The battery-powered 9-3 will not wear a Saab emblem.
National Electric Vehicles Sweden (NEVS), the company that bought the remains of Saab, will begin building an electric version of the 9-3 in China in the coming months.
The Chinese government recently gave NEVS permission to build the electric 9-3 in Tianjin, according to Motor Authority. Assembly will take place in a new factory that's still under construction. The plant will have an annual capacity of 200,000 cars when it's completed by the end of the year.
NEVS has agreed to provide 150,000 examples of the battery-powered 9-3 to a Chinese company named Panda New Energy that specializes in leasing electric cars. The model will look like the 9-3 that was sold on our shores until 2011 (pictured), though technical specifications remain unconfirmed.
The yet-unnamed EV will not be badged as a Saab, however. NEVS couldn't purchase the griffin logo with the rest of Saab's intellectual property, and it lost the right to use the Saab name in 2014. NEVS flags flying outside of the company's forlorn factory in Trollhättan, Sweden, suggest the Saab name has been sent to the pantheon of automotive history.
NEVS wants to focus on the Chinese market. There are no signs that the company plans on re-introducing the aging 9-3 in Europe, let alone in the United States. However, those plans could change if the company manages to build up a full lineup of electric cars in the coming years.