That’s why Saab is for sale again
Saab as an automaker has seen tremendous ups and downs; the Turbo became an icon alongside the slant-nose 911 with a more specialized audience, but when the Swedish brand became owned by General Motors in the 2000s, it began to offer a more mundane range of sedans and cars. station wagons, some with rather powerful engines. Notably, the top-of-the-line 9-3 models are quite attractive sporty offerings like the 9-3 Aero, which brought a Swedish threat to the roads, especially when they are in black.
The 9-5 updated the brand’s best-selling vehicle, but didn’t do much for sales. So in 2010 he found his way to Spyker ownership. before selling to NEVS, an acronym for National Electric Vehicle Sweden. NEVS was born from the ashes of Saab by acquiring the rights to use Saab designs for their cars as well as owning their manufacturing facilities. But the NEVS deal was not as straightforward as it first appeared, behind the new owners was a large Chinese conglomerate called Evergrande and they ran into financial problems.
The Saab name won’t see the light of day, but what it left behind was changing hands.
Conglomerates in the automotive industry
The automotive industry is no stranger to large conglomerates with several brands and close to monopolies. The former owners of Saab, General Motors, are a shining example of this, having owned Chevrolets, Cadillacs and Dodges for a very long time. It wasn’t even particularly noteworthy that Saab was taken over by a Chinese company, with SAIC having acquired MG and fellow Swedish Volvo becoming the property of Geely.
The BBC reported Evergrande, writing that the giant has 1,300 real estate projects in China and is involved “in wealth management, electric car manufacturing and food and drink manufacturing. It even owns one. of the country’s biggest football teams – Guangzhou FC “. The BBC continues to say that to finance the company’s rapid expansion, it borrowed $ 300 billion, which it is now struggling to repay to its creditors.
Last month, Reuters reported that “Evergrande has already missed three rounds of interest payments on its international bonds and has made efforts to sell some of its assets to raise funds,” the same article suggests the company was considering. to sell only the parts of their car brand in Sweden, but news from last week suggests that the sale will be much larger.
NEVS was a failure
In the wake of the success of Volvo and MG’s renaissance as profitable and perhaps even cool automakers, it would appear that any failed Western brand when it received financial aid from a Chinese company was intended to succeed, but NEVS is a testament against it. The Drive report that NEVS sold 420 Saab 9-3 between 2013 and 2014 before production ceased, this failure resulted in a legal battle that removed the right to use the Saab name from NEVS.
According to Electrek, the new company’s production plant moved to Tianjin in 2018 to begin production of NEVS-branded Saab 9-3 using a transmission that turned the car into an electric vehicle. According to Reuters, due to these weak sales figures, Evergrande has held talks with the Xiaomi consortium which mainly focuses on smartphones to resume their stake in NEVS. In the Reuters report, this meeting was held to control Evergrande’s debts.
State regulators are slashing the conglomerate’s neck to cut spending, and the NEVS company does not appear to be far from profitable. In 2017, Inside EVs reported that by the time NEVS was testing its 9-3-based vehicle, it had received 150,000 pre-orders.
Sales of new energy vehicles, also abbreviated as NEV, saw a recent 141% increase in sales in China according to the Global Times, despite a decline in overall sales. However, in 2020 Auto Car reported on NEVS Sango, a downtown shuttle that would take over production at the Swedish factory in Trollhättan, such a drastic change in management would certainly not occur after the recent sales success.
Saab for sale again
Jalopnik described Evergrande as an implosion, which makes perfect sense. The company has grown rapidly and cannot be sustained, in order to survive it has to shrink and become sustainable.
The BBC asked if they were just ‘too big to fail’ if they collapsed, an impact would be felt around the world, and there is potential for a Swedish electric vehicle, Polestar from Volvo has proven this successfully. However, just because NEVS could end up under a new owner in the next few months doesn’t mean that Saab will go into production anytime soon.
Throughout the twentieth century Saab marketed its cars through its relationship with Saab AB the aeronautical wing, their mantra “Nothing On Earth Comes Close” was one of the most successful advertising campaigns in the history of the world. automobile. It was reported by Automotive News Europe that Saab AB had withdrawn NEVS’s right to use the Saab name on their vehicles, the waning prospects for the brand’s cars gave the defense manufacturer a negative image.
The Saab 9-3 ceased production as Saab in 2014, two years after its bankruptcy, which was also two years after entering administration following the 2007 global financial crash with such a series of bad luck that Saab’s name is unlikely to be allowed on the public market again after such big failures and a Volvo resurgence, but the parts left behind are likely to end up in new hands.
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