NEVS to build SAABs in China, later in Sweden
The Qingdao Qingbo Investment Co. Ltd., the State Power Group Co. Ltd., and its Swedish subsidiary signed an agreement on 7 January to build SAAB cars in Qingdao, Shandong Province, states the Qingdao Daily newspaper. National Electric Vehicle Sweden AB (NEVS), a sister company to State Power Group Co. Ltd., bought SAAB in June 2012. Both companies are owned by National Modern Energy Holdings, a company founded and controlled by Johan Kai Jiang, a Chinese-Swedish enterpreneur.
According to the Qingdao Daily,the three parties involved pledged to invest 10 billion yuan (1.6 billion dollars) to construct a factory capable of building up to 400,000 automobiles a year, which includes cars powered by both conventional internal-combustion engines and alternative fuel engines. The factory, an R&D center, sales, and procurement centers will be built in Qingdao, a northern Chinese port city.
The Qingdao Qingbo Investment Co. Ltd. is believed to be a company set up by the Chinese government specifically for the SAAB project. That would make the Chinese central government an investor in any future SAAB cars.
By shifting production to China instead of Sweden heavy import tariffs are avoided for cars made under the SAAB brand. A time frame for the building of the factory is unclear, but factory construction in China can be done at a breathtaking pace once approval is granted by the central government.
An official statement by the Swedish subsidiary of NEVS is still pending on this matter. However a source to Saabblog.net states that in the future Qingdao will produce cars for the Asian markets, while Trollhättan will produce them for Europe and the US.