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Saab logo left out as new model announced

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Saab logo left out as new model announced
13:47 CEST+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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