Saab to be restarted as electric carmaker

Posted at June 16, 2012 » By : » Categories : News » Comments Off on Saab to be restarted as electric carmaker

National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS) has acquired stalled carmaker Saab for an undisclosed amount saying it wants to use the company as a foundation for electric vehicles.

NEVS is a Chinese-Japanese-Swedish consortium, including National Modern Energy Holdings headed by Chinese entrepreneur Kai Johan Jiang.

The new venture will combine Swedish manufacturing and design skills with Japanese technology to become a leading manufacturer of electric cars, according to a press presentation.

NEVS will use Saab’s existing 9-3 range and the company’s Trollhätten production facility to produce vehicles largely for China’s growing electric car market.

“China is investing heavily in developing the electric vehicle market,” says Kai Johan Jiang. “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.”

Initially, the plan is to develop an electric drive for the 9-3 platform, which will launch in 2013/2014, followed by a completely new model based on Japanese electric vehicle technology and Saab’s Phoenix platform.

“We can build on Saab Automobile’s skills in vehicle design and production to start a new future-oriented venture in Trollhättan, where world class manufacturing facilities are available,” says Karl-Erling Trogen, chair of NEVS. “We will match Swedish automobile design and manufacturing experience with Japanese EV technology and a strong presence in China.”

Kai Johan Jiang founded parent company National Modern Energy Holdings in 2004 and is also a majority owner of State Power Group, a Beijing-based private enterprise driving renewable energy development in China.

The partners say they will now be recruiting key positions in the new venture and Swedish, Japanese and Chinese engineering expertise.

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