Saab's sale today marks the birth of the revived carmaker's electric vehicle roll out

Saab has been bought out of receivership by a Japanese-Chinese conglomerate which says it will use the revived carmaker to specialise in building electric vehicles. 

The newly-formed National Electric Vehicle Sweden says the first new Saab model will be a battery-powered version of the current 9-3, which is due to roll off the revived Trollhattan production lines at the end of 2013. 

NEVS bosses say that the Saab will combine Swedish expertise in manufacturing and design with Japanese EV technology and aims primarily to supply EVs to the burgeoning Chinese market. 

NEVS also says it is in negotiations with Scania and the defence and security company Saab over the use of the name and the badge.

At a press conference today, NEVS said it had bought the rights to the current 9-3 and the new Phoenix platform that was under development when Saab folded last year. It does not have the rights to build the 9-5 or 9-4x SUV.

Development of the Phoenix platform will be completed and used as the basis of a new generation of electric vehicles. 

NEVS is expected to launch a production version of the Saab 9-3 ePower, which was unveiled nearly two years ago. It was powered by a 184bhp electric motor and driven by a 35.5kWh lithium-Ion battery which was positioned under the floor. The car was claimed to hit 62mph in 8.4 seconds. Saab said the car’s battery would give full power even at -30Cdeg.

Kai Johan Jiang, one of the founders of NEVS and a fluent Swedish speaker, owns Hong-Kong based National Modern Energy Holdings Ltd, a major shareholder in State Power Group which runs 28 biomass power plants in China. 

NEVS is also backed by the Japanese Sun Investment group, which specialises in backing green technologies. NEVS say it is in a strong position to move forward with the re-birth of Saab because it already has long-term funding and there is no need for government approval of its plans from Asia, a common hurdle for many automotive tie-ups between Europe and China.

Join the debate


13 June 2012

Fingers crossed they can make it, it is going to be difficult. The need a USP, but is electric it?

Shame they don't have the rights to the 9-5. I see one in Edinburgh a lot, and I think it is a very handsome car

13 June 2012

I hope they dont expect to go calling on a variety of governments and their subjective agencies in the hope of getting a dole out. They will find the cupboard rather bare after two scroungers got their first and hoodwinked the taxpayers government for a few hundred millions.

When you look at a Saab, is doesnt exactly shout "I am light and nippy and go great on air" - nope, they will have to start a whole new ball game, or it is doomed before it starts, but there again, thats been the mantle of Saab for the last 15 to 20 years!

what's life without imagination

13 June 2012

It is rather difficult to see the logic of Saab being touted as an eco only manufacturer.

14 June 2012

Flash Harry wrote:

 It is rather difficult to see the logic of Saab being touted as an eco only manufacturer. 

I think that, if they have the technology to produce a viable EV, it's a clever idea to position Saab as a premium EV/eco-car company.

Saab's greatest successes came when the cars were a bit quirky and idiosynchratic, and appealed to a certain buyer.  An EV focus could achieve the same thing with a different market and give Saab a unique appeal.

The biggest question is whether they have the ongoing funds to make it work.

14 June 2012

Like others say, I can't really imagine Saab being an EV-only car company. Seems a strange choice. One can only hope it doesn't involve merely filling the boot of estate 9-3s with Chinese batteries.

14 June 2012

This rather reminds me of the Eddie Izzard "joke" about the tinned dog food for "small, yappy-type dogs" that was once called Mr Dog and then became Cesar and he couldn't see the link between a small, yappy dog and a Roman dictator ...

But I digress ... "Saab" has always been linked with fighter planes and stylish, quirky cars, right up until the brand died ... Now NEVS wanted to revive the "Saab" name for electric vehicles? ... Why?? ... Saab's foray into electric vehicles was TWO YEARS AGO and a LOT has changed since then ... I only hope NEVS and its Japanese-Chinese backers are planning to introduce this old electric technology at a price that undercuts the opposition, otherwise the brand will sink without trace ...

14 June 2012

I think it's going to be a little while before anyone can really call Saab "Revived"

15 June 2012

Whilst it is good on one hand to hear that Saab has survived to pruduce cars again, it is a shame that it may only be as a producer of electric vehicles primarily for the Chinese market.  The Chinese currently produce for their domestic market some weird and wonderful vehicles!  Whether they can produce a premium product with Saab good enough for the European market, only time will tell.

As a great fan of Saab of old,   900 Turbo's etc  The Saab we see in the future is lileky to be a very different animal.  


Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Vauxhall Viva Rocks
    The Vauxhall Viva Rocks will sit at the top of the city car range
    First Drive
    15 December 2017
    Vauxhall's city car gets an urban SUV makeover in a bid to court younger buyers. Is that enough to turn it into a Suzuki Ignis beater?
  • Volkswagen T-Roc 2.0 TSI
    First Drive
    15 December 2017
    Do 187bhp and 4Motion all-wheel drive make the current top-spec T-Roc exciting to drive?
  • Nissan Micra 1.0
    First Drive
    15 December 2017
    Nissan plugs the gap in its Micra range with a naturally aspirated 1.0-litre petrol engine, but is it good enough to unseat the Ford Fiesta, Seat Ibiza and Volkswagen Polo equivalents?
  • Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio
    First Drive
    15 December 2017
    The super-saloon version of Alfa’s long-awaited M3 rival has already wowed our road testers, but what’s it like to live with?
  • Lexus LS 500h
    First Drive
    14 December 2017
    New flagship saloon from Lexus provides a luxury interior to rival the best but comes up short due to its hybrid powertrain