18.6.2012Saab saved by electric vehicle makers
Recently bankrupted car manufacturer, Saab, has been bought up by Chinese-Swedish investment group, National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS) – with the aim to focus the company on producing electric vehicles.
No price was announced for the sale of the Scandinavia's best known car brand, which has been producing cars since 1947. The company went bust at the end of last year; just two years after General Motors sold the company to Dutch group Skyker.
The administrator said that Saab assets would cover a third of the company debts, around £1.2 billion. It was also announced that Saab will start new operations to develop and produce electric cars, intended largely for a Chinese market.
Kai Johan Jiang, chief executive and principle owner of NEVS, said that the purchase of Saab heralded a "new era" for the automotive industry, adding that "Marketing and sales will be global but initially we will focus on China. It's there we see the biggest market for electric cars."
Jiang was born in China but is now a Swedish citizen, and said that by the end of next year the company would release a pure battery-electric vehicle based on the Saab 9-3 model. He also intends to launch a completely new model, based on Japanese technologies, influenced by NEVS Japanese co-owners.
Saab was employing more than 3,000 staff in the company's home town in Sweden, Trollhattan. However, new business operations will only require 200 full time staff, meaning a significant loss of jobs.
BBC, The Guardian