China’s Dongfeng Motor Corporationhas issued an official statement saying it never had any contact with NEVS Saab or with its shareholders concerning a possible take-over or an investment. On August 21 Economic-news magazine China Securities News published an article citing unnamed sources saying such contact had been established earlier this month.
It’s déjà vu all over again in Trollhättan: “China’s National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS) has temporarily halted output of its Saab car due to a shortage of funds,” the company told Reuters yesterday. The reason for the shortage of funds also sounds far too familiar. “The reason is that NEVS’ part-owner Qingbo Investment Co. Ltd has not fulfilled its commitment to, when necessary, finance NEVS’ activity,” the company which had bought SAAB assets in a fire sale said in a statement.
The very first official photos of the new NEVS Saab 9-3. Production started on Monday and it will go on sale in Sweden before the end of the year. Debut in China is scheduled for the April 2014 Beijing auto Show and the NEVS 9-3 will be launched on the China car market around the same time.
The NEVS Saab 9-3 is based on the second generation Saab 9-3 (2002-2012). NEVS, or National Electric Vehicle Sweden, is partly owned by several Chinese semi-government entities including Beijing-based State Holdings and the city of Qingdao in Shandong Province.