The world is about to get another high-profile all-electric car: Saab.
When Saab finally filed for bankruptcy just before Christmas it was the end of a long and painful saga for the cult of Saab-lovers, a small but seriously passionate group. Or so we thought.
The Guardian today reports a deal has been reached to sell the Saab brand and its assets to Swedish electric-car startup National Electric Vehicle Sweden. Though Saab’s previous owner GM was reluctant to sell to a Chinese owner, it looks like the new electric Saab will primarily be targeted to the Chinese market.
According to Fox News, 51% of NEVS is owned by Hong Kong’s National Modern Energy Holdings Ltd, and 49% by Japanese firm Sun Investment LLC. NEVS’ CEO Kai Johan Jiang is Chinese-born but is now a Swedish citizen. “Marketing and sales will be global but initially we will focus on China. It’s there we see the biggest market for electric cars,” he says.
Looks like Tesla Motors won’t get a ton of competition stateside. But, “the Chinese customers are looking for a premium electric car. With the purchase of Saab Automobile in Trollhattan, we will deliver it,” said Kai Johan Jiang.
The new electric Saab will be based on the 9-3 model, not on the 9-4 and 9-5 models, which GM still own. Saab enthusiasts can expect its return in electric form in late 2013 or early 2014.