The Chinese electric car startup in the old Saab factory is still struggling with problems. The bottlenecks of liquidity continue, the entry of a new major shareholder is delayed. And the future in the stablebacka does not look rosy at the moment.
The crisis began in the summer 2016
The crisis had already started last summer. Teamun left the circle of NEVS shareholders. This was not published, silence prevailed outside. According to our unofficial information, the shareholder did not fulfill financial commitments to NEVS. A big problem for the company. Because the capital requirement is enormous.
Since then, liquidity has deteriorated from month to month. Bills could not be paid on time, external consultants were no longer in the summer contract renewal. As a further setback, top performers left the company. For months, the Stallbacka has been running a strict austerity program.
In August 2017, the entry of a new shareholder was announced, combined with a capital injection. Here, too, everything is in the near. There was no press release, only one note in the local newspaper. The backgrounds of the newcomer? Not to be clarified. At Beijing Zhigan Shenghuo Technology, neither the owner nor the purpose of the business is to be determined. Equally unclear is the amount of shares that are to be taken over.
If they are taken over ... The capital injection of € 91 million could have solved the worst problems. But the money has not yet reached Sweden, or only partially. As a reason nennt Interview with NEVS CEO Stefan Tilk Problems transferring funds to Europe. What can be possible, because the administration in Beijing has repeatedly tightened the guidelines for foreign exchange management in recent years.
Negotiations with Didi are delayed
The situation is tense and has been for months. One shareholder has resigned. Another has problems with the payment. The crisis intensifies in a phase with very high capital requirements. Meanwhile, the competition is investing and wants to flood the market with electric cars. And negotiations about the entry of Uber rival Didi as a major shareholder are not coming to a conclusion either. Originally planned for the end of the summer break, NEVS now hopes to be able to report completion in the first week of October.
The situation seems grotesque. In China, NEVS is training staff, in Sweden it could now be about existence. The balance after 5 years is bleak. The personal bloodletting persists, the Tübitak project for the Turkish electric car has failed. Even contract manufacturing in the former Saab plant did not happen. In addition to the rental of test facilities and the production of body parts are hardly generated revenue. There is no sign of vehicle production in Sweden. And that the NEVS electric cars should have the status of series maturity, may be considered with some skepticism.
The startup, once exuberantly described by ex-CEO Bergman as the “largest industrial project in Sweden”, is facing major problems. The next few weeks will show whether there will be a future in Sweden at all.