Manufacturing News

Buyer of bankrupt Saab signs deal for Chinese investment

The Chinese-controlled buyer of bankrupt carmaker Saab AB has signed an investment deal with the city of Qingdao to build and sell electric cars in China.

National Electric Vehicle Sweden AB (NEVS) bought most of Saab's assets last year. The Swedish automaker went bankrupt after it ran out of cash, failed to line up new investors and fell short on sales.

NEVS said the Qingdao Qingbo Investment company will invest $307 million (1.9 billion yuan) in return for 22 percent of NEVS shares.

A spokesman for NEVS could not give a timetable for when the financial transaction would take place.

NEVS has said it aims to launch its first electric car at the start of 2014 and also may re-launch the old Saab 9-3 model with a conventional engine.

The company says it will ship its vehicles to China. Eventually NEVS will build a factory in Qingdao when the former Saab plant in Sweden is at full capacity. NEVS aims to make cars for the Chinese market as it sees the authorities there investing heavily in electric vehicles.

The company is wholly owned by National Modern Energy Holdings Ltd., whose founder and principal owner is Chinese-Swedish businessman Kai Johan Jiang.

Dutch sportscar maker Spyker bought Saab in 2010 from General Motors, but soon encountered financing problems and spent months stitching together deals with Chinese companies.

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