The Swedish automaker’s recent history could be the subject of a well-written and fast-paced book detailing the economic trials and tribulations of a brand that was valued across the globe once.
Now the bankrupt marquee is owned by the National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS), a consortium that purchased its assets back in 2012 and has been trying ever since – rather unsuccessfully – to restart vehicle production in Sweden. Now the company has refocused and has entered a deal with China’s Dongfeng Motor to jointly develop and produce environmentally friendly autos. The strategy is to deliver “new energy vehicles,” the Chinese general term that designates both fully electric (battery or fuel cell driven) and plug-in hybrid vehicles. NEVS added it would also aid Dongfeng in establishing its own brand of cars that would be able to pass regulations and meet technical specifications for sale in traditional overseas markets such as North America and Europe. The financial terms of the agreement have not been revealed at the moment.
Dongfeng is now a shareholder of France’s PSA Peugeot Citroen – the second largest European automaker – and produces vehicles in China under joint ventures with Nissan, Renault, Honda and Kia. NEVS is coming from serious financial issues that forced it to cease production of Saab autos in Sweden last year. Additionally, the company has also lost the right to use the Saab name because defense contractor Saab AB, from which Saab Automobile was set up back in 1990, decided to dispute its usage rights.
Via Automotive News Europe