National Electric Vehicle Sweden, which owns the main assets to Saab, has been given the green light to start producing electric vehicles at a plant in China. Now that it has the approval of the Chinese government, the company hopes to eventually produce 200,000 electric cars annually at its Tianjin plant, which is currently under construction.
Part of the plan is to build 150,000 new 9-3 sedans for Panda New Energy, an energy vehicle leasing company in China. The new 9-3 will be an electric vehicle and won’t wear a Saab badge.
It has been a long road for the electric vehicle company to get to this point. Back in 2012, NEVS rescued Saab from bankruptcy and acquired its assets. Later, NEVS lost the rights to use the Saab brand name on its future vehicles.
The Tianjin plant is expected to be operational by the end of this year. Along with the upcoming Tianjin plant, NEVS acquired the Trollhattan production plant formerly occupied by Saab.
NEVS wants to develop an entire line of electric vehicles and mobility solutions around the world “with China as the first and most demanding market for the coming years,” the company said in a recent press release. NEVS’ main office and R&D facilities are located in Sweden.