November News Letter
SAAB To Resume Production In 2014?
NEVS´ and Saab´s journey has begun The new Saab from NEVS will combine Swedish knowledge of car construction and design with Japanese and Chinese knowledge and technology in relation to battery and electric power. Manufacturing in Trollhättan will start with cars based on the 9-3 platform and with traditional diesel and petrol powertrains. This manufacturing is scheduled to start in the latter half of 2013. Manufacture of electric cars will get under way during 2014. Unfortunately, it will be a while before North American will be seein any new SAABs hitting the shore...
Mattias, who has substantial experience from Asia as former Head of the Swedish Trade Council´s Asia office, is now Vice President of NEVS. He talked about NEVS´ plans to produce Saab cars.
Sweden and Europe will be Saab´s domestic market. Sweden/Trollhättan is NEVS´ home and NEVS´ second home is located in China/Qindao. We took over a bankruptcy estate where the previous owner had promised much that did not become reality and NEVS therefore has a policy of "Over deliver and under promise" to reduce the risk of disappointment.
The cars that NEVS is going to produce will be called SAAB. The brand is owned by "Saab AB — the Defence and Security company" and NEVS has acquired the rights to use the brand for its car production. NEVS purchased the bankruptcy estate with its own cash funds and is thus able to start the operation with a strong balance sheet. NEVS´ owner is National Modern Energy Holdings, which in turn is owned by Kai Johan Jiang, a Swedish citizen born in China with substantial experience of business operations in China. The energy company runs 30 biopower plants in China which produce green electricity from residual products from
agriculture. The city of Qingdao´s investment company is investing SEK 2 billion in NEVS, giving it a 22% stake.
Qingdao is a city of 9 million inhabitants with an executive council interested in investing in environmentally compatible technology. The intention behind the investment in NEVS is partly to secure access to electric cars for the city´s requirements, and partly for Nevs to build its second plant in Qingdao when the Trollhättan factory is at full capacity.
The new Saab from NEVS will combine Swedish knowledge of car construction and design with Japanese and Chinese knowledge and technology in relation to battery and electric power. Manufacturing in Trollhättan will start with cars based on the 9-3 platform and with traditional diesel and petrol powertrains. This manufacturing is scheduled to start in the latter half of 2013. Manufacture of electric cars will get under way during 2014. NEVS currently has 250 employees in Trollhättan and is working on recruiting 100 more. National Modern Energy Holding already has a battery factory in Beijing and is going to set up another one. This is where NEVS´ Saab cars will obtain their batteries.
The owner Kai Johan Jiang´s philosophy is to contribute to a better environment in China through bioelectricity as a replacement for coal power. The next step is to reduce China´s environmental impact by offering electric cars. The Chinese car market currently comprises 15.5 million cars per year and the Chinese authorities are starting to introduce restrictions on purchasing cars in order to slow down the rate of increase. In many cities purchasers currently need a licence from the authorities to buy a petrol or diesel car, and the number of licences is limited. Some cities have lotteries and others have auction out licences. According to Mattias Bergman, electric cars do not require a licence and there will probably be additional incentives to increase the proportion of electric cars in China.
NEVS will increase its supplier base in Sweden, but compared with manufacturing in Trollhättan previously, purchases in China will increase and deliveries from Germany will decrease. The old Saab was substantially directed towards GM Europe´s German suppliers.
Getting sales under way is a crucial issue and Mattias says that there is already contact with public "fleet owners" in China which are prepared to immediately place large orders for electric cars.
The cautious optimism and confidence that Mattias Bergman conveys is tangible. The motto "more workshop and less talk" characterises the company´s external contacts and it is undoubtedly a sensible policy as there were so many disappointments in the past. This is going to be exciting!