Business is good when everyone involved has its advantage. Sometimes you have to search to see the benefits of each party. The Dongfeng - NEVS partnership belongs in this category and made me a bit pensive yesterday.
What the hell is the agreement of an industrial giant like Dongfeng with its 176.000 employees with a dwarf like NEVS with 300 employees? Where at first glance the advantages only seem to be on the side of NEVS ...
Access to the Dongfeng dealer network in China, development support, joint purchasing, access to the parts shelf. And what does NEVS deliver? NEVS does not announce precisely that it wants to help Dongfeng with the development of markets in North America and Europe; Chinese products are to be brought up to European standards.
Openness and transparency have never been part of the corporate culture at NEVS, on the contrary. Deliberately not calling things by their names, leaving out facts, that is the usual approach. Blogger Alfred Tian from Beijing provides answers to the open questions. First of all, the advantages that NEVS draws from the cooperation in its well-founded opinion. NEVS does not yet have a permit for the upcoming Tianjin plant. The current laws favor manufacturers of plug-in hybrid vehicles and purely electric drives, but that alone is not a guarantee, as only a few licenses are to be issued. The partnership with Dongfeng ensures NEVS support on site and improves opportunities.
The Aeolus project
NEVS is helping the Chinese in another project. The solution is called Aeolus. The little-known Dongfeng car brand, founded in the year 2007, competes with domestic labels such as Red Flag of FAW, Xiali and Besturn, but is developing noticeably more subdued than its competitor. The products are based on cooperation with Nissan and Citroen. The Aeolus (Fengshen) S30 was developed with Citroen on the basis of the Elysee and carries in the course of the model maintenance and the entry into the PSA company for some time also a motor of the French under the hood.
A new generation of Aeolus (Fengshen) could be based on a modified Phoenix platform and carry Swedish genes.
Until then, in a few years' time, NEVS engineers will bring Aeolus vehicles to European standards and make them ready for the global market ... which somehow seems to be a Trollhättan tradition. In the past, Korean Opels and Korean Chevys were made fit for Europe. Geelys are currently on the site of the former Saab Powertrain complex; now Aeolus follows. So far so good. One question is solved, another is coming.
NEVS will also help Dongfeng to set up sales of Aeolus products in Europe and North America, including the after-sales business. Which would be an old topic on the table. NEVS has no experience in after-sales, has no sales network - on the contrary! Service and spare parts supply for the NEVS 9-3 have been outsourced to Orio AB. Is there an answer? Not from my side.
The cooperation with Dongfeng secures long-term work for NEVS engineers and drives the development of the company in China. NEVS has become a little bit more solid because of the cooperation; additional jobs will be created in Trollhättan. Yesterday was a good and successful day for NEVS. Without question.
Saab AB should have little joy in the development. Dongfeng is also in the arms business and competes with the Swedes. In the past, disapproval has already been expressed about the upcoming cooperation. If the opinion has not fundamentally changed, the willingness to release the name Saab for use again will have decreased further due to the close alliance between NEVS and Dongfeng.
The word Saab yesterday did not go to NEVS and Dongfeng's mouth. So, in the end the question in the round: What has all this still to do with Saab?