Last December Saab fans all around the world received the grim news their beloved brand was
filing for bankruptcy
, despite the best attempts of its then-owner, Swedish Automobile, to find a buyer interested in paying off all of Saab’s outstanding debts and investing in new products.
Since then administrators have been sifting through the remaining assets in order to help raise enough money to pay off creditors.
One of these remaining assets is the Saab brand itself, which several firms around the world have been keen to get their hands on.
Unfortunately, General Motors, a former parent of Saab and still owner of preferential shares in the automaker, is reluctant to see Saab and much of the technologies required to build Saab cars fall into the hands of a competitor. So far, GM has blocked most deals to purchase Saab but it looks like one has finally been reached.
Though yet to be officially announced, a consortium made up of investment companies from China and Japan have agreed to buy Saab and relaunch the brand as a manufacturer of electric cars. The consortium is National Electric Vehicle Sweden, and a spokesman for the group, Mattias Bergman, has confirmed the details at a press conference.
“We’re striving to be a world-leading company for electric cars,” Bergman said. “It’s not only about China being a big market for electric cars, it’s also about China having the ability to make the investments required and build the needed infrastructure.”
The first vehicle to be launched under the revived Saab will be an all-electric 9-3 sedan, most likely in 2014. If successful, this will be followed by a second-generation 9-3 model based on a platform developed by Saab before it went bankrupt. This new platform was previewed in 2011 in the Saab PhoeniX concept car
, which featured a hybrid drivetrain and body penned by famed designer Jason Castriota.
Perhaps best of all, marketing and sales will be global, though there will be an initial focus on China, which is projected by National Electric Vehicle Sweden to be the largest and most important electric car market going into the future.
We’ll keep you updated as further news on the matter breaks.
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