Saab Sold to Chinese-Japanese-Founded NEVS

Saab Sold to Chinese-Japanese-Founded NEVS

New company will create a new model based on the current Saab 9-3, which will be modified for electric drive using advanced electric vehicle technology from Japan.

Bankrupt Swedish automaker Saab AB (IW 1000/840) has been sold to National Electric Vehicle Sweden AB (NEVS), a new company registered in Sweden and founded by two firms in Hong Kong and Japan, the two sides said on June 13.

"NEVS and the Receivers of the Saab Automobile bankruptcy estate today signed a purchase agreement which covers the main assets of Saab Automobile AB, Saab Automobile Powertrain AB and Saab Automobile Tools AB," NEVS and Saab bankruptcy administrators said in a joint statement that did not specify the purchase sum.

NEVS, which is 51% owned by Hong Kong-based alternative energy specialist National Modern Energy Holdings and 49% owned by Japanese investment firm Sun Investment LLC, was "established for the purpose of acquiring the assets of the Saab Automobile bankruptcy estate," according to the companies.

The company explained that it planned to create a new model based on the current Saab 9-3, "which will be modified for electric drive using advanced EV (electric vehicle) technology from Japan."

The car should hit the market at the end of 2013 or beginning of 2014.

"NEVS aims to become a leading manufacturer of electric vehicles," it said, adding that production would continue at Saab's factory in Trollhaettan in southwestern Sweden.

Saab filed for bankruptcy on December 19. It was already on the brink of bankruptcy when GM sold it in early 2010 to Dutch company Swedish Automobile (SWAN) -- at the time called Spyker -- for $400 million. Bankruptcy administrators said in April that Saab had assets to cover only just over a third of its debt of 13 billion kronor (US$1.8 billion).

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2012

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