National Electric Vehicle Sweden AB acquires assets of Saab Automobile to create new EV company; first model based on 9-3 due year-end 2013/2014
National Electric Vehicle Sweden AB (NEVS)—an international consortium formed by Chinese, Japanese and Swedish stakeholders—and the Receivers of the Saab Automobile bankruptcy estate (earlier post) signed a purchase agreement covering the main assets of Saab Automobile AB, Saab Automobile Powertrain AB and Saab Automobile Tools AB. NEVS will establish a new automobile venture in Trollhättan, solely dedicated to development and manufacturing of electric vehicles (EVs).
The first model to be developed will be based on the current Saab 9-3, which will be modified for electric drive using EV technology from Japan. Launch of the “Type 1 EV” is targeted at year-end 2013/2014. In parallel with EV conversion of the Saab 9-3, an all-new model will be developed (“Type 2 EV”), based on the Phoenix platform (earlier post) and additional technology from Japan.
Marketing and sales will be global, with an initial focus on China, projected to be the largest and most important EV market.
The acquisition includes all outstanding shares in the property company which owns the Saab Automobile facilities in Trollhättan, Sweden, as well as IP rights for the Saab 9-3 and the Phoenix platform. The price for the assets has not been disclosed. Saab Automobile Parts AB, as well as intellectual property rights for the Saab 9-5, owned by General Motors, are not included in the purchase agreement. A dialogue regarding the brand is in progress, according to NEVS.
Anne-Marie Pouteaux, Partner, Wistrand, Hans L. Bergqvist, Partner, Delphi, Receivers in bankruptcy for the Saab Automobile estate and Kent Hägglund, DLA Nordic, Co-receiver in bankruptcy for the Saab trademark and trade name rights said in a statement that:
The sale to NEVS is our most important action to realize the assets of the estate. From the outset, it has been our ambition to find a comprehensive solution by the summer, so we are very pleased today, having reached this agreement.
NEVS aims to become a leading manufacturer of electric vehicles by leveraging Swedish manufacturing and design skills; Japanese advanced technology; and China’s progressive initiatives in sustainable transportation solutions.
Recruitment to a number of key positions in the company is in progress, and the following step is to hire skilled engineers to the Trollhättan site, in order to immediately start the product development. The development will be conducted in collaboration between Swedish, Japanese and Chinese engineers.
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. 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.—Kai Johan Jiang, founder and main owner of National Modern Energy Holdings Ltd, the majority shareholder of NEVS