SWEDEN: Saab reborn as electric vehicle maker
Under new management: Saab Trollhattan site acquired by a Swedish, Chinese and Japanese joint venture to make EVs
A new multi-nation-owned company, National Electric Vehicle Sweden, (NEVS) has hoovered up the main assets of bankrupt Saab Automobile from receivers and will establish a new venture to develop and make electric vehicles in the automaker's former home of Trollhättan, Sweden.
NEVS is an international consortium formed by Japanese, Swedish and Chinese stakeholders.
The purchase agreement covers the main assets of Saab Automobile, Saab Automobile Powertrain and Saab Automobile Tools and includes all outstanding shares in the property company which owns the Saab Automobile facilities in Trollhättan, Sweden.
The price was not been disclosed but Saab Automobile Parts - and General Motors' intellectual property rights for the 9-5, the last new model Saab launch, were excluded.
“The sale to NEVS is our most important action to realise the assets of the estate,” said receivers Anne-Marie Pouteaux, Hans Bergqvist and Kent Hägglund.
“From the outset, it has been our ambition to find a comprehensive solution by the summer, so we are very pleased today (13 June), having reached this agreement.”
The first model EV will be based on the current Saab 9-3, modified for electric drive using Japanese technology, with a launch target of new year 2013/2014.
Another completely new model will also be developed, also based on Japanese technology. These EVs will be sold worldwide, starting initially in China, which NEVS said was projected to be the largest and most important EV market.
“China is investing heavily in developing the EV market which is a key driver for the ongoing technology shift to reduce dependence on fossil fuels,” said Kai Johan Jiang, founder and main owner of National Modern Energy Holdings, the majority shareholder of NEVS.
“The Chinese can increasingly afford cars; however, the global oil supply would not suffice if they all buy petroleum-fueled vehicles. Chinese customers demand a premium electric vehicle which we will be able to offer by acquiring Saab Automobile in Trollhättan.”
NEVS aims to become a leading manufacturer of electric vehicles. It is hiring key managers now and will recruit skilled engineers to Trollhättan to start product development immediately.