In June NEVS will start building another car factory in China. The contracts for this have been signed, and after Trollhättan and Tianjin it would be the electric car startup's third plant. One could dismiss this message as not that important. But this time everything seems different and it's worth taking a closer look.
The former Saab factory in Trollhättan is meanwhile no longer productive. Parts of the facilities were dismantled and transported to Tianjin. The factory there should go into operation in the summer. It is still unfinished due to chronic capital shortages. The start of production has meanwhile been postponed to the end of the year.
For a few weeks now, NEVS has been extraordinarily active in the media. In the online edition of the local newspaper, up to 4 articles about the company appeared on two consecutive days - as almost always behind the digital payment barrier and therefore with a limited range. Readers could puzzle over the meaning, purpose and content of the articles. Because news in the real sense was not conveyed. More media landscape maintenance and polishing for the tarnished reputation.
A few days later, NEVS invited Swedish press representatives to visit China. In addition to the factory under construction in Tianjin, the headquarters in Beijing was the destination of the visit. Pictures of the work were published on Instagram, Victor Jensen by Sveriges Radio spoke to founder Kai Johan Jiang. Beginning of a new openness, or even a change of heart?
Breakthrough Thanks to GSR Capital?
The recent departure at NEVS may have a lot to do with the new plant in Shanghai. The construction is expected to cost around half a billion euros and will primarily by the new main financier GSR capital paid. GSR has made a name for itself over the last few years with the acquisition of billions in the battery business of NISSAN, the acquisition of Osram Licht AG and the purchase of the lighting division of Philips. With Boston Power, GSR Kapital is active with a second battery producer. NEVS, as a manufacturer of electric cars, fits perfectly into the portfolio of investors.
For the chronically weakening startup, GSR could now be the savior and the long-awaited breakthrough. The factory in Shanghai will go into operation at the end of the year 2019. It should be assumed that the construction will work smoothly and without delays, as is customary in China. The capacity of 200.000 vehicles per year is impressive. Together with Tianjin and Trollhättan together, NEVS would then, theoretically of course, come to a volume of 500.000 electric cars a year.
That is also impressive, especially because not a single electric car has been delivered to customers in the last 6 years. New era or not? Much is in motion, nothing is certain. But it could be exciting again for the old Saab plant and for the Trollhättan location. If production in China runs in 2019 and NEVS is successful, then the European production site Trollhättan would also be back in focus.