NEVS receives electric vehicle production license in China

The next step for NEVS to become a car manufacturer is done. NEVS has announced today with a press release that they have got one of those 10 precious production licenses for EVs in China.


The Chinese government has today approved NEVS’ application to start production of electric vehicles in its manufacturing plant in Tianjin.

– I am very grateful for the approval we now have received for the electric vehicle production license. It is an extremely important milestone for NEVS, which is based on 70 years of Saab long history. It means that we can take the next step to realize our vision – to shape mobility for a more sustainable future, says Kai Johan Jiang, chairman of NEVS.

The electric vehicle production license approved by the Chinese National Development Reform Commission (NDRC) is required in order to manufacture electric vehicles in China. NEVS is the first joint venture company with investors from outside China that is granted a New Energy Passenger Vehicle Project investment approval by NDRC.

NEVS’ manufacturing plant in Tianjin is under construction and planned to be up and running at the end of 2017, with the capacity of 200 000 electric passenger vehicles yearly.

The electric car industry is growing rapidly in China. NEVS plan is to develop a product portfolio of electric vehicles and mobility services globally, with China as the first and most demanding market for the coming years. The immediate plan is to deliver 150 000 9-3 Sedan electric vehicles to the partner Panda New Energy, a new energy vehicle leasing company in China.

After some talks with NEVS I’ve been told that we will see the NEVS 9-3 this year, but that production won’t start till the factory in Tianjin is ready, which is expected in the second half of the year.

In the mean time, the trials on the SAAB case have started in Sweden, but I’m sorry I don’t think that I could via ‘googletranslate’ give a correct version of whats happening.

28 thoughts on “NEVS receives electric vehicle production license in China”

  1. NEVS will probably never sell a Chinese “Saab” or one with a lot of components made in China in the US especially with what is happening here right now. For the US market, they might want to reconsider their target

    • The Chinese NEVS cars are meant for China. If things go well, they should start the production of the next gen of cars in THN for the European and American market.

  2. I just read an article on Italian automotive design houses and how much work they are doing for Chinese automakers (some for India, but China is the major player for many). They are hanging in there, but the article concludes with the concern about what will happen to these design houses when (not really if) the Chinese master the art of car design like they are now in the process of mastering engineering and production capabilities. Hmmm.

  3. So, we are back to NEVS focusing yet again on production in China. Nothing about any production plans for the Trollhattan plant. Who cares if NEVS makes a “9-3” in China? I couldn’t care less. Its a pipe dream to think that when (if ever) they get to selling cars in the EU or US that they will have anything to do with Saab in any real way. I hope NEVS keeps the good folks in Trollhattan employed in some capacity for a long time. I just don’t think it has anything to do with Saab now. Sorry to be glass-half-empty on this.

  4. So this cornerstone for their cash flow is finally solved, which also means that Nevs plans for Trollhättan excistance and rest of the world production (incl. US) can continue with four, five or more new models coming up in the next few years. Exciting news!

  5. It’s good news for NEVS. It’s not necessarily good news for Saab or based on the article, good news for Swedish manufacturing. But it’s going according to plan—-convert an antique platform to electric and manufacture and sell cars in China. I love the venerable 9-3 so it will be nice to see that body style as a 2018 or 2019 model if this works out.

    • Wow, Angelo, that was pretty optimistic! When was the 9-3 initially launched? How old will the platform be in 2019? I never really cared much for the 9-3, except for convertibles. But I occasionally see the final iteration of the 9-5, which I thought was cool. I wish someone had kept that going. I just can’t seem to care about NEVS products, and doubt what they might bring to the EU or US would be something for me to care about.

      • Paul, as you know, I’m known as “Mr. Optimism” around here.
        The “current” 9-3 (2nd generation) debuted in 2003 according to Wikipedia, making the model 15 years old if it returns in 2018 as a new model in China.

        This blurb from Wikipedia: The Saab 9-3 was a compact executive car that was originally developed and manufactured by the Swedish automaker Saab.
        The 9-3 was first based on the GM2900 platform and subsequently changed to the GM Epsilon platform. Other vehicles using this platform included the Opel Vectra and Cadillac BLS. Saab’s last owners, National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS) were assembling the 9-3 sedan (saloon) as Saab’s only model, but the company declared bankruptcy after a few hundred cars.

        • And what happened to the Phoenix platform? For years, the true believers (remember Tim) assured us that great things were happening at NEVS and us naysayers should shut up and wait. And as usual, NEVS has been less than forthcoming with their future plans….maybe a hint or two of future models. But why can’t they announce a tentative schedule, perhaps start sighing up dealers, etc. All this makes me think that seeing any cars beyond China is very unlikely,

          • Yes, it is very unlikely in the next two or three years.
            But beyond that, NEVS is starting from scratch. They will enter the different countries step by step and only with the next gen of vehicles, that believe it or not, are currently being developed.
            If things for NEVS run as smoothly in 2017 as they hope we will see more from them.

          • Tim was being wildly optimistic and trying his hardest to keep everyone on board. “These guys are super smart.” “These guys have deep pockets.” etc. Look, I understand—-he wanted success for Saab and the plant in Sweden and he was projecting those wants into perception of reality instead of actual reality. Five years. It’s been almost five years. And the best we have is that they are still “PLANNING” to convert a 13 year old car design from petrol to electric. Planning to produce. But I assume the factory is under construction, so I assume they are serious about building something in that factory. I actually don’t mind seeing the 9-3 come back somewhere on the globe, as a new vehicle. Kind of cool.

  6. I completely don’t care about “new” 9-3 production in China, but looking forward to see those 4 new models based on Phoenix platform. Too bad we don’t know when they’re gonna appear on the market.

    • NEVS is talking about 2019-2020. But I think it is highly dependent on how the classic 9-3 model develops.
      Although this car is fully developed, it doesn’t use any engineering resources, it will be main income source for NEVS during the next years, so I think it could very much determine the development speed of the new cars, but this is only speculation.

    • How old a design will the Phoenix platform be by the time a vehicle based on it is released? It may be a fine platform for anyone still waiting for the 3rd generation 9-3, but competing platforms are probably already a couple of generations ahead of the Phoenix by now.

        • He is not upsetting nobody. I just don’t understand what he means with a couple of generations, what will be those capabilities that will be missing?

          • I guess 3cyl means that even the Phœnix platform, advanced as it might have been 5 years ago, will have been surpassed by rivals due to the advance in knowledge, techniques, materials, technology that comes from development and, well, time. If NEVS can catch up, then great, but standing still is like going backwards, given the pace of technology change.

      • I was hopeful once upon a time that NEVS could really rescue and revive Saab, but I have given up entirely, and now don’t care what NEVS does. When and if they do get around to offering something to the US or EU, it will either be an outdated Saab platform or a totally new one that will not be a Saab in any real way. Either way, who cares. The fat lady has sung, the curtain has been lowered, and the dust has settled. I will be keeping my old Saab on the road for as long as I can. And then, that will be the end of my Saab/sob story. Sad but true.

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