Saab Automobile Officially Comes to an End; Will Be Replaced by Brand ‘NEVS’

  • New parent company NEVS lost the license to use Saab brand name and logo.
  • Saab was purchased by NEVS in 2012 after going bankrupt.
  • Saab’s history dates back to 1945, while its first car rolled out in 1949.

The last hopes of Swedish car maker Saab ever making a comeback can now by fully laid to rest, as parent company National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS) has confirmed that it will not be using the brand name for its future range of vehicles. The announcement officially ends the Swedish brand’s run in the market after facing bankruptcy in 2011. The Saab moniker will now be replaced by ‘NEVS’, confirmed the company.

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National Electric Vehicle Sweden, a Swedish-Chinese consortium acquired most of Saab’s assets and subsidiaries, including Saab Automobile Powertrain AB and Saab Automobile Tools AB as well as the Saab manufacturing facility Trollhattan, Sweden, after the automaker’s bankruptcy. However, the rights to the Saab brand and its griffin logo were owned by a separate defense firm known also known as Saab as well as truck manufacturer Scania. NEVS was initially allowed to use the Saab brand sans the griffin logo, but lost the right to the same when its own finances took a hit back in 2014. That was the last ray of hope for the brand to ever return to its glory.

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Commenting on using the NEVS moniker, Mathias Bergman, President, NEVS said “With sincere respect to our history and heritage, we want to be recognized as ourselves – A sustainable mobility solutions provider who are committed to the environment with a focused growth plan with its own brand as a corner stone.”

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NEVS will now be sticking to its plan for Saab, creating sustainable mobility with its future lineup of cars. The company will be using the 9-3 sedan platform to underpin its upcoming electric cars that are expected to commence production in 2017 with China being one of the first markets to get them. The re-badged 9-3s will be produced at the Trollhattan facility in Sweden, but manufacturing will eventually move to China later in the timeline. NEVS is looking at China for its global expansion plans and says to have signed strategic agreements with Panda New Energy to deliver 1,50,000 electric cars and 1,00,000 electric commercial vehicles.

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While the brand never made it to the Indian market, Saab has been a cult brand in Europe among other locations and was the sportier Swedish car maker compared to Volvo. The company traced its roots back to 1945, when the Saab defense firm (founded in 1937) entered into the car making business. The automaker’s first prototype was the Ursaab that was revealed in 1946, while the first road going model ’92’ made it to dealerships in 1949.

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General Motors acquired 50 per cent ownership in the company in 1989, and then exercised its option to take complete ownership in 2000. However, due to its financial grievances in the late 2000s, GM sold the Swedish car brand to Spyker Cars in 2010. After struggling to avoid bankruptcy, Saab was rescued by the then newly formed NEVS, which lost the license to use the Saab nameplate on the vehicles in 2014, following its own financial issues. There were also rumours of Mahindra buying Saab at one point, but nothing materialised.