Saab, currently owned by National Electric Vehicle Sweden AB (NEVS), is ready to make cars again and has its sight set on electrified vehicles.
The brand hasn’t had much of a presence in the U.S. since 2011, when financial shortfalls caused production to stop. After purchasing Saab the following year, NEVS put together a limited run of the Saab 9-3. It was built for only one year, with all 162 models sold in Sweden.
Bankruptcy proceedings held much of NEVS attention immediately afterwards, with agreements finalized earlier this spring. But President Mattias Bergman said the company is now ready to move forward.
“NEVS’ focus is to produce high quality electric vehicles with China as its initial main market,” Bergman announced earlier this year.
In June, the carmaker broke ground on a new factory in the major port city of Tianjin, China. The facility will have an annual capacity of 200,000 units with an emphasis on battery electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles (called new energy vehicles in China).
NEVS announced that it has also partnered with Dongfeng Motor Co., one of the largest state-owned carmakers in China.
“Dongfeng will support NEVS on the construction of new energy vehicles production and R&D in Tianjin and the formation of NEVS’ sales and service with support from Dongfeng’s dealer network. Dongfeng will also support NEVS to achieve the new energy vehicle mass production,” announced NEVS.
“NEVS will support Dongfeng on their own brands to meet regulations and technical specifications of overseas markets, and assist [Dongfeng] to develop important markets in Europe and North America.”
According to Bergman, this collaboration will help the brand become an automotive leader.
“Dongfeng is one of the leading vehicle company groups in the world. Through this cooperation, NEVS’ will be able to create industrial synergies, share the development costs, expand the supplier bases and increase the overall competitiveness for our own future products,” said Bergman.
“This cooperation is one of the steps for NEVS to become a front-runner in the automotive industry, with focus on electric vehicles,” he added.