It’s been a bit since we brought you any news of Faraday Future, the beleaguered electric car company that tried to take on Tesla — but really only wound up taking on debt.
And while Faraday is still allegedly alive and kicking, it’s now doing so without many of its original investors … though that does not include Evergrande Group — the third largest property developer in China — who struck a deal with the fledgling automaker that awarded Evergrande a 32 percent stake and the ownership of Faraday’s Chinese operations.
But the shaky start of Faraday didn’t appear to scare the investment firm off the electric car industry, as it’s being widely reported that Evergrande has plunked down $930 million for a controlling stake in National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS) — which, despite its name, is actually a Chinese consortium.
So, why does this matter? Because NEVS owns a brand that’s beloved in America in a cult-following kind of a way and refuses to die, despite multiple bankruptcies, and that, my friends, is the Saab.
NEVS can’t use the Saab name or branding, but it’s been building vehicles on Saab’s 9-3 platform in Tianjin, China, and two of the models NEVS is producing reportedly meet the standards of mass production.
NEVS has a team of 500 at an EV R&D firm in Sweden, two factories, and another one in the works. One of the benefits of Evergrande’s affiliation with the fledgling Faraday is that it can bring more factory space to the table: a Guangzhou factory that it was building for Faraday might come in very handy for NEVS, who is a bit more ready to go.
So does any of this mean we’ll ever see a Saab equivalent again? Probably not, but for Saab enthusiasts — of which there are way more on the web than I ever expected — an NEVS version of “Zombie Saab,” even from afar, is better than nothing.
— by Anna Wells