Today at 12:50, a team of three reporters from SU met with NEVS at the Saab main gate in order to witness something very special. The first car ever produced by NEVS!
At 13:22 Central European Time the first pre-production car of the NEVS chapter in the Saab history book left the production line. At an internal event hosted by the NEVS management and with some specially invited guests, SU being one of these, people gathered at the end of production-line and witnessed this historic event. A silver colored Saab 9-3 sedan had its engine started and systems tested before it left the final station of the production line and was rolled off with admiration by the spectators. A lot of people had gathered in the final assembly building and everyone felt that the Saab-spirit truly was alive.
Mattias Bergman talked about the effort of getting to the point of where NEVS are right now and how grateful he is for all the work that everyone has made.
After that Stig Runesson took over and talked about the emotions that this moment and the restart of the factory brought, a factory is supposed to sound and smell a certain way. Stig pointed out that this kind of job of restarting the factory will only happen once, probably never again.
Frank Smit described the work as walking uphill in a "tuned ski-slope" which is one where you've the night before poured a huge amount of water on in order to make it more slippery. Trying to walk uphill on that, if someone slips, others are affected as well, but right now NEVS has come a long way up the hill.
Representatives from the Swedish Government and the local government also spoke about the admirable job done by the people at NEVS.
This car is on purpose built as the old version of the 9-3 but with some new goodies under the hood. It does not have the new upgraded facelift exterior which NEVS will launch at a later time. This beta-series is mainly built to calibrate the production line systems and to test the new components. This precautionary mentality is something I consider a wise one, just imagine if NEVS would have entered full production with un-tested components and it turned out that some of them had issues, replacing these components on thousands of cars would have been a real nightmare.
We are extremely grateful to have been invited to this otherwise completely internal event at SAAB and as the only form of media be able to share this highly important event with the Saab fans of the world. That NEVS decided to invite us really demonstrates the willingness within the NEVS management to embrace the importance that is the fan-based community.
That this event was kept secret up until the point of this article also enforces the fact that NEVS wont tell the world of things they are going to do until they've done it.
It can be noted that just a few hundred meters behind car number one, was car number two! One important detail we can announce is that the chassi-number of the car has changed, from the YS3 which Saab used to have for cars built in Trollhättan to: YTN (Which I think stands for: Sweden, Trollhättan, NEVS)
From us at SAABSUNITED we can only say job well done to NEVS and a big thank you for allowing us to share this moment with the world!