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Saab sold: to become electric car maker
Saab, which has been in bankruptcy since December 2011, has been sold to a Chinese-Japanese investment group and will begin producing all-electric cars from early 2014.
The first all-electric car will be based on the old Saab 9-3 – and probably be derived from the Saab ‘True Electric’ concept car first shown in 2009.
This car was developed by Swedish firm Electroengine, whose specialty is turning existing combustion engine cars into all-electric models. This means Saab effectively has a ready-made electric car set to run – and this also solves the issue of intellectual property licence issues with former owner GM.
The collapse of negotiations with GM over licensing was why an earlier deal to sell Saab to a Chinese firm fell through.
Bloomberg today reports that National Electric Vehicle Sweden AB is the purchaser, a group led by a Japanese investment firm and a Hong Kong renewable energy plant builder.
The new electric cars will be sold mainly in China, where strong incentives exist to encourage electric car sales.
“We’re striving to be a world-leading company for electric cars,” Mattias Bergman, a spokesman for National Electric Vehicle Sweden, said at a press conference in Trollhattan, reports Bloomberg.
“It’s not only about China being a big market for electric cars, it’s also about China having the ability to make the investments required and build the needed infrastructure.”
The final sale price of Saab has not been disclosed: reports earlier in 2012 suggest six parties were interested in purchasing the assets of the firm, including several Chinese-based companies.
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