Chinese-Swedish Investment Group Takes Over Saab
Bankrupt carmaker Saab has been sold to a Chinese-Swedish investment group which aims to turn the company into a maker of electric vehicles.
Saab’s administrator said the buyer was National Electric Vehicle Sweden (Nevs). No sale price was given.
Saab went bankrupt in December, two years after former owner General Motors sold it to Dutch group Spyker.
Saab “will start a new operation” to develop and produce electric cars, the administrator said in a statement.
The administrator said in April that Saab had assets to cover about a third of its debts of 13bn kronor (£1.2bn).
The chief executive and main owner of Nevs is a Chinese businessman with Swedish citizenship, Kai Johan Jiang.
The chairman of Nevs is Karl-Erling Trogen, a former head of the truck division of truck and construction equipment maker Volvo.
“Nevs and the receivers of the Saab Automobile bankruptcy estate today signed a purchase agreement which covers the main assets of Saab Automobile AB, Saab Automobile Powertrain AB and Saab Automobile Tools AB,” Nevs and the administrators said in a joint statement.
Saab employs about 3,000 people, with its main base at Trollhattan, west Sweden, where investment in new electric car manufacturing will be made.
GM bought a 50% stake and management control of Saab in 1989, and gained full ownership in 2000.
The Swedish company’s car sales peaked at 133,000 cars in 2006. After that, sales dwindled to 93,000 cars in 2008 and just 27,000 in 2009.
GM itself sought bankruptcy protection as the global financial crisis unfolded, forcing the US company to dispose of assets.
In 2010, Saab’s larger rival carmaker, Volvo, was bought by China’s Geely Automobile Holdings.