Another Saab resurrection?

Potential new owners plan to build electric cars in Trollhattan

Published: June 14, 2012, 12:00 PM

Saab Phoenix Concept

Just when the auto industry was about to start shoveling dirt over Saab's grave comes news of yet another potential resurrection.

After several stops and starts, Saab was declared insolvent at the end of last year, owing about $1.8 billion to creditors.

But, according to reports from Sweden, the administrators of the firm's bankruptcy process have received a firm offer of purchase from a Japanese-Chinese investment group.

The consortium, which has established a Swedish company called National Electric Vehicle Sweden AB, plans to make electric vehicles, according to the administrators.

"The company will start a new operation in Trollhattan (Saab's home base) where all development and production will be focused on electric cars," the administrators said in a statement.

But they provided no timeline and gave few other details.

A Japanese investment firm called Sun Investment and National Modern Energy Holdings, a Hong Kong-based company that builds renewable-energy powerplants, are said to be leading the consortium.

Previous offers for the quirky Swedish brand have been scuttled by General Motors, the company's former owner, which owns the rights to much of the technology in the vehicles Saab was building most recently. GM is concerned about that technology getting into competitive hands.

GM was the sole owner of Saab from 2000 until 2009, when it was purchased by Spyker.