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 states that in the future Qingdao will produce cars for the Asian markets, while Trollhättan will produce them for Europe and the US.


预计年产能40万辆 萨博汽车项目落户青岛

青岛日报1月8日报道 青岛青博投资有限公司、国能电力集团有限公司及其瑞典公司昨日正式签署项目投资协议,计划投资100亿元在我市设立整车厂,生产萨博品牌的传统燃油及新能源汽车。青岛市委副书记、市长张新起,市委常委、西海岸经济新区工委书记张大勇,副市长刘明君,国能电力集团有限公司董事长蒋大龙出席项目签约仪式。





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No doubt the Sweden-based Saab, like Geely’s Volvo, will be considered by NDRC a foreign carmaker despite being wholly owned by Chinese interests, and so will need a local partner before receiving approval to manufacture in China. Under China’s investment rules, a foreign automaker must establish a joint venture with a Chinese automaker, correct?
But who will that local partner be……?