What’s the best way to rebuild the Saab empire after its near demise? Based on the latest move of NEVS, through the machinations of CEO Kai Johan Jiang, the answer is: partnering with a thriving Chinese industrial city.
After acquiring what remained after the Swedish carmaker’s bankruptcy in August, NEVS announced that it had plans to create a new line of cars with electric drivetrains. Now, the city Qingdao, in the Shangdong province, is set to make an initial investment of $305 million in NEVS via its Qingdao Qingbo Investment company. In return, they will receive a 22 percent stake in the company, and NEVS’ industry.
In time, Qingdao and NEVS will work together to sell Saabs out of the city. A Saab plant will also be built once the original Saab factory in Trollhättan, Sweden, reaches capacity. Qingdao may also be the company’s first customer, according to hints dropped by Kai.
While NEVS owns the Saab name, it does not have use of the brand’s iconic griffin logo. It retains design rights for the 9-3 and Saab’s Phoenix platform. NEVS’ first model will be an electric version of the 9-3 sedan. A feasibility study of the partnership between NEVS and Quingdao will be implemented.
image credit: saab