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by Tim

Göran Fredriksson has left NEVS

November 4, 2014 in NEVS

göran fredrikssonGöran Fredriksson has left his position at NEVS after his contract expired with the company, he worked actively with information and marketing issues for NEVS and he is one of the persons at NEVS that I have had most contact with and it has been an absolute privilege to work with him!

Göran always answered the phone with a “smile” when I called and he always showed great joy and enthusiasm for what we wanted the fans to be able to see at NEVS. I also know he spent a great deal of time and resources making sure that people test driving NEVS cars were given a very memorable experience!

Göran also actively participated in every one of SU’s visits to NEVS which made them an absolute pleasure for all of us. Göran was one of the key people at NEVS who worked the most on NEVS participation in Maptun Meet 2014 where many of you fans got to talk with him and that participation turned out absolutely great. Much thanks to Göran so many of you fans got to test drive the 2014 9-3 Aero at the event and I know you all loved the experience!

NEVS has lost one of its greatest assets that the Saab world really needs to get back and even though I know that NEVS are currently not in a position to hire people at the moment, all of us at SU hope that NEVS will be able to bring Göran back as soon as possible to continue to bring the Saab brand back!. But until he ends up back at NEVS or with some other company I’m sure that he’ll enjoy his rides in his Saab or equally so on a motorcycle! =)

Lastly I want to say that all of us at SaabsUnited have greatly admired the work that Göran has performed at NEVS and we would like to thank him so much for all that he has done and wish him well on his future endeavors!

/ The whole SaabsUnited Team

NEVS announces intention to lay off employees

September 24, 2014 in NEVS, News, Press-Release

©SAABSUNITED.COM

©SAABSUNITED.COM

This morning NEVS announces following in a press release:

Nevs announces intention to lay off up to 200 employees due to lack of work, as thedecision to re-start production will be further delayed.

Nevs has retained the permanent workforce for production since the production was stopped in the end of May this year. The reason for this has been that the company would be ready to quickly start up production, upon such decision.

The prerequisites for making a decision to start up production are to have long-term secured funding and a business plan that has been worked through together with a new majority owner.

The ongoing discussions on collaboration and ownership structure, which has not yetresulted in a binding agreement, indicates that the decision for a start-up of productionwill take time.

With this there is a redundancy of the workforce. Therefore, Nevs’ management has decided to hand in a notice of intention to lay off up to 200 employees to the Swedish Public Employment Service.

The terminations will take place in September in order to rapidly reduce the company’s costs during the reorganization period. This is a step in the reorganization plan that the administrator will present on the creditors meeting on October 8.

Nevs intends to retain the remaining staff to maintain the plant in good condition, to beprepared for the new production, after such a decision is taken, and to continuedeveloping new products.

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by Tim

The SAAB 9-3 Electric Car Prototype – Test Track and Tech Interview

September 23, 2014 in NEVS, Technical, test drive

Direct Youtube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jp2erJcLLHs

Previous articles:

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by Red J

9-3N Infotainment system

August 30, 2014 in NEVS

Saab 9-3 EV infotainment. Image by Teknikens Värld

Saab 9-3 EV infotainment. Image by Teknikens Värld

In February we found first pictures of what could be a new and modern navigation system for the 2014 9-3.

It was not until April that we found an official reference to a new infotainment system in the Chinese spec. sheet of the 9-3 2014/15.

Those two posts where more or less based on rumours with some confirmation from NEVS, but still we had no real pictures of the system and we had only some rumours about the hardware-platform it was based on, but those where not 100% right.

It was not till the presentation of the electric 9-3 that we saw the first real pictures of this infotainment system (we have talked in the past of it as a navigation system, but the it is more capable than a simple navigation system, thus I will talk about an infotainment system). The guys at Teknikens Värld took some better pictures of the interior of the 9-3 EV the same day, and have been kind enough to let us use them.

With this post I will try to summarize all the information we have, partly confirmed, about that system, and talk a little bit about why NEVS has made a right option for the future with this system.
Read the rest of this entry →

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by till72

Press Release: The District court approves Nevs’ application for reorganization

August 29, 2014 in NEVS

The District court of Vänersborg, Sweden, today August 29 approved the application for reorganization from National Electric Vehicle Sweden AB.

The District court has appointed Mr. Lars Eric Gustafsson, Attorney at Hamilton law firm in Stockholm, as administrator during the reorganization period.

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by till72

NEVS apply for reconstruction (again) – updated (again)

August 29, 2014 in NEVS

Just as I published the last post saying we won’t have to wait for it too long PV Väst announces that NEVS are at Vänersborg court with a revised Version of their application.

Update 1:
NEVS states that they have secured a loan of 20 million crowns to get through the first 3-4 weeks of the reconstruction. They also stress that the reason for the reconstruction is not to reduce the liabilities to the creditors and that NEVS intens to pay it all in full.

Update 2:
NEVS expects to have an agreement on a development cooperation for the Phoenix platform in place that will generate obe 1 billion crowns of cash for NEVS. That will be enough to pay off the debt of 400 million crowns and fund the company for another year. My educated guess is that this Partner will be Dongfeng.

The deal with a possible new owner has been negotiated for six months now and according to NEVS the board of that prospective owner has decided to fill this deal with life if some last requirements are met. As I see it, this will be Mahindra.

The decision by the court is expected for this afternoon.

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by till72

NEVS, Saab AB and the brand name

August 29, 2014 in NEVS, News

According to P4 Väst Saab AB reacted to NEVS’ application for reconstruction by cancelling the agreement to use the Saab name on the cars made in Trollhättan. Saab AB’s spokesman Sebastian Carlsson did not comment on any details of the decision. Also NEVS did not publically react on the announcement yet.

While the news of those last two days were not what we like to hear I’d like to encourage you not to panic right away. A main point for Saab AB is to ensure that they are not associated with another bancrupcy process like the last. In the current situation there might be a chance for that worst case but it’s not nessesarily the case. Such an agreement can be revived at any time if there is that new investor that gives Saab AB enough confidence.

And the case that Saab AB and most of the suppliers with insight in the negotiations taking place between NEVS and their future partners have been rather patient with the open invoices shows that there is at least enogh confidence to give it some time. The application for reconstruction was mainly a move to get a bit more time for finalizing the ongoing negotiations under the protection of such a process. We will see how quickly NEVS’ appeal of the court decision will come now, but I think we won’t have to wait too long.

9-3 EV1: First impressions

August 28, 2014 in Editorial, EVs, NEVS

I’m sure many of you have seen the excellent pictures of NEVS new prototype of the electric car, EV-1.
Last Friday I went to see the car live and to get a closer look at the car in Trollhättan.
I will not repeat the facts from the release, if you want to take a closer look at the presentation from NEVS, check it out here. This will be some personal reflections and observations, without testing the car.9-3_ev1_1

The first thing I noticed when I saw the EV was that except from the yellow line on the bumpers with text that say this is a electric vehicle (“elbil”), and the fact the car is missing a exhaust-system it looked pretty like the other 2014 9-3 Aero’s from Nevs. The first things that I found out look different on this particular prototype (NEVS have some more EV-prototypes) is the wheels (17″ ALU59 with 225/50 tyres), the blue Ice-block headlamps and regular halogen foglights (2014 9-3 use as we know LED-lamps). All in all, without the yellow tape, this could be a face-lifted regular everyday-use car – in other words a perfect car for testing.

One more thing I noticed pretty soon was the ride height, without any proof or measuring, for me it can look like the same ride height as the 9-3x. For me it sounds reasonable, because the batteries of the car is mounted under the car where the petrol-tank and exhaust-system is mounted on a “normal” 9-3 – and this is giving the car an immediate benefit; it is just as practical as the 9-3 sedan we know. Another benefit having the batteries under the car is the weight-issue, doing it this way is giving a low center of gravity since the batteries is pretty heavy. One more thing regarding the ride-height, destroy a battery isn’t a thing you want to do, most because high voltage, and second because the price of the battery. For a EV the total cost of the batteries about 40% of what the car costs. But if the accident is a fact does this prototype have approximately 190 batteries in total, and they is grouped in 11 separate modules, so you can change only one module if necessary.

ev1_ren_gladje

Pure Joy – Under development in Trollhättan

When we talk about the batteries, the guys from NEVS told me the batteries is planed to last the entire life of the car. You can charge the battery approximately 5000 times, so if you charge your EV every day it will be about 13.5 years. One of the things NEVS do to increase the lifetime of the batteries is to not take out max power from them, and they are also have plans for cooling down the batteries.
The charging of th batteries must be done from a standard 16A plug, the prototypes is not support faster charging yet, but that is of course something NEVS will work with. The battery-pack is 37kWh in total, and it will take about 10h to charge.

So if we go to the inside of the car is it as I said earlier pretty like the regular 2014 9-3 Aero, even the sound isolation is at this prototype is exactly like the the 1024 9-3 Aero. The first thing you will noticeis that there is no gear-shifter. That is replaced with four buttons (R,N,P and D), and the function is like a car with automatic transmission – the big difference is that you push the button instead of moving the gear shifter. The instruments is also different, there we find the tachometer you will find a “range-meter”, wich tell you how many kilometres you can drive before the battery is empty. Where we usually find the fuel-gauge we have a gauge with the same function, but with “fuel-gauge” design. We find find the speedometer in its usual place, but it’s only scaled to 160kph. Now the EV prototypes is limited to max 120kph, so at this stage this isn’t a big issue. You also find a Ecometer where we find the turbo-meter, this will help the driver to drive economic so you can take out longest possible range, wich for the prototypes is about 200km.
The observe reader will recognise the instruments, the hardware are taken from SAABs e-Power concept, but NEVS have developed new software. If this is something NEVS will keep, or if they will develop something new is a open question. I think this looks OK, but remember this is a prototype and the focus right now is to test technical solutions – not to make fancy instruments ;)

IMG_0643

In the interior we also find another great feature we in SU crew have waited for; the new Infotainment!
This is a thing that isn’t exclusive for the EV, as soon it’s ready we will also find it in the 9-3 Aero. Sadly the Infotainment wasn’t ready, so I can’t say anything about functions, but the Infotainment is as we had written before based on a Android device, and that opens for NEVS to make their own user interface and maybe doing their own special apps for service-points, charging-points and so on. But I can say it looked great, with this new touch-screen the dashboard looked more clean then ever, it’s no need to say I liked this very much ;)

So what will be the next step for the EV prototypes? From what I see I think NEVS will be working on slimming the 9-3, every unnecessary kilo slimmed away is extra range. A question is also how whey are planing to heat up the couple during the winter. If the fan is going to use power from the battery-pack we will have a lower range during the winter, and personally I think this is a important question for many here in Scandinavia. We will have the same range that we are used to have summertime, and we want a warm and comfortable car =)

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by Rune

Supplier files for NEVS bankruptcy hearing (updated)

August 12, 2014 in NEVS, News

P4 Väst reports that NEVS owes one of the suppliers 150000 SEK (~ $21800 USD). A bankruptcy hearing is scheduled for September 8th.

Monday 11th was the first day after the vacation for many of NEVS’ employees. There were rumors that an announcement of a deal would be made known yesterday, but nothing has materialized so far. It would surprise me greatly if this situation has not been resolved, one way or another, long before September 8th.

Fingers crossed.

(h/t to Daniel B in comments)

Update (18:00): Swedish television reports that the CEO of Labo test was unaware of the legal motion. It was the company handling their invoices that filed on their behalf. “We will now consider our options and one alternative might be that we withdraw our request”.

(h/t to mk for the link to the followup story)

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by Trued

Indian and Chinese interest in Saab Cars / NEVS

June 16, 2014 in NEVS, News, Saabology

Skärmavbild 2014-06-16 kl. 21.51.06

 Dongfeng logotype

 

Skärmavbild 2014-06-16 kl. 21.58.39

Mahindra logotype 

 

 

For some days now SaabsUnited have been aware of the two possible new owners/partners/collaborators to Saab Cars. We have decided to lay low with this information since it could potentially hurt the negotiations. SaabsUnited has always had the making of Saab cars in Trollhättan made and designed by Swedish know-how a top priority.

Today the SvD reporter Jonas Fröberg has published an article revealing the two parties interested in Saab, They are Mahindra and Dongfeng.

Mahindra is interested in becoming an owner to a certain percentage. SU sources mention a percentage over 50%. Dongfeng primarily wants to get in on the Phoenix platform. Mr. Fröberg thinks it is odd since Dongfeng bought 14% of the french PSA group for little over 1 billion dollars half a year ago. Dongfeng makes a wide variety of both in house as well as “license” PSA products.

Skärmavbild 2014-06-16 kl. 21.54.28

Some of Dongfengs cars

Mihandra a big indian conglomerate with som 180000 people. They are big in various machinery and make two electrical vehicles as well as the Ssangyong SUV brand. The indian company has an competitor within the borders of the country and that is TATA Motors. A successful company now running luxury brands Jaguar and Land Rover. Mahindra might want to copy that concept, turning Saab into the prestige brand it should be. There is overcapacity of “standard” cars in europe but not for luxury and “boutique” models. The relatively small production facility in Trollhättan might be just perfect. I guess the economy could be good for 75000 car/ year in the 65000+ dollars category. The former owners of SAAB as well as founders way back the Wallenberg Business Empire with SEB Bank and SAAB AB (aircrafts, submarines, military systems), has according to Fröberg good old connections with Mr. Anand Mahindra. This could potentially be very helpful since SAAB AB does not want any publicity that is negative and involving the word SAAB in any way to disturb right now. An informant told me that Dassault French makers of fighter-jets competing with SAABs 39 Gripen on the world scene has shamefully used the trouble in Saab Automobile in smearing the Saab name. Same french company hiring burglars to try to open hotel safety boxes for Saab AB businessmen. (but that is another story). A key question is the rights to the SAAB name on automobiles and I would guess this is the hardest issue to solv. Saab AB does not want any more negative writings, that could be negative for the arms sale.

“We do not comment who we are talking to, but it is two asian vehicle manufacturers. We negotiate / talk, ownership and development of the Phoenix Platform”

- Mr. Mikael Östlund says this to SvD reporter Jonas Fröberg.

Skärmavbild 2014-06-16 kl. 21.59.51

Mahindra XUV 500 Sportz

So my guess is that there is a solution for future car manufacturing in Trollhättan that we can write about here at SaabsUnited before the end of this month. Or why not come with a great Midsummer Nights surprise on thursday before Sweden closes down for a 3 day holiday by many regarded as more important then christmas. A Midsummer present to the Saab World please!

Link to SvD Jonas Fröbergs article :http://blog.svd.se/frobergsbilar/2014/06/16/dongfeng-och-mahindra-vill-at-nevs/

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by Tim

Report on NEVS situation from Maptun Meet 2014

June 4, 2014 in Maptun Meet 2014, NEVS, News

mattias_bergman_maptun_meet_2014During the Maptun Meet 2014 Mattias Bergman attended the show, having landed in Stockholm-Arlanda Airport late in the evening before he showed up on time in Örebro to be greeted by applause. He presented a somewhat complex but honest talk with me on stage, unfortunately we were not able to capture it on tape, but here are the general points he made.

  • NEVS is in a serious situation but rather than keeping on going accumulating debt, NEVS has scaled down operations maintaing the company debt free while sorting out its issues.
  • The current lack-of-cash situation has intensified talks with the two companies wanting to become partners with NEVS, one such wanting to invest in NEVS the other wanting to cooperate on development.
  • NEVS feels confident in its talks with the two future partners, “talks are going well”. The current work focuses on how to adapt a new business plan for future needs in which the two partners resources and base of competence can be integrated into the work.
  • Investments are in the region of two-figures in billions of Swedish crowns (1 SEK = €0,11 / $0,15)
  • Investors have moved past the question of if and are now in the situation of how they should invest.
  • The development plan being negotiated will involve more models than Saab has had previously, all based on the phoenix platform.
  • The final deal is drawing closer and closer for each day that passes, every day new important steps are taken forward and discussions should be finalized within weeks.
  • NEVS feels safe with the talks, what mostly remains are the shapes of the partnership.