After purchasing the assets of the bankrupt firm Saab back in 2012, the China-backed consortium National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS) has been working towards the mass production of electric vehicles in China.
Things appear to be moving forward in that regard, despite the relative lack of announcements up till now, with NEVS recently being granted a production license by the Chinese National Development Reform Commission — paving the way for production to begin.
NEVS is already in the process of constructing the manufacturing plant that will be producing electric vehicles (EVs) in Tianji. The company’s plan is apparently for production to begin before the end of 2017.
Green Car Reports provides more:
At full capacity, NEVS says, the factory will be able to produce 200,000 electric cars per year. For the time being, the cars built there will be electric versions of the old Saab 9-3 sedan, based on the General Motors Epsilon platform and built from 2003 through 2011.
That makes the 9-3 an old design by industry standards, although NEVS also has an agreement with Chinese firm Panda New Energy to supply 150,000 cars. Panda is one of numerous ‘new energy vehicle’ companies taking advantage of Chinese government incentives. It leases cars, primarily to chauffeur services, and has said it hopes to become the largest electric-car leasing company in the world.
When the deal was first announced in December 2015, Panda New Energy said it would make a second purchase of 100,000 cars at some undetermined point after receiving the initial order. NEVS also previously struck a deal with the Turkish government to license production of the 9-3 in that country, which Turkish officials hopes would stimulate the local auto industry.
Notably, the company does own the rights to the (unused) Saab Phoenix platform, which may serve as the basis for additional offerings in the future.