The district court in Vänersborg today approved NEVS 'earlier application to exit reorganization. 230 days have passed since the reorganization phase started back in august 2014 and the way should now be clear to the partners on board and the sorely needed sizable investments locked and loaded. At the same time, NvS is set to appoint Volvo executive Stefan Tilk to its Board of Directors.
Board of Directors changes
Stefan Tilk (age 50), has a long track record in the vehicle industry, with previous executive positions at Volvo Trucks and Geveko and currently as SVP and Deputy Managing Director North and South America at Volvo Busses. This means that the new board will consist of Mattias Bergman (NEVS President), Stefan Tilk and Kai Johan Jiang, current NEVS majority owner. Mr Tilk is the second recent addition to the board as earlier Mr Mikael Kubu was appointed in connection with the start of the reorganization process. Stefan Tilk and Kai Johan Jiang have a shared history at Volvo, where the latter served as advisor to former Volvo Trucks CEO (and former NEVS chairman of the Board) Karl-Erling Trogen. ** update 2 July: NEVS has confirmed its appointment as Tilk as Vice Chairman of the NEVS management board. Ronnie Hermansson (Union) was appointed as the ordinary member, and Stefan Larsson (IF Metal) as a deputy member of the board. **
June 2012: NEVS acquires the main assets of SAAB automobiles
January 2013: Trademark license with SAAB AB, new (black background) logo launched
September 2013: First pre-series SAAB 9-3 assembled
December 2013: Regular production of the MY14 SAAB 9-3 starts
April 2014: First batch of MY14 9-3's reach the market
May 2014: Production stopped
August 2014: First electric car prototype (SAAB 9-3EV) shown
August 2014: NEVS enters reorganization, discussions about SAAB trademark license suspension
February 2015: The last batch of MY14 9-3's is completed
April 2015: NEVS exits reorganization
Skepticism (or Ambitious plans)
When NEVS took over the assets of SAAB Automobile in 2012, there was much skepticism about the viability of the plans to start developing and producing electric vehicles. In fact, it's probably hard to find anyone who did not have doubts. "How can they succeed without decommissioning a car, without a dealer channel, with a severely damaged trust and an already overcrowded market? Trollhättan, the car industry, suppliers, press and SAAB enthusiasts. On top of this, there was a lot of debate around why they were focusing on electric vehicles and were prioritizing the Chinese market (versus the SAAB traditionally had sold best).
Production started, against all odds
Looking back now, I think many of the doubts were founded as it obviously hasn't been easy at all to get the company back on its feet and R&D to develop something that can actually be produced and sold. With the stated focus on electric vehicles , the announcement to start producing the MY14 9-3 with a conventional petrol engine came as quite a surprise, but was generally received with joy: more people would be hired, the Stallbacka production line would be running again and new SAABs would be available for sale again.
When did you know the following: "We got a new minority owner on board in the form of the Qingdao Chinese city , and they wanted to start producing a combustion engine-based car as soon as possible. In fact they have placed an order for several hundreds. "The other main consideration to start the MY14 9-3 what in fact to get the actual production facility going again. The factory has been standing still since 2011 and has more or less normal production.
With only 411 cars produced, the MY14 9-3 was short-lived, mainly as Qingdao never fully fulfilled their financial obligations, which eventually led to a significant cash flow problem, the production stop and the application for reorganization. While I still believe that the MY14 model is the best 9-3 ever produced in Trollhättan, for a number of obvious reasons. This may still happen (noun, neuter) NWS is no longer in reorganization, but this is most likely to be on the new financial partners.
No future without committed partners
Signed up to be a new member of the Executive Board of Directors. Much has been written already about the rumored new partners for NEVS and wants to work with Chinese DongFeng wants to be ready first. As announced earlier, the aim of this partnership is to start a joint venture with Phoenix-based components and complete vehicles. Pre-studies have already been conducted and NEVS 'President Mattias Bergman said: "Multi-billion contract" is very near. In addition, several other players have recently shown interest in partnering with NEVS on co-development and / or the use of the Trollhattan production facilities. During my recent factory visit I had confirmed that some production for Volvo Cars had already been carried out.
The Big (Indian) elephant in the room is Mahindra, the company said to want to take a majority share in NEVS. While there have been some rumblings about Mahindra, it is believed that they have dropped out of the process, and that they were later denied (without confirming the name of the company). The negotiations with the "larger Asian vehicle OEM" have said that they will need to exit. This deal now needs to be completed in order to get "plan A"Off the ground with the aim of developing and producing cars under the SAAB brand.
The trademark question remains key and I am expecting more details to become available shortly ..