By now, you’d figure that Saab would be every bit as dead as Generalissimo Franco. Certainly the car company is done for. But their last product, an electified 9-3, keeps on keeping on, though today, it’s nobody’s business but the Turks’:
In case you don’t remember, the former hub of the Ottoman Empire purchased the Saab 9-3’s license from National Electric Vehicle Sweden while it was still attempting to convert the model into a marketable EV in 2015. But, despite being the absolute perfect project to give up on, nobody has.
The plan was to make the electric 9-3 “the national car of Turkey.” That’s a little weird considering the model ended its life as an American-owned Swedish car, using General Motors’ Epsilon platform, that was later sold to Dutch automobile manufacturer Spyker and eventually NEVS back in Sweden. But, considering Turkey’s national sport is semi-erotic oil wrestling, this might be another case of the Republic embarking on something my Western mind can’t fully appreciate.
Just incidentally, if “semi-erotic oil wrestling” shows up in some future “Strange search-engine queries,” now you know why.
Turkey launched a joint venture of five local industrial giants to produce its first domestically-made car on Nov. 2.
Five suppliers — Anadolu Group, BMC, Kıraça Holding, Turkcell, and Zorlu Holding — will jointly manufacture Turkey’s first indigenous car.
At the ceremony at the presidential palace in Ankara, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan expressed his gratitude to the firms and promised his “full support” for the venture. Prime Minister Bınalı Yıldırıım also delivered a speech to mark the launch of the landmark venture.
Erdoğan vowed to buy the very first car himself.
BMC, incidentally, was originally a joint venture with British Motors Corporation. Amusingly, BMC now exports buses to the United Kingdom. Anadolu Group is a partner with Isuzu.