SWEDEN: NEVS finally inks Saab buy but no Griffin logo
National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS) says it has inked a deal to acquire Saab Automobile, plus its powertrain and tools divisions, but will not use the defunct car brand's contentious Griffin symbol.
The amount paid has not been disclosed but does include the outstanding shares in the property company that owns Saab's idled factory in Trollhattan.
Crucially - and as part of the tortuous negotiations that have seen the agreement swing precariously between success and failure all summer - NEVS has secured the blessing of Swedish defence and security company Saab AB to licence its name for use of the Saab name for future car models.
However, NEVS will not use the distinctive Griffin logo: Swedish truck manufacturer Scania put up fierce resistance to the idea, citing fears of Chinese brand piracy.
NEVS' acquisition includes intellectual property (IP) rights for the Saab 9-3 and the Phoenix platform, tools, the manufacturing plant plus testing and laboratory facilities.
"The receivers are very pleased the transaction involving NEVS and the bankruptcy estates, which all involved parties have intensely worked for over an extended period, is now complete," said a joint statement from Saab's receivers including Anne-Marie Pouteaux from Wistrand, Delphi's Hans Bergqvist and Kent Hägglund from DLA Nordic.
"The efforts to implement our business plan can now be multiplied, focused on the development of a world-class electric vehicle in Trollhättan," said NEVS chairman Karl-Erling.
"In approximately 18 months, we plan to introduce our first electric vehicle based on Saab 9-3 technologies and a new technology electric powertrain. I would like to express our gratitude and thanks to the receivers for their cooperation during this very complex process."
NEVS CEO Kai Johan Jiang added: "Engineering and development of our first electric vehicle has been under way for an extended period in China and Japan, and now, with the manufacturing facilities in our possession, we are able to continue development work on site at Trollhättan."
NEVS has signed a licencing agreement with Saab AB regarding rights to use the Saab brand name for its future vehicles. The vehicle manufacturing company will be known as National Electric Vehicle Sweden AB or NEVS.
The vehicles and related products and services will be named Saab, although the previous logo will not be used.
Recruitment of management and key positions at NEVS is in progress. As of today, around 75 people had received employment offers.