New SAAB to hire 200 engineers image

Saab looks set to become an electric car manufacturer after the ailing car firm was yesterday bought by a Chinese-Japanese investment group.

The deal announced on Wednesday likely succeeded where the others failed since it covers just the main assets of Saab Automobile, Saab Automobile Powertrain and Saab Automobile Tools as well as the facilities in Trollhaettan, but not the intellectual property rights for the Saab 9-5, nor Saab Automobile Parts.

NEVS issued a statement outlining its intention to launch its first vehicle, an all-electric car based on the current Saab 9-3, in 2014, while the company also plans to develop new models using Japanese technology.

In addition, NEVS plans to hire about 200 staff, well below the 3,500 Saab used to employ.

“The company will start a new operation in Trollhattan (home to Saab in western Sweden) where all development and production will be focussed on electric cars,” the administrators said.

The numbers would increase gradually as the launch of a new car approached, added Trogen, a former head of the trucks division at truck and construction equipment maker Volvo, a separate company from the Volvo car maker, itself Chinese-owned.

Saab, which has more than 3,000 workers, filed for bankruptcy in December last year after its previous owner, the Dutch luxury car group Spyker — later named Swedish Automobile — failed to get sufficient backing for the brand.