The Swedish financial newspaper Dagens Industri (the Daily Industry) have today posted two positive and interesting articles on the car company from Trollhättan now known as Nevs. Considering how Saab was treated […]
Great to hear some news, especially positive-sounding news!
News about SAAB … sorry, NEVS (whatever) … written in a positive manner in public Swedish press. That was a long time ago! Let’s hope it’s the start of a new trend!
My guess is, like many Chinese ventures, the object at this point is to secure the technology and know how and eventually, transfer all operations to China. Interesting that a factory in Sweden is in mothballs, but they are apparently steaming ahead at breakneck speed to get a Chinese factory up and running to build these cars.
The Chinese government are currently restricting the number of ”nationally subsidized” EV car companies. From what I’ve heard, there will probably only be 10 licenses per car type. So Nevs have to prioritize the factory in China if they want to build and sell EV cars in China. And there’s currently no demand for a Nevs 9-3 in Europe. So yeah, their current focus, no matter how sad it is to see Stallbacka plant without production, is reasonable.
Yes there will be only 10 licenses to produce electric cars, but as I said before on this site:
-NEVS is owned to 57% by China – via two state owned companies – see article in DI.
-China will obviously grant licens to NEVS, but has ordered replanning to fulfill formal requirements.
-China will always do what is best for China.
-The 150.000 9-3 clones will probably be used for state officials – they will very probably not be competitive to ”all-new” electric vehicles being developed by ”all” major carmanufacturers – which will kill Brand and make future cars uninteresting for rich Chinese and westerners.
From what I’ve heard, it’s more like 10 licenses per car type (SUV, sedan, etc). And New Long Mas, who Nevs is a part owner of, already has one of these kind of licenses. But Nevs still have to focus on China right now, to get a license for Nevs 9-3.
They are not only building a complete factory – they are also building a Product Development Center.
To me it sounds less positive than it did a few months ago. Suddenly it turns out NEVS has no permit to sell cars in China, the 9-3 is postponed another year, and the plant in Trollhättan will remain pretty idle as a production site. And if government subsidization of new energy vehicles is being gradually decreased in China, there’s another hurdle for a low volume manufacturer to overcome on their way to the market – once they get the permit to begin with. Tough going, and as unpredictable as ever.
$56 million annual operating costs and no product. This is either an entity with capital investors who are very confident in the long range plan (if that is the case I hope the are correct) or a money laundering scheme of some sort.
Nevs has a bank credit/guarantee of 13 billion SEK (almost $1.5 billion USD) with Bank of China, according to http://www.di.se/nyheter/planen-som-ska-fa-nevs-pa-rull/. I’m guessing the investors of Nevs does have large pockets (and a long range plan).
Nevs can’t be blamed for the EV license situation in China. If anything, it’s good to see that they can adapt their operations this quick. The Chinese focus and ownership of Nevs, with the EV license that New Long Mas has, should be positive for a future EV license for Nevs.
If Nevs acquires an EV license for the 9-3, and there are only 9 other car makers (of the same car type), then there’s potential for some really good sales. With China being the largest EV market in the world and all.
If anyone wants to know more about the Chinese EV license development, here’s a pretty good article about it: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-08-28/most-of-china-s-electric-car-startups-face-wipeout-by-new-rules
Thanks for the link, Jonathan. It seems the situation in China regarding new energy vehicles is convoluted if not chaotic right now, but I gathered that traditional, established automakers are automatically permitted to sell evs in China, and that the licence procedure is limited to new startups only. Out of all startups only ten will be granted a license. There is no mention of the sort of 10 licences per car type scenario that you described, but perhaps there are other sources you were referring to?
As for NEVS, I’m sure they are amongst the more credible companies aiming at the startup market. That might not be saying much to some of the critical souls in here, but judging by the Bloomberg article, some of the applicants really are gold diggers at best. NEVS are at least busy building that factory, and as we know, have recruited hundreds of capable Swedes in R & D. That should count for a lot. Hopefully they get their license and get going.
China sure seems a volatile environment though. The political see sawing around their ev promotion plan sounds fickle. Especially worrying in that article is the bit about how sharply China is going to cut down the subsidization of ev vehicle sales in the future. It says that by 2020 government would gradually wind down the in so far remarkable stash of juans directed to lower the retail price of evs. That sounds like a complete turn around in their push towards a sustainable traffic sector, but who konows what other incentives their government may have underway to support that cause.
Nevs are indeed among the more credible EV companies in China. My knowledge of this market is limited, but from what I understand these licenses are required if you want to build and sell EV in China on a larger scale. Regardless of company size/history. You can sell foreign built EV:s in China, but the 25 % import tax makes these vehicles very expensive. It’s not without a reason that Tesla are building a plant in China.
And yes, I do have a very reliable source for the 10 licences per car type scenario. 🙂
Any news when they’re gonna release those 4 new models we’ve seen some time ago? I’m thinking about purchasing Tesla model 3 once it’s available for sale and I’d like to compare it to Nevs cars, but these new ones, not electric 9-3.
No, unfortunately not yet. I’d guess we’ll see the first really new EV cars from Nevs in 2020.
Jacko: Are you being sarcastic? Me thinks so. And is there any ”good news” here for fans of Saab? Me thinks not really. NEVS won’t ever be producing Saabs. You wanna know what ”good news” is? If you’re a fan of KIA/Hyundai, good news is the new Kia Sportage. In fact, good news is almost anything in their line-up—-hot hatches, SUVs, sedans, hybrids, etc. Good news is the new ”Genesis” division, making a very handsome and capable luxury car. A new division. They talked about it a few years ago, and delivered it this year. Gorgeous car. Dealerships. Promoting it on social media. I’ve seen it in person, it’s beautifully executed. NEVS? Tell me again what the good news is?
Angelo, I was in a new KIA Optima turbo recently. I suppose it is a good package, but I immediately noticed that compared to my 9-5 the seating position was closer to the floor and the windshield was less vertical and sloped further away from the driver creating a bit of pillbox effect for outward vision. This is an area where SAAB differentiated itself from other sedans in a positive way(although less so in the NG 9-3). Also, the Optima does not offer a manual transmission in the turbo version. So, KIA is competitive in the quest for a nice generic sedan whereas with SAAB there was hope for something else.
I don’t disagree with that at all. But my point is that this company—-these companies—-set goals and achieve them. I’m not comparing the Optima to Saabs we own and love. I’m comparing competent, well funded companies with strong management to NEVS. And the comparison shows that when some companies set out to do something, they deliver in a big way. NEVS took over the Saab assets in 2012. This is now going on 5 years since they came in talking big. They’ve delivered next to nothing—a string of broken promises or lies, no products for sale, no renderings of products they want to sell, no ”spy photos” of what they’re working on—-no participation with major automotive outlets—-abandonment of the strongest Saab markets outside of Sweden—-aloof and disrespectful demeanor toward people who would have been their most likely buyers if they had a lick of common sense to have stayed in strong markets and actually had products for sale 4 1/2 years in—-the list goes on and on and on. Again, the point is not that KIA or Hyundai or anyone else is making cars we like as much as classic Saabs—the point is that the company who bought what was left of Saab has finished it off in an astoundingly horrific way—-disgraceful in the opinion of some.
Well it is obvious that they have a different plan from what you feel common sense would dictate. It is interesting that NEVS investors are willing to spend what is not a negligible amount of money each year (even if negligible by industry standards) while waiting for some future return. It is natural to assume that the purpose of a company is to make money, but in NEVS’ case it is possible to wonder if something else is taking place (see my post earlier in this thread) Nonetheless, they employ a lot of professional people and apparently make payroll as necessary. so it would be quite an elaborate scheme if something less than legitimate is going on. Even if they are successful though, NEVS appears to have cut its ties with SAAB and SAAB customers and I suspect that their ultimate products regardless of propulsion source will be more like KIAs than SAABs.
Nope, I’m not joking, I’m quite curious what those new Nevs cars are going to be. I just moved to Oslo, Norway, and EVs are very popular here – I can see Tesla model S every 5 minutes while I’m driving my 9-5. Charging stations are everywhere, you don’t have to pay for public car parks, you don’t have to pay tolls (I’m crossing 3 of them on my way to work, they’re all over the place) and you can legally drive on a bus and taxi lanes. So my next car will be EV, Tesla model S is too expensive, for model 3 we need to wait, the rest of EVs available on the market nowadays are really poor if compared to Tesla and that’s why I wouldn’t mind to give Nevs a chance if those cars going to be decent EVs.
Meanwhile, others are not standing still… …witness LYNK & CO’s 01 SUV plans
Romac: Of course not. Big, well funded, serious concerns don’t handle an acquisition as feebly as NEVS did. Doesn’t matter if it’s acquiring a thriving company or a carcass—-companies with vision, ambition, skill-set—-take over, hit the ground running and make things happen—-sooner rather than later. The fact that we’ll be five years in with virtually nothing to show for this speaks volumes. Honestly, anyone else who showed a lick of interest—Mahindra, Youngman, Brightwell Holdings—-any of them—-would have likely done more by now than NEVS has done. Then again, a group of high school kids who met in shop class would have done more by now than this mess.