The Saab 9-3 is heading to Turkey, as that country has apparently purchased the rights to the vehicle’s for use in a new Turkish national car.
“We bought Saab 9-3’s intellectual property rights, but not its name,” Turkish Science, Industry and Technology Minister Fikri Isik told the Turkish TRT news channel on Thursday. “The brand [of the car to be developed] will be a Turkish brand, it will not be Saab.” he said. “We will develop the technology in Turkey.”
Isik said that, once in mass production, a “minimum 85 percent of car parts will be produced in Turkey.”
The country’s main goal is to build an extended-range electric vehicle and they believe that their best and most affordable option was to start with an already developed platform.
It’s not clear what the implications of the agreement are for the Saab brand, which is currently owned by National Electric Vehicle Sweden (or NEVS). The last new 9-3s were made by NEVS under the SAAB name in 2014. The company has been in and out of court, fighting off creditors instead of building cars. In fact, it’s unclear whether NEVS even has much of a chance of ever building Saab-branded cars again because the Saab name is actually owned by Saab, the aerospace company, and they’re not too thrilled with all the bad press the automotive company has generated in the last few years.
According to Saab Planet, the Turkish 9-3 will start hitting the roads in 2019.