National Electric Vehicle Sweden (Nevs), which acquired the main assets of the Saab Automobile bankruptcy estates in 2012 and launched its first electric vehicle model in 2014, can finally look to the future and continue the on-going negotiations with two Asian car markers.
The only remaining hurdle is that the automobile company has requested that its reconstruction should cease, following on the recent court decision where the subcontractors agreed to the composition proposal allowing Nevs to write down its debts with over SEK 300 million.
ScandAsia explains the circumstances that may very well lead to further Asian investment into the embattled Sweden-based car maker.
On March 23, 2015, a District Court approved the composition that will mean that a total of 573 creditors 469 will get their full claim paid.
“A composition was needed for Nevs to exit the reorganization in order to be able to sign commercially viable agreements with our OEM and financial partners we have been in dialogue with for a long time. We appreciate the support from our suppliers, with whom we want to continue to develop long-term relations”, said Mattias Bergman, President Nevs.
In its proposal to pay off part of outstanding debts to creditors, a write down was necessary to exit current bankruptcy protection, said Nevs.
Following on that court decision Nevs has submitted its request to the court to exit the reconstruction of the company, since its purpose has already been achieved.
Once the court approves to do so it will clear the way for Nevs to move on and finalise its commercial negotiations that have been on-going, in one case for over a year, with which the carmaker is hopeful to establish a long-term funding deal and potential joint venture.
In one of the two cases for new partners, it would be in the form of a new majority owner and a technical joint venture to share some of Saab’s technology, including its new Phoenix platform. This involves the right to use the Saab brand name and Nevs have been in talks with Saab AB concerning the brand name for any future vehicles.
In January 2013 it was announced to extend and further develop the Saab brand in passenger cars with a new visual identity, founded on the Scandinavian heritage, where the four distinctive seasons, long distances and extreme road conditions have shaped the Saab passenger cars.
Nevs had signed a licensing agreement with Saab AB to use the Saab brand for its products and services. Saab is a strong passenger car brand, built over many years through technology, innovation and progressive design.
Carmakers Mahindra from India and Dongfeng from China have been named in the media as potential joint venture partners.
In August 2014 the Saab 9-3 Electric Vehicle – a modified Saab 9-3 Aero Sedan – was presented as designed and produced as part of a prototype series in Trollhättan.
“We are happy to present the result of Nevs engineering into a real Saab EV product. The Saab cars’ well-known performance and safety is maintained and we foresee a very good product for the market. When we developed the Saab 9-3 Aero Sedan Model Year 14, we focused on enhancing the driving experience, safety and quality. And the starting point for our development of the Electric Vehicle project was to maintain all the good attributes and characteristics”, said Stig Nodin, Vice President Engineering and Product Development.
The car is equipped with lithium-ion batteries from Beijing National Battery Technology, set up in Beijing in October 2012 by Nev’s majority owner and CEO, the Swedish-Chinese businessman Kai Johan Jiang. The battery manufacturer for electric-drive buses and cars belongs to State Power Group, a Chinese group of green tech companies active in the sustainable energy sources, mainly biomass, and owned by Kai Johan Jiang’s company National Modern Energy Holdings Ltd.
Kai Johan Jiang has previously worked for among others Volvo Group.
Sources: Saabplanet.com, Saabcars.com