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Has Saab been sold?
The Saab brand, along with the bankrupt Swedish car maker’s remaining assets, have been bought by National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS), according to reports emerging from the Swedish press this morning.
As ever with Saab related news, the internet rumour mill appears to be in overdrive. According to Swedish Radio station Sveriges Radio, NEVS has thus far only confirmed an interest in buying Saab’s assets, with consortium Chairman Karl-Erik Trogen refusing to confirm whether the deal is set in stone.
The reported price tag being paid by the consortium – a joint venture vehicle set up by Japanese company Sun Investment LLC, and Hong-Kong based National Modern Investments – is in the region $250 million according to local Swedish press reports.
Saab Automobile and its subsidiaries have been in the hands of receivers since the company was declared bankrupt in December last year. In the intervening period, various suitors have expressed interest in buying the embattled manufacturer, including Chinese firms Zhejiang Youngman Lotus, and Volvo owner Geely who considered buying Saab’s tooling and test equipment.
Former Saab owner GM’s wrangling over intellectual property rights are known to have frustrated efforts to conclude a Chinese deal though. If the ink dries on the NEVS deal, the consortium is likely to use existing Saab technology, including the Pheonix platform which would have underpinned the next 9-3, to develop a range of hybrid electric vehicles.
Likely to be first out of the blocks is an update of the 9-3 ePower hybrid unveiled at the 2010 Paris Motor Show – although development of this car was in its infancy when the cash taps were turned off last year. The lead time before seeing any new Saabs is therefore likely to be a long one.
Further updates will follow as the story unfolds.
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