Saab survives, sold to Chinese-Japanese consortium with future centered around EVs

Saab survives, sold to Chinese-Japanese consortium with future centered around EVs

In what has been a seemingly painful and protracted process, Swedish automaker Saab will live to fight another day as a Chinese-Japanese investment group has agreed to purchase the beleaguered company, effectively rescuing Saab from bankruptcy, Automotive News reports.

The financially troubled automaker will fall under the ownership of National Electric Vehicle Sweden AB, which is comprised of Hong Kong-based National Energy Holdings Ltd. and Japanese investment group Sun Investment LLC. As NEVS name suggests, the consortium will see Saab charged with a new mandate of focusing on and building electric vehicles in the near future, the first of which is said to go on sale early in 2014 and will be based on the company’s 9-3 car.

While Saab’s previous $1.8 billion in debt has been practically absolved by the group, the purchase by NEVS does not include Saab Automobile Parts AB. Instead, control for the spare parts division of the company will be assumed by the Swedish state after it repaid a loan on behalf of the old Saab. The Swedish government is also reported to have purchased the rights to the Saab 9-3 and a development platform for future Saabs, known as the Phoenix.

It remains unknown exactly how much NEVS paid for Saab, but we do know the company has courted a number of suitors since reports of it going under emerged. Earlier in the year China-based Zheiiang Youngman Lotus Automobile was considering purchasing the Swedish automaker, going so far as to table a $567 million bid as recently as June 8. According to Saab administrators a half-dozen parties had shown interest in buying the company.

Saabs salvation not only serves the automotive community — it’s always unfortunate seeing a brand end up driving down that highway in the sky – but no doubt pleases the residents and workers of Trollhattan, Saab’s home in western Sweden.

“Through the purchase of Saab we begin a new era in the auto industry,” NEVS CEO Kai Johan Jiang told a news conference.

“Marketing and sales will be global but initially we will focus on China. It’s there we see the biggest market for electric cars,” added Jiang.

Interestingly — but not all that surprising given Saab’s recent sad state of affairs — the company hasn’t been profitable in two decades. The Swedish automaker halted production of vehicles in March of 2011 and shortly thereafter filed for bankruptcy that December.

With the purchase of Saab by NEVS, both of Sweden’s major automaker now find themselves under Chinese ownership. Back in 2010 rival Volvo suffered a degree of financial uncertainty as well, with China’s Geely Autmobile ultimately coming to its rescue.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: 1-handed drone control, a pot that stirs itself

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

Feeling nostalgic? Here are the 25 best Sega Genesis games

Although the company has since fallen into obscurity, Sega was an indisputable titan throughout the '90s. That said, here are 25 best Sega Genesis games that helped define its fabled decade.
Social Media

Twitter boss hints that an edit button for tweets may finally be on its way

Twitter has been talking for years about launching an edit button for tweets, but it still hasn't landed. This week, company boss Jack Dorsey addressed the matter again, describing a quick-edit button as "achievable."

Google’s storage-management app gets face-lift, is now called ‘Files by Google’

Google has revamped its files management app with a new look and name. Now known as Files by Google, the app received the company's all-white material redesign -- offering the same functionality, but with a cleaner look.

Ford buys scooter-sharing service Spin as it looks to expand beyond cars

Ford has acquired San Francisco-based scooter-sharing company Spin. The Blue Oval believes mobility services like scooter sharing can complement its existing car business going forward.

Tesla raises prices and simplifies options on Model S and Model X

Tesla is making changes to its offerings of the Model S and Model X. The lower-range 75D models will increase in price, while the higher-range 100D models will decrease in price.

Tesla brings track mode to Model 3 Performance

The new Track Mode introduced for the Tesla 3 Performance model adds stability to the drive while you're behind the wheel and is specifically designed for driving on closed track courses.

Jaguar’s rally-ready F-Type roadster is happiest off the pavement

Jaguar is celebrating the XK120's 70th birthday by turning the F-Type roadster into a rally warrior. Built to FIA specifications, the model receives suspension and braking upgrades plus a full roll cage to protect the occupants.

Lyft’s new rewards program promises ride discounts and comfier cars

If you're always hopping in and out of a Lyft car, then you'll be pleased to hear that the ridesharing service is about to launch a rewards program. Perks include discounts on future trips and upgrades to comfier cars.

Study suggests autonomous cars could become red-light districts on wheels

Fully autonomous cars can change the way we commute, but they can also have a far-reaching impact on the tourism industry. Two researchers published a study that outlines how self-driving technology could create a new dimension in tourism.

VW will use Siri as the designated driver for its connected car party

Volkswagen of America added Apple's Siri to help drivers control and interact with their cars. Owners can customize voice commands to tell Siri to change access settings such as interior climate, vehicle lock status, and fuel checks.

Meet the born-again Ford Bronco that will soothe your ’90s nostalgia

Ford has confirmed it will bring the Bronco back to American showrooms in a few short years. While it's still very much a work in progress, this is what we expect from the Blue Oval's born-again off-roader.

Waymo will launch its commercial autonomous ridesharing service in December

Waymo will launch a commercial ridesharing service using self-driving cars in December, according to a new report. As previously discussed by Waymo, the service will operate in specific areas around Phoenix, Arizona.

Quick! Someone petition Ferrari to make this luscious tribute to the F40

Ferrari looks toward the future as it designs hypercars like the LaFerrari. Designer Samir Sadikhov turned his eye toward the past to create a modern interpretation of the 1987 F40 without venturing into full retro territory.