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

Comments
9

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

  • Jaguar F-Type Convertible 2.0 i4 on the road
    First Drive
    16 August 2017
    Having been previously impressed by the agile four-cylinder F-Type, now is our chance to try it in the UK and in open-top form. But can this entry-level Jaguar sports car hold off the impressive Porsche Boxster?
  • Aston Martin V8 Vantage AMR
    The Aston Martin V8 Vantage AMR is a swansong for the Vantage - but the first model to sport the AMR title
    First Drive
    16 August 2017
    Aston Martin's swansong for its venerable Vantage sports car allows it to bow out with its head held high, yet the performance AMR sub-brand's first outing leaves you feeling short-changed
  • Range Rover Velar 2.0D
    First Drive
    15 August 2017
    Can the newest Range Rover deliver the goods when it's being powered by a four-cylinder, 2.0L diesel engine? We tried it on UK roads to find out
  • Audi RS3 Sportback
    First Drive
    15 August 2017
    Audi Sport's firebrand hatchback gets an even more brilliant engine, but still falls short of the dynamic finesse and driver involvement necessary to make it a true performance great
  • Sin R1 550
    First Drive
    15 August 2017
    Bulgaria’s first supercar is aggressive and unapologetic. It can be tricky at the limit, but it’s as engaging as they come