By on January 8, 2013

After an alleged Swede,  Kai Johan Jiang a.k.a.  Jiang Dalong bought bankrupt Saab’s remaining assets for cheap, we could not help but reminding the faithful that this will not result in a resurgence of the Trollhättan industrial base. We figured that at the very best, Saab will march off to China. If Saab won’t manage to destroy investor’s dreams and money yet again. Both rise in probability.  Saab’s buyer, Chinese-controlled NEVS, has secured  an investment deal with the Chinese city of Qingdao, Reuters says.

Qingdao is situated in the Shandong province in northwestern China. Through the deal, it hopes to join the ranks of Chinese provinces that own a carmaker.  NEVS said in a statement that the Chinese city, via its Qingdao Qingbo Investment company, would invest 2 billion Swedish crowns ($307.33 million) in NEVS, after which Qingdao would get 22 percent of the shares.

NEVS had bought the assets of Saab for an undisclosed sum, but reports put the price in the neighborhood of $274 million, which is awfully close to the money coming from Qingdao. Qingdao is also close to Jiang Dalong. He was born nearby and he serves as “an economic adviser to the Shandong provincial government on policy matters.”   We always wondered from where the money to buy Saab would come from, we wonder no more.

NEVS said it would launch its first electric car at the start of 2014 – a year from now, don’t be surprised if it won’t make the deadline – it also is looking at the possibility of re-launching the old Saab 9-3 model with a conventional engine. A production plant would need an awful lot of more money to get going.

NEVS says it wants to ship cars it builds to Qingdao port. As pointed repeatedly,  importing EVs to China does not make sense at all. In China, new energy cars can only benefit from generous government policies if the car is built in China and sold under a Chinese brand. NEVS says it would eventually build a factory in Qingdao, “as production at the Trollhättan plant will reach capacity.”

Saab’s remaining true faithful are elated by the news.

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13 Comments on “Saab’s Long March To China Continues...”

  • avatar

    How is the Trollhättan plant going to be at full capacity, if earlier in the article it’s stated there won’t be a resurgence of said plant?

    This article makes no sense.

    • 0 avatar

      You mean the press release makes no sense, and I agree.

      At its peak time, the Trollhättan plant had a capacity of 190,000 units. Currently, it has a capacity of none.

      It is highly doubtful that a Chinese city will fund the money to create jobs in Sweden, this is not the way it works.

      • 0 avatar
        mulled whine

        For what its worth, its capacity is still 190 000 no? (A number it never even came close to utilising, even in the good ol days.) Currently its production is none.

        My guess is the machinery in Trollhattan migrates (in the middle of the night, maybe) to Quingdao.

        Trollhattan ends up with a few people doing R&D and making some test mules, as a figleaf to pretend its still really a Swedish brand.

      • 0 avatar

        @mulled whine

        I think you are 100% correct. It pains me to see, but I have to admit the truth. I will never see another new turbo SAAB coupe. No one makes anything for me to aspire to. Oh well, maybe I can find some old thing to tinker on.

  • avatar

    I don’t see why you have to couch the article in such conspiratorial tone. NEVS bought the remnants of Saab fair and square. They can do whatever they want with it. The Swedish government had a chance to step in and arrange their own bail out. They failed to do that. So now it gets shipped off to China.

    • 0 avatar

      “Failed” has a pretty pejorative ring to it, as they tried to and failed, when it was actually never the intention of the ruling Swedish coalition to bail out Saab.

      To the point, sure the Chinese can do whatever they feel like with Saab, but they have spun it as they’re intending to continue production in Sweden and keep it a Swedish brand when that obviously never was the intention. They have also spun the Idea of the Chinese guy as a successful Swedish-Chinese businessman that basically paid for the company with private capital, when in reality non of those things are true. So I’d say their’s ample reason for a conspiratorial tone.

  • avatar

    Saab is like a zombie. You can’t kill it.

    • 0 avatar

      more like a cockroach zombies are way to cool these days for Saab to be associated with but you are right they will not die, it just took 8 days for one of my new years resolutions to come true ” Bertel must write more saab stories” Check and done

  • avatar

    Can we bring back the Swedish chef videos?

  • avatar

    “Long March” = nice touch, Bertel.

  • avatar

    Want a brand new SAAB? No problem at all.
    The SAAB parts of the old SAAB organization lives on and 93% of the parts are available.
    I will simply order as many of the 1,032 parts that make up a SAAB that are available, get the other 7% elsewhere and assemble the SAAB 9-3 myself. If I get good at this, I could start outsourcing the cars I put together to China.

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