Saab is dead, long live... NEVS?

The Saab name is no more, but its spirit might have an electric future

Saab is dead, long live... NEVS?

Picture by: Rowan Miles / EMPICS Entertainment

The famous Saab name has finally, officially been retired as the company that owns the assets of the defunct Swedish automaker opts to rebrand its future cars.

National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS), a company with Chinese backers, had acquired the majority of Saab's assets when the Swedish car manufacturer declared bankruptcy in 2011.

However, the brand and Saab's distinctive griffin logo remained in the ownership of a defence firm also known as Saab and truck manufacturer Scania.

NEVS was permitted to use the Saab name until NEVS itself faced bankruptcy in 2014.

Now the company is pressing ahead with its plans to offer electric cars based around Saab models and parts.

The vehicles will be rolled out under the NEVS brand.

In a statement, it said:

"From today onwards, we are NEVS – both on a company and product level. With that comes a new logo, a new look and a reinstated commitment to, and focus on, electric vehicles and mobility solutions."

First up, a rebadged version of the old Saab 9-3 seban with an electric drivetrain will start production in 2017.

it will initially be sold to the Chinese market, with NEVS having already signed deals with firms in China and Turkey to either supply vehicles or license technology.

It will continue to operate out of Saab's old Trollhättan plant in Sweden, with plans to manufacture in China in the future.