Saviour to spark electric future for Saab
The new owners plan to turn Saab into a builder of electric vehicles, with the first appearing in 2014.
The consortium, headed by Japanese investment firm Sun Investment and renewable-energy powerplant specialist National Modern Energy Holdings, has formed a new company to manage Saab, called National Electric Vehicle Sweden AB (NEVS).
In a joint statement with Saab’s administrator, NEVS has said it will launch an electric car based on the current Saab 9-3. Saab unveiled an electric 9-3 concept, the ePower, nearly two years ago.
The car will begin production at Saab’s Trollhattan plant, which has been silent for around a year, in 2013 and go on sale early in 2014.
NEVS has bought the rights to the 9-3 and the new platform, known as the Phoenix, that Saab was developing at the time of its collapse. The company does not have the rights to Saab’s 9-5 or the 9-4X crossover.
According to the administrators Saab had attracted serious interest from half a dozen parties. These included Chinese giant Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile, which had been set to buy Saab before the firm’s collapse. No sale price to NEVS was revealed.
NEVS claims it will offer Saab a bright future, because long-term funding is in place and there is no need to get government approval for its plans, such requirements having scuppered previous bids.
Words by: Andrew Charman