saab 9-3

Well, it looks as if the Saab 9-3 will live on, but not as a Saab. The intellectual property rights for the car – along with royalties – for the car have been purchased by Turkey, which will use the platform as a basis to develop its national car, news reports indicate.

The country’s Science, Industry and Technology Minister Fikri Isik said that Turkey had bought the Saab 9-3’s intellectual property rights, but not its name, Hurriyet Daily News reported. “The brand will be a Turkish brand, it will not be Saab. We’ll develop the technology in Turkey,” Isik said in a televised interview.

The decision to go with the Saab route was put down to speed, according to the Daily Sabah. Isik said that while it would be possible to produce a prototype from scratch and develop it, doing so would take up to five years and would cost US$1 billion, and the cooperation means that the government will not waste all that time and money.

“We conducted a thorough study, and at this point determined that the Saab 9-3 is the most suitable platform for us,” he said. He did not reveal figures regarding the deal, save that the purchase was made at a “very affordable cost.”

saab 9-3 2

Isik said that Turkish involvement in the development will be high – the government will try to make sure that not only Turkish citizens are employed for the project, and said a minimum of 85% of the parts used for the car will be produced in Turkey once series production begins. The plan is to get the national car out by 2020.

The deal was apparently inked some time back. Saab CEO Mattias Bergman said both parties had signed on the dotted line on May 28, and the automaker had built prototypes, which were unveiled recently. Bergman added that Saab’s engineering team and the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (Tubitak) will work together in developing the design of the car, with Saab providing production parts and system overview.

“We’ll also share our resources in product development. The resources we don’t have are provided by Tubitak. We work together with Tubitak engineers in their laboratories,” Bergman said.

Meanwhile, Isik said Tubitak will assume the leadership of the project, but cooperation with Saab’s owners, National Electric Vehicle Sweden, will continue. He added that Turkey’s main goal was to advance itself in the field of extended-range electric vehicles, and the new car will be a platform for that goal. Nothing chicken about it then, the approach.