THE FINAL chapter in the story of Saab cars is coming to a close with the sale of the final vehicle to roll off the production line in Trollhättan, Sweden.
The auctioning of the pictured Saab 9-3 Aero Turbo4 closes the book on 67 years of on-and-off car assembly at the site, which has been controlled by Chinese car maker Nevs since it bought Saab’s assets in 2012, when the Swedish company filed for bankruptcy.
This particular 9-3 was built in April 2014 as part of a run-out batch of 420 vehicles destined for customers in Sweden, though according to records from the Swedish Transport Agency, the car was registered for the very first time on March 15, 2019, with NEVS being the Saab’s first and only documented keeper to date.
As a result, it’s easy to believe Nevs when it says the model is in exceptional nick. According to the Swedish car marketplace Bilweb Auctions, which will sell the car on behalf of the Nevs, the silver saloon scored top marks in its condition assessments, and the images show the car still has the protective plastic wrapping on its door sill plates.
The car has barely been driven over the last five-and-a-bit years, with only 66km (41 miles) on its odometer, and it’s claimed to have “rolled its first mile on the [Saab factory’s] old test track for some photography occasions”.
Inside and out, then, the Saab 9-3 is pretty much as it was when it was put together in 2014; an on-wheels time capsule of what executive motoring was like in the early 2010s, back when built-in CD players were still commonplace (perhaps playing April 2012 chart-topper Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen) and centre consoles were cluttered with buttons in a pre-touchscreen interface age.
According to Bilweb’s vehicle expert Peter Sundfeldt, it’s hard to definitively say for how much the car will sell, as the 9-3’s novelty of being essentially a brand new Saab means its only has a value that “the world’s Saab enthusiasts will determine”.
That hasn’t stopped the Swedish car seller from speculating, though, and a guide price of between 350,000 and 450,000 Swedish Krona (£28,800-37,000) has been issued.
Assuming the last ever Saab 9-3 sells for the higher estimate, that would mean the silver saloon has only modestly increased in value since the demise of the Scandinavian car maker.
According to Saab UK’s 9-3 range price list from 2012 (the last year Saabs were officially sold in Britain), a 9-3 saloon in Aero trim with the 217bhp four-cylinder petrol engine, a six-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive retailed for £30,760 — which equates to around £36,000 today, when adjusted for inflation.