Only a few weeks after the announcement of the major order for 150,000 Saab 9-3 based EV’s by Panda New Energy, NEVS now confirms to have received another significant order. Chinese company Huateng will receive 20,000 electric vehicles (EV’s) from NEVS. This news marks another step forward to secure the necessary financial base to realize the business plan launched in November.
In an interview with Swedish Radio, NEVS founder and chairman Kai Johan Jiang confirmed the deal with Huateng (also known as Volinco outside of China), a company specializing in aerospace technology.
The order for 20,000 Saab 9-3 platform based EV’s is valued at SEK 8,5B (approx. EUR 850M) and is aimed at Huateng’s leasing division. Jiang also shared that NEVS will collaborate with Huateng on the development of specific lightweight parts.
New factory on track
The news came straight from the new factory building site in Tianjin, where a delegation of the NEVS board of directors was visiting. NEVS President Mattias Bergman stated that the process was progressing according to plan and that the production facility (will a planned annual capacity of 200,000 cars) should be ready in May 2017.
No specifics about the characteristics of the cars or the delivery timelines were shared at this point, but NEVS Communications Director Mikael Östlund confirmed to Saabblog.net that the cars will be based on the so-called “Phoenix 1.1” platform (a.k.a. NEVS’ own EV-platform that was developed based on the MY14 Saab 9-3).
Today’s announcement adds significantly to NEVS’ momentum on the Chinese EV market. A recent article by Norihiko Shirouzu called “A rebranded Saab at the center of China’s green car push” provides some good additional perspectives.
Some news about another important ingredient -the brand name- was also confirmed recently. In an interview with Swedish Radio, Kai Johan Jiang shared that NEVS had hired international marketing agency Interbrand to research brand and brand name options for use on the Chinese market. At the same time, it was confirmed again that the dialogue with SAAB AB hasn’t been closed and that there still isn’t a decision either way.