Chinese-Backed Saab Is Planning An Electric Car Takeover


It wants more EVs than Tesla by 2018.

Saab has been gone for quite some time now, but it appears like the Swedish automaker may be primed for a comeback. Saab now goes by NEVS, which stands for National Electric Vehicle Sweden. NEVS gets its cash from a Chinese-backed group of investors, so it's not totally Swedish anymore. SaabBlog is reporting that the automaker is planning to launch new electric models in China and Sweden, with a sedan based on the 9-3 first up. Come 2018, NEVS wants to offer five EVs.

Yes, 2018 as in the year that is only two years away. This news was announced by NEVS president Mattias Bergman at Stora Bildagen, which SaabBlog says is Sweden's largest annual automotive conference. (The more you know.) The sedan based on the 9-3 will be available in the first part of 2017. The four models to follow in 2017 will be a sport and family SUV, a fast back and a crossover. Building five new EVs won't be cheap, which is why NEVS has partnered with Dongfeng, the state-owned Chinese automaker. The partnership makes sense as NEVS needs someone to share development costs. As for Dongfeng, well it gets access to new tech and the Swedish-Chinese automaker could slide it some new designs.

Now a goal of five new EVs by 2018 is ambitious for any automaker. This will either cost a ton of cash, er, renminbi, or some concessions will have to be made on the design front. Or both will have to happen! Hell, NEVS might not even be able to use the Saab name for its cars. That could be big trouble if these new cars were marketed at Americans or Europeans, but we doubt Chinese consumers will care. Before those concerns can be had NEVS needs to actually build an EV. Good luck, gents.

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