NEVS in discussions with suppliers
January 6, 2013 in News
As we’ve heard some time ago, NEVS initiated talks with suppliers to investigate the possibility of restarting the production of the current 9-3 line. According to NEVS there was still interest in this car with a normal combustion engine. One other reason for this choice could also be that China is most likely to miss its targets of 2015 and 2020 of the number of electric cars that can be put into use and the demand for combustion type cars in China is also huge at the moment.
Some talk have been circulated in the media lately that restarting the line might not be as easy as one would have hoped. Of course negotiations into restarting production is a huge task and one not made easily, especially if you’re a new guy in the game.
Two companies stand out in the discussions and the first one is Autoliv (supplier of safety systems such as airbags) who according to unconfirmed, however reliable sources, are not hesitant but lets say not as cooperative as one would have hoped. Number two is FIAT who according to the same sources want to discuss the issues of supplying NEVS with engines further rather than just sign the papers right away.
I’ve talked to a very reliable source who was deeply involved in getting the supply chain back up and running in 2010 and he told me that one could expect such deals with suppliers, if done right, to take at least 8-12 months. Back then more than 800 contracts had to be negotiated and signed. Although not as many this time, it is a huge process and requires a bit of patience and a lot of money!
NEVS are regardless of being a new company apparently still haunted by the remains of Saab Automobile AB and its huge amount of un-paid invoices. Many suppliers took a huge hit when Saab Automobile AB stopped paying their bills and many suppliers have completely converted the tools and facilities into producing either for other brands or closed them down completely.
One should remember that for a supplier it is a huge financial undertaking into restarting production of new parts for a “new” brand. A risk that in this financially difficult time, many are not as willing to make without certain precautions and insurances.
We’ve tried to contact a few of the suppliers, some are talking and are very happy that production might restart, some are simply stating “no comment”. Regardless of the process, getting confirmed facts is extremely difficult at this time but there are still some people willing to talk.
We at SU are of course also in a situation now where everything we write about NEVS ends up in the main stream media and we’re once again placed in a situation where us reporting on some issues might hurt the brand rather than help it… and in this fragile situation I’d ask everyone to understand that we’re stating a lot less than we know, at least until the waters have calmed down a bit…