NEVS. The dreams and the reality.

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

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

The bike ahead, Levandovski dives with the remote control. The recording became famous, went around the world and Levandowski became a legend. He is an authority today when it comes to autonomous driving. This little scene illustrates 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

The production in China is still not running. After the announced dates at the end of the year 2017, summer 2018, year-end 2018 is now the summer 2019 in the agenda. At the latest then an 17 years old bodywork concept should roll off the production line. NEVS relies on fleet operators, not on private customers, and at the lowest possible price. 22.000 € is the target amount for a NEVS 9-3 EV. Deducting ample subsidies, with which the Chinese government fuels the state-owned electric car boom. The production of components should start at the beginning of 2019 in Trollhättan, but create no more 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 talked about his now 6 year-long fight, his gray hair, and the disappointments. About that he hoped to find more technology in the company. That's pretty grotesque and sounds like someone is working on his own legend. With the purchase of Saab properties, NEVS acquired only 10% of Saab's own patents. Other interesting technology and pre-developments were sold to Gothenburg, stayed with GM and Opel, or with the insolvency administrators.

After more than 6 years of setbacks, bankruptcy and no production, it is difficult for an observer to remain an optimist. In China there are now 400 startups for electric mobility, NEVS is just one of them. The competition is tough, China scores with innovation and courage. And NEVS wants to enter the competition with a body concept whose design was designed almost 2 decades ago.

The Saab heritage is maintained in Gothenburg

I always associate the seriousness of NEVS with a few names. Employees who were in charge of the latest Saab models, who then left Trollhättan, hired at other companies. A few years later, they were back, surprisingly. Their decision to change to NEVS and their perseverance in recent years has not always been understandable to me. But the proof of a seriousness that gave me hope, and ultimately could lead to success.

Discipline and stamina can do much. Sometimes dreams and visions fail because of reality. The employees, who were an indicator of respectability and future for me, have left Trollhättan in the last months of the year 2018. Where the majority of former Saab developers have gone. Towards Gothenburg.

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

  • 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.

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

  • 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 ! ! !

  • 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.

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

  • If you had not been so narrow-minded in Sweden after the first bankruptcy ... Had you not given NEVS but BMW the contract - the story could have run differently.
    Had bike 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.

    • … that's true. This thought comes again and again, as soon as I see an evirD now car ... especially the minis ...
      that could have been a Saab 9-1, that would be everywhere ... but yes .. bicycle chain.

    • I still do not 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 yet I would understand the bride. Whoever 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.

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

        SAAB loss in 2011, GM did not allow patients, etc ...

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

        • 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 to those patents rather than to those in the hands of GM?

          Funny again, because they are now with another Chinese owned company and brand (Volvo Cars). It seems that state and liquidators have been liquidated with NEVZ and that's why Orio was founded and sold to Volvo ...

          Whatever, you are right. KJJ knew all the terms, never really needed to give rebellion 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 ...

  • 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!

    • 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 Tesla ...
      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 I understand the article in this sense ...

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

  • 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.

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