An almost historic day in the old Saab factory.

Strange things happened in Trollhättan last week. The television was on site, both at the local newspaper and at SVT you could read about a production start. The breakthrough for NEVS? Or what had happened?

NEVS 9-3 electric car body shop in the old Saab factory. Photo Credit: SVT

In fact, in the old Saab factory, body shells were actually made for a very short time. 112 piece, to be exact. Half of them stay in Sweden, the rest went to China. There, starting in December, the pilot production of the NEVS 9-3 electric cars will start. Swedish employees support local Chinese colleagues.

From summer 2018 it should be ready then. NEVS then launches (finally) the so often announced series production. In the first year 10.000 electric cars will be built, then 50.000 per year. For China, 1.500 will be connected to new jobs. For Trollhättan 70.

An almost historic day. NEVS disenchanted.

The event is, from the point of view of the longtime chronicler, almost historical. Because it shows that NEVS has finally arrived in reality. According to its own assessment, Sweden's largest industrial project has shrunk to the middle class level. After having been provided with ambitious visions for years, the result is extremely sobering.

The current state: In Trollhättan, the workforce has shrunk to below 800. In the summer, 70 will create new jobs to deliver components for the NEVS 9-3 electric car to China. There is no talk of new models and production in the former Saab factory. 2020 or 2021 could be produced again in Trollhättan, they say. But admit that there are no concrete plans for this.

With 50.000 vehicles, the plant in Tianjin is far from exhausted. And not profitable. As a reminder: in Trollhättan the capacity is 170.000 units, in China 200.000 per year. With 50.000 electric cars, NEVS remains a niche player that will play no role in the market. In addition, all body shells must be manufactured in Tianjin. A press work does not exist yet, the financing is not secured. But the production license depends on the local value added.

Disillusionment for Trollhättan.

The prospects for Trollhättan are sobering. Apart from the 70 new workplaces planned for the summer 2018, there will be no new hires in the longer term. NEVS is moving to China and is trying its luck with a platform that largely comes from the year 2002. Development work on new NEVS vehicles, of which one can assume due to continued poor capitalization, there will be maximum on a back burner.

Meanwhile, the "old" auto industry will fight back. The dinosaurs of VW and Co announce billions in investment. From 2020 you will flood the market with many novelties. The Chinese administration wants electric cars in bulk? No problem. She will get her. From GM, VW, Daimler and Co.

13 thoughts too "An almost historic day in the old Saab factory."

  • Les résultats sont modestes, je ne désespère pas de les voir monter, car en Chine tout semble possible.

  • Hard but fair. Thanks for the (sobering) information.

  • And for 5 years? The spiders…

  • So for the workers and employees of the former Saab plant in Trollhattan.
    This work should be back in action as soon as possible, and so is the search for a realist owner who can use the full capacity again so firmly.

  • And for this decision, years go by ...
    It turns out that the Chinese engineers evidently continue to be able to replicate rather than innovate ...
    If the "dinosaurs" from the EU and the US get the El. Mobility in China, that would be a hit! Almost incredible ...
    Thanks for the hard / realistic article.

  • Super!
    I'm right back!
    But VW builds on electro basis only small cars, so no competition.
    It's nice to hear that something is finally moving in the Saab factory. But no one has imagined that.

    Can only say: May the griffin redeem us and Saab Scania to rise again, the true masterpieces of automobile manufacturing in Trollhattan arise again.

  • When NEVS builds the first vehicle, other manufacturers have long since conquered the market. Are just unable. What do the owners do all day long, apparently nothing that has been going on for years. Great job.

  • NEVS is probably trying (again) to produce something so probably jump up any financial investors.
    Hopefully the theater will end soon ...

  • There was talk of it, that also DiDi Chuxing will develop E. cars in the future. The financial position should not be that bad.

  • do you know what's the difference between you and Volvo?
    Volvo has broken down more tested cars than you have ever produced since 2012, including parts, components, saab 9-3, etc.

  • Imagine sooner or later the machines for the production of the body shells in Sweden will be dismantled and shipped to China. Does not make sense otherwise. At some point, the work is just an empty shell.

    • I suppose that will only bring the pressing tools to China when the factory is ready. The old presses and production lines remain in Trollhättan. Using the old stuff in China does not make sense in my opinion. The ABB robots in the picture are no longer dewy.
      NEVS should talk to Tesla. They need production capacity for the 3 model.

      • This assumption has many Saab veterans too. The probability is high. Of course, the work is no longer dewy. It has been "sleeping" for years. Tesla will be more inclined to plant a plant on the green field, with a Chinese company you will certainly not produce. Even at the new plant in China, Chinese partners are kept outside, even if that brings some tax disadvantages.

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