A NEVS 9-3 EV in the wild. A rare picture, somewhere in China, probably in the mega city of Tianjin. The 9-3 has changed in recent years, but is still recognized as Saab - despite facelift and new, higher bonnet. If you replaced the NEVS lettering with the four magic letters of Saab, yes ...
The production in Tianjin should start this year, which one can be regarded with some skepticism, because the facts speak against it. Completely contrary to what is happening in Trollhättan, or better not doing, is the lecture of NEVS founder Kai Johan Jiang during the "Ekotransport" conference.
440.000 NEVS EV in the year 2020
Under the title "NEVS - Bridge between Trollhättan and Tianjin" he outlined plans for a very near future. 2018 would start production of the NEVS 9-3 EV in China. Even to a lesser extent, but 2019 will already find 220.000 electric cars with NEVS logo the way to the customer. In 2020 440.000 vehicles will be built together in Trollhättan and Tianjin and 3.000 jobs will be built in the former Saab factory.
Det finns en promoting med Trollhättan; där finns ett kunnande om hur man bygger bilar. De är världsbäst i Trollhättan. Det är vår hemstad.
KJJ bet on the Swedish card. "To the world's best carmakers who know how to build vehicles." And designates Trollhättan as hometown. In addition, NEVS focuses on quality rather than premium. A price of around 22.000 € for a NEVS electric car with an 300 mileage range should make the product attractive to a wide circle of the population. The article about the lecture - too good to be true and in stark contrast to everything that has happened in recent months - can be found at Dagens Nyheter nachlesen.
Vision or reality? It is to be hoped that the automobile location Trollhättan has a future. And you have to be careful, if you want to abort Chinese startups, despite a long time of dread, rashly.
Turn in Qoros history
Does anyone remember Qoros? 2011 and 2012 left many engineers Trollhättan and hired at Qoros. Prominent flagship of the Israeli-Chinese startup was former Saab press officer Eric Geers. There was a lot of Saab safety know-how in the development of the Qoros 3, which at the time was the result of the best crash test result of all vehicles tested so far.
A good product and the ambition to conquer the world. Nothing came of it! Production figures remained low and demand was subdued. The European way was buried, personal and financial problems came up. The Europeans left Qoros and sought new employers. In the following years, production figures continued to fall, despite additional models, and Qoros tested new negative records month after month.
In December 2017 took over the Baoneng Group 51% at Qoros, swapped management and imposed a radical cure on the company. With success ! Qoros delivered in the first quarter 11.371 cars from 288% to the previous year, and already 74% of the total volume of the previous year. A lasting recovery? It would be nice, because in every Qoros Saab is security DNA.
No Saab engine in the Foton Borgward
And then there was the story with Borgward. The brand is 100% Chinese and belongs to the commercial vehicle manufacturer Foton, which in turn belongs to the state-owned group BAIC, which owns the rights to the old Saab engines. In the BAIC X65, the sister model to the Borgward BX7, a more sophisticated B205 Turbo is working, and there was an assumption to see the Borgward with a Saab engine under the bonnet.
The German debut at Borgward falters, and actually 2017 should have been there already. Now finally the first 34 vehicles landed in Bremerhaven, only a small vanguard in the big announcements. Foton-Borgward is currently producing more open questions than answers, the Weser courier has aptly summarized the situation.
From Saab's point of view, Foton-Borgward is becoming increasingly uninteresting anyway. The former Saab designer Hareide only gave a small guest appearance at the brand, and there is no Saab engine under the hood. A direct injection developed by Foton is used exclusively on models with the Borgward lettering. The Saab engines remain with BAIC, the X65 with the 2 liter Saab Turbo is only sold through independent importers in Germany.
However, the whole story with the Saab DNA is on the decline at BAIC. The Senova label, successful from the start, is now weakening strongly. The D70, based on the old Saab 9-5, got a facelift, but has no more Saab Turbo under the hood. Almost a decade after acquiring old Saab technology, their career in China seems to be coming to an end.