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When is a Saab Not a Saab?

Talks about naming rights break down between Chinese investors and Saab AB.

by on Feb.02, 2016

It may look like a Saab, but it's not a Saab. Talks between Swedish aerospace company and Nevs, the Chinese firm building EV versions of the 9-3, fell apart.

Saab is back … sort of.

Fans of the Swedish cars “born from jets” rejoiced in December when news broke that the defunct company was being resurrected by a a group of Chinese investors and renamed National Electric Vehicle Sweden, or Nevs, with the idea that they iconic vehicles would be remade into electric vehicles.

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However, lost in the hoopla was the fact that this new company didn’t have the rights to the name Saab, which is still held by Saab AB, the aerospace and defense company. According to Automotive News, the new company won’t be getting to use the name or logo either. (more…)

Saab Returns – Finally – as Electric Vehicle in China, Sweden

Nevs inks deal to produce 150,000 EVs by 2020.

by on Dec.18, 2015

Saab is returning with a 9-3-type sedan that will be a battery electric for China and Sweden.

Saab aficionados were disappointed when the company essentially went on hiatus a few years back after it was scooped up by a group of Chinese investors and renamed National Electric Vehicle Sweden, or Nevs, with the idea that they iconic vehicles would be remade into electric vehicles.

When it happened, the idea seemed a bit far-fetched; however, Nevs just signed a $12 billion deal to provide 150,000 9-3-style sedans for Panda New Energy Co, a vehicle leasing company that features green vehicles in its fleet.

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The vehicles should be delivered by the end of 2020 and the deal also calls for Nevs to provide an additional 100,000 other EVs and a variety of unnamed services. (more…)

Spyker Files for Bankruptcy

Files for Chapter 11 restructuring even as former Saab subsidiary seeks extension in its bankruptcy.

by on Dec.02, 2014

Spyker CEO Victor Muller with the B6 Venator.

Dutch sports carmaker Spyker Automobielen has filed for the Dutch equivalent of bankruptcy and is seeking a voluntary financial restructuring.

The company has been struggling to turn itself around ever since its brief and abortive attempt to run Swedish-based Saab fell apart in 2011. Spyker says it “today filed a voluntary petition for financial restructuring in an effort to address certain short-term operational and liquidity challenges.”

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Ironically, the announcement was made just as the new owners of Saab sought an extension in their own bankruptcy filing in Sweden. National Electric Vehicle Sweden says it needs the extra time to work out a deal with a new investor that could keep operations at its Trollhattan assembly plant going. (more…)

Another Saab Story: New Owners Narrowly Sidestep New Bankruptcy.

National Electric Vehicle Sweden now seeking partners.

by on Aug.19, 2014

NEVS was able to restart the Saab plant for only a matter of months, producing about 6 cars daily.

It might seem like a comedy routine if it weren’t so deadly serious; the company that bought filed Swedish automaker Saab out of bankruptcy itself averted its own financial collapse this past week and is now frantically seeking a new partner to keep the operation going.

A Chinese-controlled coalition, National Electric Vehicle Sweden hasn’t produced a car at Saab’s Trollhattan plant since May and was being threatened by an unpaid supplier ready to force it into bankruptcy  – echoing what happened to the Dutch firm that previously tried to rescue Saab.

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“The company does not have enough liquid cash today to pay all outstanding debt, but NEVS’ assets are larger than its debt,” the new Saab owner confirmed in a statement. “NEVS cannot say exactly when, but NEVS’ suppliers will get paid.”

(more…)

Four New GM Recalls Include One for 500,000 Camaros

Muscle car’s key fob problem can cause loss of power.

by on Jun.13, 2014

The latest version of the Chevy Camaro is part of the big new GM recall.

General Motors is ending the week with yet another four recalls, including one with echoes of the defective engine switch problem that has already resulted in the recall of 2.6 million GM vehicles and which has been linked to at least 13 deaths.

By far, the largest of the four new recalls involves the Chevrolet Camaro, 511,528 of which have been sold in North America since the start of the 2010 model-year. According to GM, a driver sitting close to the steering wheel can inadvertently bump the key fob and knock the ignition switch out of the “On” position, resulting in a loss of vehicle power.

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GM has separately announced three recalls covering 69,839 vehicles sold in North America as far back as 2004.

“Discovering and acting on this issue quickly is an example of the new norm for product safety at GM,” Jeff Boyer, the new vice president of GM Global Safety, said in reference to the Camaro problem.

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A Saab Story with a Happy Ending?

Swedish maker builds first car in over two years.

by on Dec.02, 2013

The Saab plant was building the maker's 9-5 model when it was forced to shut down in April 2011.

Could there be a happy ending to one of the auto industry’s longest-running Saab stories? Or, more appropriately, a happy new beginning?

After a more than two-and-a-half-year shutdown that saw the Swedish maker go bankrupt, new owners have fired up the assembly line and rolled out a new Saab 9-3 Aero. The question is whether the plant will be able to keep going under control of a Chinese-Japanese consortium that eventually wants to shift production to a new line of electric vehicles.

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For now, production at the old Saab plant in Trollhattan, Sweden will be limited to “small and humble numbers,” said Mikael Ostlund, the spokesman for Hong Kong-based National Electric Vehicle Sweden.

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Saab is Back in Business – Almost

New owner restarts Swedish assembly line for first time in two years.

by on Sep.20, 2013

The Saab assembly line in Trollhattan, Sweden has been idled for more than two years.

Shortly before its seemingly final collapse, struggling Swedish automaker Saab rolled out a striking concept vehicle it dubbed the Phoenix.  Despite generally positive reviews, the prototype wasn’t enough to save Saab from collapse, but now under new ownership, Saab is once again trying to rise from the ashes – and the Phoenix could be the long-term key.

For now, though, the new parent, National Electric Vehicle Vehicle Sweden, or NEVS, is focusing on building the old Saab 9-3 as it fires up the maker’s flagship Trollhattan assembly plant for the first time since April of 2011.

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Just two cars rolled down the line this week, and “We need to finalize a few remaining dialogues to build partnerships with suppliers (before a formal decision is made) to start production of Saab cars,” cautioned a statement from Mattias Bergman, the acting president of NEVS.  But the goal is to have a turbocharged version of the 9-3 back in production before year end.

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Saab’s Last Sob: Judge Tosses $3 Bil Lawsuit Against GM

Appeal uncertain.

by on Jun.12, 2013

The end of the line for Saab.

A federal judge has tossed out a lawsuit seeking $3 billion in damages from General Motors, accusing the U.S. giant of taking illegal steps that ultimately led to the failure of Swedish automaker Saab.

The suit was filed last August by Spyker cars, the Dutch firm that bought Saab from GM in 2010.  Spyker’s effort was soon revealed to be underfunded and it quickly went looking for outside investors, including several Chinese companies that were interested in taking a stake in Saab or perhaps taking over the failing Swedish maker. But GM blocked the sale by refusing to allow Saab to transfer its intellectual property to the Chinese.

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Saab’s only products, at the time, had been developed by GM and largely used the U.S. maker’s components.

“General Motors had a contractual right to approve or disapprove the proposed transaction,” declared U.S. District Court Judge Gershwin Drain, following a hearing in Detroit. “The court is going to grant a motion to dismiss the matter.”

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Three Former Saab Executives Face Fraud Charges

Ex-CEO among those under investigation.

by on May.21, 2013

Former Saab CEO Jan Ake Jonsson.

Three former Saab Automobile AB executives, including one-time CEO Jan Ake Jonsson, have been detained by Swedish authorities and could face charges involving tax and accounting fraud.

The unexpected development comes nearly 18 months after the long-struggling automaker filed for bankruptcy, most of its assets eventually sold to a Japanese-Chinese consortium. A $3 billion lawsuit filed by the Dutch company that purchased Saab from General Motors, meanwhile, has yet to be resolved.

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Ex-CEO Jonsson is one of three former executives who could face up to four years in prison based on the allegations raised in Vanersborg District Court which covers Saab’s former headquarters in Trollhattan, Sweden.

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Spyker to Signal Revival with B6 Concept Car

Dutch maker planning “resurgence” in wake of Saab disaster.

by on Feb.20, 2013

The Spyker B6 Concept will debut in Geneva.

In an industry where there’s always plenty of drama and intrigue, the saga of few companies have more resembled a soap opera than that of little Dutch automaker Spyker – whose Jonah-swallowing-the-whale acquisition of Saab nearly destroyed both companies.

While the remains of the Swedish maker have been sold off to a Japanese-Chinese consortium, Spyker CEO Victor Muller is planning what is being billed as a “global resurgence!” when the Dutch firm introduces the new B6 concept car at the Geneva Motor Show on March 5th.

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“We’ll have some big news,” CEO Muller hinted during a recent conversation with TheDetroitBureau.com, “but you’ll just have to wait to find out more.”

So, what’s Spyker got planned? Well, were it not for the fact that Saab used the name, “Phoenix,” for its own concept car a few years back, that might have been a perfect badge for what Muller and company have in mind.

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