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Saab is back: First cars produced under new owners

STOCKHOLM — Two and a half years after Saab shut down production due to financial trouble, the Swedish carmaker rolled a new sedan off its assembly lines in Trollhattan, in southwest Sweden, on Monday.

National Electric Vehicle Sweden, the Hong Kong-based company that bought the brand out of bankruptcy in September last year, presented its new 9-3 Aero Sedan as the first in a series of new cars it will produce.

The company, also called NEVS, said the first 200 cars will be delivered in the spring and will cost $42,500 each. Next year, it will also launch a 9-3 wagon, followed by convertible and electric models.

Saab shut down production in April 2011 after six decades of building cars as its earlier Dutch owner, Spyker Cars, struggled with financing. It filed for bankruptcy in December the same year, dealing a huge blow to the Swedish town of Trollhattan and the company's 3,000 employees.

NEVS now employs around 600 people, including many former Saab workers, and acting president Mattias Bergman said he felt "incredibly happy, proud and humble" that the firm has been able to restart production.

Bergman wouldn't give any forecast of how many cars NEVS expects to sell, but said they will start on a small scale and adjust production based on order intake.

Volvo to start testing self-driving cars by 2017

STOCKHOLM — Swedish-based Volvo Car Group has joined the race to develop self-driving cars, saying it plans to build 100 such vehicles in a pilot project.

The Chinese-owned automaker said Monday it will test its "autonomous" cars on 30 miles of selected roads in the Swedish city of Goteborg, starting in 2017.

In what it called "the world's first large-scale autonomous driving pilot project," Volvo said the vehicle would assume all driving functions, though the driver "is expected to be available for occasional control."

Parking would be fully automated, allowing the driver to leave the vehicle as it finds a vacant spot to park by itself.

Associated Press

Saab is back: First cars produced under new owners 12/02/13 [Last modified: Monday, December 2, 2013 10:14pm]

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