NEVS Mule spotted in Trollhättan
A new test vehicle from NEVS was spotted in Trollhättan last week. Some images were shared on social media. The NEVS Mule is camouflaged with a Saab 9-3 body. But its wheelbase is much longer than that of the 9-3, and the track width does not fit either. That raises questions.
What is NEVS testing in Trollhättan?
The assumptions range from a vehicle with a wheel hub engine, an SUV, to Hengchi 1. Also a Mule in connection with the autonomous one sango is possible. However, in this context the question arises why one should need a Mule from the Sango, where the vehicle and design are already known in the media.
The Spanish magazine FCE (forocheselectricos) sees the Mule as the test vehicle for a purely electric SUV and argues with the long wheelbase. To this end, it publishes what was originally known as Hengchi 1 Drawing of an SUV. The design comes from RAW Designhouse from Sweden and a patent has been applied for in China.
Contrary to previous assumptions, however, the Hengchi 1 was an electric luxury sedan. And in the presented vehicles Hengchi 2 to 6 you could not recognize the design of this SUV anywhere. In general, Evergrande, NEVS and Koenigsegg seem to live in parallel worlds. Evergrande is, for now, a particularly Chinese thing. Television in China is already showing commercials several times a day to encourage consumers to believe in the new Hengchi car brand.
Many possibilities - but no answer.
Meanwhile, Koenigsegg goes its own way. Where NEVS and Trollhättan will fit together with Evergrande and Koenigsegg in the future is still open at the moment. After the complete takeover, which is due for next month, we may know more.
Probably the good news at the moment is that development is still going on in Trollhättan and not all competencies are in China. Even if it remains unclear today what is actually going on.
11 thoughts on "NEVS Mule spotted in Trollhättan"
Regarding the comment that there are hardly any former Saab employees at NEVS, this is simply not true. Most of those working there are ex-Saab, with some new faces, as required. Trollhattan is full of ex employees who want to go back and work in the factory.
As for what it is, and what it's not - well it is a testing platform, but not an SUV. So lets give that some thought, if you were to test a new platform, and the vehicle size that it would most likely represent was no longer in production, what would you do? Wouldn't you save save costs and use something you had, and modify it. Many manufacturers do this.
Let's hope that we get to see the final vehicle, or perhaps something to give an idea of the shape.
Have fun the buyers with a car of the brand “Henchi” (if there should be any in this country)
"The TV (…)"
I also find this side note in the article exciting. Are these just normal commercials according to democratic standards and those of free and fair competition, or does swearing in to upcoming Hengchis already have propaganda dimensions and features?
Established manufacturers have been very, very economical for many years with great advance notice. And that doesn't just apply to the auto industry.
It is always and fundamentally important to keep the period between presentation and market launch as short as possible, otherwise one would create expectations with “The Next Big Thing” or the upcoming model XY that is both waiting and reluctance to buy.
In other words, established manufacturers never cannibalize their current products with cocky and long-term advance notice. This is a no-go and a very small multiplication table ...
Evergrande is in the luxurious position of not being able to cannibalize itself at all. The higher the expectations, the greater and longer the reluctance created by buyers (towards other brands and models), the better it is for Evergrande.
They do that very, very skillfully. The question remains whether it is fair and what role the Chinese state and its media play?
You probably don't lean too far out of the window if you assume a conscious and targeted distortion of the competition here ...
What does NEVS test?
Let's ask the question more generally, what does the automotive industry like to test in Sweden? The answer is already simpler, especially the European manufacturers like to do cold land tests in Swedish Lapland, roughly in the area around Arjeplog.
For decades it has been the test field for the development of braking systems and chassis in cold climates and now also for many other things for which a climatic chamber is not sufficient.
In addition, Sweden currently has relatively few restrictions due to Corona.
What is then actually tested is of course still not answered. On the other hand, Evergrande has presented 6 models that I would classify as concept vehicles in the development process.
Which also explains why there are not really functional prototypes yet, so that the platform technology that has probably already been developed, such as drive, chassis, brakes and battery including the associated control / regulation, in technology carriers (or mules, mulettos, or whatever you call them will) is tested.
In the models presented, there were two and a half relatively large cars with Hengchi 1, 3 and 4, which would explain the wheelbase and track width. In the Chinese market, the VW joint ventures have probably been identified as competitors.
If you want to be at least as good as VW, it makes sense to test like VW. Plus the purchased European development service providers, for whom cold tests in Sweden are part of their daily work.
So that's my guess that it is a technology carrier for one of the big Hengchi models. Could be plausible if technology showcases with a shorter wheelbase soon appear. We will see …
@ Franken Troll,
I understand and understand everything very well. I think Tom sees it all in a similar way and is very realistic.
Trollhättan is and will remain interesting for reasons that no longer have much to do with Saab and the former workforce. I'm still happy about every current message here.
It is precisely the new ownership structure and the latest developments that illustrate global developments and trends using the example of Trollhättan. Who would have ever thought? It's exciting and always worth reading ...
Criticism is priced in, I think. Isn't there any with the author. As well as? He himself is critical of various developments ...
No, no that's not it. I'm one step further. I enjoy the sequel story and Tom's narrative talent. I'm happy for every twitch in Trollhättan and the city. This is not applause and everything has nothing to do with Saab. It's pure enjoyment - on the blog. As long as Tom pulls himself up to play on this topic, I enjoy it completely. If he ever leaves, I'll mourn.
I now drive my Saabs as a hobby and completely relaxed. In everyday life a Volvo XC40, which is less emotional, but I don't get angry with Orio if something is once again not available for months. Although my friendly Saab screwdriver helps where he can, mostly with success. But in the end it was annoying.
The (very, very) great solidarity ...
I have already commented similarly here. But now I see it differently ...
Today there are hardly any former Saab employees who are still on wages at NEVS or who are hoping to be reinstated.
In this respect, I have long since ceased to be indifferent to who is building what, who benefits from what on which exchange, what that means for people and the environment.
If nothing good comes up, it's not Saab. And if it's not Saab, then I don't have to warm up to it. The times are really over now. Unfortunately.
In any case, it cannot and must not be that you can do what you want under the label “Made in Trollhättan” and always get a certain applause for it.
That would be quite unfair to Saab and also to the (former) employees, I think.
Whatever it is: it is good for Trollhättan if something is developed there. It doesn't matter whether it's an SUV or something. Maybe one day they'll build cars again in Trollhausen. In any case, I would be happy if it continued.
Mighty mighty, Egon.
The wheelbase and dimensions obviously overwhelm the 9-3 invisibility cloak ...
Whatever is hidden under it, if it is supposed to be a car, it cannot be properly dimensioned.
In terms of environmental protection and resource conservation, we have already made progress. If electromobility only serves to continue to fight for the greatest possible erection in the automotive industry with a fig leaf in the future, then I see pretty black for Mother Nature.
It doesn't matter whether the biggest erection comes from the USA or China. The only thing that matters is whether we buy prostheses or sensible cars….
What is a mule?
MULE Ministry for Environment, Agriculture and Energy of the State of Saxony-Anhalt
Mule (headland), headland on the coast of the Kemplands, Antarctica
Mule (software), enterprise service bus platform
Mule Island, various islands
The Mule, song by Deep Purple (1971)
or is it a mule?
But what does it mean in connection with an automobile?
Wikipedia helps 😉
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