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THE SALE OF SAAB
Saab logo left out as new model announced

Saab logo left out as new model announced

Published: 03 Sep 2012 13:47 GMT+02:00
Updated: 03 Sep 2012 13:47 GMT+02:00

The new owners of bankrupt Swedish automaker Saab plan to launch their first model in 2014, they announced on Monday, and while the cars can be called Saabs, they will lack the brand's famed griffin logo.

After months of negotiations, electric car consortium and new Saab owner Nevs has reached an agreement about the Saab brand name and logo, thereby concluding the sale of the bankrupt automaker once and for all.

”We are so pleased that the deal has been signed and that we now can execute and implement our business plan” said Mattias Bergman from Nevs to news agency TT.

The electric car consortium National Electric Vehicle Sweden AB, or Nevs, a joint venture between China's National Modern Energy Holdings and the Japanese fund Sun Investment, reached an agreement with the Saab Defence Group and truck manufacturer Scania about the Saab brand, thereby concluding the purchase of the iconic brand for an undisclosed sum.

According to the agreement, the electric cars can be called Saab but the company cannot use the old griffin logo, which has been shared with the Saab defence and aeronautics group and Scania trucks, which all used to be part of the same corporate group.

“We have reached an agreement about the brand. We have a license deal with Saab AB and can use the name as our brand. The company will be called Nevs and the product will be called Saab,” Bergman said.

According to the company the logo was less important to the company.

“We are building a new company and a new image. And it was Saab we wanted,” Bergman told TT.

However, Nevs did not disclose what its new logo would be.

Nevs is planning to launch their first car in about a year and a half, during the first half of 2014, according to the company.

"In approximately 18 months, we plan to introduce our first electric vehicle based on Saab 9-3 technologies and a new technology electric powertrain," the chairman of Nevs, Karl-Erling Trogen, said in a statement on Monday.

The new Saabs will primarily be aimed at the Chinese market.

"The Chinese can increasingly afford cars; however, the global oil supply would not suffice if they all buy petroleum-fuelled vehicles," Nevs main owner Kai Johan Jiang said.

"Chinese customers demand a premium electric vehicle, which we will be able to offer by acquiring Saab Automobile in Trollhättan," he added.

Saab filed for bankruptcy last December after teetering on the edge of the abyss for almost two years. In June, bankruptcy administrators announced an agreement with Nevs.

At the time of its bankruptcy, Saab was working on a new version of its 9-3 sedan. But it was forced to halt that project due to a lack of financing. Nevs said Monday it was now in the process of recruiting new management and engineers.

The Swedish government hailed the agreement.

"The aim of developing new electric cars based on Saab's proven technology is innovative and forward-looking. It fits in well with the existing research and development in the Swedish automobile industry," minister for enterprise Annie Lööf said in a statement.

AFP/TT/The Local

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Your comments about this article

01:24 September 4, 2012 by Just_Kidding
Some logos and brand names are overrated. GM dumped the pontiac brand. They would have kept it if it had a potential of earning money. SAAB brand name and logo may ring a bell with some in Europe and USA, but not many people in China know anything about SAAB. At the end of the day, the product quality will make a product sucessful, since many new cars are sold with warranties and it transfers the risk from the costumer to the manufacturer. If anyone build a bad car, he will pay for it from his own pocket. The brand name is not as valuable as before since any unknown brand will compete well if it includes an 8 year bumper to bumber repair insurance.
00:53 September 5, 2012 by Escort
Whether it has the SAAB logo or not is irrelevant. Apart from a handful of enthusiasts, SAAB is no longer on the radar of anyone wanting to buy a premium car - it has been slowly dying since the early 1990s. Why can't the corpse of this once great company be allowed to rest in peace?
03:45 September 5, 2012 by powertrain
Escort, although I agree with you that the car brand has been withering for decades, this seems to be due to the lack of marketing. Saab always put their resources towards production quality rather than branding. The production facilities in Trollhättan have been developing continuously since the birth of Saab, imagine how powerful the equipment are at this stage. That said, indeed "the corpse of this once great" BRAND may rest in peace, but with the technology available in Trollhättan is still very much alive. With production back on track, I don't see why they can't keep making premium cars. I agree with Just_Kidding that some logos and brand names are overrated!
20:46 September 5, 2012 by John D.
I own a 2008 Saab 9-3 Aero,

Great car, problem is parts are next to impossible to get these days.

Anyone know if this will change in the future. I heard the parts division has been bought out by another company also.
03:52 September 12, 2012 by Escort
powertrain

O.K., but the decline of SAAB was to do with more than just marketing. The quality of the cars was below par for many years and they had a very narrow range of products aimed at the wrong sector of the market. They needed to improve quality, develop their range and stop trying to compete head-to-head with Audi, BMW, etc. In effect they were playing out of their league for 20 years and needed smaller, cheaper cars to compete in the tier below.
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