Slides from the NEVS Saab acquisition press conference

They’re thin on detail, but here are what I consider are the important slides from the NEVS press conference at the Saab factory yesterday. I reproduced the press release yesterday.

As a side note, from watching the video, it was weird watching these strangers parading around in our presentation room at the end of the factory line!! I had the sudden realisation that I don’t like things happening there that I’m not a part of :-(

The question as to whether NEVS can pull this off gets more fascinating by the minute. Their vehicles won’t be for everyone, but can they reach the people that they will be suitable for?

Click to enlarge.

Swade

Ex-Saab blogger, multiple Saab and Alfa Romeo owner and football tragic.

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23 Responses

  1. David says:

    If only there could also be Hybrids.
    This could make the world of difference to the new SAAB.

  2. Pacey says:

    I think the next few years will be very exciting but I agree with David (and everyone else, I guess) that it’s a terrible shame to ignore hybrids – I was hoping my next car might be the Phoenix 9-3 with electric rear axle.

    Regardless I think it’s an exciting development and I hope they can get the styling, ergonomics, range and pricing right. The performance possibilities are huge, but my suspicion is they are slightly too green-thinking to go the way Tesla have headed, and that performance won’t be something particularly important. Hope I’m wrong.

  3. JCatVigg00 says:

    I hope I’m reading slide 11 correctly in that it appears they’ll be further developing the current 9-3 ePower for a 2013-2014 release. Very vague indeed but I hope that’s the case. If true, I feel slightly better….I guess. I’m open to new tech but fearful all will be moved to China in the not too distant future. No hybrid production has me worried the most in my short-term list of worries for the brand.

  4. Jeroen says:

    Funny, I did exactly the same thing last night: download the presentation and run through the slides. Slide number 5 is the most worrying in my view: I really hope NEVS has not based its business plan on those rosy figures about EV market development.

    After all, if you download the original IEA report from which they took that graph and read the small print, it shows that the numbers are based on government targets: Obama’s aim of 1 million electric/hybrid vehicles on American roads by 2015 is one of those targets. And every automotive analyst will tell you to fuggedaboutit, because it’s never gonna happen.

    • Swade says:

      To be fair, Jeroen, the graph is not just EV’s but also PHEV’s so it’s a bigger market. But yeah, those numbers for the US just aren’t going to happen. The next big question might be Do they need to happen? As always, it comes down to the quality of the product.

      (and as an aside, I’m worried that that sole PHEV mention amongst 25 slides is the one and only reason Jeff at SU is claiming they might make PHEV’s. Thin ice.)

      • Jeroen says:

        You’re right, slight overlooking of the details from my side. But frankly, I think that if they would make an EV-only graph, it wouldn’t be such a nice ski slope. Of course, on first viewing this one makes for a wonderful graph. That’s precisely why I’m a bit worried about them using this in an official presentation.

        Regarding PHEVs: as I understand it, they’re really not going to build those. I also don’t see how they could compete with larger OEMs who are already building those themselves.

        One positive point though: the Japanese funding might prove to be a good source. Japanese banks and pension funds have enormous amounts of money to spend on investments (lots of retirees, you know), so that makes me somewhat hopeful that the funding side of NEVS is in order.

        • Swade says:

          Agreed. This graph is the only PHEV mention that I found in the presentation. When I said ‘thin ice’ I meant Jeff’s skating on thin ice if that sole mention is his justification. As you say, Saab might struggle to compete with the established players, though the eAAM tie-up would have been a good one (have you seen the video of their car going up a snowy incline? Quite impressive).

          • Jeroen says:

            What is the status of the e-AAM collaboration, if there is any? As far as I know, Saab has no ownership whatsoever anymore of e-AAM since early this year, when all shares were acquired by AAM. I assume they would like to offer their business to NEVS (I actually spoke to Magnus Rydell a while back about this), but I haven’t heard anything from the NEVS/administrators side. Did you?

          • Swade says:

            eAAM were bought out by AAM when things went belly up so any collaboration would be a new agreement, I’d say. I’m sure eAAM would be interested if asked.

        • JCatVigg00 says:

          I agree. I also hope the Japanese ‘consortium’ have groundbreaking battery tech up their sleeves. I hadn’t seen Swade’s ePower test drive until today and I was pretty impressed. I’m not for or against EVs but it might have helped that I had seen the Youtube Volvo Recharge test track vid just before. I actually laughed out loud for the first time yesterday. Very interesting concept but horrendous ‘promo vid.’ Don’t want to derail the OP about that though.

  5. JCatVigg00 says:

    I’m very interested to find out who will be hired from the previous design team and I’ll be even more interested to hear from Swade regarding those hires (or lack of).

    • Jeroen says:

      A lot of former Saab designers are at Volvo now, while I know another group has joined forces in a new consultancy firm. So the latter group might be available.

  6. Jeroen says:

    Dagens Industri claims this morning, based on their notorious ‘sources’, that NEVS will partner up with Mahindra for the production of “traditional, low-emission cars”. Mahindra would also take over responsibility for the development of the Phoenix platform. Finally, the last sentence speaks of a “fuel-powered new Saab 9-3″ that should come to market in two years.

    For what it’s worth. http://di.se/Artiklar/2012/6/14/270108/Samarbete-med-Mahindra–Mahindra/

    • Swade says:

      Interesting. And smart.

      • Swade says:

        Just had a proper look and it reads like a speculative story to me. Notorious sources, quite possibly. And the tech from Toyota? What’s that about?

        • Jeroen says:

          I actually read the print story just now. Like you say: it’s speculative and it’s DI. They seem to make a lot of the fact that Mahindra was very interested and visited Trollhättan a number of times, and then all of a sudden fell back around the same time NEVS showed up. Oh well. Who knows.

          On the other hand: it would make sense from a business point of view for NEVS to start talking to Mahindra, or any OEM for that matter. Because the business case for building and developing only EVs in Trollhättan is still rather flimsy imho. And who knows, after all the twists and turns we might still see a new Castriota-drawn, fuel-powered 9-3 roll off the production line. I liked the design a lot, so it would be great if it could get made.

        • montahue says:

          I guess it’s DI trying to get back on track. It’s easy to imagine they miss the olden days as much as we do. I hope there is some tiny substance in this article but probably there is not.

          I imagine if there ever will be some REAL Saabish stuff going on in Trollhattan again nature and the Saab internet organism will of course crave a qualified man giving reports from the center of stuff. I have never been in Trollhattan ever physically (which is a shame since i live like 4 hours away by car) but you have been there and i have traveled with you.

    • Markac says:

      I think NEVS collaborating with M&M is Saab’s only real hope now. Maybe we will get some real Saabs on the Phoenix platform. Fingers crossed!

  7. Aerobic says:

    The future of environmentally friendly cars is hydrogen power.

    No pollution. Quick refuelling.

    • Bernard says:

      Hydrogen is just a different way of storing electricity. Extracting hydrogen through electrolysis requires a lot of electricity, and once in a car it gets converted back to electricity to run electric motors.

      You can burn hydrogen directly in an internal combustion engine, but that’s even less efficient.

      Of course, any work that Saab does on a battery-electric car can quickly be re-purposed towards a hydrogen-electric car once suppliers can provide economical fuel cells and hydrogen storage.

  8. jimmy says:

    Let’s see, Nevs has a factory that can build the 9-3 and the new Pheonix.
    Why limit themselves to only EV’s ? Of course if you produced only EV’s there would be no emissions testing budget. But why not produce those cars with different powertrains – diesel,Ethanol, hydrogen, gasoline, corn, batteries -whatever (how about a big spring like a clock? ) Sort of like playing with Legos…
    But if the main market is China, why build cars in Troll town?
    My guess in that a lot of the factory winds up in China.
    And that beautiful graph — Spain? really? Just the facts please.

  9. sam the man says:

    Sounds like a big scam to me. I bet they’ll never produce a single car.

    • Troy says:

      I fear you are right on. I just don’t see this happening. I believe only the big boys ( Toyota, Honda, Nissan, GM, Ford, BMW, Volkswagen, etc.) are the only companies that can compete globally. If it does happen I see it only doing so in China.