Saab Gets a Strong Boost from Chinese Energy Company Ordering 150,000 9-3 Sedan EVs

Saab 9-3 Sedan 1 photo
Photo: Saab (NEVS)
The fate of Sweden’s second major automobile manufacturer has been looking rather shaky for the past few years. After going bankrupt, Saab exchanged owners before being bought by a Chinese consortium called National Electric Vehicle Sweden.
As the name suggests, the new Chinese owner had a new path in mind for the ailing Swedish company, one that involved batteries, electric motors, and a lot of quiet driving. The idea was met with skepticism, since the international EV market, even though on a continuous expansion, isn’t strong enough to ensure the volumes needed by a company. Especially one in Saab’s situation, having hit rock bottom and stayed there for a while.

What people didn’t take into consideration was the help Saab would get from Chinese buyers, now basically making up the brand’s second domestic market. The share of EV cars is still negligible in China, but it’s had an exponential growth lately, and with the recent escalation of the country’s pollution problems, you can expect their numbers to keep on growing.

Yesterday, a Chinese company called Panda New Energy Co., Ltd. made a very important contribution to Saab’s relaunch ambitions by ordering 150,000 9-3 Sedan EVs. The contract spans over the next five years and is worth around $12 billion, including over 100,000 other EV products and services provided by third-party companies associated with National Electric Vehicle Sweden.

The cash infusion should provide Saab’s owners the much-needed stability on which to build their ambitions of a sustainable future filled with electric vehicles. Preferably their own. As for now, the only such solution offered is the ageing 9-3 Sedan EV, which is based on the company’s second generation of the 9-3 model launched in 2002, and revised in 2008 and 2011.

NEVS acquired Saab in 2012 from its first post-bankruptcy owners, Spyker. National Electric Vehicle Sweden is a joint venture between National Modern Energy Holdings, Tianjin Binhai Hi-tech Industrial Development Area (THT), and the Beijing State Research Information Technology Co., Ltd. (SRIT).
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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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