First version of the electrical drivetrain ready for the 9-3 sedan

“Production starts early next year” reports P4 Väst’s reporter Victor Jensen.

The city of Qingdao, part owner of Nevs, will purchase the first 200 EVs with delivery starting April.

Mattias Bergman is quoted saying “You will observe a continuous change, but the first specifications have arrived. The specifications will be gradually changed, both battery and drivetrain”.

Range at first will be limited to ~200km and the car itself will be 80% similar to its ICE cousin. “The difference will be the drivetrain”.

The car will be produced in Trollhättan with final assembly taking place in China. Nevs have two facilities producing batteries there, so they will be mounted there.

“Production of the EVs in Trollhättan will commence early next year” adds Mattias Bergman, “it does not take long to produce them, but then they must be shipped to China as well”.

“This is an important part of our vision that our customers not be dependent of fossile fuelds, but retain the freedom of getting around in a passenger car. This is what is important to us, and where our focus is. Finally we let the customers decide if they prefer an EV or a conventional ICE.”

Trollhättan East

One part of the news that seems to have gone by with very little coverage at all is the fact that Saab’s parent company NEVS intends to sell a 22% stake to the city of Qingdao (pronounced ching-‘dow), China. While it still leaves NEVS the majority stakeholder and in control, it certainly puts this city square in the future for Saab. While most of us here are very familiar with Trollhättan, very few of us know much about this part of Shandong Province, where Saabs will float into port on their way into the Chinese mainland. The tastes and preferences of this city’s government leaders and inhabitants will surely play a role in shaping new Saabs for years to come.

If you find yourself with some extra time this weekend, I’ve embedded a three part episode of a CCTV show called Travelogue about Qingdao for you to watch. If you’re familiar with Rick Steves’ Europe, you’ll probably feel at home watching this series. It’s pretty amazing. Interestingly, European influence in Qingdao is extremely strong, and there’s even an old German section with a Catholic church which you can see in part 3. Before you prejudge the place, watch this video. I think I’m starting to understand why someone from here might emigrate to Sweden, become a citizen, and celebrate Western culture (actually I’m still confused why he didn’t move to Berlin instead). The fact that the narrator is a Chinese citizen with an English accent proves this point without saying.

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention– that German occupation heritage rubbed off quite a bit– their historical name is Tsingtao. Ring a bell? They drink a lot of beer. Suffice it to say, I like these people already (especially since they have an English blog there that likes to quote SaabsUnited, cover basketball, and cover NEVS, like this article you might have read elsewhere about why Kai Johan Jiang chose Qingdao in the first place)did an interview with China Throw one back and enjoy the approximately hour long video. Pay close attention to when he takes the ferry to Huangdao, which besides being the future home of a Saab plant, apparently has some of the best beaches in Mainland China.

Read moreTrollhättan East

Trollhättan, Qingdao and between the lines…

In recent weeks it seemed to be pretty quiet in Trollhättan. No real news came from NEVS and media outlets mostly went to reporting rumors and speculations. Not very satisfying for a Saab fan to be honest. Then yesterday, there was finally a real story coming up, that at the end of the day was confirmed through an official press release from NEVS.

An agreement has been inked for a joint venture between NEVS, it’s parent company National Modern Energy Holdings and the City of Qingdao. It’s mostly about investements in production in China and Qingdao taking a share in NEVS. But when taking a closer look there is even more of interest in this press release.

The basic news is of course the joint venture in itself. While the initial press report from China pointed at building facilities for a volume of 200k cars/year that can be ramped up to 400k the official press release gave no details on this. But given the long term plans NEVS gave us a glimpse at this seems not to far off. I believe the feasabilty study mentioned will give the final answer on estimated demand as well as on a realistic timeline.

Read moreTrollhättan, Qingdao and between the lines…

PRESS-RELASE: Qingdao to become NEVS’ strategic gateway to China for Saab cars

NEVS has entered a long time partnership with the City of Qingdao in China’s Shandong-province. Qingdao initially invests SEK 2 billion, obtaining a 22 percent ownership share of NEVS through a directed share issue. Further investments will be made in a joint venture company in China. NEVS is headquartered in Trollhättan, Sweden where product development and manufacturing is located.

Qingdao’s investment in NEVS will be made in successive stages, and provides NEVS with a financially stable investor, as well as a business partner which provides access to a key market. The City of Qingdao has, through its investment company Qingdao Qingbo Investment Co, Ltd, signed a contract with NEVS’ parent company National Modern Energy Holdings Ltd. and with National Electric Vehicle Sweden AB (NEVS).

”This agreement provides financial resources that form an important contribution to enable implementation of the NEVS business plan,” said NEVS Chairman Karl-Erling Trogen.

Read morePRESS-RELASE: Qingdao to become NEVS’ strategic gateway to China for Saab cars

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