NEVS 9-3 and 9-3X first impressions

Today NEVS has published pictures of the first EV by NEVS the 9-3, and a second car, a 9-3X which is an electric version of the old 9-3X. So let me share with you my first impressions on those cars.

NEVS 9-3 EV sedan

Photo Credits: NEVS

One or two weeks ago somebody asked me, what makes currently a car modern and why could a NEVS 9-3 feel dated. I don’t say look dated as the design of the 9-3 still looks modern and fresh even compared with newer cars.

Cars haven’t changed much in the last 20 years, they are lighter have changed the lightning technology used and have some kind of connectivity with the net and allow to interact with the car via your smartphone. There have been also some changes in the drivetrain, but it is of no relevance in this case, and some more expensive cars have some kind of active dampers for a better ride or a change of the riding feel depending on the mood of the driver.

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Great sadness here in the UK today.

Jonathan Nash

 

Today we hear of the sudden passing of a truly lovely, warm, charismatic ambassador for SAAB not just here in the UK but abroad too.

Jonathan Nash was a great Managing Director of Saab GB who always showed huge enthusiasm for the brand and had a knack of making everybody in his company feel at ease.

During my time with SAAB at dealership level I met him on many occasions both at events and during his dealership visits. It was at these dealership visits that the first thing he would do upon arrival was to go around each individual in each department and have a relaxed chat with them before heading upstairs. A small gesture you may think but it meant a lot to the staff and he knew it. The last time I saw him was at Erik Carlssons funeral and he still had that lovely warm caring nature. He will be missed by so many.

Please see attached message from Corin Richards, Managing Director:

It is with great regret and sadness that I have to inform you of the death of Jonathan Nash, who passed away during the night on Tuesday, after suffering a heart attack.

Jonathan was a charismatic and energetic man, who worked with Saab GB since 1989, culminating in his stewardship as Managing Director from the launch of the 9-3 (9440) series in 2003 until 2010, when he took up a senior management position at Saab Automobile. Since 2012 he had been working as a Director with the consultancy and training group, PHM.

Our thoughts at this very sad and shocking time are with the family he leaves behind; his wife Helen and their 3 children.

Regards,

 

Corin Richards / Managing Director

 

A few trademark thoughts (or a crazy idea?)

As you all probability has seen will Nevs from now on use the Nevs trademark on their products. If Nevs would use “Saab” trademark or something else has been discussed here at SU for a long time,  and now we got the answer. For me personally I would say it’s sad the Saab trademark now officially is history, but this scenario isn’t something that was absolutely unexpected. I would like to wish Nevs all the best with the new trademark,  but there is a question I guess many Saab-enthusiasts will raise now.

Saturday 6th was the National day of Sweden, so I found a Swedish flag and drove my T16 down to the Stallbacka factory for some photos.
Saturday 6th is the National day of Sweden, so I found a Swedish flag and drove my T16 down to the Stallbacka factory for some photos.

What will happen with the big Saab signs that’s placed around on the factory site?

The obvious answer is of course that Nevs will remove them –  it’s simply no need for them now,  when Nevs is the new trademark.

I know this signs have been a very popular photo location for us fans,  and for many this had been the highlight at the visit to the factory area at Stallbacka. I also noticed in social media that many people in the Trollhättan area used the day today just to secure a picture of their car in front of the big Saab sign at Stallbacka.
With the Saab signs down at Stallbacka, and at the ANA dealership building there nowadays are signs for a German brand, so that we have left of the three popular “Saab-destinations” in Trollhättan that the average Saab tourist visited is the Saab Car Museum.
In the future I’m sure the museum will be more and more important for us Saabnuts, and the absolute obvious place to visit if you visit Trollhättan, so I have a crazy idea.
I don’t know if this is something that’s possible to realize,  but why not take one of the big Saab signs you see when you enter the Saab factory area at Stallbacka and place it on the museum area (or if that’s impossible –  take one of the other big signs that is mounted on the buildings and mount it on a wall outside the museum), preferably so future Saabnuts can take a picture with this sign in the background.
Again, I must precise that it’s just a idea,  but I hope Nevs and Saab Car Museum notices this idea and have a look at if it’s possible to do this for us nostalgic(??)  fans…

A movement in motion

I really don’t have a clue what this means but it seams it to be their new claim, according to this video (3:03). It is a nice alliteration, but what do they want to say?

https://youtu.be/56PSiTmpJdE

A new brand, a new logo and a new claim. The font for the logo looks very futuristic, but the new site and the new light font feels too clean too …. too similar to that company with the one fruit.

In an interview with Jonas Hernquist, sales and marketing director at NEVS, at the local newspaper he says what I think is the real reson to leave the name SAAB behind.

The second reason is that we are going to invest billions in products in the coming years, we want to do it in our own name and with our own brand, not a brand that we have borrowed and licensed from someone else.

So maybe it is not a bad idea at all. But despite the new logo and the new web site, and flags and lanyards I’m still missing one important thing. The car that will have that brand name.

A picture of a “so called” grill has been distributed with the press release, and yes it is not complicated to imagine this on the grill of a 9-3. But it would haave been nicer if they would have been able to not only present an empty shell, but also to show how are they goint to fill that shell. I mean, it must have been 2 or 3 moths ago when I read a very short article, that the development of the NEVS 9-3 was completed. Since then we have seen a black 9-3 with a hideous front grill, that converted the SAAB 3-piece grill into a normal 1-piece grill, but besides of that it looked just like the last SAAB 9-3, so I can’t imagine that this is the NEVS 9-3.

I wish them well, and I will follow all their steps as I’ve done in the past, but I think It will take me some time till I learn to call a car developed in Trollhättan a NEVS.

And BTW, on a video at the ttela.se site I’ve seen that the SAAB Wording at the factory is not there anymore.

UPDATE! Will not happen due to lack of interest!

 

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Convertibles at a SAAB festival some years ago with my Silver 9-3

It has come to the knowledge of SU that the SaabInt16 meeting in Vadstena has made a lot of Swedish SAAB entusiasts upset. The reasons why is primarily that the Swedish SAAB Clubs members are not invited to participate in the event. Club members can get limited access by working for the event organization and get a T-shirt basically. The cost for the meeting is set to 150 EUROS a sum that no previous SAAB meeting has reached up to. One wonders what could cost so much. I have spoken to some Swedish SAAB enthusiasts and collectors and they do not feel invited and are not going to participate at all. This obvious exclusion of Swedish SAAB people is worrying. One guy called me and said the only reason now to be a member is the get the special old-timer insurance through MHRF. I feel sorry for the prospective international visitors who will come to sweden and will not get to meet with so many swedes as they have used to do at previous SAAB meetings in our country.

An intersting alternative for swedish and foreign SAAB enthusiasts would be to gather in Trollhättan on the extended weekend of june 5-6. This is an interesting weekend since the 6th is the Swedish National Day. But not only that but also the BIG national automotive celebration day. Virtually every car club in sweden is engaged in some activities this day.

The Saab Club is no exception. This year they will join forces with the Volvo Club in a really nice activity. It all starts at 09:00 with a gathering at the SAAB car museum in Trollhättan. Around 11:00 the drive / rally starts with the finish at the Volvo Museum in Gothenburg /Göteborg a 1-2 hour drive depending on what activities are on the road. The cost for this event is 200 SEK. I visualize that foreign Saab enthusiast without a car can ride “shotgun” with fellow Swedish Saabpeople who would gladly share some space in their cars and split the fuel bill. When the meeting is over in Gothenburg I would guess a lot of Saabers will head back to Trollhättan. This day would certainly be a memorable day for an Saab enthusiasts. Saabs and Volvos in a shared event on the National day with flags  parades etc. Besides that it is usually good weather and the nights are bright and short.

If this sounds like a good idea I bet we could arrange a meeting at the Saab Car Museum on the day before Sunday the 5th. Just a nice gathering with cars and possibly a trunk/swap meet.

This is an idea that could be done without a BIG organization and lots of money. It is just about on the day 2 months to the day. So what do You think?

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Volvo Museum in Gothenburg

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SAAB Car Museum in Trollhättan and my ex.TX

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Picture take at the Midnattssolsrallyt 2008 – Volvos and my Olive 96 MC Rally

 

 

Chinese legal and illegal love for SAAB

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Got a link from Francois Godillion on an article in CarNewsChina.com. The old generation Saab 9-5 is now made by The Beijing Auto corporation as the Senova B70 car. At a Beijing Auto dealer this D70 was found with a SAAB exterior kit. A kit that can be bought on the internet for 86 USD making the Senova to a SAAB 9-5 AERO. It is in all ways legal for a owner to do with his/her car but if a dealer is selling cars like this I guess it is another ballgame. But this is not the first story of copied stuff in China. Some years ago Volvo Trucks found a company making Volvo-Like trucks in China.

Nice to see that the SAAB name finally reappears in GOLD last time that happened was in the grille of the 99 models in late seventies. Gold is a color that is very appreciated in china so why not get a Senova in red with gold accents that would be the most successful SAAB ever. That is if You believe in china traditions.

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The really illegal stuff is found in some printed material from BAIC as photographed in a Senova dealership . Wonder if Nicolas Cage knows he is an ad campaign or is it a chinese look-alike gentleman? On the posters can be seen a 9-5 NG steering wheel, interior from the SAAB museum, a NON-SAAB jetfighter (guess they did not dare having a Gripen or Viggen in the poster) and the old SAAB-Performance Team.

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Planned SU project vehicle: 9000 AERO

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Yes I have had a 9000S once, a silver metallic 1987. Originally sold in the US to a swedish correspondent working Washington DC. That was a fine car with all the bells and whistles of the TURBO version but no turbo. A 130 bhp super efficient engine with 6.5l/100km gas milage. The 9000 was when it came out as the first of 4 siblings (Fiat Chroma, AlfaRomeo 164 and Lancia Thema) in 1984 one of the best cars on the road. Never had SAAB Automobile made such a jump in technology. All previous cars dated back two decades. SAAB needed something more and new. The Swedish-Italian development was reaching the pinnacle of car engineering. The SAAB 9000 Turbo was a sales success and the performance and handling was so radical and new compared to earlier versions from the Trollhättan engineers.

The model evolved gradually and in 1993 the AERO model was launched after the previous Talladega limited run model. The Aero was getting super performance with a 225 bhp engine and a top speed of 240 km/h making it sweden´s faster production car ever. The acceleration on 3rd and 4th gear was better than most Italian exotics from Ferrari. The red color of the 9000 Aero was even named IMOLA Red. Was that a hint on what cars this swedish beast could take on? One guy who knows the 9000 Aero as his daily drive is ex. design manager Björn Envall who has a black AERO with some 580000 km on the odo.

Over the years as You might know I have restored and built quite a few 99 Turbos, now it is time to finally do a 9000 AERO. So what we are looking for is a 9000 AERO in a condition that could be made into a truly great car. I does not have to be in mint condition that will be done though the project.

So if anyone here has a car like this or know of a car please let us know. The preferred car would be IMOLA Red, manual transmission, black leather interior. But any specimen would be of interest really as long as it not rotten out and the interior is in a decent shape.

Lets once again Unite and do a project together here on SU similar to what we did when saving the last SAAB 9-3 TTid. With Your support and that of the long list of SU commercial supporters. This project would be doable. The project will be shown here on SU of course and will be peppered with in depth stories from the people who designed and built the 9000 cars. A teaser for all of You: the unique captains leather interior was originally designed in 1977 before the launch of the planned SUPER AERO 900.

Contact jtrued  [at]  gmail.com

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