Saab amazingly lives on, even if you can’t go to a dealership and pick up one right now. The latest move of the zombie automaker takes it to Turkey, or at least a part of the brand. Parent company National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS) is reportedly selling the intellectual property rights for the beloved second-gen 9-3 model. The lucky recipient of those aging vehicle designs is none other than the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK), according to a recent press release from NEVS.
TUBITAK, which can be viewed by some as a rather unfortunate acronym, is an agency that receives support from the Turkish government. The organization is headed up by a scientific board that draws from academia, research institutions and industry experts. It has plans for the old 9-3, making it the basis for an extended-range electric Turkish National Car that should be ready for production by the year 2020.
Originally, NEVS’ plan involved using the second-gen 9-3 to start churning out electric vehicles and putting Saab back on the map. Production was stopped dead in its tracks by a bankruptcy and ensuing reorganization.
Originally, TUBITAK was giving serious thought to creating a vehicle from scratch. Somewhere along the way it came to the conclusion that buying the rights to an old car would help reduce the estimated $1 billion USD price tag for developing such a machine.
Lest one argue that the upcoming model isn’t Turkish by nature, keep in mind that TUBITAK is shooting for about 85 to 90 percent of the parts coming from Turkey. It’s a target that many Chevy, Ford and Dodge fans would be jealous of. Needless to say, this new plan will embody much of the national pride of Turkey.
NEVS isn’t just handing off the intellectual property rights of the old 9-3. The company, which has been in desperate need of cash, will be acting as a consultant for TUBITAK, helping to set up supply and distribution channels, plus write a business plan. Will this mean a future return of cars born from jets? At this point, who knows?