Saab's Long March To China Continues

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
saab s long march to china continues

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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2 of 13 comments
  • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on Jan 09, 2013

    "Long March" = nice touch, Bertel.

  • Jasper2 Jasper2 on Jan 11, 2013

    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.

  • Kosmo Short bed? That's it?! Ranger becomes the only option if you want an actual truck bed?!
  • Probert There's something wrong with that chart. The 9 month numbers for Tesla, in the chart, are closer to Tesla's Q3 numbers. They delivered 343,830 cars in q3 and YoY it is a 40% increase. They sold 363,830 but deliveries were slowed at the end of the quarter - no cars in inventory. For the past 9 months the total sold is 929,910 . So very good performance considering a major shutdown for about a month in China (Covid, factory revamp). Not sure if the chart is also inaccurate for other makers.
  • ToolGuy "...overall length grew only fractionally, from 187.6” in 1994 to 198.7” in 1995."Something very wrong with that sentence. I believe you just overstated the length by 11 inches.
  • ToolGuy There is no level of markup on the Jeep Wrangler which would not be justified or would make it any less desirable [perfectly inelastic demand, i.e., 'I want one']. Source: My 21-year-old daughter.
  • ToolGuy Strong performance from Fiat.