Saab was once a name associated with innovation in the car market until several changes of ownership ended in bankruptcy. Now the company is poised to break the automotive mould again thanks to far eastern investment.
A Chinese-Swedish investment group with Japanese backing has sealed a deal to buy the company and aims to make electric vehicles.
“NEVS and the Receivers of the Saab Automobile bankruptcy estate today signed a purchase agreement which covers the main assets of Saab Automobile AB. The new company will produce electric drive using advanced EV (electric vehicle) with technology from Japan,” said Kai Johan Jiang, CEO of National Electric Vehicle Sweden AB (NEVS)
Diminishing sales figures for the last four years reflect Saab’s problems. In its last year of trading it sold an estimated 15,000 cars before filing for bankruptcy at the end of 2011.
The company has been unprofitable for two decades. The administrator has given no details of how much the buyer was paying to take control or what level of investment it planned.
Saab produced its first prototype car in 1947, having moved out of aeronautical engineering. The Swedish company built a small loyal following. Now it is starting again in a largely untried and unknown sector of the car market.