And what a market it is. NEVS has received from the Beijing auto leasing firm Panda New Energy for 250,000 EVs (for comparison, the total number of plug-in vehicles sold worldwide last year was 777,000, in the US it was 159,000).
NEVS bought the assets of bankrupt Saab Automobile in 2012. However, last year the Swedish aerospace company that owns the Saab brand, Saab AB, revoked their right to use the brand name.
NEVS decided to sell electric 9-3s under a new brand name appropriate for the Chinese market and has begun delivering the first batch of 100,000 commercial vehicles from its 50%-owned factory in Fujian. The remaining 150,000 9-3 EVs are scheduled to roll out from NEVS’s JV plant in Tianjin in 2018.
“CATL’s supply capacity and proven technology will allow us to shorten the lead time to the market, fulfilling both our demand in quantity and quality,” said Kai Johan Jiang, Chairman of NEVS. “Their local experience and network will eventually benefit NEVS’s own customers in the Chinese market.”