NEVS. The dreams and the reality.

It could have been the picture of the year. In December, NEVS showed the clip of a self-driving car on Instagram, which rolls through the scene by chance. The driver, with remote control in hand, walks next to the vehicle. How progressive! But just 14 years too late. IT pioneer already presented in 2004 Anthony Levandovsky an autonomously driving motorcycle.

NEVS 9-3. Photo: NEVS
NEVS 9-3. Photo: NEVS

The motorcycle in front, Levandovski dives behind with the remote control. The recording became famous, went around the world and Levandowski became a legend. Today he is an authority when it comes to autonomous driving. This little scene shows where NEVS is today and what the situation is in Trollhättan.

At the end of the year, there was a lot of news from the company. For China you have now the License received for distribution. NEVS could now start, and CEO Tilk celebrated the receipt of the last outstanding license as a milestone. The value of the company has increased as a result, the financial situation has improved and more money is now flowing from China to Sweden. Sure that's true, but the thing has a little downer.

No production before summer 2019

Production in China is still not running. After the dates announced at the end of 2017, summer 2018 and the end of 2018, summer 2019 is now on the agenda. By then at the latest, a body concept that is now 17 years old should roll off the production line. NEVS relies on fleet operators, not private customers, and on the lowest possible price. € 22.000 is the targeted amount for a NEVS 9-3 EV. Before deducting the abundant subsidies with which the Chinese government is fueling the state-ordered electric car boom. The production of components is scheduled to start in Trollhättan in early 2019, but will not create any further jobs.

No battery factory in Trollhättan

It remains with only 700 employees in the old Saab factory, and also other, big plans are off the table. The alleged parts owner of NEVS, GSR Capital, set the ambitions for a battery factory in Trollhättan on ice. After the sale of Nissan's battery business to GSR non-payment had burst, then cut the end of the year, the plan of a Swedish battery factory. For NEVS a setback, own battery production could have been a competitive advantage.

Working on your own legend

It does not look good for Trollhättan. Prior to 2020, NEVS is excluding production in Sweden, even though the dream of manufacturing in the old Saab factory is not quite over. In an interview with Affärsvärlden NEVS founder Kai Johan Jiang spoke about his 6-year struggle, his gray hair, and the disappointments. About how he hoped to find more technology in the company. This is pretty grotesque and sounds like someone is working on their own legend. With the purchase of the Saab properties, NEVS only acquired 10% of Saab's own patents. Other interesting technology and advance developments were sold to Gothenburg, remained with GM and Opel, or with the insolvency administrators.

After more than 6 years of setbacks, a long-term bankruptcy and no production, it is difficult for an observer to remain an optimist. In China there are now 400 startups for electromobility, NEVS is just one of them. The competition is tough, China scores with innovation and courage. And NEVS wants to compete with a body concept whose design was created almost two decades ago.

The Saab heritage is maintained in Gothenburg

I always associated the seriousness of NEVS with a few names. Employees who were in charge of the last Saab models that then left Trollhättan were hired by other companies. A few years later they were back, surprisingly. Your decision to switch to NEVS and your stamina in recent years were not always understandable to me. But the proof of a seriousness that gave me hope and could ultimately have led to success.

Discipline and perseverance can go a long way. Sometimes dreams and visions fail because of reality. The employees, who for me were an indicator of reliability and the future, left Trollhättan in the last few months of 2018. To where the majority of former Saab developers have been drawn. Towards Gothenburg.

14 thoughts on "NEVS. The dreams and the reality."

  • My wife has bought a car from Goteborg and I hope that these cars will find many Saab patents :).
    But my love is of course still after our Saabs. I'm sure they will ride for an eternity.

  • Auto correction is a bitch. "Patients" is still somewhat funny in the context of SAAB ...

    Apparently the liquidators sold many of the patents owned by SAAB separately from the rest of SAAB's remains. Maybe KJJ refers to those patents rather than to the ones in the hands of GM?

    Funny again, because they are now with another Chinese owned company and brand (Volvo Cars). To me it seems, state and liquidators have performed the liquidation with very little trust in NEVZ and that's why Orio was founded and patents sold to Volvo ...

    Whatever, you are right. KJJ knew all the terms, never really intended to give rebirth to SAAB and his moaning is pathetic ...

    If anything at all, he just proofs that state and liquidators were right.
    Or SAAB itself, withdrawing their name from NEVZ ...

  • RE: NEVS founder Kai Johan Jiang talked about that he hoped to find more technology in the company.

    It was with full knowledge at the time of SAAB loss in 2011, GM did not allow patients, etc, to be sold to a Chinese owned Saab ...

    Kai Johan Jiang, is moaning about this, when he would know at the beginning what he bought ………… !!

  • 1865, in the UK, we needed a man with a red flag…. Have we gained much …………… !!

  • An interesting look to China. Thank you!

    Or is it Zchina? With a mirror-inverted Z. Maybe NEVZ has there (if any, then only there) indeed still a chance?

    National Electric Vehicle Zchina, national fleet solutions for the price of a handful of Teslas ...
    These are good arguments for NEVZ in the targeted market and segment ...

    I am just discovering how beneficial it is to no longer seriously associate NEVZ with SAAB.

    Whatever may become of NEVZ, but for SAAB and former SAAB patents, nothing good will come of it. In any case, NEVZ (10%) and the insolvency administrators only have the worthless and technically obsolete patents. At the other (at GM and Volvo) is no slump, no matter what is from NEVZ.
    At least that's how I understand the article ...

  • So no good news from Trollhättan / China. A pity, but did we expect something different?

    What is still unmentioned or forgotten. With Tesla, the automaker for electric cars in 2019 places itself with its own plant in China. Since Elon Musk has announced that the 2019 production will run at the end of 3, NEVS will have a harder time of it. Unlike the NEVS leadership, Elon Musk is not known for empty promises, even though the 3 model will cost more than double the 9-3 EV in its basic configuration.

    One wonders where all this should lead. I still hope that this whole circus will finally come to an end this year. Maybe the fragments of the patents can then be reassembled!

  • I still don't know enough about BMW's potential entry to form an opinion ...

    Only 10% of the patents have gone to NEVS. Who sold which to Gothenburg when? Was it the insolvency administrators who still have some according to the article? Other and important patents lie with GM.

    The question remains for me what SAAB BMW had to offer at all. Has the deal really failed only because of the narrow-mindedness of the Swedish bride?

    Or did SAABine hang around and pretend that she did not know where her head was and what she should say to the bridegroom, only that she was standing with her back against the wall?

    NEVS now has a real estate, few patents and no brand name anymore. Could that have been the end of a BMW deal? Possibly. the negotiations were doomed to failure before they even started.
    And still I would understand the bride. Who fights can lose. Who does not fight has already lost …

    A thriller with a dead bride and her rusty bicycle chain.
    Who are the true murderers?
    I still find him exciting and would love to know more about it.

  • … that's true. This thought keeps coming back as soon as I see an evirD now car ... especially the Minis ...
    that could have been a Saab 9-1, they would be everywhere ... but yes .. bicycle chain.

  • If you hadn't been so narrow-minded in Sweden after the first bankruptcy… If you had not given NEVS but BMW - the story could have been different.
    Had, had bicycle chain ...
    Thanks Tom for the reports from Trollhättan, China and the Saab world. It is always interesting to get the panoramic view here. There is no such thing.

  • Objectively speaking, since 2012, NEVS has only burned money with no visible result. This has nothing to do with SAAB, that's over.

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  • Yes, I appreciate such articles on the SAAB blog!
    Information about SAAB and (!) Trollhättan, in the narrower and wider sense.
    Thanks for the update. 🙂
    NEVS? You will see, hear and read.

  • What can you say, if you happen to be completely out of mood,
    to express themselves in any negative way? ? ?

    Maybe this: Very informative and well written. Many Thanks ! ! !

  • Most automakers have overtaken NEVS in terms of electric mobility.
    Remains the question of when the lights go out at NEVS.

  • NEVS has 0 opportunities with what they do. Even China Borgward has failed, the majority of the shares was given by Foton. One of the largest fleet operators in China has bought, which now pushes the Borgwards with its own fleet on the market. Hardware suppliers NEVS will fare similarly.

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