Saab gets a piece of good news today (Photo : caradvice.com.au)
Saab has found a lifeline, as the Swedish car manufacturer has been sold to a Chinese-Sweden investment group with Japanese backing. The Swedish company was nearly $2 billion in debt.
Japanese investment firm Sun Investment and Hong-Kong base renewable-energy powerplant builder National Modern Energy Holdings Ltd lead the group. The two formed the winning investment firm, National Electric Vehicle Sweden AB, solely for the purpose of acquiring Saab.
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The price of the winning bid was not disclosed, although a competing bid of $567 million was said to have been made by China-based Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile as late as June 8. Saab officials said early in 2012 that a half-dozen parties had shown interest in buying the company.
NEVS will transform Saab into a manufacturer of electric vehicles. "The company will start a new operation in Trollhattan where all development and production will be focused on electric cars," officials said.
The first car will be based on Saab's 9-3 model and will be ready for sale in early 2014. A completely new model will also be made. It will be based on Japanese technology and a future Saab model.
Initially, the new owners will market their vehicles in China. "Through the purchase of Saab we begin a new era in the auto industry," NEVS CEO Kai Johan Jiang told a news conference. "Marketing and sales will be global but initially we will focus on China. It's there we see the biggest market for electric cars."
Saab filed for bankruptcy in December after halting production last March. They have not manufactured a single car since 2011.