Saab Production Stops, But Owner Plans New Platform

Although National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS), a conglomerate that bought most of Saab's intellectual property, began building new copies of the 9-3 late last year, the company has already halted production again. The news comes even as NEVS claims it will soon develop a new car platform.

Production of the Saab 9-3 was previously humming along at the rate of just six cars per day, but now Reuters reports the plant will be idled for at least a month because the company is out of cash. NEVS blames the fact that one of the company's key investors, Qingbo Investment Co. Ltd, has failed to furnish the financial support promised to help it keep the Saab production line running. As a result, Hong Kong-based National Modern Energy Holdings Ltd. will fully pay for Saab production. NEVS is reportedly building at least 200 Saab electric cars to be sold in China by Qingbo, but payment for that deal has not yet arrived.

"One of NEVS' investors has not fulfilled their contractual obligation to finance the operations," the company said in a statement released yesterday. "NEVS will also take short term measures to reduce cost. Among the measures to be taken [is] a short term stop of production."

At the same time, NEVS said it its developing a new Saab platform off the company's "Phoenix" architecture that will be used for future models. Although it did not name specific companies, NEVS said the new Saab platform will be developed "in cooperation with" other global automakers to help reduce costs. NEVS claims to have already signed an agreement with a major carmaker to co-develop the new platform to help, "add significant resources to the development of Saab as a global premium car brand name."

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