Fans of Swedish engineering were “sobbing” last December when the country’s #2 automaker filed for bankruptcy. Since then, administrators have negotiated with a number of potential buyers. Now they appear to have struck a deal that will not only preserve the iconic Saab brand, but position it on the electrified cutting edge.
A consortium called National Electric Vehicle Sweden, made up of investment companies from China and Japan, has agreed to buy Saab and relaunch the brand as a manufacturer of EVs, spokesman Mattias Bergman announced at a press conference. The new company will sell its cars globally, but will begin by focusing on China, which the consortium sees as the largest future market for EVs.
“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 new Saab hopes to launch an electric 9-3 sedan in 2014. If all goes well, it will eventually build a second-generation 9-3 model based on a platform that Saab previewed in 2011 in the PhoeniX concept, which featured a hybrid drivetrain and a body by famous designer Jason Castriota.
Source: Green Car Reports
Image: 2011 Saab PhoeniX Concept