Just as National Electric Vehicle Sweden's self-imposed - and continuously expressed - deadline of the 'end of summer' for its mooted takeover of bankrupt Saab was about to expire - along comes a huge bucket of cold water in the shape of Scania to liberally douse those flames of expectation.

There has been huge scepticism in Trollhattan and elsewhere surrounding the Chinese/Japanese/Swedish consortium's proposal to export electric cars mainly to China, but Scania's blunt refusal yesterday (16 August) to even sanction the use of its precious Griffin logo, is surely a fatal blow to hopes of Saab EVs making their long journey from Gothenburg to Beijing.

Scania did not exactly mince words to me yesterday from its headquarters at Soedertalje, some 40km south of the Swedish capital, raising the spectre of Chinese piracy haunting its future business in one of the world's genuine economic powerhouses - slowdown or nay.

The truckmaker is at pains to point out it does not expect NEVS to be involved in anything untoward but gave me the genuine impression it was worried its hard-earned brand loyalty - built up for a not-insignificant 101 years - could be tarnished by potential fake Griffins adorning all sorts of commercial vehicles in China should it grant permission for its iconic logo to be used.

"There is a Chinese buyer and in China you see copies of several brands - we don't want to see trucks with our symbol on," Scania told me.

"There are a lot of brand pirates in China - I don't say NEVS has that intention...so to be sure there is no risk we say 'no thank you.'"

Politely but with icy firmness Scania seems to have taken the spikes out of NEVS' shoes as it attempts to jump two huge hurdles in order to secure its proposed production of EVs from Trollhattan - with one being that instantly recognisable Griffin.

Without that icon, how will NEVS brand its new models, tap into decades of visual heritage and quickly connect with customers thousands of miles away in China?

There's also a further massive obstacle to clear. Swedish defence company, Saab AB, has a huge interest in seeing any future use by NEVS of the same company name as its own, made in what it considers an appropriate way, respecting the history, engineering skills and frankly, worldwide business acumen it has built up for a considerable time.

So given those two major challenges - and no-one's even going near what price NEVS has negotiated with Saab's receivers in Gothenburg - what chance now does the consortium have?

This from former Russian businessman - and once-hopeful Saab investor Vladimir Antonov - aide - Lars Carlstrom - who has his ear very much to the Swedish ground when it comes to Saab - and who poured his own dose of freezing water on the chances of any NEVS deal.

"It is more likely we could have a nation of aliens than NEVS could buy Saab," he told me from Sweden yesterday. "I don't see any chance they are going to be successful.

"Exporting cars to China from Sweden when you have production which is good in China? It does not make sense - I think it is dead."

So if NEVS is now out of the equation - a scenario vigorously refuted to me yesterday by a consortium spokesman in Sweden - who insisted talks "are still on-going" and the deal would be concluded "this summer" - who else could possibly step forward to add yet more complexity and try to solve the Byzantine riddle that is Saab's future?

Well, could it just be Youngman, formerly very much on the just-auto Saab radar and who were seemingly thwarted by the receivers' decision to go with NEVS?

"Youngman would be very interested to get back in the game here," said Carlstrom, although the Chinese manufacturer's Saab project director, Rachel Pang, was not answering calls today to respond to that suggestion.

But would Scania be happy with Youngman as a Chinese company? And wouldn't the ghost at the feast in the form of China's National Development and Reform Commission, which seemingly has to grant its approval to most foreign investment outside China, also have to sanction the deal?

Just when Saab seemed to have a future - however improbable in the form of EVs - Scania has lobbed a gigantic spanner in the works.

And who can blame them? "It is not about money - it is about protecting our strong brand - it is non-negotiable," thundered Scania yesterday.

If not NEVS, then who now to take up the reins of this horse that seems to have bolted once more?

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