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SAAB name officially dropped, NEVS brand takes over

The SAAB brand will no longer be used to sell vehicles as new owners National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS) failed to secure the rights to keep the name, which belongs to the SAAB aeronautics and defense group. 

AFP reports that NEVS will launch its first-ever car in 2017, a battery electric 9-3 sold under the NEVS brand.

“Building on our car manufacturing heritage, we will continue to focus on quality, craftsmanship and people-centric solutions, but we will add new dimensions to our business through our partnerships and collaborations,” NEVS President Mattias Bergman said in a statement.

SAAB officially debuted in 1949 and was purchased by General Motors in 1990. It was later sold to Dutch automaker Spyker in 2010, but had to file for bankruptcy in 2012. NEVS managed to salvage SAAB thanks to a number of Chinese investors, with the goal of building electric vehicles mostly for China.

Chinese rental car company Panda New Energy has ordered 250,000 EVs from NEVS, representing a total of 11 billion euros (approx. $15.9 billion CAD), but none of them will carry the SAAB name.