STOCKHOLM Nov 20 The buyer of bankrupt Swedish
automaker Saab is eyeing a possible relaunch of the brand's 9-3
model with a conventional engine ahead of the launch of its
first electric car.
National Electric Vehicle Sweden, which bought Saab assets
earlier this year and plans to launch its first electric car in
2014, said it had sounded out suppliers about making a
gasoline-powered car next year.
"We have not taken any decisions yet, but we are evaluating
the possibility," NEVS spokesman Mikael Ostlund said on Tuesday.
"If it is possible for the suppliers to deliver parts that
allow production to begin next summer of the existing 9-3 with a
traditional powertrain we think there is a market for it."
Saab, which had made cars since 1947, went into bankruptcy
at the end of 2011, less than two years after General Motors
sold it to Dutch sportscar group Spyker.
NEVS, owned by National Modern Energy Holdings Ltd whose
founder and principal owner is Chinese-Swedish businessman Kai
Johan Jiang, later bought most of Saab's assets with the
intention of making electric vehicles based on the group's cars.
Production of a conventional 9-3 would not affect plans for
the launch of a 9-3 with an electric engine nor the subsequent
launch of an electric vehicle based on Saab's Phoenix platform,
"As we see it, there is a demand that we can meet. We can
begin recruiting (staff) earlier than we had planned. We can
also use the plant to a greater extent than previously planned
while it generates an inflow of revenues," he said.
(Reporting by Niklas Pollard; Editing by Dan Lalor)