The electric car has long been an issue for Saab. Even before Victor Muller and NEVS ... electric convertibles were on the road for test drives in Germany ... what happened to them? In Europe, the topic of EV is not really starting out, in China something is moving. A look at Asia - for the late start of the week.
BAIC & the 9-3 EV
The electric car in Germany - difficult terrain. Maybe because you don't really want it politically or because corporations make such good money on old technology like the combustion engines. The German providers revised their goals for 2020 yesterday, a boom seems far away.
In China, there is a strong emphasis on the electronic card - because the party likes it that way. The production figures, low for a long time, climb at an impressive speed. 72.711 plug-in hybrids were sold in China in the first half of the year, an increase of 240%. The production of pure electric cars increased by 250% to 76.233 units. Even if the growth should halve in each of the following years: a fine market is maturing here.
BYD is the market leader in EVs (all-electric and plug-in hybrid) with 19.789 units sold in the first half of 2015. BAIC follows in third place with 3 vehicles; if you exclude the hybrid models, BAIC is number 5.892 for all-electric drives.
The bestseller is the 150 / 160 / 200 series, the EV looks similar to a Mercedes B-Class. In addition, the manufacturer also delivers Electric car on Saab 9-5 Basis off - with 89 registrations in the first half of 2015 a wallflower in the statistics.
What is still missing is an EV on Saab 9-3 basis. A study was shown at fairs, since then it is quiet around the electric middle class of BAIC.
At NEVS in Trollhättan one will hope that it stays that way. If BAIC had licensed an electric car based on Saab 9-3, you could have a problem with the license for the NEVS derivative. An experience that Opel was able to make in the past when attempts were made to obtain licenses for China and were rejected as another GM derivative.
However, NEVS, and I rarely hear that, has partnered with Dongfeng to get things on the right track. The backbone of the new partnership should pave the way for the production license and license for the NEVS 9-3 EV. If you do not allow any gross mistakes.
Growth market EV?
300.000 “New Energy Vehicles”, all-electric and hybrids, could be sold in China this year. Not much in a market with 18.4 million new registrations in 2014, just a small piece of the pie. Nevertheless, with consistent political will and generous funding, an exciting market with opportunities for innovative providers could emerge. How fast it will grow, how big it will be, is difficult to say. It's easy to be wrong with predictions about EV.
Renault-Nissan's Carlos Ghosn predicted millions of electrified Renaults and Nissan for 2016 1.5. Currently the counter is on 250.000 vehicles. Or Barack Obama. 1 million electric cars should travel this year in the US. With his prediction from the year 2011 he was thoroughly wrong. In January, it was 280.000.
Are the China-Swedes from Trollhättan with their 9-3 EV and market launch in 2017 or 18 in a consolidating market in the right place at the right time? NEVS is building a plant for 200.000 units, GM announced a 14 million dollar investment in a new “green” factory for 470 EVs 200.000 days ago. The domestic manufacturers are also stepping up. Fisker, stranded with Chinese owners like battery maker A123, is also coming back to the market. The first new Fisker EVs are scheduled to roll off the production line at the US plant in Morenos Valley in 2016.
The EV from the new NEVS plant will hit a well-stocked market. Technically, you go other ways than the Saab Automobile AB. The former partners from Sweden are no longer on board, new suppliers provide the necessary technology, except the platform everything will be different.
A catchy brand name is missing to get started; BAIC could offer competing technology on a comparable platform. A "Senova" 9-3 EV at an aggressive price could spoil the party for NEVS. GM also plans to place 200.000 units of new energy cars in the market. The prelude to the displacement competition! And the customer in China has become demanding ...
It counts innovative technology, clever software, good design, new ideas in sales. An excellent price / performance ratio, noticeably lower operating costs than conventional drives. Then the Swedish-Chinese EV story becomes a success story.