Well, after all the unfettered drama, looks like Saab Automobile is set to live on. The brand has a new owner, and it’s National Electric Vehicle Sweden, or NEVS. Both NEVS and the Receivers of the Saab Automobile bankruptcy estate have signed a purchase agreement that covers the main assets of Saab Automobile, Saab Automobile Powertrain and Saab Automobile Tools for an undisclosed sum. Saab Automobile Parts, as well as intellectual property rights for the Saab 9-5, which is owned by General Motors, haven’t been included in the purchase agreement.
The NEVS name may imply things are kept Swedish, but it’s really an international consortium formed primarily by Chinese and Japanese stakeholders – 51% of NEVS is owned by Hong Kong-based National Modern Energy Holdings and 49% by Japanese investment firm Sun Investment.
While the Saab name continues on, it’s changing tack in its direction – the new company aims to establish a fresh automobile venture in Trollhättan solely dedicated to the development and manufacturing of electric vehicles. NEVS announced that the first model to be developed will be based on the current Saab 9-3, which will be modified for electric drive using advanced EV technology from Japan, with a targeted launch towards year-end 2013/2014.
In parallel with the EV conversion of the 9-3, an all-new model will be developed, based on additional cutting-edge 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.