Saab's new owner is seeking to restart production at the automaker's mothballed factory in Sweden later this year.
The Saab plant in Trollhattan is "practically ready" to begin building the 9-3 mid-sized car, said Mikael Oestlund, a spokesman for National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS).
The company has recruited about 300 people including team leaders to oversee assembly, Oestlund told Automotive News Europe.
The production start is dependent on NEVS coming to an agreement with parts suppliers, something it has yet to do. "We are not there yet and therefore we are not able to make the decision of start of production," Oestlund said.
If agreement is reached, it will be possible to start production later this year, he said.
National Electric Vehicle Sweden, which is owned by a Chinese renewable energy investor, bought Saab out of bankruptcy last August.
Oestlund said the 9-3 that will go into production will be very similar to the 9-3 that Saab stopped building in 2011. He did not disclose engine details except to say that the gasoline version would be turbocharged. An electric version, planned to launch next year, would be given a much more comprehensive face-lift, he said.
Oestlund said the 9-3 will be sold in Europe and China initially with U.S. sales possible later. "Saab will again be a global brand, but we will gradually add markets. The U.S. market is important for us and we intend to enter when we see that we have a business case," he said.
NEVS also plans to build cars based on the Phoenix architecture developed by Saab before the automaker went bankrupt in 2011. The platform will have to be modified to remove the 20 percent of parts sourced from former Saab owner General Motors, Oestlund said.