New Saab owner National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS) has signed a partnership worth $291 million with the City of Qingdao in China’s Shandong province giving the city a stake in the Hong Kong-owned manufacturer.
To be made in successive stages through its investment company Qingdao Qingbo Investment Co. Ltd., Qingdao’s two billion Swedish Krona investment in NEVS will equate to a 22 per cent ownership of the Swedish-headquartered car maker.
NEVS chairman Karl-Erling Trogen said the agreement provided important financial resources in helping to enable the implementation of NEVS’s business plan.
The partnership intends to make Qingdao the hub for NEVS’s venture into the Chinese market, with exports to be shipped through the Port of Qingdao and production to shift to a new manufacturing facility in the city once production at the Swedish Trollhättan plant, where product development and manufacturing is currently located, reaches capacity.
NEVS acquired the main assets of the Saab Automobile bankruptcy estates on August 31, 2012 and is currently looking to start production of the Saab 9-3 in the second half of 2013 before launching its first electric vehicle, planned for early 2014.
The news follows yesterday’s revelation that Saab Cars Australia has been placed into voluntary administration, forcing the company’s Port Melbourne operations to close at the loss of six local jobs.