Swedish maker Saab builds first car in more thantwo years NBC News

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Swedish maker Saab first car in more thantwo

By Paul A. Eisenstein

TT NEWS

From left to right, MD Mattias Bergman, Swedish for Enterprise Annie Loof, Ambassador Chen Yuming, mayor of Qingdao Li Chenggang and Power Group CEO Kai Johan stand next to a first NEVS Saab 9-3 Aero at the factory in Sweden on Dec. 2.

there be a happy ending, or appropriately, a happy new beginning, for

After a shutdown of more 2 ½ years that saw the Swedish car go bankrupt, new owners have up the assembly line and rolled out a new 9-3 Aero. The question is whether the will be able to keep under control of a Chinese-Japanese that eventually wants to production to a new line of electric

For now, production at the old Saab in Trollhattan, Sweden, will be to “small and humble numbers,” Mikael Ostlund, the spokesman for Kong-based National Electric Sweden.

Known as NEVS, the picked up the key assets of Saab including the company’s headquarters and plant, following Saab’s for bankruptcy in December 2011. The was the seeming end of the story for a company had faced a series of financial since its founding in 1947.

Owned for a decade by General the U.S. maker decided to off its money-losing Swedish subsidiary its own 2009 bankruptcy. The buyer was an Dutch firm, sports car Spyker.

Short of cash, assembly lines shut in April 2011 when suppliers staged a boycott. founder and Saab’s new Chairman Muller frantically went for new funding, but GM refused to approve to sell the company to one of several Chinese partners. That led to eventual insolvency and, to its post-bankruptcy sale to NEVS.

The new owner started production the old Saab 9-3 Aero model, the first 200 saleable cars to reach European dealers spring at a price of 279,000 kronor – or $42,500 – each. The will be powered by a turbocharged but longer-term, NEVS plans to to a new all-electric drivetrain that be introduced by the time Saab in China later next

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Specific details of that propulsion system have not yet released. But NEVS is hoping there could be a significant for electric power in China as country steps up efforts to with its endemic smog A number of cities have put limits on the number of new vehicles can be registered in a bid to reduce pollution.

Beijing recently scaled earlier quotas but offered registration for zero-emissions vehicles.

long-term production plans also yet to be formalized, though expected at least some of production will eventually to China. The city of Qingdao a 22 percent share of NEVS the Hong Kong holding


About 600 workers have hired at the Swedish plant, from a 3,500-worker peak. the Trollhattan plant was a challenge and negotiations with 400 suppliers for the It is unclear if NEVS was required to at least some of the unpaid originally written off when put Saab into bankruptcy.

The old 9-3 dates back to an old General design. If NEVS can continue to forward, it is expected to shift to a design developed for Spyker. It be based on a sleek concept the Phoenix, a name that seem even more if Saab can, indeed, from the dead.

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First December 2 2013, 11:51 AM

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