The Chinese company Xiaomi is considering buying the once famous Swedish car brand Saab. The smartphone maker is already in talks with development firm Evergrande Group, which took over National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS) in 2019. National Electric Vehicle Sweden, in turn, has owned assets of the SAAB brand since 2012, but has no rights to its brand.
Initially, the Evergrande Group intended to independently produce vehicles and showed prototypes of several electric cars under the Hengchi brand. In March this year, the company announced plans to open 1.6 thousand dealerships in China. In July 2021, the Hengchi H1 D-class sedan even won an award called the Red Dot Award.
Nevertheless, the new requirements of the Chinese government forced the Evergrande Group to change its plans: Beijing has increased restrictions on the real estate sector in order to contain the risks of the so-called “soap bubble”. And since the Evergrande Group has large debts, the company needs to very quickly find funds to pay them off. It was for this purpose that the company decided to sell its 65% stake in NEVS, according to Reuters.
Let us remind you that the production of original Saab models was discontinued in the spring of 2011. NEVS acquired all manufacturing facilities as well as the intellectual property of Saab in 2012. In addition, at first the Chinese company had an exclusive license to use the Saab brand, but the Swedes soon canceled it.
The representative of the Xiaomi concern said that the company is negotiating with various auto enterprises, but has not yet decided who to work with. Smartphone and other technology maker Xiaomi is gradually increasing investments in the electromobility sector. In March of this year, the company announced plans to release an electric car under its own brand, and Great Wall Motor will be engaged in its assembly on contractual terms.