The National Electric Vehicle Sweden (Nevs), which bought the bankrupt Swedish automaker Saab in 2012, has revealed a big deal worth $12 billion: an order for electric cars placed by a Chinese leasing company.

The order consists of 250,000 electric vehicles, including 150,000 cars that are based on Saab’s 9-3 sedan. At the end of 2014, there were 665,000 electric cars in the world and 83,000 of them could be found in China. The Chinese consortium Nevs announced it would hire hundreds of workers in Sweden in charge of manufacturing these cars for Panda New Energy, a company that leases zero-emission cars to chauffer-driven fleets.

The new cars based on Saab’s model will get a new chassis for electric driving, their bodies will be built and painted in Sweden, but will be shipped to China for final assembly. With regards to the remaining 100,000 cars, the company’s spokesman announced they would mainly be manufactured in China.

Nevs acquired the 70-year-old Swedish carmaker in order to turn it into a leading world producer of electric cars. The company’s Vice Chairman, Stefan Tilk, stated that “This is a strategic collaboration for Nevs not only in terms of the numbers of vehicles, but it is also an important step to implement our vision and new business plan. Cooperating with many chauffeured car service platforms in China, Panda aims to become one of the biggest electric vehicle leasing companies in the world.”

Nevs has been on the market for only three years now and has sold a limited number of gasoline-powered cars that are based on Saab’s latest. The new deal worth $12 billion is the first the company has signed that concerns electric car production.


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