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The Final Saab Story: NEVS to auction the last Trollhattan-built 9-3

Published in blog.hemmings.com

Photography by Daniel Björner, and courtesy of NEVS

The world’s most dedicated Saab enthusiasts converged in Trollhättan, Sweden, the weekend of June 7-9 to attend the 2019 Saab Car Museum Festival. It was during this event that NEVS -the electric car-focused company that purchased the former Saab Automobile AB factory and assets out of the 2011 bankruptcy of the short-lived, Spyker Cars-owned Swedish Automobile NV– announced it will auction the very last example of the model year 2014 Saab 9-3 Aero sedans built.

On December 2, 2013, NEVS began a limited production run of 9-3 Aero four-doors (Sport Sedans, in recent Saab parlance) to ensure its chain of circa-400 suppliers -at that point, dormant for 2 1/2 years- remained intact. Those cars were largely similiar to the proposed 2012 9-3 “Griffin” models, which sported redesigned front fascias, “ice block” blue-tinted headlamp housings, and other minor detail changes from the final GM-built models.

The NEVS 9-3, which used 1970s-style SAAB logotype badging, was powered exclusively by a GM-sourced, gas-fueled 2.0-liter, 220-hp turbocharged four-cylinder engine mated to a six-speed manual (priced at 279,000 SEK, or $42,842) or automatic (priced at 289,000 SEK/$44,377) transmission; it was only offered in silver or black. NEVS claims 420 were built before production stopped again in May 2014.

In the years since, NEVS developed a facelifted, battery electric-powered version of this car, built in Tianjin for the Chinese market, but the bones remain based on the General Motors Epsilon platform “new generation” 9-3 of 2003, sold in the US between ’03 and ’11. The company is currently developing its own line of premium, plug-in electric models, while taking on contract work for other advanced mobility firms.

The final Model Year 2014 9-3 off the line was VIN YTNFD4AZXE1100257, the silver, automatic-equipped Turbo4 shown above wearing plate ENC 961, and no body graphics. This still-new car, with 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) on the odometer, was on public display in the Main Gate of NEVS in Trollhättan during the Saab Festival. It was announced that the auction house, starting price, and the terms of sale will be published at a later date. Stay tuned!

Click on the thumbnail photos below to see more Model Year 2014 9-3s. Special thanks to Daniel for on-site photos of the actual final 9-3!