly as winter.
“We are evaluating the possibility to start production of the existing 9-3 model with the existing powertrain next summer,” a NEVS spokesman told just-auto from Sweden. “That would give us some benefits as we could start the recruitment process earlier than planned.”
There is nothing really new in the above statement from NEVS but that they could start recruiting as early as winter is a ray of hope to the many workers who have not found employment.
NEVS also adds that they have been in regular contact with the unions and although they won’t say the specific number of employees needed, they will make more thorough plans if they see this as possible.
The words coming from NEVS in this article seem to be in contrast with what has been written about their plans and when in the past they have said they wouldn’t rule anything out, now they seem to say things like “if we have the capacity and there is a demand, we would like to fulfil the demand”. It is fair to say that business models sometimes change but this doesn’t appear to be the case and if they plan to possibly hire as quick as winter, I would say the plans were always there but they needed to take the necessary steps to see it were even possible.
NEVS recently wrote to around 500 suppliers involved in future 9-3 production and took the opportunity to let them know of its plans for new powertrain possibilities.
“I think as of today, we have responses from a little bit more than half of them. I don’t have the answers, but we have not heard anything alarming,” said the NEVS spokesman. “At the same time we let them know we are evaluating the possibility of gasoline or diesel production next summer.”
This is pretty big news, this step would not be taken unless they were dead serious about producing these cars and like suggested in comments, I would think that having a gas and diesel powered Saab to start production again is a step in the right direction and also seems to fit with why we hear NEVS stating that they don’t close the door on hybrids or anything for that matter.
From what I continue to read and not just on SaabsUnited, it looks like they are taking the right steps and are carefully planning their route to a successful restart and future of Saab Cars. Is there risk that things could flop? Of coarse just as in anything, there are risk but NEVS seem to be really cautious and put a lot of thought into what they do.
I remain optimistic and hope to hear that the green light is given and the gas/diesel 9-3’s are running down the production line soon. If this happens and along with the EV’s that may already be sold, the factory could be busier then it’s been in a very long time and with more offerings for a power train then ever before.