Turkey develops national car with Saab
ANKARA / TROLLHÄTTAN
AA PhotoA senior minister has announced Turkey purchased the intellectual property rights to Saab’s 9-3 model, with the goal of using it to develop a Turkish-branded car and advance in the field of extended-range vehicles.
“We bought the Saab 9-3’s intellectual property rights, but not its name,” Science, Industry and Technology Minister Fikri Işık said in a televised interview on Oct. 15.
“The brand [of the car to be developed] will be a Turkish brand, it will not be Saab. We’ll develop the technology in Turkey,” he added, as quoted by Anadolu Agency.
He said that, once in mass production, a minimum of 85 percent of the parts used for the car will be produced in Turkey.
Saab CEO Mattias Bergman confirmed the company and Turkey have worked together in the country’s national car project in a press meeting in Sweden on Oct. 16.
“We inked a deal on May 28. Our engineering team and the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey [TÜBİTAK] work together in developing the design with the contribution of our other partners in Turkey. We have created a couple to prototypes and presented them to Turkish Minister Fikri Işık to be launched in Turkey. We share knowhow in marketing as well as development and production with our Turkish partners. We offer training to Turkish manufacturers and engineers, and work together with them.
We provide production parts and system. We’ll also share our resources in product development. The resources we don’t have are provided by TÜBİTAK. We work together in TÜBİTAK’s engineers in their laboratories,” Bergman said, as quoted by Doğan News Agency.
The news comes two days after he unveiled three prototypes of the first Turkish-made car, which was met with comments by Turkish dailies that the car’s general structure was in fact inspired by Sweden-based Saab’s 9-3 model and that the front section was influenced by U.S.-based Cadillac’s BLS model.
Turkey, which has been working to produce its own car, had two choices according to the minister: To do everything by itself, which would take three to five years and about $1 billion in spending, or to cooperate with a well-known brand.
Işık said the talks with Saab to buy the intellectual property rights to the Saab 9-3 lasted six months.
“I cannot give figures,” he said, adding it was a “very affordable cost.”
He said Turkey’s main goal was to advance in the field of extended-range electric vehicles.
“This [Saab 9-3] will be a platform for that goal and we began developing it,” Işık said.
The minister said TÜBİTAK will assume the leadership of the project, but “the cooperation with National Electric Vehicle Sweden [Nevs], which developed the Saab 9-3, will continue.”