A Word From NEVS

 

As we all know, the Chinese-Japanese consortium seems to be in pole position (the presumed winner) of the bid process for Saab’s bankrupt assets. Bloomberg spoke with their spokesman in Sweden, Mattias Berman.

A group led by a Chinese energy company and a Japanese venture-capital firm has placed a bid for bankrupt Swedish carmaker Saab, a spokesman for the investing team said.

The two main parties in the group are Sun Investment, a Japanese firm that specializes in high-tech environmental projects, and National Modern Energy Holdings Ltd., which has roots in Hong Kong and builds and owns power plants.

“We have placed a bid, and we want to buy Saab and build cars,” Mattias Bergman, a spokesman for the group, said today. “We’re interested in what Saab’s brand stands for, the innovation and competence in the company, and the production facility that’s world class.”

The bidding group has additional participants, Bergman said, declining to identify them.

The group has formed a company called National Electric Vehicle Sweden AB “with the only purpose of buying Saab’s assets.”

Karl-Erling Trogen, a former Volvo AB executive, is chairman.

Bergman declined to talk about the size of the bid or the group’s business plan, including whether the investors primarily aim to build electric cars.

“Our name is National Electric Vehicle Sweden, but I can’t talk about the technologies at this point,” he said.

Clearly if they were only thinking about electric cars, that last statement would have been more definitive.

sandborg
Guest
4 years 3 months ago

Why would they not build gas/ petrol cars in addition to H/brd?
Diversity is the key today in the auto industry.

Mats Liljero
Guest
4 years 3 months ago
Mahindra & Mahindra is finding it tough to exorcise the ghosts of failed Chinese ownership at its South Korean car unit Ssangyong as it looks to push the brand into China’s auto market, the world’s largest. At the same time, the car, tractor and truck maker, the core part of the Rs 80,000 crore diversified Mahindra Group, will take its own rugged sport utility vehicles (SUVs) elsewhere, to emerging markets such as Brazil and South Africa – though it is developing engines to be used across both brands. Mahindra’s muscular jeeps have for decades been a favourite in India’s rural… Read more »
Mats Liljero
Guest
4 years 3 months ago
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SsangYong_Motor_Company In 1997, Daewoo Motors bought a controlling stake from the Ssangyong Group, only to sell it off again in 2000, because the conglomerate ran into deep financial troubles. In late 2004, the Chinese automobile manufacturer SAIC took a 51% stake of SsangYong Motor Company. Wikinews has related news: South Korean police battle striking workers SsangYong’s hybrid technology (pictured) was allegedly stolen by SAIC [citation?]. In January 2009, after recording a $75.42 million loss, the company was put into receivership. This may have been due to the global economic crisis and shrinking demand.[12] On August 14, 2009, worker strikes finished… Read more »
Turbo_Charged
Member
4 years 3 months ago

I still cannot comprehend why any sober human would throw logic to the winds and hand a shell of a car company to an energy supplier supported by a banker. Despite talks “behind closed doors” logic remains clear. Blinded by motivation?

Avin
Member
4 years 3 months ago

EV’s and Hybrids are here to stay. Mainly because battery tech is slowly evolving beyond Li-on to a “new battery technology” that completely wipes out “range anxiety”.

Besides there are new alternatives to petrol……(hint: biopower @ saab). Any way you see it …. the future is going to be “different” my friend.

saabman
Member
4 years 3 months ago
This interview contains news that makes me quite a bit more hopeful than I was yesterday and Wednesday. In particular, that NEVS is truly interested in Saab: the name, the heritage, the technology, the innovation, all that Saab cars have meant, and not just the factory. A new Saab won’t just be making electric golf carts. For a bit of perspective, I spoke with my younger brother yesterday. He is 29 (ten years younger than I), and he drives a Cadillac–an unusual choice for a younger guy, but there you go. I was feeling upset about the recent Saab developments,… Read more »
kochje
Member
4 years 3 months ago

I completely agree with your point of view regarding NEVS interest and plans as well as your expressed concern that nothing happens with your newly purchased Saab.
However so far I just can tell you that spares were available for my 9-5 NG when needed and it seems that body parts are also available.
Of course we all hope we do not need these body parts.

goofy
Member
4 years 3 months ago

“We’re interested in what Saab’s brand stands for…”

It will be interesting to see if NEVSAB’s products will bear the Saab brand name – I sure hope so. I cannot imagine a start-up automobile manufacturer with access to a storied, respected brand name not choosing to use it.

Saab’s Trollhättan campus + access to Saab’s engineering (Lean Nova) + the Saab brand name = Saab’s reincarnation. Still hopeful.

Rolf Hägg
Guest
4 years 3 months ago

As we’ve said in other topics, if this company is truly considering reviving Saab, it may not be a bad idea for them to build some loyalty with thier old customers and continue the warranty and service for those of us that purchased new. It can’t be that much money in comparisson to this new venture to satisfy your old customers.

spacy
Guest
4 years 3 months ago

As National Electric Vehicle Sweden AB [as a company] has only been registered recently, I suppose we are to assume they are completely new to the bidding process….

I also thought YM, had exclusive bid rights by the Chinese Govermant?

GerritN
Member
4 years 3 months ago
Sorry to be a party pooper, but all parties trying to buy Saab since 2009 have been making the same statements about heritage, innovative designs, etc. etc. However true those statements, I would read more in them than an interested buyer just trying to look interesting to the seller. Basically we know nothing about NEVS, not even the names of all the investors. We just know that a Chinese energy company and a Japanese venture-capital firm are involved. Nowhere I see anything that points to any experience in the automotive market. Why would a Chinese power plant builder be interested… Read more »
spacy
Guest
4 years 3 months ago

“ノースストリート議事堂”の日本語に相当します。

日本相當於“北大街國會”。

Japanese equivalent of ‘North Street capitol’.

davidgmills
Member
4 years 3 months ago

That is so bad. What are the administrators thinking? Unless maybe this is the Chinese power company that is going to make thorium reactors from Oak Ridge’s model, I don’t see any point.

Ronnie_Rad
Member
4 years 3 months ago

My position exactly.

+1

jond
Member
4 years 3 months ago
Yes, agreed. The suspicion I have is that the Chinese have decided that they want the technology and have simply chosen another organisation to front the bid. The Japanese VC company will be there to set up the senior management team with a view to attempting to revive the Company on the back of the Phoenix platform. If that is successful, within five years they may well sell it on. But this does look like it is driven by Chinese dollar reserves being applied to acquire leading edge Western technology. The Chinese will likely have no interest at all in… Read more »
Bravada from GMI
Member
4 years 3 months ago
“Technology” is not something you acquire, like a commodity. Most of the “technology” that is in today’s cars can be easily bought from suppliers (who actually own most technologies, not automakers themselves), and the entire vehicle can be cobbled together by consultancies such as Riccardo. And of course quite a bit can be reverse-engineered without the need to even acquire anything but the model example 🙂 [though in all honesty, this is not an effective method for acquiring “technology”] The whole thing is about putting the vehicle together and making it really good. Even base Cheries or Geelies can be… Read more »
leriksso
Member
4 years 3 months ago

+ 1 smell a rat here…Chinese power plant builder be interested in making cars?

JerseySaab
Member
4 years 3 months ago

“Good examples being SAIC’s efforts with MG.”

Hopefully the fate that befell Rover will not happen to Saab.

Reading a Car & Driver report on the way SAIC is “manufacturing” cars in England paints a very dreary picture: a handful of employees in a mostly empty factory, wearing winter coats since SAIC will not turn the central heat on, doing minor assembly to finish knock-down kits supplied from China:

MG Motor UK

Despite quibbles on some details I find this a very disturbing and deprressing picture, and I’ve never even owned a British car.

Thylmuc
Member
4 years 3 months ago

Absolutely. Most power plant companies are. Think of all the electric power required to propel those millions and millions of electric vehicles.

According to calculations I did, replacing the entire car fleet in Germany by equivalent (!!!) electric cars would raise electric power consumption by 40 % (others have estimated 30 %, but for mow, I believe in my numbers)

dezzer
Member
4 years 3 months ago

what the hell is happening at this time…please please someone give it me in lay man terms…….

Turbo_Charged
Member
4 years 3 months ago
I knew we would come to this position when, last year, a Swedish minister suggested that SAAB should no longer build cars and instead build wind turbines and the like….This is a completely politically engineered solution with no car making credibility – unless Mahindra really are in the team. This is the same as Brightwell. All the positive things I read here about Mahindra and other car manufacturers seem to be lost in the current state of the process. I think electric platforms are the future (makes it difficult for governments to tax us to death due to use of… Read more »
TonymacUK
Member
4 years 3 months ago

Governments will always find ways of taxing us to the hilt for any form of fuel – and anyway, isn`t elecricity created by fossil fueled generators?

Turbo_Charged
Member
4 years 3 months ago

So if you have a fossil fuel car & they hit us with road pricing, you get hit twice! It’s hard to charge extra for car power if it is the same as for domestic power – think of all those poor old ladies that would also freeze in winter! Not a good headline.

Bravada from GMI
Member
4 years 3 months ago

A word from NEVS: “We don’t really have a plan. Please pray.”

Eleven
Member
4 years 3 months ago

I have to say that a hybrid solution with the design and quality of a Saab really excites me, if they can add a touch of Saab magic, then they’ll already be way ahead. I seriously considered the Lexus CT, but it really did lack the level of personality SAABs offer.

minienigma
Member
4 years 3 months ago
Hybrid doesn’t necessarily imply electric motor drive with a lean gas engine. Personally I wouldn’t mind (would even look forward) to a high performance electric-motor-only drive with a gas drive to generate electricity / recharge battery, like the setup for Fisker. Electric motor have very high torque from stop and would therefore make it joy to drive, at the same time the gas engine could run at a much more optimally and in an efficient mannor to generate electricity for the electric motor. The reason we like Saab so much could not possibly be because it fits into a mold… Read more »
Rolf Hägg
Guest
4 years 3 months ago

I thought they weren’t accepting any new bids, now this one slips through? hmmmm

zippy
Member
4 years 3 months ago

Turbocharged windmills?

Turbo_Charged
Member
4 years 3 months ago

The answer to all our power needs?

RAnderson
Member
4 years 3 months ago
As one who first rode in a 1959 Saab 93 in 1962, drove a friend’s 1963 Saab 96 in 1968, bought a Saab 1967 96 3 cyl in ’71, our first new Saab, a 99L, in 1974, and still have 5 Saabs in the family, I find it incredibly exciting that they may be going back to their true heritage of real innovation. A Hybrid diesel-electric or something similar is the kind of niche market they MUST exploit if they are to survive, the sad fact is they can never compete successfully in the conventional gas/performance market due to the… Read more »
Bravada from GMI
Member
4 years 3 months ago

He is serving as a “Chairman”, not CEO. He is using the goodwill accumulated by his name to front a venture remotely related to what he did in the past because he is available and doesn’t mind a round sum coming into his account for signing a company report once in a while.

julie@KellySAAB
Member
I want to remain positive and feel exactly as RAnderson above. SAAB does need to bring something new and innovative to the table again- something which will bring new buyers but keep those of us loyal to the brand too. I sincerely feel hybrid technology is that thing. Griffin Up! I will wait 3 years for a new SAAB if I know it will be a car based on our rich heritage, out-of-the-box thinking, and built by the folks of TH. I know there are risks in the inclusion of certain asian parties but choose to take them at their… Read more »
davidgmills
Member
4 years 3 months ago

The key word here is naive. How many of us were naive when Spyker bought Saab?

We really needed a true car company (that makes 100’s of thousands of cars annually) buying Saab not some joint venture that has never made one.

3cyl
Member
4 years 3 months ago

GM makes 100’s of thousands of cars annually. On the other hand some may feel that GM is not a “true car company”. Regardless of the owner however, SAAB has proven to be a difficult money maker.

Turbo_Charged
Member
4 years 3 months ago

Electric / hybrid is exciting. The possibility of a political stooge with no track record to deliver it- a, no!

Turbo_Charged
Member
4 years 3 months ago

The two NEVS companies, really seem to be unknown. The Administrators may be under rose tinted political pressure, but do they realise that there are peoples livelihoods at risk here? We don’t want to be here again in a few years. NEVS seem to have come in late by some back door (after the bid closure date?). I do hope the respect afforded by the SU team in these guys is well placed.

Bravada from GMI
Member
4 years 3 months ago
The Chinese part of the venture is relatively well-known, they are subsidiary of one of the two Chinese state-owned grid operators and a waste-to-energy solutions provider. I have no idea why they might be interested in an automaker, but generally grid operators and power generation companies could certainly benefit from increased grid utilization at nighttime by electric cars being recharged, while Saab has extensive experience with biofuels. The relevancy of Saab Automobile to their core interests is remote, so I guess there had to be somebody with a deeper interest in carmaking behind this. Or perhaps the Saab thing is… Read more »
Bravada from GMI
Member
4 years 3 months ago

All in all, I believe what we are seeing is just a front for something totally else, that had been going on all along. The Japanese venture capital company might just as well be replaced by an automaker once the deal is done, while the State Grid Company might be operating on orders from the Beijing faction of the Communist Party authorities, keen to catch up with Shanghai and Guangzhou in terms of car manufacturing, but also battling pollution in and around Beijing by pushing electric cars…

I would not rule out BAIC’s involvement in the end.

RS
Member
4 years 3 months ago

A Volvo executive, Chinese power plant company, Japanese firm specialized in high-tech environmental projects, a sexy name (National Electric Vehicle Sweden) = Government subsidies guaranteed and eco city cars for Asia?

Is this what they have in mind for the new “SAAB”? And the big petrol/diesel (hybrids) are provided by Gothenburg of course…

I’d like to see NEVS planned line-up for new car models please -if there are any.

Turbo_Charged
Member
4 years 3 months ago

Indeed, I perceive Saab and the Swedish government to be mere pawns in a larger strategy – probably staged by the Chinese who are masters of the art. I wonder where the Saab workers are in this larger priority list.

3cyl
Member
4 years 3 months ago

You seem to be implying that the Chinese government is better at protecting their interests than the Swedish government is at protecting theirs, It is surprising that you would disparage the Swedish government in this way given the leadership exhibited by them in dealing with SAAB. Surprisng to them anyway.

Turbo_Charged
Member
4 years 3 months ago
Be in no doubt that the Chinese are master strategists. Right now, they are holding the world to ransom because they have cornered the supply for raw materials for making batteries – the world of electric cars is actually in crisis at present. They have so much power, they walked into Tibet and decimated a culture – no one batted an eyelid, not even the UN. SO absolutely, the Swedish Government would be out manoeuvred and tied up before they even realised it and the SAAB workers would pay the price. The way NEVS came into this – did they… Read more »
Avin
Member
4 years 3 months ago

“Range Anxiety” is solvable with LiO2 tech, hence mass-adoption of EV’s and Hybrids is a reality in the long-term (say 2020). This is a good direction.

Bio-Power is already there in the form of bio-ethanol, bio-butanol. This further makes Hybrid’s a cool prospect. I’m glad we had the Aero-X as a proof-of-concept.

Thylmuc
Member
4 years 3 months ago

LiO2 is a concept, not a product. “Is solvable” should be replaced by “may be solvable in some not yet fasomable future”. May be 2 years, 20, or never. Bio fuels are no general solution.

kochje
Member
4 years 3 months ago

I do not share the skepticism I read in some of the comments.
Why would the newly created group with the name NEVS bid on the Saab Automobile AB when they are not strategically planning to built cars?
They could save money while they do not need the Saab name, do not need the Phoenix platform and do not need a big and modern facility which is equipped to produce cars?
But so far nobody knows.
So I cross my fingers and look forward to the final decision and the strategic plan of the party which got the deal.

cosmic
Member
4 years 3 months ago

Would be an interesting group of owners as Japanese and Chinese do not get along culturally or in business. Ironically I’m in the midst of facilitating a small joint venture between my company, a Japanese company, and Chinese company. It is not an easy process.

I wish them the best if it moves forward.

Mark
Member
4 years 3 months ago

I would support NEVS as a part owner of Saab, but I feel majority ownership should be a car manufacturer and one that is prepared to develop existing technology vehicles, whilst NEVS develops future technology cars. Since Mahindra now appears to be the only other visible candidate, I support Mahindra in that majority ownership role.

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