NEVS announces intention to lay off employees


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.

77 thoughts on “NEVS announces intention to lay off employees”

  1. Oh no, here we go again!

    Prayers and hopes for the people concerned, and fingers crossed that this means nothing more than that NEVS’ negotiations with a new “majority owner” are simply taking longer than they had optimistically hoped.

  2. The only surprise here is that it took this long for the lay offs to happen. And Bob, I hope you’re right that a NEW MAJORITY OWNER is going to replace the current group. New money won’t accomplish much but new management might.

  3. I traded in my 2010 NG 9-5 over the weekend. Heartbroken but I can’t continue to operate the vehicle when I know parts are limited and the company is gone! It’s a sad day for all but I still have my 2005 Aero..

    • Like many others I gave NEVS the benefit of the doubt, hoping for the best, but I think enough is enough. I just feel sorry for the great people still working there that gave so much for the Saab brand. In the Spyker era, there were investors willing to invest but weren’t allowed. Now there were some who were allowed, but didn’t invest. The brand is so damaged by now, that it would take years to regain a bit of confidence among buyers.

    • I’ve thought of doing the same. I still owe $13,000 on it (over two years) so I could probably get at least that much (MSRP $54,000 in 2010) but I really do love the car (minus the annoying rattles). ORIO should continue, even if NEVS folds and Saabs are never built again so – in theory – there “should” be parts for the next few years.

    • Don’t come here for a pat on the back. My 2010 Aero is kicking ass and going strong. I wouldn’t trade it for anything I pass on the road, much less TRADE IT IN. Saab USA parts has nothing to do with NEVs regarding the 9-5NG.

        • Negative, I waited for 6 months to get a replacement windshield. Other parts are being gouged by ORIO. The price for a tire pressure sensor is a perfect example. $110 for one. That is almost 3 times the price from 2010.

          Chris, not looking for a pat on the back. Good for you that you continue to hold on to your. For me I owed $18k on it and it was only worth that at trade it. And by the way it was $63K brand new, thats 40,000$ in depreciation over 3 and 1/2 years. TIme to move on, I still have my 05, lets hope your car doesnt get hit by some old lady that cant see or hear? Good luck getting any body parts for it.

  4. Sadly I think its finished… The name is gone,, The Griffin has been gone… No way this deal should take this long.. WHY???? Nevs had zeo production,,, zero network,, nothing so why so long…???? Nevs is deaddd Saab is gone as of today.

    This is not like a major acquisition of a major car maker,, Think about it.

  5. I can’t see why the company would continue to pay people while it’s not in production. It might have been better to announce this intention when they first applied for reorganization, but I don’t think this necessarily marks an end to SAAB.

  6. I feel a bit concerned about NEVS business plan. For now electric cars flourish in two business ways : urban cars (utility vehicles and/or carsharing) and luxury cars (Tesla, BMW i3). Even large companies, such as Groupe Renault and GM, face huge difficulties in developing electric cars, profitability speaking. Toyota has chosen hybrid vehicle, a less restrictive technical solution in terms of mileage etc.

    So, since Qingdao partnership is out, Phoenix platform : what for ? High luxury e-cars (low production rate), or hybrid cars (high production rate) ?

  7. Can anyone tell us anything about a new owner like who is the most likely candidate and why it’s taking so long? Do they already have a new owner and just working out the details? I mean what’s going on?

  8. I’ve understood that Nevs have nothing left to “pawn”, so it’s nigh on impossible for them to get any extra funding. They stated in their reconstruction application that they can fund their operation for roughly another month, by which time negotiations would be done and a new majority owner would step in. So it seems this is a move to revise that plan. The question is, how do the authorities react to this change in their original reconstruction goal, where they were keeping people in the work force in order to continue production as soon as the new owner steps in. Now they state that the new owner is not stepping in any time soon and are reducing their resources so that they will not be able to start production in the way they fashioned.

    Whatever lifeline Nevs have left is thinning by the minute. I’ll go for the record here and say that as of now I believe Nevs will end up in bankruptcy rather than conclude their reconstruction the way they envisioned. Whether Mahindra picks up the pieces or not remains to be seen. If they are interested in getting things done, they really should have invested short term in this company by now. By letting Nevs slide into this shithole they are too weak to crawl out of by themselves, Mahindra shows that they are rather more like a vulture over a corpse than an active negotiator determined to take over an entity that was still functioning by the time negotiations started.

    A sorry, sorry state of affairs in any case.

    • You’re right, but only if you consider what NEVS was doing as “still functioning.” I didn’t see it that way. Whatever they were doing the past two years, it wasn’t in any way, shape or form—-activity to bring Saab back to life—at least not in a way that thousands and thousands of Saab fans, Saab owners, Saab buyers envisioned. NEVS was a mistake. I don’t know the current state of affairs today. If the Saab name is indeed gone—-withdrawn by Saab AB—-this is of much, much, MUCH less value to Mahindra. That’s not a “detail” but it’s a vital cog in this deal. Minus “Saab” any offer Mahindra makes is undoubtedly going to be much different—much lower. Perhaps that is part of the delay too. Saab employees deserved better than this and so did Saab fans around the world. Many of us predicted this two years ago. I predicted that NEVS would never manufacture a car before going out of business. I guess I was wrongs since they did the hobby thing and built a few 9-3s. I should have qualified by statement to say they’d never build a newly designed car. I think that was really clear for anyone who was willing to be honest with themselves. This was a mess from day one. I only hope someone else is there to pick up the pieces and try to put the puzzle back together. Yes, it’s all been damaged badly—-but there might still be a glimmer of hope somewhere in this.

      • Amen, to all Angelo has said. And as far as “Mahindra shows that they are rather more like a vulture over a corpse than an active negotiator determined to take over an entity that was still functioning by the time negotiations started”…..who knows what is going on behind closed doors?. Certainly we should assume that Mahindra is a business, not a charitable benefactor, who owes it to themselves to make as good a deal as they can, but that doesn’t necessarily make them a vulture. For all we know, they’ve made a reasonable offer and NEVS is holding out for more money or more control. Perhaps the deal has been agreed to subject to negotiations with SAAB AB to allow use of the name SAAB. We’re in the dark. The only thing we know is that the longer this goes on, the harder it will be for Saab to recover, and any potential buyer is aware of that also. So based on everything we’ve seen from the crew at NEVS so far, I would attribute the delayed completion of the deal to their inability to do much of anything worthwhile.

      • I think the whole problem now is NEVS/KJJ trying to hang onto too much. It seems they have no money and want Mahindra to restore their losses. Why would they.
        Latest rumour on Swadeology from sources that claim to have good info is that Mahindra has walked away from the table. Can’t blame them.

        • I guess in theory, it’s possible that Mahindra could walk away—-wait for the implosion and then return? If they came back after NEVS is buried, could they still negotiate with SOMEONE for what’s left? I would think if they came to the table with real money, which we know they have—-to make some partial payments to creditors, hire back some employees and such—-someone in Sweden might be able to approve that? I don’t know, but maybe someone else does. This much is clear: If you guys are right and NEVS/KJJ is trying to be made whole or hold out for more—-it’s the height of nerve. That takes real stones—-“I failed miserably, but I want you to pay for my mistakes before you have a crack at this.” If that’s happening…WOW.

        • If they walked from the table at this stage, they most likely want more. Let’s see if they get more, because if there is no value without Mahindra, they are likely to get it. On the other hand, if there is a different solution which gives NEVS value, that might be on the table.

          It will be interesting to see what will come out of the reconstruction meeting on 8th of October.

          I agree with hughw that we’re in the dark. And, is likely to be for some time.

      • Saab name withdrawing is due to ongoing partnership between Saab AB and Mahindra Satyam (since 2011). The current negotiations between NEVS and Mahindra Automotive might interfere with Saab / Mahindra cooperation, and mislead customers. Most people still believe Saab and Saab Automobile are the same company.

  9. I also think that’s the end of all this. I think Saab is dead for good. This is very sad. I will keep my 2006 9-3 as loooooong as I can…

    • There’s still a big, modern factory. There are still engineering specs for a modern platform that is of some technological value to a lot of parties. There are still a couple thousand people who are experienced at building great cars—-many of whom are ready and willing to come back to work. People disagree with me—-but I still believe the 9-3 Sedan and especially Combi and Convertible could sell, at least in my home market, in respectable numbers. There’s hope—-dwindling hope—but still a sliver of a chance that someone who’s actually capable this time—-can come in and have one last go at this.

      • There’s one significant problem with the factory, though – it’s located in expensive Sweden. And any technology of value may still be moved to China. As for the old Saab employees in Sweden with valuable know-how, I’m sure they would be willing to do R&D in Sweden and help with knowledge transfer to China for the benefit of the Chinese auto industry, as is already happening with Volvo.

        • Hey—didn’t NEVS have an order for 200 EVs from China? When are they going to deliver those? I’m sure those suppliers they found for the prototype can come up with 200 more bolt-on parts. Come on, let’s get that order filled, shall we?

          • I don’t know, and frankly I don’t care. In the (IMO extremely unlikely) event Saab should survive, it will have to involve all the Chinese dead-ends being dropped. That obviously means no more NEVS, and no DongFeng involvement alongside Mahindra, should the latter decide to buy into Saab. Way too much time and money has been wasted on the ever-elusive Chinese Santa Claus by now, and it needs to stop. It’s only contributed to dragging the Saab name through the mud since 2011.

      • Angelo. Never thought I’d see your emotions eclipse your business instincts.
        In this global market, Sweden is not where an automotive factory should be long term. I’m not saying some design and engineering studios, mind you, just a factory.

        I still cant believe people bought into the notion that a factory in Sweden was going to supply cars to China…

        • I was being sarcastic about the 200 EVs for China. But as I’ve said in the past, the “volume” will come from rebadging Indian/Chinese/Korean/etc. cars as Saabs on the low end and using the factory in Sweden for higher end Saabs (or whatever they’ll be called now). That can work. Of course, the stupidity of focusing on China needs to be in the past—-that was a NEVS theme, not a Saab theme. And the stupidity of focusing on EVs needs to be in the past—-that was a Sweden Government Bankruptcy Receivers Gestapo heavy handed move to cut everyone else out and gift this to NEVS and it failed. That’s out. Hybrids can be part of the business plan, certainly. And turbos. How is Volvo building cars in Sweden and staying in business? I understand the labor rate is high, but with the right product mix, and utilizing platforms and factories in lower cost countries and the proper marketing, there could still be a Saab (or AERO) factory in Sweden as part of the plan, building the flagships.

          • Yeah, considering a “LOW END” C Class from MB is $40,000 and they make them in South Africa, or the $35,000 dollar CLA is made in Hungary. E Class is and up is still German made. I suppose you could do something interesting like make a factory in an underdeveloped country that ISN’T China. I’d like that. I’d much rather have a CLA made in Hungary than one made in China if it got to that point.

          • You’re wrong about one thing – China was not just a NEVS theme, in fact it was the very defining part of the Spyker era, starting with the shark jumping moment (Youngman/Pang Da) that signalized the beginning of the end of Saab.

            Rebadging low-end Far-Eastern cars as Saabs should hopefully not happen at all, as that will further taint the Saab name, and Saab the defense company shouldn’t be interested in licensing the brand name for such a purpose. But in this day and age, you never know – I still don’t understand how NEVS managed to secure the rights to the Saab name in the first place, it shouldn’t have happened IMO.

            (As for Volvo building cars in Sweden, that’s primarily for historical reasons, and anybody with a realistic worldview will realize that it’s living on borrowed time.)

            • Mick: If you’re right that Volvos made in Sweden is a concept living on borrowed time—-all the more reason why Saabs made in India or somewhere else is something the Saab community should accept. If that’s the new world reality—-so be it. Live with it and prosper, or fold the tent. I’d rather see Saab find a way to survive and later prosper, even if the majority of their cars aren’t built in Sweden. Volkswagen has been selling cars made in the U.S., in Brazil, in Mexico—-for decades. That’s just one tiny example and there are scores of others. I want somebody to capture the original spirit of Saab and some of the engineering/design. It would be best if they can keep the name Saab. If Saab AB won’t allow that—-it’s a crappy hand to be dealt (and incredible, considering NEVS had the name). But the company can be renamed, with obvious ties to Saab’s past, and soldier on. I’m not ready to give up on this yet, though I guess the clock is certainly counting down.

              • Since the people here didn’t ask for Victor Muller’s head on a plate back when he courted Youngman, I’d say the community has already accepted it. It’s only people like me, who actually care about employment in Sweden (and who realize that a company situated in a country that for cost reasons have become the manufacturing hub in the world, won’t be interesting in paying extra for expensive Swedish labour) who have objected.

                • The conditions for employment in Sweden do not solely depend on a car company owner. In fact, a car company owner has quite limited influence on these conditions. The fact is that Geely is investing in Volvo’s infrastructure in Sweden. All the talk that Geely will move everything to China is ridiculous. If some day, let’s say 10 or 20 years from now, car manufacturing in Sweden becomes totally unsustainable and Geely puts an end to it, this won’t be Geely’s fault, you could blame Swedish government, European Union or world’s economic structure for this, but you couldn’t blame Geely for making a sound business decision, one that every company would make regardless of its country of origin. Your “Chinese owner means China only production” thesis makes no sense.

                  • Considering how expensive it is to build cars in Sweden already, it would have been a sound business decision for Geely to move all Volvo manufacturing to China right away. I reckon the two main reasons it’s not happened yet are that it would damage the perception of the Volvo brand and that the know-how is still mainly in Sweden. But don’t think that won’t change in the near future. It’s not a question of whether it will happen, but when it will happen.

                    • I don’t think we’ll ever see Volvo manufacturing only in China. Moving of all Volvo manufacturing to China couldn’t happen right away and cannot happen now. This is a huge process of building capacity, making sure all supply and distribution chains work and so on. Even if they wanted to do it, it would take them at least a decade. But I don’t think they want to do it. Geely’s goal is to become global manufacturer, not to spend billions to shift capacity around the globe. For now making Volvos in Sweden for the European market makes more sense than making them in China. If some day manufacturing in Sweden becomes totally unreasonable, it’s more probable that they will go to another European country than to ship everything from China. I think we’ll see a European made Geely before we see all Volvos become made in China.

      • Angelo, I’m sorry, but you clearly dont understand the economics of modern car production.

        You need volume – massive volume, if it is to make sense. Even in its hey day, saab was about 8 % of what the Germans crank out.

        Spykers annual production in 2010 was equal to 8 days production of Audis, bmws or mercedes.

        Those three would manufacture more cars per minute than saab did in a day, under nevs.

        I’m sorry, but we are talking volume here, in a world that has excess capacity.

        • Does Volvo have massive volume? Subaru competes with Toyota and Honda (among others) but in comparison, they are low volume yet they manage to stay in business.

          • Fuji Heavy Industries has Subaru as a relatively small part of its portfolio. I would guess if it had to rely of Subaru to make payroll, it may look a lot more like NEVS.

            • Joe: If Subaru couldn’t pull its weight and pay off for Fugi, there would be no Subaru. They are paying their bills, making money, growing. That could be Saab too—-with the right owner. We obviously don’t have the right owner. Maybe next time we will? If there’s a next time.

              • That’s right, Angelo. However, SAAB ain’t no Subaru (anymore).

                Subaru rapidly filled the SAAB marketspace vacuum like a Far-Eastern typhoon, knocking the Scandinavians and Europeans on their collective butts.

                So, although Subaru may not be a profit poster-child for Fuji Heavy Industries, the market direction is clear, and defined.

                Unlike our poor dear SAAB, that has meandered about clueless to the market since the 1980’s..

          • Subaru produces, worldwide, around 800000 units a year. Mazda, around 1.2m.

            Basically, if you are less than 1m (+-) units a year, and standalone, then you are considered vulnerable, because you won’t be able to generate the capital needed to keep up with the big guys.

            This is why Volvo’s business plan aims to double sales to 800 000 units annually. They, via Geely, have invested a massive amount in their new scaleable platform. In essence though, they have ‘bet the farm’.

                  • I agree Joe. It quickly going from a viable, modern platform, fit for a luxury car manufacturer—to a still born idea that will be fodder for the bottom feeders who are trying to go from nothing to something. The bottom feeders might not be able to develop their own new technology, so they will roll the dice on this and hope for a miracle to finish it up. I’d guess this will take so long—-it truly will be irrelevant by the time a product emerges. It’s sad how this unfolded, really sad.

                    • Sad, yes, but hardly surprising. The writing was on the wall back in 2011, when it became clear that Muller wasn’t the right man to resurrect Saab, and those who have been in charge after his tenure have not been able to do much with what little remained when he left.

                    • Mick: I agree with you—-that GM poisoned the waters at the end of the Muller era, leaving destruction and not much else. But let’s be clear: NEVS knew what they were buying. NEVS knew what remained and what didn’t. And NEVS was forced in, like hammering a square peg into a round hole so hard, the wooden block was smashed into toothpicks from all the hammering. NEVS had an extremely flawed business plan and they didn’t have a fraction of the know-how to make a go of this venture. Ill conceived is…well, it’s ill conceived. So yes, the writing was on the wall that Saab was in deep, deep trouble—-and for a sliver of a chance at a turnaround, the new owner would have to pitch a shut-out—-no missteps—-hit the ground running—-save Saab while there was something left to save. That didn’t happen. 2012-2013 represent “The Lost Era” and quite possibly, “The Last Era” too. Two years of nothing was a back breaker.

                    • In GM’s defense, though, they did the right thing vetoing the China adventures. I applauded their decision at the time, and I still do. So the problem wasn’t only GM, it was also Muller, who in hindsight turned out to be the wrong man to save Saab (and there’s really no reason to argue against that, even if one is a fan of the guy, because history simply proves this to be true, otherwise Saab would probably still be here today). And NEVS, well, it was a pipe dream that was doomed from the start.

  10. Brand is way more important than some people seem to understand. Griffin is gone. Whatever people says it is an important piece of the image. Imagine Jaguar without the cat. Now the SAAB name is probably gone? Then, I’m afraid, it is not much left. As stated in several articles, Mahindra wants to slap the SAAB brand to some Mahindra and Ssangyong products. That seems a little complicated if there is no griffin nor SAAB sticker to put. And don’t say it is not of value. Look at an apple siluette with a bite in it. Second: it is hard to get people to pay extra for a low cost rebranded product. You can’t compare with VAG since they design a top model for e.g. Audi and then other low cost brands inherent top model features from the luxury brand. You can’t do the other way around: build a low cost car and slap a luxury sticker on it. I wish SAAB was where Volvo is right now. You wouldn’t believe how much cool SAAB-like stuff they’re developing now. It is sad to say but to be able to do all that cool stuff you probably need to produce your own engines inhouse. Still I’m hoping for the best.

    • “As stated in several articles, Mahindra wants to slap the SAAB brand to some Mahindra and Ssangyong products.”

      Sometimes I really wonder how people are doing this. I, for one, haven’t seen, read or heard anything that would suggest in any way what Mahindra’s plans and intentions for SAAB are, not to mention any articles stating that they want to slap SAAB badges on Mahindra or Ssangyong cars. All the badge engineering talk has come only from comments by some fans expressing the opinion that Mahindra should, could, might or shouldn’t do something like that. That’s where all this discussions came from, not from any article or real piece of news. The only minuscule glimpse into what could be expected in terms of product development has come from Mattias Bergman when he said in May that they want to build a product range on the Phoenix platform that will be wider than any SAAB have had in its history. That’s all that could be called “official information”, everything else is just discussions by the fans. I strongly suggest everyone not to confuse the two things.

            • Depends on a lot of things—depends on the car and the improvements Saab engineers could manage. Depends on the price. Depends on the promotion/advertising/product positioning/marketing. But if the only choices are closing the book forever or giving badge engineering a try as a last ditch effort to save Saab—rebranded cars as a bridge to from the ground up entirely new Saabs—-I’d take that deal. I’d love to see that gamble and see if it could pay off for somebody. The alternative is pathetic—-the last incarnation of Saab being a Chinese led consortium who wanted to sell EVs in China—-who produced a few dozen 9-3s that nobody in the world knew about, save for people who visit Saabs United website. Pathetic. If this has to fail, I want to see someone go down swinging, not doing something that foolish to spell the end. Muller went down swinging.

        • Well, M&M most certainly is not staging a full takeover of PSA. PSA already went trough a serious change in ownership structure, so I wouldn’t expect anything more on that front.

          Exalt is a cool concept, but it’s not a SAAB. Let SAAB make their own cars.

          • Yes – and I’m sure Chinese DongFeng, who currently owns 14 % of PSA, will increase its stake considerably in the future. Just you wait and see – PSA is the new Volvo.

  11. I have been following this discussion with interest. The most interesting feature is the total absence of comment from any of a small group of people who I believe have good sources and are consistently well-informed. Whenever that happens, it is a key sign that there is more going on than can be told.

    So there is more to the situation than we know: I just hope it is good, not bad.

    • I agree. One possibility is that there is a fight for control, and if that is the case, it’s might be a chicken race until the court puts the foot down. A court can exercise some force on parties to accept a settlement during a reconstruction. I wouldn’t rule out the possibility that it ends up that way, most likely in November in that case.

    • They can be. It would be incredible if someone bought Saab for that reason. But I don’t think that’s Mahindra’s intention and I don’t see anyone else interested. But you’re right—–those vehicles, as old as they are, could still sell. Facelift, interior refresh, some new colors—and they would be a fine placeholder in many parts of the world, until the Phoenix derived vehicles were developed. I know there are some who claim that the 9-3 platform is too outdated. There’s some truth to that—-but on the other hand, there’d be very little cost associated with a freshening (compared to starting from scratch), so maybe some of that could be plowed into offering a loss leader to build a little volume. I live in the Washington, DC area. I’ve spoken to several dealers in the Northeast. If they had 9-3s to sell, as recently as 2013—-convertible, sedan, combi—-they are confident that they could have sold enough to stay in business, even without an update. Two of them are/were stand alone dealers. That’s in the U.S. There was already a following that would buy any Saab offered here, particularly if the price wasn’t piggish. Here, marketing/advertising is the difference between success and failure. Enough said.

    • Oh, and selling Saabs in markets that already had people familiar with the brand—customers waiting—-having owned one Saab, two Saabs, half a dozen Saabs—re-entering THAT market and others like it, might have been an easier go than starting with an electric car and trying to build from zero/nothing—-in China. How ridiculous.

      • Here in Australia there was a small, admittedly, but loyal market for Saab. For what they were, the cars were overpriced. Saab could have got going here again, but the electric vehicle decision was a total crazy idea. Australia is such a small market that the EV idea was never going to take off. Hell I think I’ve seen 1 Holden Volt on the road here.
        As for re-badging, Holden tried that with a couple of Korean Daewoo models. Absolute disaster. Lasted 2 years if memory serves,but they were replacing originally Opel sourced designs.

        • thinking loyal Australia Saab owners are holding onto their cars as late model, low mileage cars are very thin on the ground, classic 900 aero’s are also hard to find….

Comments are closed.

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.