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Saab’s future

Saab 9-3

The tough economic times have hit everywhere around the globe, and the car industry has not been an exception to this, with the Swedish car maker Saab filing for bankruptcy at the end of 2011 after not turning a profit in two decades and a series of unsuccessful partial and then complete buyouts.

Now it has been bought by a Chinese-Swedish investment group which oddly enough has Japanese Backing, the National Electric Vehicle Sweden AB – NEVS – have not mentioned how much they paid for Saab’s assets, but it is thought to be at least around the sum of $567 million.

NEVS won’t however be continuing what Saab was doing till now, instead they plan on using the car maker’s resources to produce electric cars. They said that they will start a new operation in Trollhättan, Sweden and they plan on selling their first model of electric vehicle, based on the Saab 9-3, in early 2014.

Considering the national make-up of NEVS, the initial sales and marketing of the car will be solely focused on the Chinese market, however it is expected to expand to the rest of the world sometime after that. The company also promised a new model as well, something based on Japanese technology but using a future Saab platform, only time will tell if this will come to fruition.

It should be noted that not all of Saab’s assets were transferred in the sale, as the Swedish state owns the spare-parts business, as well as the rights to the 9-3 and the Phoenix development platform, while General Motors still has the rights to and licenses for the 9-5 and 9-4X.

The eventual fate of the Saab brand is still a discussion topic amongst NEVS, because the brand itself is still controlled by the ex-car maker and the aerospace and defense group of the same name. Basically NEVS has most of Saab’s assets, but it cannot brand any vehicle that it will produce as a Saab.

We’ll keep you updated as more news about this interesting development for Saab becomes public.

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