Turkey buys rights to Saab 9-3 for domestic car

  • Image Credit: Saab
Just in time for Halloween, a Saab is rising from the dead. National Electric Vehicle Sweden, which controls the Swedish automaker, is selling the intellectual property rights for the second-generation 9-3 to the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBITAK). This government-supported agency intends to turn the sedan into the "Turkish National Car," according to NEVS.

Using the aging 9-3 as a backbone, Turkey intends to strengthen the nation's auto industry by producing an extended-range electric vehicle by 2020, Daily Sabah reports. The goal is for 85-90 percent of the components to come from the country. "From design to production, Turkey will be the center for all parts and processes regarding the first domestically produced car," Interim Science, Industry and Technology Minister Fikri Işık said to Daily Sabah.

TÜBITAK considered developing its own vehicle from scratch but calculated at least $1 billion in costs. Without going into specific detail, Işık said that buying the rights to the existing Saab turned out to be a better option. Despite having sold the 9-3 IP, NEVS is signing on to help with a business plan and to create the necessary supply and distribution chains for the EV.

NEVS previously tried to revive the 9-3 itself by briefly continuing production and attempting to launch an electric version. Earlier this year, it partnered with Dongfeng to develop green vehicles. The company has been beset with financial problems, embroiled in a seemingly interminable post-bankruptcy reorganization progress.
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NEVS has been chosen by TÜBITAK as its partner for developing a Turkish National Car

TÜBITAK, (the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey) which has been assigned to develop "Turkish National Car" and realize this important mission, has chosen National Electric Vehicle Sweden AB, Nevs, as the industrial partner for the project.

The cooperation has started in June 2015 between Nevs and TÜBITAK and future industrial synergies in terms of development and manufacturing shall be generated with this cooperation. In the short term perspective this cooperation shall put Nevs' assets to work and shall give Turkey quick access to extensive automotive knowledge and experience.

Nevs shall also provide its know-how in the developing of the business plan and establishing of the supply and distribution chains to TÜBITAK.

Together with the new shareholders Tianjin and SRIT, the partner Teamsun as well as the cooperation with Dongfeng Motor, the cooperation with TÜBITAK is an important step in building up Nevs as a strong automotive company with industrial, technological and financial partnerships.

"I am very proud to have this strategic cooperation in place. Turkey will be a long-term partner and we will both gain a lot from this cooperation. With Turkey's focus on electric vehicles we also see this as an important step towards our vision of shaping mobility for a more sustainable future", said Mattias Bergman, President of Nevs.

Facts about TÜBITAK

The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey, TÜBITAK, is the leading agency for management, funding and conduct of research in Turkey. TÜBITAK was established in 1963 with a mission to advance science and technology, conduct research and support Turkish researchers.

TÜBITAK is an autonomous institution and is governed by a scientific board whose members are selected from prominent scholars from universities, industry and research institutions. TÜBITAK is responsible for promoting, developing, organizing, conducting and coordinating research and development in line with national targets and priorities. Further, TÜBITAK is one of the key institutions involved in the Turkish national car project.

Saab 9-3 Information

Saab 9-3

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