Economy, Auto

Turkey to Build Saab 9-3 Variant

Turkey to Build Saab 9-3 Variant Turkey to Build Saab 9-3 Variant

Turkey is to produce the Saab 9-3 sedan vehicle, as the incumbent government has bought the rights to produce the car.

The new "national car" will be based off the old 9-3 and will begin full production by 2020, Cars UK reports.

A few days ago, Turkey’s Science, Industry and Technology Minister Fikri Isik revealed three prototypes for the first Turkish-built cars, which the Turkish press declared were a mix of the Saab 9-3 and the Cadillac BLS.

Isik has now announced that Turkey has made a deal with NEVS (National Electric Vehicle Sweden), which owns all that’s left of Saab, to buy up the rights to Saab 9-3 (although it does not get the rights to the use the Saab name) and use it as a basis for a new car manufacturing industry in Turkey.

The Turks are planning to focus their new venture on range-extended electric cars, which will not only be manufactured in Turkey but will also source at least 85% of parts from home suppliers. Isik did not reveal what NEVS had been paid for the 9-3, although he said it was very affordable. He said it was a pragmatic decision to use an existing platform rather than spend $1 billion and five years developing something new.

With cooperation from NEVS, Turkey plans to launch its new 9-3-based cars by 2020.

The decision to make a national vehicle for Turkey may seem like a step backward for that country's automotive sector, as it has enjoyed huge success by teaming up with companies like Ford and Fiat to produce their latest models there.

The severe devaluation of the Turkish lira against the euro and the US dollar has deeply affected the country's ability to import parts, according to BSCB.

After booming sales at +37% in August, September sales in that country saw a 4% drop year-on-year to 64,025 registrations.