Swedish carmaker Saab has a long history going back to parent company’s Svenska Aeroplan Aktiebolaget’s (SAAB) founding in 1937. The automotive division was formed in 1945 and exchanged hands numerous times before filing for bankruptcy in 2011. National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS) acquired Saab in 2012 and relaunched one final production run of Saab vehicles from the original Trollhättan factory.

This 2014 Saab 9-3 Aero Turbo4 sedan was the last of 420 vehicles produced from 2013–14 and it sold for the USD equivalent of about $47,900. This was slightly above the pre-sale estimate of $36,000-$46,300 at today’s exchange rates. The hammer fell on November 6, 2019.

New old stock

This pristine vehicle has just 43 miles on the clock. The last Saab’s sale was handled by Bilweb Auctions. Its 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine puts out 220 horsepower through a 6-speed automatic transmission. The car is finished in Diamond Silver paint with a two-tone leather interior (beige and gray). This may not sound like the most exciting spec, but it fits the Saab just fine.

When Saab production at Trollhättan ended in May 2014, this particular car was left parked inside the factory, where it sat for five years. The other 9-3 vehicles were sold off.

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Bilweb gave the car top marks for mechanical, interior, exterior, and overall condition. Indeed, the photos do show a car that seems to have just left the factory. Some trim pieces are still covered in protective plastic. NEVS announced the car’s sale in June last year, describing it as “five years old, but brand new and unused.” The only gripe may be the lack of the traditional Griffin badge, which NEVS does not have the right to use.

The last Saab, a 9-3 Aero Turbo4, sold at auction to Claus Spaangaard
NEVS

“465,000 SEK was a good price for the car. It is unused and in new condition, of course. Congratulations go to the buyer on this historic reproduction,” Peter Sundfeldt at Bilweb Auctions said in a press release from NEVS.

Winning bidder Claus Spaangaard of Denmark visited Trollhättan and NEVS to pick up the car and got an exclusive tour of the factory and Saab museum. He was one of many final bidders as the auction drew to a close.

“I already have two Saab cars and I thought I should just buy this one too. It’s the very last Saab, after all,” Spaangard said.

Final flight

The last Saab was be sold at Bilweb’s final auction for 2019, which ran from October 7 to the first week of November. Proceeds from the sale were donated to the NEVS Sustainable Mobility Scholarship at University West in Sweden.

” … It feels really good to know that the money from this last petrol car from Stallbacka is now going to stimulate work towards a sustainable society with forward-thinking mobility solutions,” Stefan Tilk, CEO of NEVS, said in a press release.

Born from jets

Saab started out building aircraft for the Swedish Air Force before spinning off a car brand in the 1940s. The prototype Ursaab was introduced in 1947, ahead of the production Saab 92. This was followed by the 93, which Saab touts was a “huge success.”

Saab started out building aircraft for the Swedish Air Force before spinning off a car brand in the 1940s

Other models followed while Saab itself underwent structural reorganization. Saab merged with Swedish commercial automaker Scania-Vabis in 1968, forming Saab-Scania. Saab cars separated from Saab-Scania in 1989 and General Motors took ownership of half the company. GM took complete control of the automotive division of Saab in 2000, leaving parent company Saab Group out of the picture.

GM sold Saab to Dutch automaker Spyker in 2010. Following legal and financial troubles leading to bankruptcy in 2011, Saab was scooped up by NEVS in 2012. The company began producing electric vehicles based on the 9-3 platform at its plant in Tianjin, China. More electric vehicles and the incorporation of autonomous driving technology are planned to follow.

Dark history

The original Saab 9-3 was produced from 1998–2012 and went through two generations. It carried over Saab’s Black Panel (later renamed Night Panel) feature from the 900. This consists of a button that dims or flicks off most of the instrument panel lights, leaving just the speedometer fully illuminated. Saab rolled out this feature to allude to its aeronautic history, and buyers of the final 9-3 Aero Turbo4 should be happy to know it’s included in the vehicle.

The last Saab, a 9-3 Aero Turbo4, sold at auction

NEVS

Update notes: Added the final price of the NEVS Saab 9-3 Aero Turbo 4 sedan, along with more details of the sale.

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