Reports are that the city of Qingdao has invested in the automaker Saab. China Daily puts the investment at 10 billion yuan ($1.6 billion). China Car Times wonders about the impact on Beijing Auto’s Saab based vehicles.
The official press release states that “Qingdao’s investment … will be made in successive stages, and provides National Electric Vehicles Sweden AB (NEVS) with a financially stable investor, as well as a business partner which provides access to a key market.”
Saab cars will be shipped from the Trollhättan plant in Sweden to the Port of Qingdao for distribution in China, and there are plans to build a Saab factory here once capacity is reached overseas. Also in the works: an electric car for 2014 in an effort to place Saab on the right track to win the future.
National Electric Vehicles Sweden AB (NEVS) is wholly owned by National Modern Energy Holdings, whose CEO is Chinese-Swedish businessman Kai Johan Jiang.
More from the Saabs United Website:
NEVS has entered a long time partnership with the City of Qingdao in China’s Shandong-province. Qingdao initially invests SEK 2 billion, obtaining a 22 percent ownership share of NEVS through a directed share issue. Further investments will be made in a joint venture company in China. NEVS is headquartered in Trollhättan, Sweden where product development and manufacturing is located.
”This agreement provides financial resources that form an important contribution to enable implementation of the NEVS business plan,” said NEVS Chairman Karl-Erling Trogen.
”Qingdao is a long term strategic partner in China, which also provides us with a large customer,” said Kai Johan Jiang, CEO and main owner, NEVS.
”Vehicles based on new energy sources are the future. Qingdao wants to take an active part in this development,” said Zhang Xingi, Mayor of Qingdao.
As production at the Trollhättan plant will reach capacity, a complementary manufacturing facility will gradually be established in Qingdao.
The municipality of Qingdao has a population of nine million, while close to 100 million people live in the Shandong province. The City of Qingdao is a large buyer of passenger cars, including both conventionally fuelled and electric vehicles.
The NEVS investment is an important step to secure the region’s access to electric vehicles, and to build an industrial structure where the vehicle industry, including EVs, is key for the future.
As part of the agreement, a feasibility study is now conducted to guide the future partnership.
On August 31, 2012, NEVS acquired the main assets of the Saab Automobile bankruptcy estates, and currently studies the opportunity to commence production of the present Saab 9-3 model in the second half of 2013.
The first electric vehicle model is planned for launch in early 2014. In October 2012, a sister company of NEVS in China opened a plant in Beijing producing high-performance batteries for automotive applications.
More news on the Saab-Qingdao deal:
NEVS is a Chinese-controlled company that has bought most of Saab’s assets after the Swedish company went bankrupt. According to a statement from NEVS quoted by Reuters, the deal involved a plan for Qingdao, via its Qingdao Qingbo Investment company, to invest 2 billion Swedish crowns ($307.3 million) in NEVS, getting in exchange 22 percent of the shares.
NEVS has said it aims to launch its first electric car at the beginning of 2014 and is also considering re-launching the old Saab 9-3 model with a conventional engine. The company plans to ship cars from Sweden to Qingdao port and eventually build a factory in Qingdao, when it will reach full capacity at the former Saab plant in Sweden.