Electrifying Saab heritage and future

It was a short press release last Friday. NEVS seals the entry New Long Ma and becomes the manufacturer of electric vans and microvans. The knot seems to have burst, NEVS and Trollhättan are paving the way for an electric future.

NEVS HQ ​​Beijing
NEVS HQ ​​Beijing

Next year, NEVS will have 3 works on 2 continents. In addition to the vehicles of New Long Ma then roll the electric sedans on Saab 9-3 base of the bands in Tianjin.

Exciting? Exciting? Impressive? Yes! Definitely a remarkable development. For just over a year ago, the future seemed very questionable. The development is positive for the workers at the old Saab plant and a reason to keep NEVS on the radar. Maybe some electric cars from Tianjin will be coming to Europe next year, and maybe in the not too distant future innovative products in Scandinavian design will be coming off Trollhättan's tapes.

The fact that NEVS is becoming more attractive is shown by the following people. Fredrik Ahlström becomes the new Vice President of Global Purchasing at NEVS. His stations in recent years have been GM, Pininfarina, Saab, Volvo, NEVS, CEVT. CEVT develops in Gothenburg for Volvo and Geely, with Mats Fägerhag another Saab veteran leads the approximately 2.000 developers. Ahlström organized the purchasing in China and Europe for CEVT. For NEVS, his wealth of experience in building the global organization will be invaluable.

Another look around the globe. In Sweden new products are being developed, in other countries also being constructed on a Saab basis. Electric or with range extender.

BAIC EH400. Electric car on Saab 9-5 base. Photo Credit: CarNewsChina.com
BAIC EH400. Electric car on Saab 9-5 base. Photo Credit: CarNewsChina.com

Electrifying Saab heritage in China ...

Beyond NEVS, BAIC builds the Senova D70 sedan based on Saab with proven turbo engines. Not without success, Senova was repeatedly a topic on the blog. A second offshoot is a little more nebulous. The Senova D80 is a D70 with an extended wheelbase. It has been presented at shows since 2014, the market launch took place in April 2015. The D80 is still not available at Senova dealers, reports Car News China. Only a few copies are said to have entered the vehicle fleet of the authorities ex works.

A derivative of the long version based on Saab 9-5 is the Senova EH400 shown at the Beijing auto show. The electric car based on the D90 drives 400 kilometers purely electrically, the top speed is limited to 140 km / h. The pictures from China are quite appealing, but whether the EH400 will ever roll into the showroom is not certain.

BAIC relies on electric cars in China and is in this segment with a market share of 13% behind market leader BYD a direct competitor to NEVS in the future. In China, Saab heritage continues to spread, BAIC subbrands such as the Borgward BX7 also use Saab Turbo engines. Meanwhile, the 2014er 9-3 mutates into the base of a national car for Turkey.

Electrifying Saab heritage in Turkey ...

Last year, Tübitak acquired licenses for 1.0 million euros from NEVS on the Phoenix 40 platform. Development and consulting work secure 100 engineering jobs in Trollhättan in the long term.

The Hürrieyt reported a few days ago on the progress of the project. Similar to the options of the BMW i3, Tübitak relies on a range extender under the hood. A possibility when the infrastructure at charging stations is incomplete and you want to take away the potential buyer's "range fear". The design is being redesigned, a lot of national technology is supposed to advance the project. Turkey wants to compete with Google and Tesla and claims to deliver the better and safer product.

That sounds very ambitious, I would say. The platform, running under the name Phoenix 1.00 at NEVS, has certain limitations. It is not for nothing that the new vehicles from Trollhättan are to be built on a new, flexible basis, which will be launched as 3.xx.

We will see the result of the project in Turkey in 2018. How much Swedish engineering will be in it is difficult to estimate. But the Tübitak project also secures jobs and is an additional pillar for Trollhättan.

18 thoughts on "Electrifying Saab heritage and future"

  • Agree with you. Saab Cars, as it existed until 2011, will not exist anymore. But that's ok. NEVS is very interesting and fortunately has a completely different strategy.

  • What are the negative comments regarding electric mobility?
    I never hear such discussions about Tesla. Somehow strange.
    Nevs will compete as Tesla's competitor, that's crystal clear.
    So the whining about no longer available turbo engines.
    The old Saab era is finally over. But Swedish engineering is alive.

  • Orio, where I visited today, has a distribution network in Europe and North America. NEVS has contracts with Orio, the service for the 2014 vehicles runs on the Orio network. But Orio has no presence in Asia, where NEVS is currently the focus.

  • Why is NEVS setting up its own global (sales) organization?
    Would not it make more sense to reach an agreement with ORIO and use their international service or dealer network?

  • I think we tend to look at things one-sidedly. If NEVS were only China, then you could have had everything easier. The factory, the developers in Sweden, the organization that is under construction, everything would be unnecessary. China is a building block and the source of money for a global strategy. A NEVS success in China makes it more likely to permanently acquire Saab's trademark rights. When products, strategy, solidity and success are right.

  • I would like that, but I didn't talk about mistakes ...

    On the contrary, I wonder meanwhile, whether not just the successes and stage wins of NEVS make a new SAAB increasingly unlikely?

    NEVS (China) strategy seems to be working. Since the short run of the 9-3 (stirrups to the automaker) and the abandonment of legacy (spare parts supply) is neither faulty nor contradictory.

  • I'm happy for Nevs, so I'm looking forward to the new three models MY 2018, made in Trollhatan. Should be ready next year at the latest.

  • Nope, unfortunately that's the reality ...

  • I think you are really too negative. NEVS made mistakes, no question about it. The company still deserves a second chance. Maybe we will all be surprised in a positive way ...

  • I would wait and relax. NEVS hires around 50 employees every month and builds a worldwide organization. We are referring to the Saab heritage and I suspect that 2017 is something to see.

  • If it's true that China is the main market for NEVS, then it does not matter if Saab is on the car or not. In my opinion, Saab was never a well-known brand in China. Anyway, I was 2x in China (Shenzhen) and saw some Volvos there (and many Audis, BMW, Mercedes and Porsche), but never a Saab. If the cars are later sold in Western countries, then the brand would certainly already important. Let's see what strategy NEVS is pursuing. I also believe that SAAB AB will wait and see how NEVS develops, and only if it develops positively will the NEVS give the trademark rights.

  • As is well known, the first time NEVS tried to start the 9-3, the conventional design did not really start - the engine fell silent again for the time being. The reasons were plain and simple misjudgment of the market and, according to NEVS, the collapsing partner (Qingdao).

    In this phase, you probably had something else to do with SAAB as we know it. In the meantime, this is becoming more and more unclear in my eyes. It is then not surprising that SAAB AB apparently no longer wants to participate in terms of trademark rights - I'm curious to see what both NEVS and SAAB AB are still hatching.

    On the other hand, for most SAAB owners worldwide the time will come in the not too distant future when they will look around for a new, suitable car - adequate offers from NEVS (SAAB?) Will probably no longer be there.

  • I think we already have the answer.

    Who makes the service and spare parts? The small and shrinking community of Western SAAB drivers is certainly not the target group of NEVS. Others are SAAB. NEVS is not.

    The small new edition of the 9-3 Limo was probably more or less the masterpiece of NEVS, with which the start-up became an automobile manufacturer in the first place. That certainly opened a few doors for you. But it was probably never about the hearts of SAAB drivers ...

    Do I see that too negative?

  • NEVS will probably produce all sorts of electric vehicles in the future, which in itself is not reprehensible.
    But neither NEVS nor SAAB AB the
    Saab fans and customers are not ready to say if Saabs will or will not continue to exist as we know them
    is not in order.

  • Do you mean cars with gasoline / diesel engines? That will not happen, at least not from THN. This has been said several times.

  • It all sounds like plenty of activity at NEVS.

    The big question is: when do the real SAAB enthusiasts have a chance? Are there any vehicles in the near future which, in the broadest sense, could actually be described as worthy successors to the existing SAAB automobiles? What about the SAAB naming rights?

    Public relations work at NEVS is still rather poor. At least I can't do much with it in terms of future purchase decisions. But why should NEVS deal with the old SAAB customers at all - it really doesn't fit into the concept anymore.

  • My God, what an ugly box. Now I will have to decide for the Jaguar XE, but my Saab 900 II I'll keep, guard and care like my eyeball

  • Long version from 9-5… .. That’s delicious. Why doesn't NEVS build this?

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