Faraday Future funder writes its own Saab story


NEVS 9-3 concept, 2017 CES Asia

NEVS 9-3 concept, 2017 CES Asia

Chinese health insurer Evergrande Health really wants in on electric cars. 

After backing Faraday Future and running into a feud with its Chinese founder Jia Yueting, Evergrande on Tuesday bought a controlling interest in National Electric Vehicles Sweden, the Chinese company that bought the rights to what was Saab, and continues building electric versions of the last Saab 9-3.

READ THIS: With cease-fire agreement, spark flickers toward Faraday's Future

NEVS has 500 employees in Sweden at Saab's former headquarters in Trollhätten, along with a factory in Tianjin, China, that builds electric 9-3s for the Chinese market. NEVS is one of 10 Chinese automakers with permits for mass production in China and is one of the main providers of cars for Chinese ride-sharing service Didi, according to the British Auto Express.

According to a report in the South China Morning Post, Evergrande paid $930 million for 51 percent of NEVS. Following its long-running dispute with Faraday Future, Evergrande still owns 32 percent of that startup company as well. 

Faraday Future FF 91

Faraday Future FF 91

In June, Evergrande agreed to invest $2 billion to revive Faraday Future. It invested the first $800 million at the time to acquire the first 32 percent of the company. In lawsuits and countersuits launched throughout October and November, Evergrande and Faraday Future argued over whether Faraday had met the terms to receive a second $700 million installment from Evergrande and it became clear that Faraday Future had spent the first $800 million earlier than planned on hiring employees and building several prototypes of the company's first car, the FF91. 

DON'T MISS: Faraday Future sues investor claiming takeover "plot"

In subsequent weeks, Faraday Future was forced to furlough most of the workers it had hired, and most of the senior management resigned, including the five founding executives credited with designing and engineering the car.

On Dec. 31, the two sides agreed to a cease-fire on the lawsuits, Evergrande agreed to restructure its investment and freed Faraday Future to seek new investors. So far, none have been announced.

That opened the door for Evergrande to seek a new investment in electric cars that was farther along the path to production, such as NEVS.

 
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