Saab is back - again!
And this time the Swedish carmaker has risen from the canvas in a significant way, securing a AU$16.5 billion supply contract for 150,000 of its 9-3 models to a Chinese company.
New owner National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS) has signed a deal with Panda New Energy, with all of the 150,000 units to be electric vehicles delivered between now and the end of 2020.
NEVS has faced an uphill battle to stop Saab from once again being declared bankrupt, having found a friend of sorts in the Swedish court system which has cut the carmaker plenty of slack to sort out its finances.
But not only has Saab survived, the deal for 150,000 9-3 EVs means NEVS’ original plan to relaunch the model with electric power (originally dubbed Saab 9-3 ePower) can finally progress.
Another 100,000 EV models are also part of the deal, and will be sourced from NEVS companies other than Saab.
“This is a strategic collaboration for NEVS not only in terms of the numbers of vehicles, but it is also an important step to implement our vision and new business plan,” NEVS’ Stefan Tilk said.
Rather than sit on its recent laurels, Saab has immediately seized the initiative and announced four new EV models are in the pipeline between now and the end of 2018.
The carmaker will observe current trends by building two SUVs - one compact, one midsized - and a midsized crossover dubbed “urban adventurer”.
The final new model will be another midsizer, this time a fastback, and the 9-3 will continue as Saab’s midsized sedan.
Sweden and China will be Saab’s key markets once the new models are released, but NEVS is keen to see growth in Europe and the US in later years.
Note: Image, top of page, via Saabblog.
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