Published on February 1st, 2019 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez


Saab & Swedish super car brand Koenigsegg team up

Saab (now wholly owned by a Chinese group) is investing 150 million euros (USD171 million) in a venture with Swedish super car brand Koenigsegg, in a move that could see them develop new electric vehicles.

National Electric Vehicle Sweden AB (NEVS), in which China’s Evergrande Health recently became the majority investor, said it would take a 65% stake in a new joint venture to “develop a product for new and untapped segments,” according to a statement this week.

Koenigsegg will hold the rest, and contribute intellectual property (IP), technology licenses and product design. The deal deepens China’s exposure to Swedish automakers, with Geely owning Volvo Cars and the largest investor in truckmaker AB Volvo, and another Chinese investor having created NEVS in 2012 after buying the core assets and IP rights of Saab Automobile following the demise of the former General Motors brand.

NEVS, which owns production bases in Trollhättan in Sweden and Tianjin in China and plans another in Shanghai, has been trying to establish itself as a pure electric automaker, but has yet to produce a car.

Evergrande Health’s USD930 million cash infusion into NEVS, announced this month, was seen as a second lifeline, giving it funds to develop costly electric vehicles and access to new auto technologies, where Evergrande is expanding. The Chinese firm is a unit of property developer China Evergrande Group and is a former investor in U.S. electric vehicle developer Faraday Future.

This deal will give NEVS a 20% stake in Koenigsegg and could potentially pave the way for it to begin delivering products to the market, with its loose partnership with Didi Chuxing, China’s Uber, yet to yield anything concrete.

“Koenigsegg is an enticing company developing advanced cars with unique technology and with a customer base that is one of a kind … We have both competencies and facilities to support Koenigsegg on their journey forward,” NEVS Chairman Kai Johan Jiang said.

Koenigsegg, backed by U.S. and Norwegian investors, sought to buy Saab after its 2011 collapse but the deal never materialized. While the luxury hypercar brand has built a plug-in hybrid, it has yet to develop a fully electric vehicle.

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