NEVS Completes Saab Asset Buy including the Brand Name

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Another electric vehicle in an already challenging market? Sales projections show steep rises, though.

National Electric Vehicle Sweden or NEVS announced today that it completed the purchase of the main assets of bankrupt Saab Automobile and licensed the brand name. This includes Saab Automobile Powertrain and Saab Automobile Tools, the Phoenix platform, tools and the manufacturing plant in Trollhättan, as well as test and laboratory facilities.

The cash transaction, which occurred late last week for an undisclosed amount, closes a deal that that was announced last June. NEVS is establishing a new automobile venture in Trollhättan, for the development and manufacturing of electric vehicles, the first of which is due in late 2014. The intellectual property rights for the aging SAAB 9-3 introduced in 1992, is also part of the deal.

The latest Saab development comes as Dutch automaker Spyker is suing GM for $3 billion alleging that GM forced Swedish Saab into bankruptcy and then blocked the sale of the company to Chinese investors Zhejiang Youngman, which would have ensured its survival. Spyker purchased Saab in 2010 from GM for $74 million in cash and $326 million in preferred shares, which GM immediately wrote off.

Spyker was unable to keep the company going as sales dwindled and losses mounted, and stopped making cars in the spring of 2011. The Swedish government began paying workers that summer, and Saab eventually filed for bankruptcy in December of 2011 after a failed series of financial maneuvers and proposed deals.

The initial GM response to the suit is due later this month, but GM claims it is without merit. GM still owns some pieces of Saab, including its automobile parts division, as well as intellectual property rights for the much newer Saab 9-5 and 9-4X. GM has been adamant in saying those models are not for sale under any circumstances.

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NEVS is a consortium formed by Japanese, Swedish and Chinese investors. Jiang is the owner and CEO.

“Engineering and development of our first electric vehicle has been underway for an extended period in China and Japan, and now, with the manufacturing facilities in our possession, we are able to continue development work on site at Trollhättan,” said Kai Johan Jiang, CEO, National Electric Vehicle Sweden AB. NEVS is wholly owned by National Modern Energy Holdings Ltd., whose founder and principal owner is Kai Johan Jiang.
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About Kenneth Zino

Ken Zino is an auto industry veteran with global experience in print, broadcast and electronic media. He has auto testing, marketing, public relations and communications expertise garnered while working in Asia, Europe and the U.S.
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